Pistols chambered in .40 balance massive stopping power with tolerable recoil. That makes them ideal defensive weapons. Many of them are also affordable, so most shooters can carry one. Finding the best 40 cal pistol under 400 dollars means looking for one that offers reliability and accuracy along with raw power without breaking the bank. There are a surprising number of choices that do that, so we narrowed the list down to ten great options based on their value, combat utility, and ruggedness.
10. Kahr CT40
The CT40 from Kahr Arms is more accurate than many of the other pistols at this price point. That accuracy comes from the combination of respectable sights, a fairly long barrel, and ergonomics that encourage a good shooting position. The gun is fairly thin and light in spite of the long barrel. That makes it acceptable for concealed carry, although not quite as comfortable as dedicated carry guns. Consider this model if you are confident that you have the shooting skills to take advantage of its relatively high level of precision.
9. S&W M&P40
The M&P 40 is widely available for under 400 dollars in spite of the higher suggested price from Smith & Wesson, so it represents an excellent value for smart shoppers. It has a lot of room for customization due to a set of three interchangeable grips and a Picatinny rail, so it is also a good choice for shared use within a household or a shooting class. This model holds a lot of ammo compared to most and shoots fairly accurately, which combines with comfortable ergonomics to make it excellent for long shooting sessions. Choose this one for long shooting sessions or to share with your shooting group.
8. Kahr CW40
The CW40 from Kahr is similar to the company’s more expensive models. It loses some of the aesthetic features but retains most of the mechanical ones, so it shoots like a more expensive gun. It is compact and extremely light, so it is easy to carry all day. On the other hand, the low weight combined with a relatively heavy caliber means that recoil can be an issue with this model. Try it if you can handle the recoil, but get something a little bigger if you want to reduce the kick.
7. Ruger SRC40
The SR40 from Ruger is another option that is widely available for under 400 dollars. This gun is one of the best for left-handed users because both the magazine release and the safety are easy to operate with either hand. The grip is also very comfortable for most shooters because it uses a reversible backstrap for quick customization. Two magazines are available, so it is easily possible to adjust the weight. Use this model if you prioritize comfort when shooting and want to customize how the gun feels.
6. Kahr CM40
The CM40 from Kahr was designed with ease of concealment in mind. It is one of the most compact pistols of this caliber, which is a mixed blessing. It is very easy to hide in most outfits, but it is only accurate within short ranges and it can be uncomfortably small for people with larger hands. This model has plenty of recoil, but the grip has enough texturing to ensure that the gun won’t slip when fired. This is a good gun for people who need high power in a tiny package, but most people who can use a larger gun will want to do so.
5. Hi-Point 34010
The Model 34010 from Hi-Point is the best 40 cal pistol under 400 dollars for people who need an affordable backup gun. The price is the main reason to choose this gun, but it does have other positive features. The gun is fairly heavy, but that weight comes from its remarkably solid construction. The factory sights are decent for their price and fairly easy for the user to adjust to meet their needs. Choose this if you need a cheap and durable gun to fall back upon in an emergency or to store in a remote location.
4. Walther PPS
The PPS from Walther is barely within the price range, but it is the best 40 cal pistol under 400 dollars for people who are comfortable with that investment. It is a versatile gun, interchangeable backstraps, an adjustable grip, and multiple magazine options. It also has a weaver rail for a light or laser. The controls are fairly large, which makes them easy to use in adverse circumstances, and the gun shoots accurately enough for defense or target shooting. Try this one if you want to invest in a quality weapon without a massive price tag.
3. S&W SD40 VE
|Manufacturer||Smith & Wesson|
The SD40 VE is the best 40 cal pistol under 400 dollars for home defense. While it is small enough for concealed carry, it is bulkier and less comfortable than smaller designs, which makes it preferable for a home or car. It is highly accurate and reliable for its price point, with excellent ergonomics that make it easy to pick up and aim in a hurry. Most of the components have heavy texturing, so it is also easy to get into position in the dark. Try it if you need a defensive weapon that you won’t need to carry for long periods at once.
2. Taurus Millenium G2
Taurus produces the Millenium G2, which is the best 40 cal pistol under 400 dollars for general use. It is small enough for concealed carry, but bigger than the specialized options. That gives it space for more ammo and a comfortable grip with heavy texturing to prevent the shooter’s hands from slipping. It has a short picatinny rail for accessories, which can be useful for both combat and shooting sports. Use this model if you need a balanced pistol to fill multiple roles at once.
1. Taurus Slim 740
The Slim 740 from Taurus is the best 40 cal pistol under 400 dollars for daily carry. It is a little bit lighter than most, and the frame is significantly slimmer than average, which makes it easier to conceal and carry. This gun comes with a decent number of safety features, including a loaded chamber indicator and the Taurus Security System, so it is also safer than most pistols. It does hold less ammo than some competitors, but the capacity will be adequate for most situations. Use it if you need a light and convenient tool for self-defense.
Making The Right Choice
Defensive weapons can be both affordable and effective. People who carry the best 40 cal pistol under 400 dollars that they can find can be confident that they have a powerful, accurate, and reliable tool at their disposal. It is vital to choose carefully and examine all the options to get the best results. Since you are on a budget you can also look at the best 9mm pistols under 300 dollars. If you use one that we missed, leave a comment about it so others can check it out.