For hiking I say go polymer rather than metal just because of the weight factor... You can get a Ruger SR40c for just a tad over $400 on a good day.
They're very versatile 'cause they can be carried as EITHER a compact OR full-size... Like having two guns for the price of one.
What did Mrs. Bullet say to Mr. Bullet? ... "We're having a BeeBee!"...
IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT!... IF THE GUN FITS, SHOOT IT!
"Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it."