Lessons learned: Mrs. Colt was a novice when she bought her 1st handgun earlier this year (S&W 38SPL Airweight) and I posted on here. Remember this was a month after Sandy Hook school shooting and the LGS was packed.
The 38 was light and felt good in her hands and was at a very good price. Also at the time she couldn't rack the slide on any of my semi auto's but she has been working out with dumb bells and can even rack my Gov 1911 now. The LGS also had a range with gun rentals, but had a 3 hour wait at that time and guns were being sold at a brisk pace, so we bought it without her shooting it. BIG MISTAKE! 1st range trip had her lucky to hit a B-27 target @ 7yrs and she left DNA on the cylinder latch. S&W revolvers are known for their nice triggers but this was just a little to much for her so ordered Wilson Combat spring kit and smoothed the internals to make it better, Kudos for me! It helped her hitting the target but factory target ammo was to much recoil for her, I even reloaded some 38 down to bare minimum, better but she just plain hates the gun. It's my gun now.
We found a S&W M&P 22lr and she just loves this thing, it's been very reliable and her groupings are pretty damn good now. During the range trips I let her shoot all my handguns,1911's an XD Tac in 45acp are to heavy and to much recoil, on to the 9mm's Kel-Tec P-11 feels great but trigger and recoil are a no go (she hates this more that the Smith 38) CZ-75 to heavy, really likes my Hi-Power with mag disconnect removed and 5lb trigger just a touch heavy, and she loves the XDm but it looks huge in her small hands. Rentals, Glock 19 fired about 10 rounds she put it down said it felt AWKWARD (couldn't agree more) M&P told me it's OK but like the XDm better, though she'd like this after the her love of the 22lr. Range doesn't have a XD for rent just the XDm but they did have a Walther P-99 and she wants to try the new PPQ M2. She liked the feel and the trigger and shot it very well so now we are looking at buying one of these 2 + plus she's talking of going to a CCW class
Sorry I got long winded here but the bottom line is, let your lady shoot a variety of handguns. It took me almost 30 years to get my gal into shooting but I have a new range partner and she doesn't B!tch about me getting new guns and pushed me into reloading enough ammo for range trips. WIN WIN.