Welcome from WV.
This is a discussion on New member and looking for some advice within the New Members Introduce Yourself forums, part of the DefensiveCarry.com Forum Office category; Welcome from WV....
I have an all steel Colt Officers and an all steel Para P-12 and they are chunks of steel to carry. I love the 1911 platform and if I ever start carrying them again, I'm putting night sights on them.
I starting carrying a Glock because that was what was required for me to have as medic on our Sheriff's entry team. I started shooting the Glock a lot and just never got away from it. Besides, it came with night sights.
If I ever "buy" another 1911, I think I'd go for an alloy frame just to lighten the load by a few ounces!
BTW... Welcome from the Great State of Missouri!
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
Thanks for all of the great advice, People have brought up some things I haven't thought of.
Hey from Bama
Get a 1911 you won't regret it .
We live in a society where pizza gets to your house before the police
Welcome! I will add my similar advice to the others on here. I would try as many calibers and brands as realistically possible. There are lots of factors that can go into an individual's decision on a carry gun. In my opinion, caliber is much less important than the owner's familiarity/comfort level with the gun you will be carrying. As someone else mentioned however, you really should practice with your gun with some frequency, so the availability of ammunition in your caliber could create an issue if you can't get enough rounds to spend a responsible amount of time at the range.
Personally, I wouldn't want to trust my life to a PPK, but if that particular brand and caliber is one that you have a great deal of trust in and experience with, then it would be a far better choice than any caliber/brand you aren't proficient with. A 1911 is a great choice for self defense, but a full size 1911 is probably not the easiest gun to conceal. Given the vast amount of fine firearms that fall somewhere in between a Walther .380 and a full size 1911, I would suggest rent a few different 9mms, a .40 or two and some less than full size .45s and see if any of those feel 'right' for you. Given how much these things cost, it is worth the time and effort to explore options before purchasing anything.
Revolvers are not bad either; however they can be a little harder to conceal, so I would factor that in if you want to consider them. A revolver chambered for .357 will also shoot .38, since they are the same diameter, which makes for fairly inexpensive plinking, but you would want/need to shoot a fair amount of .357 as well if that was going to be your self defense load.
Once you find a couple of solid choices then you can move on to considering how you are going to carry and investigate your options, as that may help you decide on one over another. There are a number of quality holster choices out there, so I am sure that regardless of which guns you are looking at, you will find some good options for concealed carry.
Good luck and stay safe!
You bet! If you kill someone in this state, we'll kill you back! (quoted from comedian Ron White)