I'm in the lengthy process of getting my Massachusetts LTC. Luckily, I have friends in law enforcement, a clean record, and a few legit reasons, so the LTC shouldn't be a problem once I finish the steps. I'm fairly experienced shooting rifles and somewhat experienced with shotguns, but I have almost no experience with handguns bigger than .22 and .25 cal. I would just get a shotgun, but for all the trouble I would need to go through to get a FID for rifles/shotguns, I might as well get a Class 1 LTL. Since I live in the city pretty close to some high crime areas, I want a shotgun for the house and a handgun to carry/keep in the car/under the pillow. I know I want something with more pop than the .22's and .25's I've shot. From what I've read and heard from the hand full of experienced shooters I know, 1911's are the best in the business if you can afford them and I have a feeling I will want one at some point. Magnums are out for me because my neighborhood is too dense. That's why I like the idea of a .44 special or .45. Big and slow. The problem is just the up front cost, and the cost and availability of ammunition to hone my skills with a pistol. I'm thinking that once my LTC comes through, I should get an decent but fairly inexpensive 9mm to use for practice and defense until I can afford a good 1911. That way, I won't waste my money shooting a 500 or 1000 rounds of expensive .45 cal to get my accuracy up to snuff. I have to imagine it's a pretty big step up from small cal pistols to medium/large cal. Also, in a pinch, if my wife had to use it, I suspect she would be better off with a 9mm next to the bed if I'm out of the house. So does this seem like a sound strategy for entering the world of handguns in a state with the most restrictive gun laws in the country? Am I wrong in thinking the step up from a 9mm to a .45 is less than the step up from a .25 pocket gun to a 9mm? Am I wrong to rule out the .38? Any feedback would be appreciated. This board seems to be a pretty good source of info.