Cheap Guns that You Won't Hate

By Randy Wakeman

TriStar Viper G2 Synthetic (MSRP $610)

Made in Turkey by Armsan, TriStar imports these in 12 gauge, 20 gauge, and .410 bore. They are available in 16 gauge and 28 gauge as well, if you step up to the walnut at a slightly higher price point. I've seen them recently as low as $550: this a whole lot of soft-shooting, gas-operated autoloader for the dollar. Mossberg's SA-20 is the same gun, shown below. Mossberg also offers a 28 gauge, the SA-28. 

Ruger LCP Max (MSRP $469)

For a defense pistol with a Tritium front sight, this 10 round .380 comes complete with a pocket holster and magazine loader, at $349 or so street price. It can be an effective anti-carjacking device. In 2020, the Chicago area car-jackings hit over 1400 according to CBS. That was apparently the tip of the iceberg, for in 2021, it was 2000 or so. In 2021 in mostly peaceful Chicago, 4,542 people were shot. That's 4,541 more people than in the unarmed “attack” at the Capitol. Data at suggests that you might want to arm yourself.

Mossberg Patriot Synthetic (MSRP $440)

Mossberg got it right with their Patriot: they are excellent shooters, with a street price potentially at $350 or so: a screaming deal as far as I'm concerned. You might like it in .243 for a low recoil deer rifle, or in the trendy 6.5 Creedmoor, I'll stick with .270 Winchester, but the choice is all yours.

There are only so many ways to get cost out of a gun. Plastic and rough matte finishes are two of the most common approaches. You won't hate any of these guns, but if you spend a few more pesos on the better finished models, you might just love them. For example, two of the Mossberg Patriot .270 models I've tested are shown below. While I think the upcharge for a walnut stock is more than worth it, but that's why they call them choices. 

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Copyright 2022 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.