Originally Posted by Duncan258
I have a decent amount of knowledge about guns (more so long guns). I have shot them for years but I am turning 18 in a couple months and am getting my LTCH and want to get a handgun of my own. I know I want a full size glock, but I am not sure what caliber or ammunition I want. I was wanting a .45 but I want to be able to shoot it fairly often without breaking the bank. Is there a better/cheaper caliber/round? I don't know a whole lot about ammo but I want it to be a good defense round without being to expensive to go out shooting.
You will so get your LTCH and want a full-sized Glock that will be affordable to shoot to shoot and effective for SD. Get a G-17. That's really all there is to it. The G-17 is ideal for the requirements you list. Buy a G-17 and learn to shoot it using plain Jane FMJ type ammo commonly available at any common retailer such as Wal-Mart, etc. For SD/HD, there are a plethora of outstanding loads available any one of which will more than meet your needs.
Later on you may want to look at other calibers/handguns. The .45 ACP is one of many that are very popular. They are all much more expensive to shoot, using either factory produced ammunition for handloads. The advantage of the 9mm is that it is very affordable for practice and at the same time is extremely effective for SD/HD use.
Of course this will not suit those who are emotionally invested in a particular caliber/gun. And depending on the caliber/handgun you choose, it is possible you could purchase a top unit that would allow you to shoot .22 LR ammunition for practice/training. As well by handloading you could reduce the cost of ammunition, however the 9mm would still be less expensive than any other common caliber available.
Go ahead and buy a new Glock G-17... or else find and buy a nice used one. Spend time learning the trigger by dry-firing drills, etc. Learn what a correct sight picture looks like, both the normal bullseye (pumpkin on the fence post) as well as center of mass/chest hold for silhouettes. When you go to the range, use your time and ammo to apply what you've learned in dry-fire practice and you will make effective progress to being a very capable shot with a handgun.