So I've been doing a lot of research over the past few months and although I've gotten a better idea of what some of my personal preferences might be when considering my first handgun, I'm still having a hard time narrowing the search down without actually holding or firing what I'm interested in. I mean, I can only read so much before I need to experience something for myself. So I have a couple questions.... Where are some reputable places in the Portland area (Preferably SW, though I don't mind driving for quality service) that would allow me to rent and fire a variety of pistols? Semi-auto, revolver, etc. Are their safety courses that would allow me to test fire different types? Where are some of your favorite local places to shop for guns? I'd like to check out some trustworthy and knowledgeable places that won't treat me like I'm crazy or wasting their time for wanting to handle a variety of pistols and get a feel for what I'm looking for. Or try to sell me something I really don't want or need just because I'm a girl. I know it's going to come down to what's comfortable for me, but I'd really like some educated, first-hand, opinions from people who have similar purposes and preferences for their pistols.... so I have a better idea of what I'd be interested in test firing first, and possibly owning. I never know what people mean by "I like this. It's a good gun." (especially when I'm stereotyped as your average woman) and I always think, "Awesome... good for who and what?" haha. With that said (no offense to anyone) I intend to really know my pistol and train with it, and not just let it gather dust in case of an emergency. It's a serious investment for me, a serious interest, and I want to find the best handgun for my needs. Purpose: - personal defense - target shooting - concealed carry (sometimes, probably not daily, but I'd still like to be able to without too much trouble. not my top priority though) Current preferences and considerations: - reliability (I want something that has stood the test of time, that I can count on, that will pretty much last forever with the proper care. I want something I don't plan on ever selling. preferably something preferred by military or law enforcement.) - durability (it's going to get used a lot), and something that won't corrode easily - 9mm semi-automatic - mid to light weight (not too light or too small. I want something with a little weight to it but I don't want a brick in my hands.) - comfortable fit for smaller hands (I'm female) - slide that's isn't too hard (though I'm not completely weak. I've racked a desert eagle... but probably never again haha.) - right handed (ambidextrous is fine too) - manual safety - square trigger guard - decent night sight - option to attach a light - as little recoil as possible for what I'm looking for - general accuracy So what would you suggest I take a closer look at? If you have opinions or ideas contrary to what I'm already considering or something else to add to my search I'd love to hear them and why. The more info the better. Thanks everyone.