Just got my CCW license and want to pick the best all around weapon for both home defense as well as concealed carry. My concern here is which caliber offers the best stopping power as well as affordable ammo for regular practice.
I know 9MM is probably the best bargain but what are the trade offs? I shoot equally well with the Glock 9 and the .45. Have yet to try the .357. Would appreciate some info on the preference of one over the other. Thanks.
Trade offs? If you're just starting out, there ain't nothing wrong with a 9mm. As a matter of fact, at today's ammo prices, starting out with a 9 might make a whole lot of sense and allow you to do a lot more practicing with that new pistol.
Me? I prefer to shoot a 45 acp; and, this preference is underwritten by the fact that I own a progressive reloader. You need to train to what you use. I do a lot of pistol shooting; I am so tuned to the heavy, but slow, 45 acp recoil that whenever I switch to a 9mm I feel like I'm shooting a, 'snappy 22 long rifle'!
In experienced hands, there is absolutely no difference in accuracy or rate of fire between a 45 acp or a 9mm. I shoot them equally; except, I'm more accurate with the 45 during rapid fire events. This is because I have conditioned myself to work with the slower recoil impulse of the 45 acp. (It's not enough to simply say; 'The 45 has more recoil.' Yes, it does; but, like many semiautomatic shooters, I have found that a slow heavy push is easier to work with at speed than a hard fast snap.)
Personally, I think there is a progression of calibers involved in pistol shooting. The longer you do it, the larger, or faster, or whatever your preferred (everyday) pistol caliber is going to be. You are just starting out; I think that for the purposes of everyday practice, ease of carry and concealment, and (sometimes restrictive) ammo costs a nice 9mm pistol would be a good choice for you to make.
There is no hard fast rule that you must fire at anything only once; and COM is, still, COM! Don't forget to get yourself a decent gun belt. OTB holsters are great for the range; and, IWB holsters are about as close to perfect as you'll find for CCW carry. Good luck to you!