This is the second worst question I get asked. The worst is “What gun should I get my wife?”
As a firearms instructor I get asked the above questions frequently. I normally tend to try to sidestep this question. The reason for this is There is no pat answer I can give. Each person has unique requirements. Many of those requirements are not obvious to the people asking the questions of me.
I use about half an hour in class describing the pluses and minuses of various types, sizes, weights, and calibers. This allows the student to weigh everything and make an informed decision for themselves. Frequently after this section I hear students lamenting the gun selection they made before class.
I do feel that it is best for people to try to make a firearm decision based on their particular situation. That being said I’m leaning toward a generic recommendation of late. The events of the last year have lead me to the following recommendation. A used Glock 23. I regularly recommend people buy used guns. I do this because guns have the capacity to run far more rounds than most shooters would be able to afford in their lifetimes. On top of that most shooters fire their guns very rarely. Even the police trade in guns like these don’t come close to reaching the halfway point in their life expectancy.
As I mentioned the reason leading to this decision being the events of the last year. Anyone even slightly associated with firearms has noticed the problems in inventories. Ammo in particular has been very difficult at times to acquire. The old common wisdom was get a gun in a common caliber. The problem with this is if you have a gun in a caliber that is that common and there is an ammo shortage everyone with a gun in that caliber will also be searching for that ammo.
The most common ammo for self defense handgun has been the 9mm. This ammo was also one of the first to dry up and blow away when the ammo shortage hit. Less common ammo calibers like the .40 S&W and the .357 SIG were much easier to find. With that in mind I’ve started looking toward something that would help with that. A handgun with some versatility. A handgun that can fire mutiple calibers and types of ammo. A handgun in .40 that can be easily converted to a different caliber is the way to go.
The following is one way to achieve it.
Glock 23 for $369.95
Convert it to 9mm for $124.95
Add a 9mm mag for $10-$35
So for$530 you get a gun that can shoot two different cartridges.
Convert it to .357 SIG for another $109.95 and it used the same mags as the original .40 S&W Glock 23.
Now for $600 you have a handgun that can run 3 different cartridges.
If you don’t care to go with a slightly larger gun you can save $10.
I am not saying that this is the end all be all of gun solutions. In the end each person needs to determine if this solution works for them or not.