Among the "gun crowd" there is a definite jockeying of egos, and a silly male equivalent to women showing off their shoes. The KIND of gun you carry with you says something about you, both in actuality and what you PERCEIVE it says. Here is a list (shamelessly stolen from a local gun forum):
What you think it says: “I am suave, sophisticated pistolero that will only carry the finest in defensive handguns.”
What it actually says: “I really enjoy buying spare parts and endlessly testing magazines to make sure they work with my archaic firearm.”
What you think it says: “I am a serious shooter, dedicated to my sport and self defense and so I carry the most popular firearm in law enforcement.”
What it actually says: “I didn’t want to do any actual research before buying a gun, so I just bought this hunk of plastic.”
Glock 40 (the G23 in particular)
What you think it says: If "I get into it with someone and we are fighting over control of my gun I want an option to take us both out with a small explosion so I bought a G23."
What it actually says: Yep, can't improve on that!
Smith & Wesson M&P
What you think it says: “I am a smart shooter! While I value the durability and lightweight of the polymer pistols, you should be able to customize your firearm for your hand size, which is why I carry an M&P.”
What it actually says: “The store was out of Glocks and the guy said this was like a Glock only better.”
What you think it says: “I am an elite shooter. This is the weapon of choice of Navy SEALs, and that means it’s awesome, so I’M AWESOME.”
What it actually says: “Long trigger pulls are okay with me! First shot accuracy isn’t important anyway, it’s all about volume of fire!”
What you think it says: “Carrying this pistol means I’m serious about pistol-craft! I am a civilian WARRIOR.”
What it actually says: “I suck, and my gun hates me.”
What you think it says: “This is a more elegant weapon from a more civilized age; I am a connoisseur of firearms akin to the Jedi Knights and their lightsabers.”
What it actually says: “I have trouble counting past six, and having a lot of ammo in a gunfight isn’t that important to me.”
What you think it says: “While budget conscious, I am able to spot a deal on a quality firearm and take advantage of it.”
What it actually says: “Herp-derp.”
What you think it says: I choose to arm myself with the weapon of choice of the United States military, used by steely eyed killers across the globe to slay our enemies in CQB situations.
What it actually says: I really liked Lethal Weapon. Like, a lot. It is possible that I have a Martin Riggs mullet-wig.
What you think it says: This gun is the most commonly used firearm in NATO countries, adopted by many nations for use in their elite forces. It combines the best of the new world and the best of the old world, it’s so awesome that Jeff Cooper used it as the basis for the Bren 10!
What it actually says: I am a gun snob. I wanted a high capacity 9mm, but something exotic and european. I drink lattes and drive a foreign car.
What you think it says: A grip angle reminiscent of the 1911 with safeties that are familiar to the shooters of JMB’s classic pistol, but with a high-capacity magazine and lightweight polymer frame! Truly we live in a fantastic modern age.
What it actually says: Marketing works on me. I didn’t buy this gun when it was being imported as the HS2000 and was 200 bucks cheaper, but slap “Springfield” on the slide and show me some pictures of Rob Leatham looking cool with one and I’LL BUY IT YES.
What you think it says: I carry the finest example of the 1911 platform in existence. Built to exacting specifications by master pistolsmiths and used by the top competition shooters in the world, this is truly the modern example of a samurai sword. Plus, they used them in Monster Hunter International and that book was rad as hell!
What it actually says: I have LOTS of money. Instead of buying a sensible pistol for $500 and spending the other $2k on ammo, mags, and training I chose to blow half a month’s salary on one gun that is so expensive I’m afraid to shoot it. However, Monster Hunter International was still awesome as hell.