Welcome from SD :)
Originally Posted by mountainmama
I began carrying a hand gun due to feral dogs, and snakes who liked my camp site. Defense against people was more of an afterthought. I had a good experience with a snub-noes revolver. A revolver is easy to operate, as in there's usually no levers or manual safeties you have to worry about in an emergency. The revolver has other features which make up for the lack of a manual safety, but these will vary from model to model. It's best to shop around and ask a lot of questions. Also, a revolver is easily used one-handed (if you're carrying a child, etc).
When it comes to large animals you will want a round that will penetrate deep. This happens to be the exact opposite of what you would want for defense against people in an urban setting. The 357magnum round is great for this. Also, most 357mag revolvers will also fire the smaller .38cal round if you are going into a situation where you wouldn't need a heavy punch. This would give you some choice and room to adjust to your situation without having to spend a small fortune on different guns.
It's my experience that revolvers are more comfortable to carry concealed than autos. Thoe that's my personal preference which will very from person to person. I carry my snub-noes revolver in my right front pocket when I go jogging or biking and it's no problem. Please always put your gun in a holster, however, never dropping it naked into your pocket. It's important for the trigger to be covered and for the gun to stay oriented in your pocket so you can pull it out fast.
Sounds to me that you need 2 guns : 1) home / bear security , and 2) conceal carry & jogging gun. The home / bear security could be a rifle or shotgun with a slug, if you only need it at the home, which could save you money in the process.
Slide (semi) or revolver, no one can tell you the answer ; it is something that you have to answer for yourself. Try both and see which one you feel you can handle better and that the mechanics work well for you. Shoot both and different types / calibers... if you can, and decide from there.
Take a good handgun familiarity and shooting course if you can at all ..... and sorry, but NOT from your husband. That just never works out real well. He will more likely inplant his biases in what works well for him, which might not be the things that work well for you. Some instructors have biases too, but if they are worth their grain of salt they will be concentrating on what will work well for you.... shooting, etc. and be sure you are learning good safety practices.
It's always better to get it and have it, even if you don't start carrying immediately. If you find yourself in a position needing it, it's already there and you don't have to wait months to find a class, paperwork, etc.