“The best handgun for concealed carry is the one you have with you when you need it.”
OK, that statement is not quite right. A handgun that you have with you may meet rule number one of a gunfight (bring a gun) but the handgun you have with you may be sub-optimal for the occasion. Before we get to optimal, the adequate handgun is one with which you are well-trained and is powerful enough to destroy your target. Broadly speaking, bigger calibers are more powerful than smaller calibers. Please do realize that compared to most rifle calibers, handgun calibers are quite weak.
Here is the scenario: You have decided to take the plunge. You have finally decided to get your handgun carry permit. Since “the best handgun for concealed carry for me” may well be different from “the best handgun for concealed carry for you,” you will have to do your own research. Just to get a feel for how a handgun fits you, you can visit gun shows (as long as they are still legal), pawn shops and your local gun store. Most sellers will happily let you handle the merchandise, particularly at a gun show.