In my hunting, target shooting, and SD applications the guns I enjoy most are the semi auto pistols. I have thought about it and come up with the following reasons. I know that this points, being opinions, are arguable - so have at if you like. 1. This is the platform that is best suited to SD. 2. Semi auto pistols spend the each and every day with me and provide the most user time for the money. 3. This may sound odd, but the design and function of the semi auto pistol makes them seem like they are almost alive. 4. They are available in an wide array of design and calibers. 5. Most are reasonably priced. But you can spend from $150 to over 5K if you want. 6. Semis have the "look". Some may say that older well engraved shotguns prevail here but the pistols, to me, are the jet fighters of the firearms offerings. The fact that two intelligent and trained shooters can disagree over what constitutes the essential features and preferred caliber/design of the semi pistol just kind of adds to their mystic.