It appears that you are looking at SELF-DEFENSE the right way. When you find a pistol that YOU like and feel comfortable with SHOOT, SHOOT AND SHOOT some more. YOU need to be CONFIDENT and not UNSURE. When something BAD comes up MOST PEOPLE FREAK OUT AND THEIR BRAIN DOESN'T FUNCTION PROPERLY which is NOT what you need in a PANIC STITUATION. YOU NEED TO KNOW YOUR WEAPON FORWARD AND BACKWARDS. IN YOUR MIND YOU MUST BE THINKING "IT'S GOING TO BE A BAD DAY FOR YOU" (PERPETRATOR).😯😁👍I’m 75 and bought my first handgun at age 16, it was a Smith model 53 in a caliber lots have never heard of….a .22 Jet. Google it up, very interesting. Like charlestdemay said self defense was not on my radar, but hunting rabbits and squirrels was ! No telling the number of snakes and armadillos that fell to that gun.
i guess my first self defense handgun was an S&W Model 10 in .38 special. After that, as Shipwreck said, there’s been a plethera of handguns over the next fifty years or so. My current carry pair are an S&W Shield plus and a Taurus GX4. The more I shoot the Taurus, the more I like it. The Taurus of today definitely ain’t the Taurus of yesteryear !
I’ll echo everyone elses advice, shoot as many as you can before making a decision, your life may depend on it. If I were carrying openly, weight and size be damned, I’m carrying my G20. I can actually carry it in an IWB holster about as easily as anything else, it does go bang every time, but most of all, I can shoot it !