lets look at this in practical, and realistic manner. what type of pistol to carry? well, that is a very subjective question, and will be based upon the individual, and their own unique factors as to what is the best choice in pistols for carry purposes. so, i'm not even going to focus on specific pistols or brands, but more in generalities that would apply to the majority of most people who carry. now sometimes, what i see on various forums, this one as well, and many others over the years, is that sometimes, people tend to overthink, or try to make thinks more complex than they really need to be. this also concerns accessories that are associated with the pistol carry, like the holster, the ammo, and spare mags, or speedloaders, if it's a revolver. so lets look at what is needed. first of all, a pistol of your choice! DUH! then a holster or case of some sort to carry the pistol, and then of course, ammo. what i tend to see is that people tend to focus too much on matters that IMO really don't matter a hill of beans for a carry pistol, that is carried for SD. how much accuracy do you really need? IMO, not that much, since most encounters of an attack where a LAC used their carry firearm in self defense, the average distance according to most statistics, is usually under twenty feet. so, being realistic, really how much accuracy is really needed? and from my own personal experiences and observances of owning a shooting many different pistols for more than forty years, most out of the box pistols are way more accurate than the people who own and shoot them. people many times tend to focus on sights too much as well. in a violent encounter, is the attacker going to allow you to take careful aim with the sights? some how, i think not. so don't make sights a big issue and learn to just shoot the pistol more by instinct, because in such an encounter, that is what you will need to rely upon. K.I.S.S. is my mantra! i like to think to keep things as simple as possible when it comes to a carry pistol. my main criteria, are how well it fits my hand and how reliable the pistol is. those two factors being met, i can work around most anything else. size will be a determining factor for most of us. so bear that in mind as well. ammo. is another big thing that some get hung up on. don't. try out various ammo of a JHP type, and find what feeds reliably in your pistol. i concentrate on reliability more than any other factor. how well a particular ammo expands, or how far it penetrates, or how accurate are irrelevant to me. why? because if the pistol won't feed the ammo, those factors mean nothing. nada. zip. zero! even FMJ "ball" ammo that feeds reliably is superior to the best, or most expensive SD ammo on the market that won't in your pistol. reliability are what i stress people focus on with their ammo choices. most modern SD ammo from the major manufacturers, are going to perform pretty close to one another for the most part. focus on reliability. another question that pops up quite a bit when it comes to ammo. what ammo is the best for my pistol? gee, the ammo that feeds and works every time in your pistol. what works in my pistols, and is my best choice, could be a very poor choice for your pistol. buy some ammo and try it out is the best answer i can give that question. go to the range and spend some time shooting your pistol and learn it. get comfortable with it. another one concerning accuracy again. i generally use about an 8" diameter at about 10 yards as my testing procedures for a carry pistol. if i can keep the entire magazine of ammo within that 8" circle at 10 yards, i call it acceptable as far as accuracy of what i feel is needed. again, i will stress, that most pistols out of the box, are going to for the most part, more accurate than the person who buys it, and shoots it. holsters. whooooo....where to start! buy and try is my best advice. i generally go through at least two holsters per pistol, finding what works best for my purposes. so all others can do is really make suggestions as to what brands to look at that might work well for the person.