If there was one question I see more than anything else as I peruse this vast universe of information known as the internet, it’s this: “What is the best gun for ______?”. Seriously, open a new browser window and browse to any firearm forum you can find. I’d almost be willing to bet a can of soda that there will be at least one post asking some form of that question within the first couple of pages. What’s the best gun for carry? What’s the best gun for home defense? What is the best gun for hog hunting?
I’m going to answer those questions. I’m not going to tackle each and every one of them, however. I am a scientific mind so I will borrow from science nomenclature for my answer. Fellow noobs, I would like to present to you The Gun Noob Unified Theory of Best Gun Determination!
So here it is: The best gun you can get for any situation is the gun that best fits your specific needs and preferences.
Wait, where are you going? Hold on for a second here. Let me explain. If you came here expecting me to say Glock 19 or Springfield XDm or something, I’m sorry to disappoint. In actuality, every gun out there is the best gun AND the worst gun at the same exact time. It’s like Schrodinger's Pistol, if you will.
Let me give you a working example. Let’s look at home defense. A popular opinion is that the Glock 21 is a near perfect home defense weapon. There are a lot of reasons why. It’s a .45 caliber pistol that is legendary for its reliability. If you bought it, loaded it and then put it in your drawer and forgot about it for 5 years, there is a 99.999% chance it’s going to work when you pull it out. The .45 caliber round means that, all things considered, there’s a good chance of stopping a burglar if you manage to hit him. It’s also a big, heavy gun with a hefty recoil. A smaller person would have trouble with it. Mrs. Noob, for example, is a very tiny lady. Even though she could shoot it in a pinch, the .45 round is a bit too beefy for her to use safely and reliably until she gets a bit more wrist strength. So as great as the Glock 21 is on paper, it’s terrible for her specific situation. A Glock 17 (9mm) would probably be a better pistol for her...but then again she doesn’t like polymer pistols either. Given her incredible skill at skeet and trap, however, this would be a rare occasion where I actually DO recommend a shotgun for her home defense.
At the same time, you need to look at your home itself. Do you live in a house or an apartment? The 9mm is great but it’s got a lot of speed. If it’s loaded with full metal jacket rounds, It could punch through a person and a couple of apartment walls before it stops. Using a hollow point round would help but there’s still a big chance of something bad happening. A slower round would be ideal so you should take that into account as well.
Concealed carry? Well, the Smith and Wesson shield is certainly popular now. It’s 9mm which packs a great deal more punch than the .380 round. It’s thin and light enough to be used as a pocket pistol which I certainly like. As small as it is, it’s still too big for some people to easily conceal. I hate to use Mrs. Noob as an example again BUT have you ever tried to conceal a gun on a 95 pound, half-Asian woman? Spoiler alert: it isn't easy. The Ruger LCP, SIG P238, and the Taurus TCP are pretty much the only guns she could effectively conceal and carry.
So the best thing to do is figure out exactly what you want in a gun. It’s important to be honest with yourself. Determine what you’re really going to use the gun for and then narrow down your firearm choices from there. Realize, however, that there isn't going to be a Goldilocks gun. What’s great for carry might not be best for home defense. Granted, a carry gun for home defense is better than a pointed stick or a rock. Once you really nail down what you want out of your gun, you’ll find that you options narrow as well and the decision becomes much easier.