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As great as optics are these days it is no replacement for training and learning how to shoot with iron sights. This will sound very “Boomer” I am sure, but there weren’t optics like available today for shooters when I learned to shoot many moons ago. As much as I like what’s out there to help shooters I still spend most of my range time shooting iron sights. If you carry a gun your very life depends on your ability to get on target quickly and accurately.

In reality a situation where you may need to use a gun in a SD situation is going to be very up close fast and very physical. Criminals are not going to give you a chance to give you an advantage. You shoot someone beyond SD distances you are likely to have big legal problems (probably even in a justified shooting) if you survive the attack. I know it is not cheap to shoot, become and maintain proficiency but it is a must if you are using a gun for SD. I know a couple people that do not shoot pistols enough and frankly they suck at shooting especially distance shooting.

Become good at SD distances first then work on longer shots. Get comfortable with handling and shooting a gun. I have been shooting and carrying a gun for so long it is second nature for me. I literally feel naked without a gun on my person outside of my home. I wear one so much I often don’t take it off until getting ready for bed because I don’t even think about it on my body and even then it is right next to me, I wear a Crossbreed now and it is one if not the most comfortable holsters I own. I have a moving box full of holsters. If I had the Crossbreed first I would probably only have a couple other holsters.
Maybe look at revolvers and become good with them. At the rate the idiots in DC are moving away from 2nd A rights revolvers could be all people are “allowed“ to have. If younger people don’t take their liberty and rights more seriously they will loose those rights in their lifetime. It is easier to transition from a revolver to a semi than it is the other way around.

If you are set on s semi you can carry take a look at the smaller 9mm Glocks. If carrying a larger gun is good for you look at the 19 or the 17. The guns can be cut for optics after you get good at conventional sights. There are also mounting plates that don’t require you to cut you slides. Take a look at the Glocks, Sigs, S&W ‘s and others you might like. I prefer Glocks because they are just so reliable. Whatever you buy shoot it a lot and maybe take a class or two. Everyone is going to give you their opinion and favorite but it may not be for you. Just shoot it, shoot it a lot whatever you decide. I don’t know what you have to spend but I love 1911 guns too. Take a look at Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, Les Baer, Nighthawk, if those are too pricey see what looks good in Springfield, Dan Wesson, Colt, Rock River, Rock Island. They all make 9mm 1911 guns and they are all gtg out of the box. You will not be for want of selection in any platform in 9mm. Good luck in your search. Good folks on here to help you too.
Congratulations on creating a post containing an impressive amount of misinformation and gun myths from the past 20 years.

Wow.
 

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You shoot someone beyond SD distances you are likely to have big legal problems (probably even in a justified shooting) if you survive the attack.
Please tell us what is a "SD distance".

If someone is shooting at you at 10 yards away, rather than 7 yards, is that a "SD distance"? What about 20 yards? How about the 40 yards that the mall shooter was murdering people at a few weeks ago?

How far way are you comfortable with me shooting at you from? I can hit your head at 50 yards away with my carry pistol. Is that a "SD distance"?

Would love to hear your logic regarding just how close someone trying to kill you must be before you can legally defend yourself.
 
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