I am of the opinion that the CZ copies (Witness) are not a good choice for defensive use. Are they reliable? Yes. Are they cheap? Yes. They lack a decocker and are thus patently unsafe, in my opinion. Every time you load it, you have to physically lower the hammer with your thumb. There is no built in way for the pistol to lower the hammer, safely. Just one guys opinion. Other people are perfectly fine lowering the hammer on a live round. I think if you do it enough times in 20 years, you are going to have an accident at least once.
Those Smith & Wesson M&P pistols, new in the box, for $299 after rebate above, are a STEAL! That is absolutely a good deal on a world class defensive pistol.
My car guns are Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9MM pistols. They are sold almost year round for $259 to $269 online, and honestly, based on everything I've seen out there, you wont find a better budget defensive pistol for the price (other than the $299 M&P above). They are 100% reliable, designed by copying the Glock design. The trigger on the new ones is about 8 pounds, and much better than the 13-14 pound triggers on the older Sigma models.
If I was looking for a car gun, the M&P or SD9VE would be at the top of the list.
17 Chrysler Pacifica Edge Syn 5W30 13 Yamaha XT250 Valv MC 10W40 10 Acura TSX 2.4 Edge 0W40 06 GMC Sierra SuperTech 10W30
The current production models under S&W such as the SD9VE or SD9 are not associated with the Sigma nomenclature, Smith dropped that name around 2010-2011 when they merged the then SW (Sigma) series with the colored grip frame SD series, and made the SD9VE, which was more SD than Sigma. It finally got a better trigger, although still pretty awful. Basically lost the colored frame and slide coating. It was just the SD9VE/SD40VE in the lineup for along time, but interesting enough they just brought back the SD series with colored frames again.
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 1.4T - 62k - Edge 0w30 SL + Mahle OX401D 2002 Buick Century 147k - Built 4T65e(Maxlife) - GTX 5w30 + Fram XG3980
The current production models under S&W such as the SD9VE or SD9 are not associated with the Sigma nomenclature, Smith dropped that name around 2010-2011 when they merged the then SW (Sigma) series with the colored grip frame SD series, and made the SD9VE, which was more SD than Sigma.
S&W dropping Sigma is the equivalent of McDonnell Douglas dropping the DC-10 for the MD-11.
My short list would look something like this for around $300.
High cap; S&W SD9VE Ruger Security 9
Lower cap; Ruger EC9S/LC9S Shield Taurus G2C
Problem with that list is, every one of those pistols is generic, boring, and bland, IMHO.
This purchase won't just be an appliance for me; I'll also take it to the range from time to time.
I already have 3 Glocks (20, 32, 36). Not really interested in another striker-fired pistol at this time, although that M&P somebody posted for $300 is mighty tempting. Might get one just to throw in the safe, maybe give away as a gift or something, eventually.