I have a 15 month old and safety is a huge factor with a handgun.
I agree completely. My kids are a little older, and have enough experience with firearms to be safe, but I still think it's a good idea to be careful.
Here's my approach: I keep all my weapons locked up all the time, except when I have control of them. My long guns are in a gun cabinet in the basement; not useful for self-defense. My handgun (I only have one, so far) lives in a small gun safe right next to my bed. It has an electronic combination lock with four big, soft buttons that have to be pressed in the correct sequence. I can open it in less than two seconds, even in the dark, so it's very accessible. Inside, my weapon is loaded with 16+1 JHP rounds, with a couple more loaded magazines sitting next to it.
I'm eventually going to get a shotgun for home defense (I have a couple of bird guns but I want something smaller) and I haven't yet figured out how to secure it so that it's both safe and accessible.
I am leaning towards a XD 3" for my conceal carry weapon. I really believe that comfort and ease of carry will encourage me to have it on me; if I ever need it. I have a lot of faith in a revolver but the chance of my daughter getting a hold of it scares the [auto-edited] out of me. I like the safeties built in to the XD. I prefer not to have to flip a switch also when someone is trying to attack me.
My carry is an XD sub-compact in 9mm. I think it's an excellent choice
If you're going with a .45 (I got a 9mm so I could afford to shoot it more), you might consider the compact. It has the shortened grip like the sub-compact, but a 4" barrel. I don't think the extra inch makes that much difference for concealment, and it does add some accuracy. So far XD only makes the compact in .45.
I plan to carry IWB as I am a decent sized guy. I have the room in my pants for a gun to fit. I have also carried around the house many times IWB and have found it very comfortable.
I find it's good to have a variety of options. I carry OWB, IWB and SmartCarry
, depending on the circumstances. Most of the time I carry OWB in a Blackhawk CQC Serpa retention holster in the 2 o'clock position, usually openly although I can conceal just by throwing on a cover jacket. I occasionally carry IWB with a Galco holster at 5 o'clock. More often than IWB I use the SmartCarry; it's more comfortable and better-concealed. The downside of the SmartCarry is that it's a little slower to access. Not that slow
, but it is a two-handed draw.
On a completely different topic, what kind of diving do you like to do?