I'm a big believer in a .22 for a first timer. To get good one NEEDS to shoot a lot and often IMHO
2 permits? A .22 and a 9 in the same brand/style/frame.
Controls are the same. IMHO great for muscle memory.
My 2nd purchase was a Colt 1911 in .45 - 3rd was Colt ACE in .22
Never had a problem with steel in our's. I shoot 2-3 times a week - it's saved me PLENTY.
Have only seen 1 S&W AR have a steel case stuck.
Then again I've been anti-social distancing for 10 years [retired] and don't shoot around many except a chosen few.
I had a friend ask where I got all my stash, I told him 2018 and before.
When cheap -stack deep.
PRAY trump wins!