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Old February 5, 2019, 04:51 PM   #1
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Childhood impressions???

I feel spoiled, growing up in the late 70's, early to mid 80's, reading gun magazine articles from Skeeter, Jordan, Keith and Cooper. Each month I looked forward to reading their gospel, and re-reading it over and over. No internet, the only way to learn was to "talk guns" with older relatives and neighbors, absorb all we could from the writings of the aforementioned and experiment... with and or without proper supervision. A few close calls, but no fatalities, the boys in my neighborhood were lucky. Got my CCW as a senior in HS, a piece of paper the local Constable signed while shaking his head. Issued it to me as he suspected I had been carrying for several years anyhow, LOL! My first carry gun, at 12, was an old H&R Premier .32 S&W top break, shooting 88 grain lead at barely BB gun velocity (I could see them in mid flight). At 16 I bought a Rossi 88 3" SS .38 (mom signed for it). Nice trail gun, but I couldn't afford enough ammo to shoot it as much as I wanted. Traded if for a cheap FIE Buffalo .22 single action revolver, which I ended up wearing out in a year by fast drawing and fanning it so much. Took some small game with it though. A neighbor often loaned me his 50's Ruger Single Six .22. That was a nice gun for shooting at frogs and turtles with .22 shorts. At 18, Dad bought me a Taurus 66 6" .357 Magnum. Saved his lunch money to get it for me without his 2nd wife's knowledge (she was a control freak). Magnums without ear protection... yeah, not smart. I still have it. Sweet gun!
In Maine, most LEO's back then carried S&W K and N framed .38's or .357's. Kids openly walked around with airguns up and down the rural streets. Shotguns and rifles could be carried openly. State Game Wardens or State Troopers would stop and check out a 12 y/o walking with a pump shotgun to make sure it was empty and ask where I was headed. But there was no issues. Red squirrel, porcupine, woodchucks and coyotes were open year round, so there was always game to hunt if I didn't feel like shooting at a local gravel pit. The local Sheriff's or Constables would just wave and keep driving as they knew I was a local kid, not a trouble maker. Being a juvenile gun enthusiast was ok back then, at least tolerated, unlike today. Different world.

I'm glad I grew up then and not today. Nice memories. Am I alone in this feeling?

Last edited by shurshot; February 5, 2019 at 05:34 PM.
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Old February 5, 2019, 05:43 PM   #2
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I'm glad I grew up then and not today. Nice memories. Am I alone in this feeling?
I doubt you're alone but I grew up in the gold-plated Fifties. Hunters and firearm aficionados of my time were really spoiled. O'Connor, Keith, Page, Whelen, Nonte and Stebbins were the scribes of my time. Shotguns carried by kids in school busses during pheasant season and rifles during deer season was not uncommon. You could buy military surplus Springfields, Enfields, Webleys, Lugers, P-38s, Mausers, Colt/Smith 1917s and 1911s literally by the pound and via the mail right to your house, no id needed.

New Ruger .22 pistols sold for $37.50 forever and a Williams "5 D" receiver sight cost, well, five bucks.

But, thankfully, especially after 1968 when all the new gun laws made their way into our once free way of life, suicides, robberies and murders committed with firearms, mass shootings and gun violence incidences all were severely curtailed or came to an end.
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Old February 5, 2019, 06:16 PM   #3
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60’s for me ... my family was not into guns... guess my dad got his fill in WWII. Of course we had bows (homemade) and a lot of air guns and a lot of fun memories. Great memories in fact... we were only home during bad weather... otherwise we were in the 10 acres behind our house.

A lot of our rambunctiousness slowed considerably when I got nailed in the side of the face with a target arrow (stupid brother) ... boy, I was lucky. I still have a scare and a good bar story to tell.

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Old February 5, 2019, 09:42 PM   #4
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there and then

I'll be 61 soon, and all those writers mentioned are familiar, and I still have hard cover books from most of them, as well as far too many magazines and articles. The local hardware store had a an outdoor section that was a good place to hear gun, hunting and fishing talk. I took my Dad and uncles and great uncles word as gospel on any hunting and fishing subject. There were men in the community who were considered top trout, turkey deer and bear hunters. Beagle men and bunnies were held in pretty high regard too. I took a .22 rifle to school at age 13 or so to give a speech on cleaning it. I left it at the principal office, cased, at the start of school, and picked it back up at the end of the day. You could arrange your high school schedule to obtain early dismissal, if you had a part time job. I juggled my schedule so that I could work and hunt, and kept my grandad's 12 ga pump for fall turkey, or a deer rifle in the old Jeep we had if Dad let me drive it to school.

I'd say at least 50% of my friends hunted, their Dad's and uncles too. Women hunting was about unheard of. At one point, seemed like every boy on my block had a fiberglass recurve bow, and we shot them constantly. School and some work places closed the first day of buck season, and the first day of doe season.
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Old February 5, 2019, 10:02 PM   #5
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I grew up in the 50's and 60's. By the time I was 10, we had a "city" address but a couple of buddies and I could walk about 1/4 mile to an old growth forest that seemed to go forever. We hunted whatever a kid could hunt with a .22 rifle - mostly squirrels and coyotes. The county agent would pay $10 for a set of coyote ears. That was big money in those days. I had a Mossberg Model 46. Don't remember what the other guys carried. I remember a kid coming to school in 5th grade with a Ruger Single Six in a cowboy holster. It was Rodeo Day and we all dressed as cowboys or cowgirls. This guy wouldn't let any of us touch the Ruger, but he wore it all day. He did fancy rope spinning between classes and at recess. No problems from kids or adults. I remember going to high school with a rifle or shotgun, depending on the season, in the car, and plenty of them visible in pickup windows. There was a teacher who sponsored a hunting club, so sometimes we would take the guns into his classroom, meet after school, and do some light 'smithing and cleaning.

Let's hear from some people who grew up more recently and could still do the things us old codgers did.
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Old February 6, 2019, 09:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by TJB101 View Post
60’s for me ... my family was not into guns... guess my dad got his fill in WWII. Of course we had bows (homemade) and a lot of air guns and a lot of fun memories. Great memories in fact... we were only home during bad weather... otherwise we were in the 10 acres behind our house.

A lot of our rambunctiousness slowed considerably when I got nailed in the side of the face with a target arrow (stupid brother) ... boy, I was lucky. I still have a scare and a good bar story to tell.

Same..WWII dad, still in USAF till Brother and I had BB guns(used to shoot at each other... But moved a lot, never a gun person till I got into USN..late 70s)...

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Old February 6, 2019, 10:30 AM   #7
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It was before I had to attend the Remedial Pledge Sessions when we all had to practice adding "under God" to the daily Pledge of Allegiance so I would have been in the third or fourth grade. We still had "Show & Tell" and I had brought the 1911 that followed Dad home after the war to class. When it was my turn I took the big thing out as well as the 45acp bullet I had brought along and gave a short talk on the gun & history & gun safety and then the gun and bullet got passed around the class so everyone could feel how heavy it was and see the bullet and check out the magazine.

The teacher liked the safety lesson it seems because she took me to a couple other classes that day to do my "Show & Tell". I carried that gun for awhile but it really was heavy so I asked the teacher if she would keep it 'till school was over. She put it in her desk drawer and there it sat, unlocked and where everyone knew it was being kept.

Not sure how welcome a 1911 with bullet would be for "Show & Tell" today.
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Old February 6, 2019, 10:52 AM   #8
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A friend of mine and I used to do some trapping catching mostly possums and racoons. We were avid readers of Fur, Fish & Game. In the magazine they often mentioned professional trappers carrying as a side arm the H&R Trapper Model .22 revolver.

It is on my bucket list when I see a decent one for sale.
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Old February 6, 2019, 04:24 PM   #9
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When I was a kid of about 10-12 or so, we were allowed to carry our .22 rifles and two boxes of .22’s (100 rounds) to the sand pits and plink away. On the walk home we stopped at the little market and bought a Coke and a candy bar. Walked right in with our rifles (actions open). No one ever had a problem with it ever. We were told if we shot ANYTHING we weren’t allowed to safely shoot, the rifles would be bent into a pretzel.
Say when.....
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Old February 6, 2019, 06:05 PM   #10
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Not sure how welcome a 1911 with bullet would be for "Show & Tell" today.
I taught U.S. History to 8th graders for a long time. I had a few black powder replica guns, so one year I talked with my principal and the school resource officer (police officer) and got permission to take my guns to class to show my students. The kids were impressed. Over time I added a few black powder guns to the collection. I always tied the guns to the lesson the kids were working on. Always talked it over with the principal and SRO ahead of time. Never took ammo that would fit the guns I took. I did show the kids a plain round lead bullet and a Minie bullet, but they were in too large a caliber for my guns. I put a tiny bit of flash powder in the pan of a flintlock and made a little spark and smoke.

It was great. The kids loved it. Never a single complaint from parents or the rest of the community, and this was in a major metropolitan area. Former students would come back to visit and the guns would be the first thing they would bring up. Younger siblings would ask me on the first day of a new school year when I was going to bring the guns to class.

Turned out there were other teachers in my district who were doing the same thing. On another campus, a history teacher took his replica guns to class one day. The next day one of his students brought the 1911 his grandfather had carried in the Army. The kid didn't get it cleared with anyone. Seems he really liked his history teacher and wanted to surprise him. Another student who didn't know the back story saw a gun in the kid's backpack and panicked and security and police went a little crazy for a little while. When the history teacher vouched for the kid, everyone settled down and they gave the kid a stern lecture and suggested to his parents they supervise him a little better.

The upshot of that was that none of us could bring guns to class anymore. I appealed the decision, and even got some parents and former students to appeal, but administration was set on their decision.

I had some high school kids visiting in my classroom after school one day. They were various ages and so had been in my classes at various times. Two of them were lording it over the others because theirs was the last class that got to see the teacher "blow up a gun."
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Old February 6, 2019, 08:35 PM   #11
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50's/60's for me. First hunted rabbits with my dad. Maybe 8 or 10 years old. A young kid learned quick how not to hold his old Winchester '97 pump. That bolt coming back to cock the exposed hammer sure could take a gouge out of the web of a small hand. First, around 9 or 10 my grandpa gave me his Winchester Model 74 22 autoloader. Mom thought it not best for me to start out with that "automatic" rifle. So Dad kept it, and bought me a Marlin 101 single shot. Still have both today, and occasionally take them to the range.
My first shotgun was a Stevens 59. Tube fed, bolt action 410. The old line of thought, that a kid should start with a 410 didn't really work well. Combined with my dad's belief, and lack of knowledge about the 410 bore leading him to get me one with a modified choke. Not the best for Taking tough old Fox Squirrels out of the tops of tall Missouri oaks, and hickorys. The old Stevens, and the Stevens 16ga. 311 double have long been gone from my possession. But in my senior years of reliving my youth I have found equal replacements for my accumulation. Along with subsequent lost additions to my firearms learning curve. Particularly a Winchester Model 50 12 guage, and an example of my first centerfire, and deer rifle in the form of an Enfield No.5 Mk4 Jungle Carbine. But of course replacing the originals at a cost a lot higher than what I got for the originals.
On of my earliest guns, and my first handgun which is certa still with me is a High Standard HD Military. Again, compliments of Grandpa to the mild objections of Mom.
Just a snapshot of my 60+ affection for firearms, shooting, hunting, and handloading.
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Old February 8, 2019, 01:36 AM   #12
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50's/60's for me also... and I do remember that it was perfectly fine to bring our rifles to school so we could go right to the woods for couple hours before dark to hunt. Only rules were they had to be unloaded and kept in our locker. Nobody blinked an eye... nobody threatened anybody with said gun. Just seemed much more civil back then. Gee... I'm sounding like my grandfather who used to tell me how much more civil things were when he was a kid at the turn of the century. Wonder if my grandson will be saying that to HIS grandson in 50-60 years from now, long after I have assumed room temperature.
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Old February 8, 2019, 05:41 AM   #13
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I grew up in the late 70s and 80s. Long guns were a common sight in the rear windows of pickup trucks at school. Dad was a big duck hunter, but that was really the only kind of hunting he did. Guns & Ammo came to the house, as did Field & Stream and Sports Afield (?). G&A was the only one I really read consistently. The others I read sporadically, but I very much enjoyed the column by Patrick McManus at the end of Field & Stream. I think it was F&S, anyway. We lived on ~35 acres the outskirts of town, but neighbors were too close to shoot anything but a pellet gun on our land. We also had cattle, and I always suspected that my dad was afraid that his idiot son (me) would shoot one of the cows. So, no shooting real firearms at the house. I was, however, allowed to go shooting elsewhere. Out in the woods, or a friend's farm farther out of town. It was not unusual to find a group of teenage boys out on someone's farm, plinking away. My 10/22 and I killed many a soup can on those outings.
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Old February 8, 2019, 10:24 AM   #14
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As a millenial who grew up in a suburban area and got into guns later in life, I enviously read these posts. I bought my first 22 in 2012 right before the Sandy Hook incident so the majority of my time as a gun owner has been during hostile times for gun owners. Y'all are lucky!
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Old February 8, 2019, 07:11 PM   #15
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The late 50's and early 60's were great. My dad got me a Sears pump action 22 short when I was 12 years old. Lived in Wilmington Delaware and use to go down to the marsh and the Christiana River about the time I-95 was being built. We would go to the hardware store buy a box of 22 short for .25 cents, hold the gun across the handle bars of my bike and ride to the marsh. What a great time. The cops, the neighbors, would wave at us ,tell us to be careful but never harassed us or gave us a hard time.
What a great time to be a kid.
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Old February 9, 2019, 12:37 AM   #16
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Grew up in the 70s and 80s, joined the army in 1987 and stayed there for 15 years. I shot guns for my entire childhood, dad started taking me shooting before I even have memories of it.
Kids talked about guns and shooting in school; along with cars and horses and motorcycles. Throwing knives were made in shop class. My children wee born in the 80s, 90s and 2000s... one still in high school still... you don’t really want to know the political drivel being driven into them now... it isn’t hearsay either... I’ve heard recordings of the political rants of various teachers... gotten worse in the last two years. I’m glad that we were allowed to be who we were as individuals back in my time.
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Old February 10, 2019, 03:45 PM   #17
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Earliest firearm memory is going up to the attic, playing with the M-1 Carbine my old man brought home from WWII. Never fired it, it disappeared in the divorce. Had my share of cap pistols, a plastic "Davy Crockett Old Betsy" in the 1950s. First exposure to real firearms, Boy Scout Camp, Summer of 1963. IIRC we got 5 rounds-22LR, natch-in a little wooden block. Found out I was good at it.
I had a Hubley "Trooper" cap pistol, my first revolver-a Colt Trooper .357.
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Old February 10, 2019, 06:15 PM   #18
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I mentioned somewhere else that I was a late bloomer as far as shooting/hunting. But, I read Jack O'Conner at the barber shop and others. The person who "impressed" me the most was the late Bob Milek. This man put me right into the 25-06 and a couple of varmint cartridges; 22-250 and .223. Even talked to him on the phone a few times. Someone who impressed me with the shooting sports? Bob Milek.
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Old February 11, 2019, 07:46 PM   #19
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I grew up in the 1960s. My dad had his Savage 99 and Remington pump shotgun in the corner of the closet. We were allowed to handle them, but were taught to wipe them down after we did. Guns were just a part of life then. I remember going to Sears or JC Penneys and dreaming about owning one of the shiny Winchester or Remington or Marlin rifles, but mostly I was just gun-crazy. I would read Guns & Ammo, Field & Stream, Outdoor Life and anything else having anything to do with guns. Shot a gun the first time when I was 5 or 6, 16 gauge shotgun, really wowed me but I was proud. As a teen, my friend and I would get a 22 and go over to the reservoir to shoot ground squirrels or cans, if a cop saw us they would generally give us a ride home. Nobody really said anything about it. My first deer hunt, my dad was working in the mountains about 150 miles away, he told me to put my rifle in my backpack with clothes and a sleeping bag and get on a Greyhound, he would pick me up at the local bus station. I did as he said, walked down to the bus stop with the rifle sticking out of the pack, the driver got out and loaded my backpack into the cargo area and away we went. Nowadays they would call SWAT!

I miss those days. People have gotten entirely too panicky about a lot of stuff, and not nervous enough about other stuff. Giving kids guns? Scary. Turning killers and rapists loose on the streets because jails are crowded? No problem!
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Old February 13, 2019, 08:32 PM   #20
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I was 10yrs old in 1970...guns were allowed in a lot places without giving it any thought. All of my friends and I carried guns and hunted all over the country side. Most families around me had at least 1 gun and i'll bet there was not a single gun safe in my town...guns were all kept in bedroom closets or leaned against the wall in the corner of the room. I don't recall a single accidental shooting happening in my entire county. I got my carry permit at 18yrs old...didn't really need to have one, I just thought it was cool to have it. At any rate, it was a pretty good time to be young...there was just not NEARLY as many guns around as there are today. Today is probably the best time in my life to be a gun enthusiast.
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Old February 16, 2019, 06:32 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by SmellyShooter View Post
As a millenial who grew up in a suburban area and got into guns later in life, I enviously read these posts. I bought my first 22 in 2012 right before the Sandy Hook incident so the majority of my time as a gun owner has been during hostile times for gun owners. Y'all are lucky!
Yes, we are. I had an almost idyllic childhood . . . . small-town Arkansas, extremely low crime, a bike ride away from a large lake (over 20 miles long), opportunities for all of the shooting we could afford. . . . As a teenager, I couldn't wait to get away to the big city . . . . #Iwasadumbbutt #teenagersarestupid
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Old February 16, 2019, 10:36 AM   #22
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1960's were a very different time. School bus driver (also a neighbor) carried a double barrel shotgun behind his drivers seat. Pheasant season had just opened and we saw some roosters in a field while dropping kids off from school. Driver stopped, had one of the high school kids get the gun and hung it out the side window. Gun went off and about six kids went running out to retrieve the pheasant. Today we'd be on the National news and every politician would have a new law in their hand.

For a shop class project I took a .22 rifle to school, kept it in my locker, and brought it out to reblue and refinish the stock. Got a pretty good grade as I recall.
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Old February 16, 2019, 11:21 AM   #23
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I remember going huntin' to one of my spots (about 5 miles away), with my uncle's 16 gauge Ithaca take down double barreled shotgun, strapped-down in a case; to the upper bar on my bicycle.

Reading Elmer Kieth's magazine article on long range pistol shooting was a hoot...including Jeff Cooper's informative articles in Soldier of Fortune magazine.
That rifle hanging on the wall of the working class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."

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Old February 17, 2019, 10:29 PM   #24
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I grew up in NE Kansas. I got my first "gun" for Christmas, 1960, when I was 8 years old. It was a Daisy lever action, similar to the famed "Red Ryder", but it came with a scope on it. I'd worn out the Daisy catalog, carrying it around and looking at it for months. I can still feel the excitement that I felt on that day. I WAS Ralphie.

My grandparents lived in Abilene, KS. I remember the pheasant and quail hunts of the early '60's, with my Dad, Grandpa, uncles and cousins. Trudging through alfalfa fields, down through ravines and along tree lines on cold, late November days. I'd almost soil myself when 2 or 3 pheasants would flush right under our feet. When I was 11 or 12, my Grandpa gave me his Western Field single shot .410 to carry. I got my first quail with that gun.

My Dad owned a Winchester Model 12 in 20 gauge. It's in my safe today, as is his Marlin 39A "Peanut". When I was a little older, I'd carry that rifle on hikes down along the river that ran about a mile north of our house. I remember making an unbelievably lucky shot on a crow that was sitting atop a utility pole, at least 100 yards away. I lined up on the crow, steadied the gun and pulled the trigger. The crow leaned over and fell off the top of the pole...I couldn't believe it.

My God, what a great childhood I had. I feel so sorry for the kids who are penned up inside a house, slaves to video games and fast food, who can't go outside without a police escort. I'm 66 now, but I wouldn't give up my childhood days for anything.
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