What about a "compact" sized gun? From your signature, you might be well off with a striker fired polymer gun. Examples would be the walther ppq, glock 19, M&Pc, etc. They're all still relatively easy to conceal while being easier to handle.
Edit: Just noticed your budget of $500. My suggestions can be found in that price range (or used to a few months ago) but will be at the top end of that $500 limit. They're all well worth it, but its up to you if you feel comfortable being at your set limit.
Last edited by Contrast Man; December 30, 2012 at 03:17 PM.
Reason: noticed budget