My rationale will follow. Please be very free with the criticism or alternative suggestions. The back story: I grew up in a gun-friendly neighborhood (think parents on the block had gun rooms, not gun safes) a long, long time ago. As youths, we shot .22 rifles and shotguns for recreation--i.e., plinking, busting clays and bird hunting. However, I never really thought of guns as self-defense tools and I had no real exposure to pistols. As an adult, I've worked mostly overseas, where gun ownership is problematic at best. I recently returned to the US and may soon be settling in a shall-issue state. Pistols now have an appeal they never did before. :>) Here's the thinking that leads me towards the H&K USP Compact 9mm: 1) 9mm because my pistol marksmanship needs work so I need to shoot a lot. 2) The guns I knew as a kid had external safeties. (although I appreciate the design of the Glocks, etc.) 3) USP because I don't yet have enough experience to know what I prefer. The USP can be shot DA/SA, can be carried cocked and locked, can be retooled (I think) to HK's DAO variant. 4) USP Compact seems big enough to be range-friendly, but small enough to CCW. (I think) I realize that most of you have MULTIPLE guns. Hopefully, that will be me in the future. But now I'm looking for a gun that can help me improve my marksmanship and develop my pistol preferences, serve as an HD piece and allow me to CCW. Does the HK USP compact in 9mm make sense? What else should I consider? A CZ? I've been visiting my local range, but mostly shooting full-size Glocks and Sigs, as well as a Ruger .22. I know I should find a range that rents compact nines...that will be the next step. Thanks in advance for your wisdom.