There are four basic types of handguns that you will need to pick from when looking at buying your first handgun.
Four Basic Types:
Double Action Revolver – This is by far the simplest gun to use. All you have to do is load the gun, pull the hammer back and then pull the trigger.
Double Action/Single Action Pistol – These pistols are similar to the revolver, in that the hammer must be pulled back before the gun will shoot. Double action means that the hammer will both cock and releases the hammer by pulling of the trigger unlike the single action.
Safe Action Pistol – This is the next easiest gun to use as there is no hammer that you have to pull back before you pull the trigger. Once you chamber the bullet, it is ready to shoot. Many of these guns have built in safety items, like the Springfield XDM, that will keep you from accidently shooting the gun.
Single Action – With single action, the trigger will release the hammer every time it is pulled. Unlike the double action, with the single action you are required to pull the trigger back the first time to cock the gun.