A .45 is an excellent round to start with. My first handgun was an original XD45. It has been a great gun, thousands of rounds through it with no issues. When it come to guns they are all unique so I would really recommend anything as being similar. If if is a gun, you want to carry, you should actually handle it or research it heavily. I'm kinda of surprised none of the gun stores/ranges have it to rent, they are very popular. Maybe one of the fine forum members might be able to have a meet-up with you, I'm sure one of them has one. Good luck.