I agree Whirlibird… words spoken from years of experience. When folks seek my advice I always suggest find a platform you’re comfortable with and you will have available when you need it. Moreover if not already get quality training with your choice of weapon and have that training include shooting under stressful conditions if possible and at night. Keep in mind ammo availability (and cost for practice) and have some stock on hand. In a handgun choice don’t get too caught up in caliber debates like 9mm vs 45ACP. Shot placement is big deal particularly with modern self defense ammo…a lot of development in self defense ammo over last twenty years making 9mm a more viable choice. I’ve committed to Glock and 1911 platforms and enjoy my revolvers but a lot of other good choices out there. I have experience with both AK & AR platforms and own both. Just can’t say enough for folks still looking into this topic — find what platform works for you and commit to the practice and training of using it and taking care of it. Having spare parts is a good thing too. I’ve learned a lot by talking with good gunsmiths.