Having recently been awarded my Conceal Carry license, I've been enthusiastically researching my first pistol purchase, and I think I've decided on the Smith & Wesson M&P in 9mm. Here are some of my reasons; I'd like to know what other more experienced folks here think and would especially like to hear from M&P owners.
Price: around $500 is all I can afford right now, and I think its far better to have a $500 weapon than to wait another 4 months or so with no weapon.
I know a lot of people swear by the Glock 17, and I respect their opinion, but I just never felt all that comfortable shooting it. I have always known I wanted a polymer pistol, but Glock would be settling for something I dont love. The M&P comes with 3 different sized grips which I think is extremely attractive as someone who has bigger hands and thin fingers. And at 26oz. it is nice and light.
I havent been shooting for a long time, only regularly for about a year now, but I have been very partial to .40 and .45 ACP since I started. I have shot 9mm more than once and found it to be considerably easier to shoot than the .40 or .45, but that lack of power had worried me. When I came across the M&P and saw that it could carry 17+1, I decided that the step into 9mm was acceptable considering I would have 3 times the amount of shots compared to most of the 45's I could realistically conceal carry. I know there are plenty of high-capacity 40's and 45's out there, but most that I've looked at are out of my price range and/or too heavy/large for me to conceal.
I've also seen that shooting 9mm is a little cheaper than .40/.45, which is a plus because I love to shoot and could easily see myself shooting 200-400 rounds every weekend or so.
Finally, there was a guy at the range last weekend with the exact gun I'm thinking of, in 9mm, and he also had a Glock 17. I watched him shoot clip after clip through the M&P while the 17 sat there looking lonely. He said that he was a Glock lover through and through, but he just couldnt put down the M&P!
So there you have it. Thoughts? Advice? Reviews?