Need a gun? On a budget? Here are 3 possibilities…..

Regardless of what the government figures and mainstream media reports the economy has left many families struggling. Those on a tight budget may find themselves overwhelmed and disappointed during a trip to the gun shop. With just a few hundred dollars it is absolutely possible to secure a very capable means to defend the homestead.

Here are a few examples:

1. Stevens 350 Security Pump Action 12 gauge Shotgun – The Stevens comes equipped with synthetic furniture, 5 round capacity, and ghost ring sights. The 350 also ejects out the bottom of the receiver.  It will fire 3″ shells and has a fiber optic insert in the front sight.


Priced at around $275.


2. Taurus PT111 Millennium Pro G2 9mm Pistol – If a pistol is desired the Taurus G2 is an excellent choice. Taurus seems to have a mixed reputation especially on Internet gun forums but my personal experience has been very positive. I own one. My brother owns one. A fellow group member owns one. We all love it. It has been extremely reliable, accurate and handles like a dream. Fantastic carry gun with a 12 round capacity.


Priced between $200-$275.


3. Ruger 10/22 .22LR Semi-Automatic Rimfire Carbine – While I would never recommend a .22 for self defense it is better than nothing. The Ruger 10/22 is incredibly reliable and has excellent accuracy. Spare 10 and 25 round factory magazines can be carried for quick reloading. Also great for small game.

One .22 in me is one too many.


Price at around $250.


There really are a lot of options out there. Many shops have lay-a-way available which allow some of the more expensive firearms to be paid on over time. Most importantly for those with nothing – is to get something(and train, train, and train).

Daisy Red Rider? No….you’ll shoot your eye out!


20 survival items ebook cover
Like what you read?

Then you're gonna love my free PDF, 20 common survival items, 20 uncommon survival uses for each. That's 400 total uses for these dirt-cheap little items!

Just enter your primary e-mail below to get your link:

We will not spam you.

18 thoughts on “Need a gun? On a budget? Here are 3 possibilities…..”

  1. Rourke, quick note on Taurus. I did own one and I had no problems. The word from several friends on their experiences is: Taurus, out of the box, is either awesome or crap. No middle of the road. However, if you send the crap back, Taurus will make it right. Their customer service is outstanding. There is no cost, just the hassle of shipping and waiting for return.
    I have no proof of any of this, just what I’ve heard.

  2. Rourke- now you reminded me to see the Christmas movie with little Ralph? in it .Oh I would have loved to have had a BB gun as a kid.
    At least I had an air rifle …. not bad for a girl of the 50s.Now they make BB guns in pink-
    awesome !!!! Arlene

    • You make me smile Arlene…..i would have taken the air rifle over the BB gun we had growing up!
      ” All i want for Christmas ” is a Ruger Takedown-hubby says i don’t need it but i can see it would be a great intro to shooting for the grandkids. Gun show’s this weekend… never know….:)

    • Arlene, I had a Daisy BB gun as a kid but not the “Red Ryder”. A few years ago, as a Bday gift, a buddy got me the 70th Anniversary special edition. There’s a little medallion where the compass used to be.
      My friend has since passed but the Daisy sits next to my desk as a tribute to him. And Joyce, yes the grandkids love it.

  3. To each his/her own, but stick with the shotgun for home defense. Nobody recovers from a 12ga. up close and personal. Pistols and 22s are fine and I own both, but the shotgun is the best bang for the buck out there. The next part is deviating from course but please allow a comment on fishing. Fishing is expensive if one follows the normal route that bigger is better. I spent about $200 on a rod and reel that was dismal in performance. Lots more on lures, and the odds and ends that accompanies one to the water’s edge. That said, I was browsing through the isles last week when lo and behold there was a Zebco 33 on the rack, just like the ones we used 50 years ago. It works great, is extremely reliable, and for $20.00 you get the rod, reel, and 20lb. test line all spooled and ready to go. Just thought I would throw that in because after the collapse, self defense, hunting, and fishing will go hand in hand. Thanks for your time.

    • Agree with you taxn2poverty…a 22 is not the first choice for self defense though any EMT that has commented says the damage from one is surprising. Yep Rourke, one is TOO many.
      Fishing…you woke up the beast in me on that. Zebco is where most of us started i bet and i have never moved on. Because i had 4 kids and wanted the option to be ready to fish whenever we had the chance, i always had a 5gallon bucket in the trunk with a half dozen ice fishing poles and well supplied tackle box as well. Now my grandkids love to use them too. Inexpensive but reliable….still have the full sized rigs to use when i know i’m going but those short/stowable poles have provided hours of fishing enjoyment through the years! Thanks for providing the opportunity to pull that lovely memory out and share 🙂

  4. I have the G2 as my daily carry pistol so yes, I like it and trust it. I recently purchased a Limberta 12ga semi for $320. Quality is good and it functions as it should, I have had zero issues with it. In 2 weeks I’ll be getting my Canik out of layaway, another excellent pistol deal at just $350.

  5. I own the Ruger 10/22 … absolutely love it. Easy to use, clean, load etc., and it’s dirt cheap. Ammo was hard to find around here at first, but now it is plentiful. Just wish it was as cheap as it used to be.

    As for the shotgun, I have the Remington 870. On sale I was able to snag it for a couple hundred bucks. it’s a 12 gauge, also with a 5 shell capacity, although here in NJ, you have to put the plug in as you are only allowed 3 rounds at a time. Not a big deal, but in a SHTF situation the plug is easy to remove.

  6. Joyce I hope Santa brings you the Ruger-smile !!
    Taxn2Poverty – The Zebco was my second rod n reel for my 14th? birthday. I used to practice for hours casting my plug into a bucket-thanks for the good memories.My first was the type you had to apply your thumb to the reel to slow down the line. From your name I am wondering if you are from NYS where the taxes are out of sight?
    We had 24 degrees this am- a hard white killing frost. Some snow may be coming this weekend in the Mts here. Arlene

  7. I think the Ruger .22 in brushed stainless, takedown version to be the most cost effective all around rifle for our purposes. I top mine with a Leopold ‘scope for an M4 which I consider a baseline. That way I can always move it to an M4 should the need arise.

    When my wife and I married she had a Taurus revolver. It was so awful that it would jam, unheard of in a revolver. It was soon traded for a S&W which in those days were awesome revolvers. We’ll never own another Taurus anything (well the gubment did provide me with a Ford Taurus police interceptor which was a nice vehicle for what it was. Never understood why I’d need to intercept the police however).

    As a lefty, I like bottom ejecting weapons and find the P90s very sweet, albeit anemic. Having owned many many rifles, pistols, and shotguns over the decades, I realized that I have never owned a Stevens. All my defensive shotguns are Remington 870 police models with extended magazines. And most are in Zycorr bags and hidden in outbuildings. Long weapons are seldom good for CQB the best being the MP5/MP6 silenced variants. Absent a SBR, I prefer the .45acp for home defense but only because of long familiarity and the ability to take rapid head shots with confidence. For most, the pump shotgun is likely price effective and there is that sound when a round is racked.

    Other than the Taurus, good list Rourke.


    • My .22lr Ruger 10/22 is topped with a leather wood Hi-Lux CMR 1-4 x 24mm. My defensive shotguns are Mossberg 500’s, I am a lefty also, I like the MP5/P-90 for CQB, heck any of these too (VZ-25,UZI,BM-12) Just sharing.


  8. Maverick 88 12 gauge 5 round for $199 at Academy. There are 8 round Mavericks too for $204 at Bud’s. Supposedly, they go down the assembly line side by side with Mossberg 500s.

  9. I also own the Maverick 88 – the 8 rd version. I’ve put over 500 rds through it with no problems. Side by side it works just as good as my Moss 500. I’ve got 3 10/22s – one is a sweet takedown, one has an AR type stock and the other I thinned down and reshaped the standard wood stock. Love all three and will never get rid of them. My AR is a DPMS Oracle that I have up graded with a few MAGPUL goodies. My 1911 is a Rock Island 9mm. It shoots great right out of the box. My daily carry is a Bursa Thunder Plus .380. All budget guns and all work great. Shot placement is what counts.

  10. Many, M A N Y years ago I owned a Franchi SAS tactical 12ga, the pump only version of the famous SPAS 12. It was a handsome gun with a quality fit and finish. Franchi has a well deserved reputation for building high quality shotguns. As it turned out the SAS had a defect that would cause it to occasionally jam when cycling the action. The only way to un-jam it was to take it apart. This defect rendered this beautifully constructed gun useless for its intended purpose. My point in this is that Franchi does in fact build high quality shotguns regardless of the SAS experience. I have owned only 2 Taurus pistols so far so my experiences with them are indeed limited but both functioned flawlessly. One in particular, a PT-92 had well over 2000 rounds thru it before I sold it. I wouldn’t hesitate to by another and likely will.

  11. Taurus, hate to beat you up BUT of the 3 or 4 gun site I go to on FB what I see for sale the most is ” Taurus ” most say only fired very few rounds. They are looking to trade or sell , any thing to get rid of the Taurus. Then again anything to better than nothing .
    Shot gun, yep if you don’t have one GET one. 20 or 12 ga. , I know bigger is better But being able to fire it w/o getting hurt is the main thing. Like you say about the 22, want shot with one ?
    Keep you the good work and for the ones who did not care for his pick ” got you thinking didn’t he “

  12. Like I said my experience is limited but I’ve had good results with Taurus. There is currently an on going class action lawsuit involving their line of Millennium pistols, the G2 is not included as its their latest offering and whatever the issue was must have been fixed. Ive owned 10/22s most of my life and love them. Lots of after market stuff available and you can do things to them I would never admit to. I always answer the “if you could have just one gun” questions the same way….. Shotgun……

  13. have the tarus, the ruger, and a maverick 88 with extended magazine, among other guns. . . . good basic stuff. . . always seems the gun snobs have to show up with their one-up comments. not everyone can afford the biggest or best. this article was about cheap and basic. leave it at that. Good writing as per usual,Rourke. Thanks.

  14. Rick,

    I hope the intent of those ‘gun snobs’ on this site is to advise purchasers of potential problems and recommend alternate choices. Sounds like Rourke’s warning re the Tauris was on target. Some just don’t work as intended. When it comes to personal defense, one should always have the best quality that is affordable. The first time that supersonic round cracks overhead, most understand this which is why my most of peer group went to the .45acp in pistols after their first bad ole encounter.

    The Stevens shotgun has a lot of desirable features, especially the slug sights – although I’m not a fan of fiber optic sights due to their fragility. Undoubtedly it offers a lot of bang for the buck. This I do know, almost all police organizations including the FBI use Remington 870s. There is likely a reason for this and not because the 870s are the cheapest on the block.



Leave a Comment