I cannot stress too heavily that the primary determinant of stopping power is BULLET PLACEMENT. A cool, deliberate marksman with a little .380 Ruger LCP will beat a panicky, inaccurate man with a .357 Magnum or $1200 customized .45 auto every time. Whatever firearm and caliber you select, you must practice firing hundreds of rounds in realistic defensive scenarios until you can confidently make disabling hits on your target. Tactics and marksmanship win gunfights – not having the latest ‘wonder bullet’ in your gun.
Smith & Wesson’s first “LadySmith” since the 19th century became a roaring success in the 20th century based on the Chief Special, 2-inch barrel, five-shot, .32-frame revolver. There would be other LadySmiths, including the neat little 3913 LS compact 9mm autopistol.