Taurus 10 + 1 Round 45 ACP Millenium Pro Compact w/Blued Fin for Sale at Buds Gun Shop $352.00
I owned that exact gun. small, easy to hide, packs a whallup. Even the recoil wasn't THAT bad. I loved it. the slide is metal, as are a lot of the parts.
for being as small (and brother this thing is small) as it is, I hit my targets at 10yards no problem. There's also a new Taurus on the market, the 7 series. Very slim and made for concealed carry, and they make it in a .40. I know it's not a .45, but you can use +P ammo in a taurus with no issue, and that'll make up the difference (but then again, I'd like to see someone walk away from a .40 shot to the torso.
The PT Series Taurus pistols are GREAT concealed carry weapons. Very reliable, GREAT support from Taurus and they shoot great.
Good luck with a SMALL "non-plastic" .45 for concealed carry for under $500.
And old .45 caliber revolver maybe? I'm sorta joking but not really. Don't think that the "plastic" guns are not reliable. Also don't take opinions on weapons from forums as gospel. A vast majority of the people who tell you "don't buy cheap" "that's a piece of junk" have usually never fired or handled the weapon they are talking about.
I'm not saying that many of the higher prices weapons aren't GREAT guns..but I just can't see spending $1000 on a handgun. I carry most days. But my line of work doesn't require me to carry in it's job description. When it did, they provided the weapon.
The newer generation Sigma 9mm/40cal is a great gun. People often complain about the tr*****, but I've never had an issue with it. My buddy's wife (5' 90lbs dripping wet) did say it was harder to pull than her Taurus..but she said it wasn't bad once used to it.
$ for $, on a new handgun for a everyday carry it's hard to beat the Taurus line. The PT145 is a great gun. I put probably around 5K rounds thru the last one I had. Friend pestered me and I finally sold it. The local gun shops here used to be "snobbish" about the Taurus pistols until I let the owner shoot mine. A month after that he was stocking them, and he can't seem to keep them in stock.
The new '7' series mentioned is a 709 Series I think. A slimmed down version between full frame and the PT series. I think it's only 9mm though.
For a really easy carry..find the Taurus Millenium Pro .45 that's a single stack mag (6+1) that thing is small. Shoots great and is literally a pocket gun.
The best advice is to simply find a local gun range. Most have weapons you can rent / use on the range so you can see what you like.
I know TONS of people who love Glocks. I don't. I fought using them in the military as well. Had nothing to do with how good the weapon is. It just didn't feel right in my hand.