Although I am a practicing attorney, I also spend a lot of time giving seminars on Texas Self-Defense Law and teaching firearms courses, as well as the Texas Concealed Handgun Course. In almost every class or seminar, I am asked "what gun should I get for self-defense." That's much like asking "what kind of a car should I buy?" I go through the questions most instructors ask, then I explain the advantages and disadvantages of several different revolvers and semi-autos. I strongly recommend that people try to shoot several different handguns before deciding what they want to buy for self-defense.
The best way for me to help accomplish this is to bring a wide variety of guns to the range and let students shoot them all. I've noticed that one of my 1911s in .38 Super is frequently a crowd favorite, especially with the ladies. The more I watched the ladies take to the .38 Super like proverbial "ducks to water," the more I became convinced that a Commander length 1911 in 38 Super may be a perfect defensive handgun for many of the ladies. The 1911 trigger is hands down the best trigger on any handgun, and it makes it easier to shoot accurately, all other factors being equal. It's also slimmer than other semi-autos, making it easier to conceal.