I've started this thread because another one of our forum members doesn't want to have an honest discussion about valid reasons for selecting a revolver or semi-auto as a concealed carry weapon. What I am posting here primarily applies to self defense concealed carry sidearms and not what the military or police might use, although some of the criteria they use for selecting sidearms is still every bit as applicable to civilian self defense weapons. After receiving some replies he didn't like, he wanted people to stop responding, so I'm starting a thread here so that people can state their opinions on the matter and as the OP I will NEVER ask you to stop posting because I agree or disagree with your assertions, but I may ask you to back up what you say with numbers, logic, or something amounting to some form of tangible evidence because I think some intellectual honesty should be incorporated into everyone's arguments on the matter. Try to express your opinion in an adult manner, but be completely honest about why you carry what you carry. If you feel the need to insult someone or call someone names, you can call me names because I'm a big boy and I'm not sensitive to immaturity and won't take offense to anything someone I've never met says to me in a conversation over the internet. However, if you choose to go that route, don't be surprised if you receive the same treatment. Why start a discourse in a public forum wherein you ask other people about why they would not do something and then complain about the answers you get when they don't agree with your sensibilities about what YOU choose to do? I don't ask people for input in public and then tell them to be quiet if I don't like their answers. If you don't want to hear the answers, then don't ask the question. However, I always learn something by talking to other people and therefore I will ask the question because I think the argument is something to consider for new shooters who do not have the experience or training of some of the more seasoned shooters here. So, to start off, I will say that I generally recommend a compact, moderately powered semi-auto with relatively high capacity for new shooters with a minimum of moving parts and operating controls because it's more difficult to master something that's more complicated, for most people, and I don't know of any human who can more readily utilize a more complicated implement under duress than a simpler implement. I try to look at things in general terms and not look for exceptions to the rules. There are always exceptions to the rules, but those don't apply to the general case and if we're going to make recommendations to new shooters, I think the general case is a good place to start. Here's what I look at when determining what type of self defense weapon to recommend to other people: 1. Can the shooter's hand manipulate all the controls? If the shooter can't easily manipulate all of the operating controls, it won't matter if you hand him or her the best pistol or revolver in the world. 2. Can the shooter adequately control the recoil of the weapon and is the weapon designed in such a way as to make this easier rather than more difficult? I realize that some calibers offer slightly better ballistics than others, but at what expense to the shooter in terms of controllability? If the shooter can't easily control their weapon while firing quickly, that's a no-go for me. 3. Is the sighting mechanism usable from the box or will it require aftermarket parts to use? Poorly designed sighting mechanisms make accuracy more difficult in ideal conditions and a serious shortcoming in a fight. 4. Is the capacity of the weapon sufficiently high as to afford the user a few misses? The overwhelming majority of the people I see on the ranges have considerable difficulty hitting a stationary target at just 7 yards while they are also stationary. In my mind, it's a pretty safe bet that the average shooter is going to miss a couple shots, maybe even several, if they and their attacker are both moving. Even if the shooter is faced with just one assailant, being down two or three shots in a five shot weapon starts to present a real problem. Most people can, whether with accuracy or not, fire several shots per second, which means they're going to go through their ammunition supply rather quickly if they are surprised and fire reactively at their assailant. To my way of thinking, giving these people a little extra ammunition in the magazine or cylinder is a good idea- not because I don't want them to improve their marksmanship but because I don't want them holding an empty weapon and facing an attacker who hasn't decided to stop yet. 5. Cost. Money is a limiting factor for a lot of people. Most of us can't afford a 3K+ 1911 or 2K+ custom revolver. Yes, you can always spend more money and get a qualitatively better product, but there are limits to what we are willing and able to spend on self defense products and services. If money was not a factor, I'd just hire a body guard and let him figure out how to best protect us. So, the premise of this discussion is about what sidearm would be optimal or as close to it as reasonably achievable for the majority of new shooters who are looking to arm themselves to protect themselves and/or their families when out and about (which means concealed carry to me), in their own homes (I still conceal it), and in and around their vehicles (also concealed carry for me). A low capacity revolver, higher capacity revolver, low capacity semi-auto, high capacity semi-auto? Single shot or derringer? What would you recommend a new shooter carry and what logical arguments would you present to support your decision? Even if you only carry something because you simply like carrying X or Y, feel free to chime in but be honest about why you are carrying it.