Originally Posted by hq357
40 s&w, 45 acp, or 9mm?
And yes for 12ga. And 38sp, 357mag, 44mag, 357sig, and even 10mm.
Each has its own advantages, and each advantage is relative to the individual expectations and needs of the shooter/consumer in question. There is generally no wrong answer here. But there may be better fits for you
I prefer 9mm and 45acp. Both are quick handling rounds because in trained hands the muzzle tends to stay on target for faster follow-up shots. 45acp is a heavy round that tends to get the job done in short order, while 9mm offers both greater capacity and a more affordable training budget. There are advantages to each.
40sw/10mm/357sig- I believe in the quality of all of these calibers and own each. 40sw is sort of a 9mm/45acp compromise, in terms of affordability, weight, and capacity. But it does not
handle as quickly as either. 357sig and 10mm are both excellent rounds, but like 40sw, they're not as (successfully) quick as 9mm or 45acp for me. Personally, I like 357/10mm as woods guns. And 40sw is a fine general defense round. Any of these will likely get the job done every bit as well 45acp...but the 45acp will be quicker and more controllable on follow-up shots, in my experience. And that matters to me.
38sp/357mag/44mag- Are all fine choices. I'm good with any of them in a controlled, single action situation. But not so much in DA, so I personally don't depend on them. But with proper preparation, these are all viable options as well.
In other words: There are plenty of good options. Figure out your own needs (and anyone else who may have to depend on this gun) as a shooter, and make an informed decision.