Some people prefer to carry the semi-automatic pistol for defense. The semi-auto is flatter than the revolver, and generally has a greater ammunition capacity than does a revolver of the same overall size. I believe that it simply comes down to personal preference more often than not. Rather than advocate a specific brand or model, I’d like to offer some factors that might be to your advantage to consider when looking for a defensive auto pistol.
Is it of a size that you will actually carry it? I don’t mean can you carry it– will you carry it? I one had a +70 year old client show up for training with a large capacity .40 caliber pistol, which he proudly announced he intended to carry all day, every day. I suggested that he might be better served with a smaller handgun, and he became rather indignant. He protested that he was in perfect physical condition, and that he would have no problem carrying the handgun. He was in excellent shape, but his experience in carrying the gun was that he had hauled it to my concealed carry class in his lunch pail. I might be a bit sheltered, but I haven’t carried a lunch pail regularly since third grade. Sad truth to tell, my main reason for quitting was that my lunches quit fitting in a lunch pail, and I graduated to shopping bags to haul my chow. I have nothing against lunch pails and I’m not clairvoyant, I just doubt this old guy was going to start carrying it 18 hours a day.
It turned out that despite spending way too much money on an expensive holster he found that the gun was simply too large and heavy for him to drag around in the course of his normal workday. He ended up with a smaller handgun in a pocket holster. The gun should fit into your lifestyle, because you’re unlikely to alter much of your lifestyle when you begin to carry a handgun.
If the gun is too large, you’ll leave it elsewhere. If it isn’t with you, it doesn’t count. I don’t generally recommend tiny defensive auto pistols, but I sincerely believe you are infinitely better off with a .22 Short in your pocket than you are with a Combat Custom Big Name Whiz-Bang .577 Magnum Zombie Killer that is out of reach. For most people, a reasonable choice is somewhere between those extremes. Read more