Coworker: "Yo, T-Bolt? I wanna get my wife interested in shooting and junk. What 5 pistols should I rent or borrow to take to the range to get her acclimated. I don't own anything myself. But I am gun shopping, sorta."
My advice? Move out of Maryland. The state is really doing its level best to dissuade folks from getting their first pistol. You have to get the permit to purchase. That requires fingerprints, passport photos, fees, training certificates. Just to get a stupid $270 Model 10 revolver.
As for trying out pistols at a range that rents them? Many places won't rent to you if you don't have the permit to purchase or at least a gun of your own you came in with.
Failing that? Get a 10/22, then get a lever gun or an AR10. Maryland is still cool with them.
One thing about this co-worker. He has a toddler. So he is first shopping for gunsafes. Good man.
If he still wants to jump through the hoops I told him the usual for introducing a n00b. Start with a .22, try a revolver, a couple variety of 9mm. Maybe a .45 just to see. And if she loves all them, then think about the .44 magnum, with proper warnings, for recoil fun.
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