i've read this thread and am going to try to get to the range to shoot some of them but i feel like my time will be limited for that...i'm really not wanting to spend more than 300-400 and it might be me just getting one from my cop friend but we'll see...i think one option is a compact ruger but i could be wrong...thoughts on that??
Taurus are hit and miss. Some work fine, some dont. Generally I'd say stay the hell away from Taurus if possible. Raising your price to 500 would be ideal, as you would be able to buy a Glock, Smith and Wesson M&P, Springfield XD, or FNH. All would be great choices for what you want. If you have a cop buddy, GO THROUGH HIM. They get great discounts on the gun and accessories. I want to say they get Glocks for $410. If using for self defense, consider getting one with nightsights or adding them later. Its not hard to change the sights. I'd aim for either a .40 or .45. I'm a .45 guy, but capacity is greater with a .40.