Why Are Handguns So Expensive?

Why Are Handguns So Expensive?

Investing in a firearm can be incredibly beneficial for safety and security, and the costs surrounding various gun types differ for numerous reasons. The costs of firearms differ drastically, dependent on countless influences. But why are handguns so expensive?

Handguns are typically expensive due to mechanical complexities during the manufacturing process, the use of intricate components to achieve high functionality and performance, testing for meeting mandated requirements, and higher demand. The cost of handguns varies based on type and location.

Contrary to popular belief, handguns can amount to quite an unexpected expense. There is plenty of mystery surrounding increased prices, and the community has established many theories concerning why. Join us as we discuss some of the most practical reasons why handguns and pistols are so expensive. 

How Much Does It Cost To Own a Pistol? 

Why Are Handguns So Expensive?

The average price of a handgun or pistol is typically around $500, but prices vary depending on location and the type of firearm purchased. Some pistols can be purchased for as little as $200, while others may cost much more and may reach costs exceeding that of rifles. 

However, the cost of owning a handgun or pistol does not end after the initial purchase, and many people buying handguns have been startled by the following expenses. Additional expenses increase costs by approximately $200 or more, so persons should prepare a few hundred dollars extra when purchasing a pistol. 

Accessories and Supplies

Apart from costs involved during the initial purchase of the handgun or pistol, users will need to consider the supplies and extras that will be needed over time. Accessories will need to be purchased for proper usage. Necessary items include a spare magazine, a gun lock, a full load and reload of self-defense ammunition, protection for the eyes and ears, and practice ammunition. 

Maintenance Items

Persons will need to consider the upkeep of their handgun or pistol after the initial purchase, which will amount to some additional costs but will be invaluable for ensuring the longevity and functionality of the firearm. Items such as gun oil, cleaning patches, a cleaning kit, cleaning solvent, and other necessities will need to be purchased alongside the handgun. 

Practice and Training 

Training expenses will vary depending on the location, which gun range is chosen, and how long training lasts. There are plenty of approaches to choose from, and some enthusiasts choose private training while others enjoy being a part of a supportive community. However, training is an invaluable aspect to consider when owning a pistol since it’s indispensable for ensuring proper and safe usage in the long run.

State Laws, Licenses, and Regulations

Additional expenses will also depend on state laws and protocol in the area. These will need to be checked and assessed as they may add up to much more than anticipated in the long run but will be necessary for legal usage. Some states, such as Texas, only involve the initial cost unless persons seek a concealed carry license, while other states require further expenses that are legally mandated. 

Some states require persons to undergo a background check before they are permitted to buy a firearm, and licenses are necessary to carry a pistol legally. The process and costs are far more complex in these areas, which will play a significant role in the total costs. Some states that demand individuals have a permit or license cost as little as $10 annually, while others require higher costs over time. 

Why Are Pistols So Expensive? 

Why Are Handguns So Expensive?

The higher pricing of pistols and handguns is shrouded with questions and perplexities. However, enthusiasts and community members have considered some of the most prominent influential factors that may increase their pricing systems. Many of these reasons are logical and practical, but many of them are worth the extra costs.

Manufacturing Costs

The overall cost of manufacturing handguns and pistols may be more mechanically complex when compared with the manufacturing process of rifles and long guns. The manufacturing process may also involve specific steps and aspects that are not necessitated when producing longer guns. Many manufacturers opt for mass production to cut down on these expenses instead of crafting each handgun individually.

Materials Used for Production

In some cases, the materials used can lead to a higher price – to cover the cost of the materials and the production method used for these materials. Some manufacturers have opted to incorporate cheaper materials such as plastic to lower costs. However, many smaller components need to be made of high-quality materials for optimal functionality. 

State Testing Requirements

Various states have specific requirements necessitating testing for it to be sold, and these tests need to be complete by manufacturers before they can reach the hands of those purchasing the firearm. These tests cost time and money, and in instances such as these, the manufacturers would undoubtedly need to increase the selling price to make up for these expenses and still achieve the desired profit.

Higher Demand

Generally speaking, the demand for handguns and pistols is far higher than the demand for long guns. Handguns and pistols may or may not be deemed the “best” method of self-defense, but it is undoubtedly the most popular option for individuals. It is the most commonly purchased firearm class for users of all calibers. 

These smaller firearms are more straightforward to learn and use safely compared to long firearms and are much easier to carry discretely and conveniently due to their smaller size. These attributes make handguns and pistols the most popular options for individuals seeking a form of defense through concealed carry and are often used by personal and enforcement as well. 

However, this high demand does take a toll on the manufacturers’ capacity for production and creates profitable opportunities for them in the process. The increased demand does necessitate an increased supply, which may affect the price in various ways. The increased price may be associated with the ability to meet this supply, or manufacturers and sellers take advantage of this excessive demand and benefit from higher profits. 


A handgun’s barrel can offer more accuracy and is designed to achieve a consistent point of impact. Depending on the type of gun, these aspects may increase the selling price. In particular, compact handguns are more expensive than many other variants, and handguns have exceptional design and functionality, which are labor-intensive or time-consuming to achieve, necessitating a higher price.

The performance of handguns and pistols is given very close attention during the manufacturing and testing process, considering the real-world purposes of these firearms. The lives of many crucial force members such as the police and other officers depend on these handguns’ functionality and reliability, compared to long guns commonly used for recreational activity such as hunting and sporting. 

Is It Cheaper To Build or Buy a Handgun?

Why Are Handguns So Expensive?

Building a handgun can be cheaper than buying a handgun, depending on the cost of parts and tools. However, the costs of parts will also vary, meaning individuals may or may not save money by doing so. In addition, the process will take some time – from locating correct and compatible parts at reasonable prices to spending time with the workings of the firearm. 

Still, if you do not mind spending some time doing proper research and locating high-quality parts and reasonable prices, it may be a decent option. Many individuals opt to create handguns for various reasons, including a passion for the intricate construction process or as a means to cut down on costs. 

In some cases, individuals may be able to purchase the required parts without much hassle – without background checks or permits. But, various requirements may be necessary depending on your area, which will affect limitations and the capacity for building a functional and safe handgun. 

There is plenty of debate and diversity regarding the legality of building a handgun, however. Building a handgun is legal in most U.S jurisdictions, but many specifics surround the topic. Numerous local laws and regulations will need to be checked and followed, as the necessities and limitations vary between states. 

The prominent influence in whether or not it will be acceptable legally will involve the design of the firearm created. The handgun built may need to be approved by the Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), after which it may or may not be concluded as a firearm. 

For persons experienced with firearms and tools, making a handgun can be relatively safe and secure compared to the functionality and usability of a purchased handgun. However, mistakes can be fatal when building a handgun, and the approach is not advised for those who are new to the field. 

While handguns and pistols may seem to cost more than expected, there are many logical and understandable causes for increased prices. Many of these reasons provide advantages, such as firearms being tested before being sold. Those hoping to buy a handgun should be mindful of additional factors since many of them are worth the extra costs.