Very we'll said and many good points to consider. I can't tell you ow many times I've heard women say they wanted a weapon because of its color vs it's functionality. It's always better to go and test out different weapons and calibers to determine what feels right & shoots more comfortably.
You make some great points and I agree whole heartdly except I hate pink. Whether the new shooter is male or female you should let them make the choice you can inform them the best you can but that's it. Never ever pressure a new shooter into something just because its what you like. You could possibly cause them to hate shooting because u pushed them into something that is not suited for them. Or even if you know what the new shooter wants as in caliber don't go buy their first gun with out them because everyone has different preferences to how the gun feels in their hand.
I thought I had a "keeper" and took my ladyfriend to several gunshows and gunshops to see what tripped her trigger. Took her shooting out on the farm a few times. She really liked a Smith & Wesson Model 327 Night Guard, but I knew the recoil would spoil it for her. So, I converted my 4" Model 28 Highway Patrolman to N frame round butt, put Pachmayrs on it & gave it to her for Christmas. She was happier than a pig in mud with it and could actually hit her target.
I remember when I got my lady into shooting. It took a bit because she had a bad experience before we started dating, but I allowed her to take her time to gain the courage. She picked out a xdm 9 after renting one but the love affair with it soon ended. She got discouraged with it because she couldn't shoot accurately with it.
Then I had her shoot a VP9 (I'm a HK guy and she loved the ergos of my HK45). Instant love and she became a bullseye shooter. Needless to say, she's hooked and loves shooting as much as I do now.
My husband is not really into guns. He was willing to buy me one, but didn't know anything about anything. I choose my guns based on my brother's advice to get one that feels comfortable in my hand and was comfortable to shoot. Then I borrowed friends' guns at the range and tried them out. I also went to a "try it" event. Finally, I found my most recent purchase based on renting guns at an indoor range. My final purchase was, of course, through ingun, and I love it. My husband spent nearly a whole day driving me to meet with the seller and back, and he bought the gun for me, which shows true love, especially from a non-gun guy, but the research is the most important part. He bought a gun for his wife in the best way possible. He was there when I needed him.
Trying to buy a gun for my wife, no way, not without her there. Her first gun was the Ruger SR9C, she carried it for a while but was a little heavy, so I bought her an LCP .380, (she wasn't there for that purchase) Mistake! Too small and the first time she shot it, it bit her thumb. So she decided to carry a smith Air Weight 38 special that I owned for a while. Recently she settled on the Sig p938, and she is dead accurate with it! Carries it every place she goes. The moral of this story is this....Whatever it takes....let your loved one find the firearm that fits them. That they are comfortable with, that they are confident with. If they are not comfortable, If they are not confident with that weapon, then it will sit at home. It doesn't do anyone any good if they don't have it with them when it is needed.
I'm carrying my Sig P938 right now. Great pistol. However, it wouldn't be one that I would suggest for a new shooter. Better to get the fundamentals down with a larger gun (my first was an M&P 9c) before going to a smaller pistol. It took me 2 years to work my way down to the Sig. I do understand that not everyone can afford to do it that way.
I'm old and slow I guess but it seems to me that allof the posts are old, nothing up to date.
My two cents worth. Educate your lady friend (wife, girl, daughter, mother, etc.) let her feel and shoot as many as you can then see what she likes.
I was a stupid young man when we went through this. My wife's first handgun in the 80s was a little 380 colt govt. satin nickle. Nice little gun but I just didn't have faith in it's stopping power. I tried to guide her toward a 45. She is 5 ft. and a little over 100 lbs. Ant body else see a problem here?
Yep, she bought a Kimber Pro-carry, 4" 45acp. I put a laser grip on it and she loves it. She just can't carry it confortably due to her height.
When the moron in her life stepped aside she purchased, not one but two, Walther PPS's in 9mm and a ruger 380 with laser grip for her pocket. Oh yeah, she hits everything she aims at.
The kimber now resides on the nightstand.
No purse carry either, everything is IWB.
Now for my pet peeve: to all of you male salesmen out there that guide women toward revolvers due to the simplicity, SHAME on you! What in the world makes you think that a woman cannot learn to use a semi-auto well? Not to mention that stinkin long heavy double acton trigger pull!
P.S. we're not getting any younger so I guess pretty soon I'll be giving up my beloved 1911s for 22!