40 would be great!
S&W M&P, Glock 23 and Springfield XD. . .Try them all. You will like the trigger and grip best on one of them. By like I mean you will like the feeling.
I like the XD. My buddy has HUGE hands and likes the M&P. MAny others like the Glock 23.
9 vs 40 vs 45 is an endless debate. All are good. To me 40 and 45 are great. I, unlike some others, think the 45 kicks the hardest. I think this feeling because I do not shoot a steady diet of 200 gr cast bullets at 700 fps through my 45's. I shoot loads in the SD range which are like 230 gr bullet at 850 fps. My 40 loads most often shot are 155gr cast at 1050 fps. I think a normal SD load is more like 155 gr cast at ~1200 fps. Yes, those are snappier, but not snappier than 45 with 230 gr at 900 fps! It's all relative and there is some overlap in recoil ranges. Also, some say the 40 recoil fee;s different. I cannot feel other than the different power levels.
If you think you will be a regular shooter, the above is good advice. If you think you will be a less than regular shooter, there are better weapons.
A pump shotgun, stored without a round in the chamber is a good and easily aimed weapon. Smaller buckshot would be my round of choice. A pump shotgun is great to practice with because cleaning could be a very minimal task. The issue comes down to how will you get really good with it. . .Probably the best way is to shoot some clay birds with target loads. Nothing improve my quick sighting of a shotgun like that! Especially with a defensive cyl choke! You almost have to shoot as you yell pull! That was a fun day!
Another good starter pistol is a 38 special or 357 mag revolver. 38 specials shoot at the same power level as a 9mm, easier to shoot. . .Also, revolvers tend to have better recoil control and are less fussy related to cleaning. A S&W M65 could give you years of good service, just cleaning every 500 - 1000 rounds. The cleaning still takes less than 20 min and could be done without disassembly. Do you want to clean this little. . .well, not if you are me, but you could clean this little. Then, bring it in to a gunsmith and pay him to detail clean it every 3000 - 5000 rounds or so. Maybe more. Really, revolvers get so little grit in the action, maybe they never really need cleaned!
Last edited by Nathan; September 12, 2012 at 08:36 PM.