Hey there, I'm super excited to be a part of this forum and the NW Firearm/Shooting community! I'm brand new to guns, period, but have just now found them to be a total passion of mine! I'm in my mid-20's - all my life have been intimidated by guns, but after a recent attack (by another female, and yes I'm ok, but a guy involved that night barely escaped with his life- woke me the f*#@ up!), I purchased a gun for self-defense and realized that I'm in love with everything about them, from aesthetics, to shooting for hobby and sport, to everything about concealing and home defense etc. I'll first mention that I'm a fairly good shot in general. I have good spatial sense and hand-eye coordination as well as a steady wrist and confidence once I shoot a weapon a few times. I shot my friend's husband's .40 for the first time today and got 8 of 15 within the black at 7 yards. I know that is far from being a sharp shooter, but I feel pretty good about it seeing as how I am such a novice and it was my first time shooting this particular gun. I would LOVE you experts' input on what my next piece should be, please let me tell you what I like and don't like about my currents as far as I can tell: Charter Arms .38 Special, used for Nightstand/HD- + Fantastic grip- Soo comfortable, I feel complete control over it in my hand, would be very difficult to grapple away in an up-close confrontation + Being a revolver I like the fact that it won't jam in the case of an up-close confrontation + Choice of double or single action + Reliable as a mother f'er + Cute (she's pink and stainless) --Negatives.. - Only 5 rounds and speedloading for a revolver just seems so unrealistic to me - I feel like my accuracy is way off... I'm shooting up and to the left with this gal, but in any situation it's here for, I prob won't be as far away as 7 yds RUGER LCP- My Wingwoman! (( I am in LOVE with this gun for carry/defense )) + Profile and size of the piece, paired with aesthetic appeal and conceal-ability for this chamber seems to be unparallelled. I was first looking at the Kel-Tec which looks like a ToysRUs piece of junk comparatively (IMO) and the Bersa Thunder which is not nearly as sleek and conceal-able. I carry large purses and while this is not my first choice of carry method it is very easy to integrate if I feel like my purse is an ok spot at the moment. I found out online that the semi-permanent pocket clip manufactured for the Kel-Tecs fits my LCP- I even enlightened them to that at my fav gun shop, where I purchased it and they kindly installed it for me (Shout out to ROY at Clackamas GUN BROKER-- THEY ARE AMAZING at this place! Please give them your money!) The clip is FANTASTIC for clipping in my jeans, purse pocket, or even bra. Much better than a full holster for women especially. + Very accurate. From what I hear the LCP has a surprising degree of accuracy considering its small size and what it is chambered for- I've only shot one other .380, a Beretta, before this and that's what made me go for the .380- I felt like it was a very managable round for me. One thing is that the sights on this are almost non-existent- I did purchase the laser for this item as it is my primary carry, and that increased my accuracy *only slightly* while shooting in normal position as explained.... - The damn thing is so small, it is even hard for me and my girl friend as well with our small woman hands to grip it securely enough with both hands for an accurate shot at 7 yds. As a matter of fact, at the range today, I discovered I am WAY WAY WAY more accurate shooting this with ONE HAND. Is this normal? It's nearly impossible to cradle my right hand with my left as I normally would shooting a semi-auto. - The trigger pull is VERY long. My friend almost gave up on a shot today because she was feeling she did not have control over the trigger. With this gun it seems mid-pull you feel you have to move from your second phelange to your first, which really f's off your shot. Keeping your 1st on the trigger seems to help accuracy but can hurt your finger (and always breaks my fake nail). I feel this contributes to more recoil, or anticipated recoil, or flinching, or something. I will say that I was UNBELIEVABLE while shooting with one hand and the laser!! So empowering I feel like the LCP covers my carry needs, and the .38 maybe covers HD needs for the most part (until I get my double barrel LOL), but I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanna get a .40 or .45 now, both to shoot and to use as my primary HD with the .38 tucked away. I've poked around a bit, and I really like Springfield, Taurus, Walther, and Beretta Models. I do NOT like Glocks. I shot that Springfield XD-40 today, and I LOVED it. I felt really confident in shooting it and like I said I got all of my shots in very well, with a full clip I'm sure I would live to see my grandchildren LOL! I don't really want to spend $5-600 on a new one but I'm not a cheapskate either, I want what will be best for me. I would love opinions on what would be an ideal chamber and model for me, a .40 or a .45, and what models are reliable/comfortable? I've shot a couple of .45's and felt maybe they're a bit much for me, but not side-by-side with a .40, is there a huge difference in the same model of gun as far as recoil etc, and is it really a superior stopping round? Is the XD a good choice? I can't wait to hear your thoughts!