Software Used To Create Gun Animations

Hello everybody. I’ve recently made my own custom gun in Blender.
I want to physically create my own animations for that gun so I can proceed to script them.
(Which I also want to know how to do, but the link to that thread is down below.)
Anybody have any software that corresponds to two conditions;

1: It’s free.
2: It’s Newbie friendly (It doesn’t have to be super simple, just easy to use and learn.)

Thanks guys! The question on scripting is here;
http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1138465

Blender

Ok, and can you apply those animations to like… The HL2 engine?
Sorry, I probably don’t know what I’m talking about.
But basically, with the whole hands thing, what’s going on with that?
Does it automatically place them in the correct position, or what?

Personally I prefer 3dsmax for it. There’s millions of programs for it.