Hi, I found this site through a Google search. It seems like this is a pretty active forum, so I decided to post.
I have a big dilemma: I recently received my concealed carry license, and so the next natural step is to purchase a concealed carry weapon.
The problem is, I have no idea what I want. Well, that's a lie: I have a pretty good idea. I want a handgun in a decent caliber that I can easily carry concealed on my person. I really like single-stack autoloaders, and although I do like revolvers, I'm not too keen on them.
I have a short list of handguns I'm looking at (it used to be very long, but having eliminated some since I didn't like how they felt in my hand, it's been shortened):
S&W 1911PD (scandium commander)
S&W 60, 642
So, for my comments on each:
P239: Comfortable, alebeit slightly too short for my hand. Seems a bit too heavy for concealed carry, but it's available in 9mm.
PPK/S: Fits my hand perfectly. I had to talk myself out of buying it right then and there. I'm concerned that a .380 won't be enough to stop an attacker, and that the cost of .380 will catch up with me. If this weren't a .380, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
S&W 1911PD: I like the idea of carrying a .45, as it's definitely got that "I'm a guy" appeal to it. It's slightly too long for my hand, and I'm not sure if a .45 is something I'm comfortable shooting. Actually, the fact I'd even question shooting a .45 is a good sign I probably shouldn't buy one.
Ruger SP101: I love it. I love the way it feels in my hand, and I like the sounds it makes when you pull the hammer back, or open the cylinder. That's probably not a good reason to buy it, but hey. :P
S&W 60: I like the idea of a snubby that I can feed .38s, but still could feed .357s, which are probably the best round to stop another person if (god forbid) you had to.
S&W 642: Obligatory. Everyone and their mother has one of these, and it's highly recommended.
To be honest, the idea of carrying a small- or medium-sized autoloader appeals to me a hell of a lot more than carrying a revolver. I really don't like how the revolvers won't be accurate at any significant distance because of their short barrels, and while I hope I never need to be accurate past 21 ft., I want something that will give me the ability to do so if the need should arise.
Before I remove the PPK/S from my list, I have to ask: Is the .380 adequate for self-defense? Some people say no, citing it's rather poor ballistic performance compared to the 9mm. Others say it's the minimum autoloader caliber. Others consider the .380 to be the line that marks where the bad calibers start.
Handgun Cartridge Power Chart - Condensed Version
Looking at that makes me thing. The penetration is okay, but the kinetic energy output isn't that great. The one-shot stop rate isn't good, either.
So, answer me these:
1. .380: Good or bad?
2. Which should I carry out of those I listed?
3. What other small 9mm handguns should I try? (No Glocks or M&Ps; already tried them, and I don't like them)