.22LR is the best thing for a new shooter.
Consider getting a Ruger Mark III or 22/45. If you liked the weightier handgun, definitely go with the heavy barrel. These guns are highly accurate and reliable. One of the most accurate .22 lr handguns you can buy.
The 22/45 has the controls of a 1911 .45 and a similar feel. These guns are not the easiest to take apart but if you have trouble there are lots of helpful youtube videos.
.22 is the cheapest to practice with. Consider getting a .22 rifle for your first rifle if you decide to get into shooting a rifle.