One of the best ways to learn about self-defense and shooting is through good old-fashioned reading. Here are a few I recommend:
There is a lot of equipment out there which is utterly unsuitable for defense or even range use. Here are some recommended companies you can trust:
Muddy River and Bravo are lower cost options. They won't likely last as long as the higher cost equipment, but they are safe to use and check all of the boxes.