With "shall issue" CCW laws in so many states, there are more handgun designs marketed for personal defense in his country than at any time before. There are also a number of ways to carry them. What I carry and how I carry will not suit everyone. However, some may benefit from considering the thought processes that have led me there. On the choice of an effective firearm: I found, after availing myself of some really good defensive pistol training, that what I had been doing at the square range had not helped in the choice. I needed to be able to shoot much more quickly, with a balance of speed and precision, at close range. I learned to stop thinking about group size. I began to realize that one shot stops were the stuff of fiction or just rare luck, and that my belief in the superior effectiveness of my .45 had been illusory. From this, I reached the same conclusions as Rob Pincus: a pistol has to be reliable; it should fit the hand well; ideally, it should have a capacity of eighth to ten rounds; it should not require an operation separate from drawing and presenting to disengage a safety; and the 9mm chambering is adequate and not too difficult to shoot. And, of course, it should be something that a defender can and will carry all day. That leads to the question of how to carry. On the decision of how to carry: I saw two main requirements. The first is that the defender must be able to access and draw the firearm very quickly, from either a standing or a sitting position. For me, that means a good belt holster, with a good belt. And preferably, a kydex one that fits the firearm perfectly. The second has to do with comfort. I started out with IWB holsters, chosen with concealment in mind. They are now retired, and bough back into service only on occasion. I'm not as fit as I used to be, and I have begun to realize that the pressure of the IWB holster and the gun on my side becomes tiresome and painful after a while. I am much happier carrying OWB. Fortunately, I can dress around it. I don't see any point in carrying several magazines. I have trained and practiced changing mags quickly, but I'm not that good at it, and cannot envision a circumstances in which I would need two extras. I carry a backup gun only occasionally. I hope I never need one. I do think it's a good idea. If I still jogged, I would have to put some thought into how and what to carry when doing so, but I don't. Your mileage may vary, but I suggest starting by laying out your requirements before making any decIsions. I always do that. It's a holdover from my system engineering days.