The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 28, 2022, 10:58 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: December 12, 2012
Posts: 693
Age of shooting first centerfire handgun?

My son-in-law , grandson and myself headed to the range yesterday. We were armed with a 9mm semi-auto, a .45 colt judge, a .45 colt redhawk, a .454 casull super blackhawk, a .357 Dan Wesson, a Ruger security six .357 and a couple of .22 revolvers. Starting with the .22's, we let my 11 year old grandson shoot each handgun. Note that he fired .45 colt through the .454 casull and all the ammunition he fired were mild reloads and nothing heavy. He did fantastic. It got me to thinking about my first experience. I believe I was about 13 when my older brothers allowed me to shoot their .357 magnums. I don't recall the recoil being a problem, but 44 years later, my ears still ring. What age and what gun/caliber was your first experience?

Last edited by AL45; June 28, 2022 at 11:31 PM.
AL45 is offline  
Old June 28, 2022, 11:20 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 15,883
Remington Rand 1911 when I was 10. Next was an 1873 Colt in .45 Colt the same year.
Hawg is offline  
Old June 29, 2022, 01:50 AM   #3
44 AMP
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 25,552
Very first time? I don't remember anymore. Probably when I was strong enough to hold one up. 6? maybe...

Somewhere between my 14th birthday present (a Winchester .22 rifle) and my 16th (a Winchester Model 12) I was allowed to shoot handguns, under supervision enough to begin learning to be proficient.

Got my NYS Pistol permit at age 18. Been enjoying handguns since the early 70s. First centerfire? .357 Magnum S&W Highway Patrolman. Colt Govt Models .45 ACP and .38 Super. (some of Dad's pistols)
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old June 29, 2022, 07:38 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 8,359
10-11 years old, a Colt M1911A1.
I didn't consistently wear ear protection until in my 30s, but didn't do too much harm, prior.
A buddy has considerable hearing loss from a single discharge, and another buddy with a tiny piece of brass embedded in his eye, so definitely not advocating for anything but always wearing "eyes and ears".
Runs off at the mouth about anything 1911 related on this site and half the time is flat out wrong.
RickB is offline  
Old June 29, 2022, 08:23 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: October 21, 1998
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 3,635
I did not fire a handgun until I was 15. One of my Dad's hunting buddies handed me a box of 22s and a Ruger Mk1 and told me to go shoot enough Rabbits to feed the 6 of us. It took me most of the box, and half an hour to get 6 rabbits. I had to figure out how to load it and shoot it on my own. Not something I'd suggest. When I got back, he let me shoot a few rounds out of his .357 Magnum.

I started my boys on 9mm Handguns at about 8 and 9 years old.
Good Shooting, MarkCO
MarkCO is offline  
Old June 29, 2022, 10:56 AM   #6
Join Date: June 15, 2019
Posts: 53
In my late 50s. I had never fired a handgun until my older son (then an Army NCO and instructor at Fort Benning) took me shooting at a range in Columbus. The gun that he rented for me was a 4" .357 Magnum. I had wimpy hands and arms, and I found the kickback to be . . . impressive
DaveBj is offline  
Old June 29, 2022, 11:04 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: September 19, 2008
Posts: 1,112
Colt .38 Special when 9 years old. Loads may have been wad-cutter target as Dad had been on a military pistol team. I hit the tree stump at 15 yards or so that the target was on.
All data is flawed, some just less so.
ballardw is offline  
Old June 29, 2022, 11:27 AM   #8
Spats McGee
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 8,708
Probably a S&W .38 revolver at age 12 or 13.
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.
Spats McGee is offline  
Old June 29, 2022, 11:32 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: July 8, 2008
Location: 8B ID
Posts: 1,725
2-3 years old, with a little help from dad.

By myself, with no assist from dad? Probably 6-7ish.

My two oldest, 10 and 9 now, started at about 8.
The answer to 1984 is 1776
Crankylove is offline  
Old June 29, 2022, 12:13 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: November 10, 2014
Posts: 1,205
I remember sitting in old man’s lap and shooting at the white glass inserts for jar lids with a Iver Jonson Sealed 8. I wasn’t big enough to hold gun myself so it would have been south of 5 yrs old. 5th birthday OM bought me a Marlin 1897 for $8. Probably 1st center fire would have been a 32 S&W HE, same year.
Family Tradition hunts, all the adults brought along their pistols. Most were WW2 Vets and had various war souvenirs. That’s when I fired 1911s, Lugers and such. We the OM decided I was big enough to hang on to it.
Drm50 is online now  
Old June 29, 2022, 12:53 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: March 18, 2005
Location: The Great State of Texas
Posts: 1,017
I was 12 years old when I shot my Grandfathers 1911. I have loved that platform since that day. My EDC is a 4" version that I have carried for 20+ years.
“All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.“
tex45acp is offline  
Old June 29, 2022, 01:13 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 11,638
Compared to most hardcore knee-deep gun cranks, I started late at 15 years old. My first actual .22 rifle and .22 pistol and then centerfire revolver were all on the same day.

Rifle was a Stevens Model 86C, bolt action
Handgun was a Ruger Single Six, .22LR
Centerfire was a Ruger Security Six, .357 Magnum with .357 in it.

I was a little apprehensive with the .357 before squeezing that trigger.

It is NO OVER STATEMENT that the Security Six changed the path of my life. Very, very shortly after I joined a 4-position smallbore rifle team and also began shooting skeet twice a week but there was no doubt whatsoever that I became a handgunner on that day.
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old June 29, 2022, 04:04 PM   #13
L. Boscoe
Senior Member
Join Date: October 30, 2021
Posts: 179
Age of shooting first centerfire

About 8- sneaked my father's SW 44 police special out and shot a few rounds, sneaked it back into the drawer.
L. Boscoe is offline  
Old June 29, 2022, 04:46 PM   #14
Junior Member
Join Date: September 17, 2015
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 10
This Charter Arms Undercover .38 spec. It was my Grandpa’s gun, when I was 10 he let me shoot it with him. When he passed, it was given to me!

ScottOh is offline  
Old June 29, 2022, 05:04 PM   #15
Join Date: April 27, 2021
Location: SE Mississippi
Posts: 31
I was 19 years old. Fort Ord California 1966. Sgt. Donaldson handed me 2 magazines at the firing range. Unholstered my Remington Brand .45acp loaded and fired as fast as I could one handed into a wood stump set up at 10 yards as target. Reholstered the weapon and got back in line. Told this is a weapon of last resort, depend on your M-14 boys.
Have owned several Colts since then. Still have 2. One on the bedstand every night til today.
Electrod47 is offline  
Old June 29, 2022, 07:57 PM   #16
Aguila Blanca
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 17,393
U.S. Army -- M1911A1. I was 23 at the time.
NRA Life Member / Certified Instructor
1911 Certified Armorer
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old June 30, 2022, 06:08 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: April 28, 2013
Posts: 2,571
For me I was around 35+- when I bought a S&W model 39. Loved that gun, another one of those sellers regrets. Next was my Blackhawk .41 mag which I quickly traded in on the Model 57 that I still have today. Didn’t mind shooting the Blackhawk, just too tedious to load and unload.
jetinteriorguy is offline  
Old June 30, 2022, 07:13 AM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: July 29, 2010
Location: The ATL (OTP)
Posts: 3,883
Although I had shot a lot of rifles and shotguns my first handgun was a Ruger Super Blackhawk at about 18. Needless to say, I loved it and purchased the exact model as my first handgun.
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
- Milton Friedman
BarryLee is offline  
Old June 30, 2022, 07:40 AM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 2,969
First time i shot any firearms i was 15. Started with a 22 rifle, worked up to 12 ga in a day. Shot a couple centerfire handguns that day. I know one was a 1911 in 45acp.
I don't believe in "range fodder" that is why I reload.

Last edited by Shadow9mm; June 30, 2022 at 08:14 AM.
Shadow9mm is offline  
Old June 30, 2022, 08:05 AM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: July 22, 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 1,136
I started shooting a little Savage .410 kids gun when I was 6.

The nice feature of the savage was the firing pin was retracted by a knob at the breech and required so much finger strength a kid could not do it. This was a tiny gun and I was closely supervised by my dad. The result on tin cans instilled respect.

When I was big enough, I shot a .22 rifle, again at the quarry… what we had for a range back then.

My family hunted and shot for plinking fun and the rule was you could carry your own rifle hunting alone when you were 12.

Pistols could only be shot under close supervision when you were 12, and only alone when 16. The reason was that muzzle control is so much harder with a pistol. No argument … it’s much easier to lose muzzle control with a pistol.

Us kids could shoot the bb pistols when we were 12, and we knew any call for shining the muzzle incorrectly would be called out. We got called out a lot, kids have short attention spans.

Times were different then, we could walk out the back door, past the neighbors house, and hunt rabbits. Try that now and there are houses and apartments for 3 miles to the closest woods.

Those ages might seem arbitrary, but it has been a family rule for generations. It made turning 12 an exciting milestone. Back then, turning 16 was already exciting because car.
I hunt, shoot bullseye, plink, reload, and tinker with firearms. I have hung out with the Cowboy Action fellas. I have no interest in carrying firearms in urban areas.

Last edited by stinkeypete; July 1, 2022 at 08:02 AM.
stinkeypete is offline  
Old June 30, 2022, 06:28 PM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 2,151
Dad was not a handgun guy. As a Marine Corporal he was issued a 1911, and although he was a good rifleman, he couldn't "hit a barn door from inside the barn" (his words). My first experience with a pistol was in Germany in 1962. Spent the summer with my extended family, all hunters. One day my uncle brought out a pistol (This is for the Russians.) All I remember is that it had an odd hammer.
ligonierbill is offline  
Old July 1, 2022, 07:31 AM   #22
Willie Lowman
Senior Member
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Location: Uh-Hi-O
Posts: 2,943
The first rifle I shot was a Remington Target Master .22. When I was about 10

My first handgun was a Ruger Redhawk that my step dad got me for my 16th birthday.
And I would not recommend to anyone to have a .44 magnum be their first handgun!!!
"9mm has a very long history of being a pointy little bullet moving quickly" --Sevens
Willie Lowman is offline  
Old July 1, 2022, 12:18 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: May 15, 2017
Location: Iowa
Posts: 753
My Dad let us shoot his High Standard Sport King going back as far as I can remember (5 or 6 maybe) . A friend of his let me shoot his Model 29 44 Magnum when I was about 13. Another friend of his gave me a Model 10 38 Special with a two inch barrel when I was 16. A year later he asked for it back.
44caliberkid is offline  
Old July 2, 2022, 04:50 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: October 25, 2021
Location: Texas
Posts: 143
Logging road in Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan

I’m guessing I was 7 when my Dad held my hand in his and we fired his .38 Colt Detective Special off of a logging road in the lower peninsula of Michigan in the summer of ‘63. It was likely near Mio, MI the county seat of Oscoda county in or near the Huron National Forest. I do remember the ringing.
Butzbach is offline  
Old July 3, 2022, 06:23 PM   #25
Senior Member
Join Date: September 22, 2009
Location: Somewhere in Idaho, near WY
Posts: 507
Think I was about eight (plus/minus a a year); weapon was a SW Model 10, .38 cal. My fathers service issued weapon. I too fired this weapon in MI, somewhere up in the thumb area, South of Caseville at a farm owned by a friend of the family from an old memory.
That was around 66 years ago. A lot has changed since that revolver was fired in a kid's hand.
I give MY OPINION (not often) based on many years shooting at, other than paper targets. I will not debate my experience vs. your experience based on dreams and "what ifs." I'm 73; I'm too damn old to care.
RETG is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:21 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2021 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Page generated in 0.06213 seconds with 10 queries