The statement, "which gun should I buy" usually proceeds from inexperienced handgun seekers. This is generally when trying to decide not only what kind of gun would be best, but what their priority actually is. Here's the reality at the top of this article, so we can get this out of the way. If you can only have one gun decide what the greatest priority you face in getting one. Then buy a gun for that.
Here is a poorly structured, but true statement
There is no gun that is going to be ideal for plinking, training, self defense, hunting, law enforcement us, concealed carry, horseback riding, speed shooting, competition, protection from people, dogs, wildcats, badgers and bears, and to share with your girlfriend ..... or boyfriend.
Often the confusion stems from only wanting or being able to afford one gun, but wanting that gun for everything imaginable.
If you want a gun for strong multiple uses, you'll have to get more than one. If you have numerous priorities, decide which one is most important and buy one for that. Confusion will keep you shopping forever for something that doesn't exist.
Size of a gun for concealed carry
Another factor that enters the equation is how large or small a gun has to be for effective concealed carry. Let me say this. It doesn't have to be particularly small to carry effectively. And it doesn't have to be a canon to be an effective self defense tool.
Too many people get caught up in too many internet discussions from super-soldiers that make every day civilians feel like they're going out onto a Middle East battlefield every day. That's not the case.
For those of us who get up, get ready, go to work and live basically normal lives, we need a gun that will shoot a relatively effective round. That would be everything from .380 - .45 ACP.
The valid considerations for your cc handgun
It would be a gun that we can get a solid grip on, and can (by practice) handle competently and shoot accurately. No U.S. civilians need to carry a 1911 with 6 extra mags to be effectively armed for self defense in their daily lives.
Many people who don't have direct access to an experienced shooter who can sanely help them make a decision, get caught up in a lot of non issues. These are commonly through their internet discourse on web sites and forums that endlessly discuss balistics, blowback, ammo types, what is the "best" round for self defense, and obscene arguments by "experts".
The internet is the greatest source of information ever on earth. It's also the greatest source of confusion.
A lot of this is illustrated by the fact that I have a few dozen gun reviews on my web site. Many of those are handgun reviews. People endlessly write telling me how much they like the site, how informative the gun reviews are, and then ask ...... what kind of gun I would recommend!
Well, they read the gun reviews. That should be enough to determine for anybody going by my suggestions which guns I have determined are best. But people are so determined to overload with unneeded information that they will never actually purchase a firearm.
Bottom line: Determine your priority. Determine what type of gun will meet that priority. Determine a range of gun types that will perform best. Handle, work, and if possible fire some. Pick one you like best. Buy it. Period.