He's a newbie shooter, and wanted to be broken in gently.
I had him shoot a .22, my .380, and a 9mm to start.
The .22 was a Kimber 1911. While it was a very nice firearm, I decided I won't be getting a .22 conversion for the 1911 I intend to purchase in the next 12 months or so. It had consistent FTE (failure to eject) issues, and more than one FTF (failure to fire). This may have simply been a symptom of firing range ammunition through a 1911, but I'm not willing to waste money on my own to find out the hard way. A .22 conversion kit runs about $200-$300 on average.
My friend thoroughly enjoyed moving up to the Bersa. He noted it had a much more solid feel because of the harder kick. He didn't like that it was made for a righty, as he's a southpaw. Unfortunately, this caused him some difficulties with the slide release and mag release. He also seemed afraid to damage it, as he consistently released the slide entirely too gently. Fortunately, there were no ejection or firing issues for him...just a right-handed configuration for a left-handed shooter.
He moved up to an XD-9, and had a horrible time. Because he's such an extreme lefty, he couldn't manage the slide release. Because he's a newbie, he had a case of the DreadedLimpWrist, and let it kick up far too much...and misfire, FTE, etc. He then switched to an H&K P2000 - an ambidextrous pistol - and had a huge thrill. He blew through a box and a half of 9mm before he decided he was done for the night. He intends to shoot a few more, but I think the H&K is on his short list.
I enjoy taking newbies to the range when they're interested in learning, and pay attention to what they're told. I also revel in their delight when they discover they enjoy it so much they want to come back.
I wonder, who of you will accompany me next? :)