Will you be able to afford centerfire ammunition?
A huge tactical error I see far too many people make,,,
They buy a fine handgun but can't afford to buy ammunition for it.
So the gun sits in the closet and never gets used,,,
And by that very fact the owners never become proficient shooters.
Buy a .22 for your first handgun so you can afford ammunition,,,
Then you can afford to go to the range and practice.
A fine choice for a SA/DA combat plinker/trainer under $300.00 is the Bersa Thunder 22,,,
Another fine choice (but it's closer to $400.00) would be the Ruger SR22,,,
Either of these handguns will serve you well as a plinker/trainer,,,
And the best ammo you can buy is only 7-cents/round,,,
Decent Federal Bulk Packs is 3.9-cents/round.
If you would rather have a SA Target style pistol,,,
These five are the best choices.
I've not listed them in any order of preference.
Browning Buckmark = Great pistol but I found the grip to be funky.
Ruger 22/45 Mk II or MK III = Great pistol with a 1911-ish grip.
Beretta U22 NEOS = Great pistol with a very slender grip.
Ruger Mk II or MK III = Great pistol with a luger-ish grip.
S&W 22A = Great pistol with a very fat grip.
Any of these will serve you very well,,,
They are all reliable firearms that aren't ammo picky,,,
Rather than sweat over which one is better, get the one that fits your hand.
Honestly my friend,,,
Even if your friends all have 9's or 40's, or 45's,,,
Buy a decent .22 pistol and learn to shoot better than they can.
My friends who I used to shoot with all chuckled at my little Bersa thunder 22,,,
They stopped chuckling when I got to be a much better shot than they were,,,
I became better than they were because I shot and practiced a lot more.