Originally Posted by Bakes11771
No offense, but this is kind of a silly question. Everybody will give you a different answer based on their own preferences, but what I think you should do is buy whatever you like best. Buy a used gun that appeals to you now with your limited knowledge, and then once you get more in to it you will learn what you do and don't like. Then you can trade it in on something that you like better.
.22s are good for the range because the ammo is cheap, but they aren't the best for self-defense.
.45s are great for self-defense, but not so great for the range.
I think most people in your situation buy a Glock because it sounds cool and they hear about them in rap songs and see them in movies, and they want to feel cool talking about their "Glock". (Not saying you are that type of person, or that Glocks are bad guns) What I am saying is that new gun owners usually buy something based on what they think their preferences are, and soon after discover their true preferences.
9mm is easy to find, relatively cheap and has decent stopping power. That might be a good place to start until you figure out what you like better.
Without knowing more about him as a shooter, that's pretty much what I think anyone will recommend, and for good reason. A 9mm has acceptable stopping power as well as a more manageable recoil for someone who doesn't have that much shooting experience (compared to a .45). Since he can't narrow it down to calibers, I'm going to assume he shoots very infrequently, and I'm not holding that against him, just using that as a basis for that recommendation.
Now, some people might recommend a .40, but I've found that for someone who doesn't shoot that often, the additional cost of that ammo will discourage them from actually practicing their shooting, and that's a problem. It would be much better to be effective and confident with a lower caliber than sloppy with a larger one.
If you want a gun that really won't take much effort to learn or maintain, pick up a Glock 17 or 19 (9mm full-size or compact), depending on what feels comfortable. They're reliable first guns at a reasonable price point, with parts available everywhere. M&Ps and XDs can also be nice. It just depends on what you think you like at this point, what feels comfortable, and how much you want to spend.
One last thing I want to note, though, is that, while a subcompact might seem cool at first, I would recommend going with a pistol that actually fills your hand at first (compact or full-size).
An even better idea would be to narrow it down to the guns you like and go to a range that rents guns so you can try them out with a friend before making a final decision.