Always enjoy working with people choosing their first guns. One recent favorite was the woman who came to the class very nervous -- having only fired a .22 before -- and who wanted something small so it would be "easy to shoot."
When turned loose to shoot, she immediately made a beeline for the lightweight snubby. Two shots later, she was holding her hand and saying, "That's awful! Is there anything smaller...?"
I told her smaller wasn't really what she wanted, but her next stop was the Kel Tec P3AT. Three shots later, she laid the gun down on the bench and said, "I don't think I will be able to shoot. Even these small guns are too much for me!"
After explaining that small guns are actually harder and less pleasant to shoot than their larger cousins, and that weight absorbs recoil, I took her down to the other end of the bench where a full-size, all steel 1911 sat in all its glory. She was nervous, so of course I told her she didn't have to shoot it if she didn't want to, but there was something she needed to feel in order to understand, so if she could just fire one shot...? She agreed, and tentatively loaded that one round. Gripping the gun firmly, she fired one shot and started laughing. "Now that is a gun!" she said. She didn't like the blast and noise, but when I asked how her hand was feeling, she got a big grin on her face and said, "I didn't even notice it. It doesn't hurt at all!"
From that point on, it was much easier for her to sample the other guns on the line, because she was no longer afraid of the heavier guns. She'd just learned something by experience that she could learn in no other way.
And that's why it drives me so crazy when people online recommend tiny little lightweight guns for new shooters. Those new shooters believe misinformed "experts" when they say tiny guns are good for new shooters, and after the new shooters find out how painful it is to shoot a small gun, they are often too afraid to try easier, more pleasant-to-shoot large guns.
My personal website: Cornered Cat