I couldn't agree more vehemently. Others have their preferences but go with what feels good in your hand and $ ammo for shooting might be a factor for you.How Cheap? Generally speaking, Cheap and Reliable don't go well together. My recomendation would be a Colt or Springfield Armory 1911 in .45 ACP.
Find a range that rents handguns and shoot as many as you can afford to shoot. It's a good investment to see what you like and don't like.
For some variety, I'd try whatever .22lr semi-auto they have available (maybe a Ruger), a 4" .357/.38 revolver (S&W or Ruger, shooting .38's to start), a 9MM striker-fire-type handgun (like a Glock or M&P), a double-action handgun (Beretta or Sig Sauer) and a single-action 1911 (in .45acp, any brand they've got). That'll give you a good tour of what's out there, and from there you can zero-in on caliber that you like and other subtleties.
Good luck - let us know what you get.
I can shoot with either hand but some pistols designed for right-handed use are cumbersome to use left-handed because of how the safety, mag release, and other controls are oriented.First question: <broken link removed> ? That's pretty important for shooting.
Second question: are you right or left handed? While it isn't all that applicable to handguns a lefty shooting a handgun that ejects casings to the right can be a bit of a pain (from experience)
Once you've asked and answered those for yourself, follow the recommendation above: go shooting with friends or visit a range where you can rent different weapons to try them out. If you're a complete newby I'd stick away from any .45 ACP unless you have some fairly good forearm and upper body strength already. Try some .22, .380, or 9MM. My first handgun (many moons ago) was the Taurus 92F 9mm and it was a great first sidearm.
Remember that revolvers and semi-autos behave very differently, so try both and see which works better for you.
Wow...mine would not. And I love 1911s. I wouldn't recommend a 1911 as a first handgun. They're wonderful but finicky, take more work to maintain, require more knowledge (multiple safety w/SA trigger vs. something like a Glock), etc. And frankly you can get a gun just as (or more) reliable for a lot less money. Quality 1911s (Kimber, Springfield, Colt) are $1000 guns...Glocks are $500 guns.How Cheap? Generally speaking, Cheap and Reliable don't go well together. My recomendation would be a Colt or Springfield Armory 1911 in .45 ACP.
Wow...mine would not. And I love 1911s. I wouldn't recommend a 1911 as a first handgun. They're wonderful but finicky, take more work to maintain, require more knowledge (multiple safety w/SA trigger vs. something like a Glock), etc. And frankly you can get a gun just as (or more) reliable for a lot less money. Quality 1911s (Kimber, Springfield, Colt) are $1000 guns...Glocks are $500 guns.
Again, nothing against 1911s...love 'em...but it's like saying someone's first car should be a Corvette when maybe a Cavalier would fit their needs.
OP, what is your purpose in owning? Concealed carry? Home defense? Fun at the range? Bear defense? Hunting? That will determine.
Sun's advice is excellent. Try one in each major category.
My own preference for a first handgun would be a Glock if you are looking for a semi-auto. Easy to maintain, very simple to shoot, legendary reliability, available in common calibers, etc.
Browning Buckmark .22.This is a plinking gun for me. Just something for fun. I have experience with handguns, but have never owned one yet. I'm not a big fan of revolvers. I've been looking at getting something low caliber cause they're cheap to shoot. Not so much self defense.
Also my budget is around 300 dollars. Again not looking for something "amazingly reliable" or anything. Something fun for a low price and easyish to maintain.
ruger 95 is a great gun not just for the price but all around but english pit rents guns sells ammo you need to call ahead to get guns on site look at web site pick a few your intrested in test drive them the right one is one you can hold well,controll well, and you can depend on. for me p95 nobrainer you dont see alot of used ones getting sold cause there worth alot more than they costRuger P95. Comparatively cheap and, in my experience, extremely reliable.
I have often considered selling it to fund something else, but I can't bring myself to do it. It was my first handgun and it just means too much to me....even though I now have so-called "better" guns to choose from.