Thanks you for accepting this as an answer. I will start off with a second
suggestion, this one priced a bit lower than the Springfield XD.
Taurus has introduced a line of pistols they with the model name of "24/7"
which has been getting acceptable reviews.
Weighing in at 26 ounces is the model 24/7-9B, which is the 9x19mm caliber
version, but as you can see from the above link, you can get it in all sorts
of calibers and styles.
"The PT 24/7 polymer frame pistol is the most innovative in design and
firearms engineering. Offering improved ergonomics and performance, the
24/7 design features enhanced finger indexing Memory Pads, Posi-Traction
slide serrations and recessed magazine release, all weighing in at a mere
The Taurus 24/7 line of pistols is a more "traditional" style of handgun,
with a frame mounted manual safety and double action only operation. It
also has a "key" safety system called the "Taurus Security System" or TSS,
wherein you literally have a key that inserts into the gun and locks the
safety and trigger in place. More on that can be found on the Taurus site.
"The Taurus family of semi-auto pistols feature the Taurus Security System,
which provides instant-ready defense with built-in ability to secure your
pistol and make it inoperable at the turn of a key."
Having gone through this process again around a year ago, my recommendation
is the Springfield Armory 4 inch Ported XD Pistol in 9x19mm caliber.
"The 4 inch Ported V-10, XD pistol is the ultimate in ported polymer pistols.
Adding ports to the already soft recoil, the XD provides even faster shot to
shot recovery while making no compromises in accuracy."
It is not an unexpensive pistol, but it is well built, accurate, easy to use
and maintain. Here is a link to the manual for the XD.
Some highlights for you. As this pistol has the "Ultra Safety Assurance" or
"USA" trigger system, it does not have an external manual safety system that
can be placed on or off. Rather it has a grip safety that is depressed when
you grip the pistol as well as a trigger safety that must be pulled with the
trigger itself. The grip safety must be depressed and the trigger safety
pulled before the XD will fire.
The XD also has an indicator to show when a cartridge is in the chamber and a
cocking indicator to show when the gun is cocked.
If you review the manual, you will see the XD takes four easy steps to break
it down to its basic parts for cleaning and lubrication, etc. with no tools
needed. The XD is the easiest to maintain of all the pistols I have owned.
I have gone through over 500 rounds with this pistol with no problems at all.
You pick it up, cycle a round into the chamber, aim and fire. As easy as it
can possibly get. Every person that has fired my XD has agreed that it has
some of the least recoil and is one of the most accurate pistols they have
used. It is lightweight at 27 ounces and easy to carry. Because of the
porting, it is also rather loud.
I, having gone through it myself, recommend that no matter what handgun you
get, you take at least a basic firearm training course. The National Rifle
Association (NRA) has courses across the US.
"NRA Basic Firearm Training Courses teach you the safety principles and
help you develop the knowledge, skills, and attitude that are needed to
successfully pursue your shooting interests."
You can check here for a NRA course near you.
"Whether you are a new gun owner or shooter or hunter in search of training,
NRA's Education & Training Division is here to help you find a course to meet
A one year NRA memebership comes with a Taurus purchase through the end of
Byrd-ga's comment contains an excellent suggestion. If there is a range local
to you, and sometimes a local gun store will have a range, and if you have the
opportunity to do so, please try out as many pistols as you can. Things such
as caliber, action, recoil and safety systems are a large part of someone's
choice of pistols. I (obviously) like 9x19mm, but some, like Byrd-ga, prefer
.40 Smith and Wesson (S&W). I also like polymer frames because of the weight
savings, but others prefer heavier pistols.
If you need any clarification, please feel free to ask.
Search strategy: Personal experience of over 40 years of firearm ownership.
Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher