If he want's a n9ne why not check out the super mega nine .357 sig? I get 1450 ft/s and 585lbs out of a 125gr speer bonded gold dot in my .357
Used 9mms should easily be available for less than 500$
I got a used Beretta 92 for $375.
More important is trying a potload of
pistols till he finds one which fits.
I just got a ruger sr9c it's my be cc I love it got it. For 475 out the door
"You can all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"
For a beginner I would say a Beretta 92, Taurus 92, or Glock 17. All are great guns that kick ass. Who wouldn't want a 9 that holds a hell of a lot of rounds. I have a nick name for them.....
"Hollywood guns" you rarely run out of ammo
Obviously, a good used SIG, Beretta, Glock, etc will fill the bill.
But don't forget the CZ75. Heavy, but one helluva fine gun. and not all that expensive.
I have two Beretta PX4 one full size in 9mm. I love the gun, fits my hand perfectly. Good shooter and the 9mm ammo is cheap to run.