Originally Posted by Dutch
Also way too soft on punch (I know this from experience, after shooting a F'er in the shoulder with a 9mm that he shrugged off like it was nothing. I started carrying my 44 Mag S&W, no more problems (Desert Storm I). I'd go with the Glock 10mm (40 cal, and what I'm using now), or a 45 semi (still hard to beat, but rounds cost more). If you hit 'em, you'd like to know they are out of the fight ( ie shoulder shot = no arm). You cannot be sure of that with a nine. The 10mm is a great compromise between the muzzel velocity of a 9mm, and the punch of a .45.
10 mm ammo is expensive and 45 is on the higher end with a lot more recoil that a novice shouldn't start with. It's not so much the caliber but the shot placement. Shoulder is not a vital and anyone would keep going shot with a handgun there. Get the 9mm good practice and cheap and later you can pick up a larger gun to carry.