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I'll add my .02 in as well.
Revolver pro's: Reliable, less likely to malfunction with contact shots like one might find themselves doing if the aggressor is in close proximity to the defendee, easy to use for all skill levels.
Revolver con's: Slower to reload (unless you are Jerry Miculek) lower capacity, when something does break it typically will take the gun out of the fight until a gunsmith can be visited. Not nearly as sexy :D

Semi auto pro's: higher capacity, quicker to reload, more ergonomic (interchangeable backstraps ect) easier to repair and get back in the fight. Many malfunctions are induced by the magazine, easier to swap mags than visit a gunsmith in the middle of a gunfight.

Semi auto Cons: Can have malfunctions induced by the magazine or by contact shots, can have the slide bind up in your clothing when firing from the index position, won't fire with the slide out of battery, more types of malfunctions, (ftf,fte, double feed, stovepipe, ect) takes more training to correct stoppages.

All in all I would recommend a revolver if your friend doesn't plan to train a whole lot the simple reason being that he will have 5-6 shots that are pretty damn sure to go off with minimal effort on his part. (where they will go will be anyones guess tho)
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