When I was doing my field work, I carried the Taurus Judge loaded with the .45 LC. It was a bit bulky but at the time it was the only pistol I had. Right know I own a Springfield 1911 A-1, Springfield XDM 9mm and the Judge. Thinkning about getting a Compact Kimber probably in a .40 so I can get my CC.
I'm a huge Glock fan, and love the .40 S&W cartridge. Can't go wrong. That is, if you just have to have a semi-auto. I prefer revolvers.
The Springfield XD is a great gun, also, but no conversions available that I know of. Probably will be one day soon.
Really, I think you'll enjoy it as is, and won't need the conversion, unless you plan on doing lots of target shooting and want to same money on ammo. I use mine for small game and javelina, etc. with good success and lots of fun.
The one I carry most, though, is a 3" barrel .357 mag Ruger GP100. Love revolvers.
If you're going to carry a handgun in back country, you might want to first define its potential usage. If you're gong to carry for self-defense for bad guys, I'd go with a good semi-auto of at least .40 caliber. If you're thinking of bear defense, a heavy .357 Mag would be minimum. The reason for a heavy gun is because even .38 Special +P in a model 60 can be hard to retain sight picture due to recoil.
I have a hunting buddy who saw a huge black bear while deer hunting in Utah. He came back to camp saying that he was going to buy a .44 Mag. He hunts with a 7MM Rem Mag. I suggested that if his five rounds of 7MM Rem Mag wouldn't stop a charging bear, I'd reload before I reached for a handgun. He thought about it for a few minutes and said that if 5 7MM Rem Mag rounds wouldn't stop a charging black bear, it's doubtful that a handgun would be much help.
I used to carry a handgun when I was big game hunting, but pretty much don't anymore. Seems just too damn heavy to carry around now. The only exception is when I'm hunting in grizzly country. I do have a new S & W .50 I carry. Heavy but great stopping power.
I have a glock in 10mm and absolutely love it. I bought a kimber as my first pistol and swore I'd never even consider a glock....till I shot one. The 10mm actually kicks less than any .40 s&w glock I've shot but packs more heat than any .357 mag you'll find...especially if you hand load up to the round's capability. If you don't hand load you can look into the double tap ammo that you can find readily online. It's great for defense against bears, wolves, and even pcp enraged crackheads. Plus the cool thing with this pistol, with a barrel swap you can shoot 9mm, .40 s&w, and .357 sig. Not sure if they make one for .22 but it might be worth looking into.
I sell firearms for a living and have to say, there are a lot of good reliable guns out there to choose from. Glock, Ruger, Springfield, Sig Sauer, Smith and Wesson, Walther, Steyr, FNH, etc. The Glocks are good guns but they aren't perfect. I don't like how when you grip them they tend to point up and the coating used on the slide must have teflon in it, it is so slippery. That being said if I wanted a 10mm it would probably be the Glock 20. Only ones I would personally stay away from are Hi-Point, Taurus, and the Sig Sauer 250 and Sig Sauer 2022, though their higher end models are very nice. Also I have heard one customer complain about his Kimber rusting in a safe full of other guns, none of which rusted. Prior to hearing it from a customer I had read of some other people's newer Kimbers doing this despite them being well care for and none of their other firearms having rust problems.
I have really been looking at the Remington 1911 lately. That said I prefer to carry a revolver simply because they are very safe and reliable.