If I had it to do over, My first purchase would have been a Glock 19.
You try to give people advice from personal experience but, few listen.
Spend $500 and get a Glock 19. I added night sights and an improved slide release.
Now the XD people can chime in.
Stay with one of three guns, a Glock, a Sig or a Baretta. Get a used one if you can. Police trade ins are great. Find the gun that fits you. NO one gun fits all people. The Sig is my choice but that is because it fits me the best. Stay with those three brands because you can get parts and mags anywhere. Don't go with a "Cheap" gun. I see guys come to the Range and try to qualify with cheap guns and it shows.
I was going to say either the Ruger P series pistol. Or i recently picked up about a year ago now ..a Smith and Wesson model 910 with a few high caps ...Not the best gun for concealed carry it's bulky but very accurate. Only bad thing with S&W is the mags are expensive..I've never owned the glock version of the 9mm only 40cal in the sub compact model 27 i believe.
Just picked this up today(G17) new at the local gunstore . After giving my life long friend(Browning Hipower) to my son a couple yrs ago, I've had a hole in my battery(meaning a full size hi-cap 'service' 9mm). Will go nicely with the G26 I CCW with. Altho I'd have to agree, if it were my only Glock 9mm, it would be a G19 hands down.
W Bladetech SOB holster. Already have 2 tactical holsters it fits nicely in otherwise.
They had one std fair Stag M4 for $1075, fwiw. No 5.56 ammo except for a bit of hunting loads, tons of .22, 400ish rds of black box HP Wolf 7.62x39.
i have both the g19 and the springfield sub 9mm xd.
I like them both, the xd is a better carry gun and comes with an extended mag. They perform the same at the range either would be a good choice but of course they cost more than 300 dollars
If you can afford a few more dollars, get yourself a Glock. You NEED one.
The Sig P6/225 can be had for around $300. They are great pistols and good for CCW. Down side, mags for the Sig P6 are pricey and can be hard to find.
For any newcomer wanting to "get his/her first handgun for protection" and have no previous experience. I always recommend a 38spl in a 4"bbl by Ruger or S&W. I believe the Autoloaders should come later when they are more familiar with handguns. The revolvers are the simplest to operate.