I cannot stress how incredibly important it is to go to a range and actually fire a gun. My wife and I went yesterday for the first time and she shot my 1911 .22 and a Beretta 92. She couldn't even hit inside the bullseye target with the 1911 because she had such a hard time holding it while firing. Holding it in the store was fine. With the Beretta 92, she hit inside the target and hit the edge of the center bullseye almost every single time. Everyone's hands are different and you really need to not only hold, but shoot the gun you want to get.
I highly recommend a full metal, full size handgun in 9mm like the Beretta 92A1 or CZ-75 SP-01, with a rail for a tactical light.
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