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Old February 7, 2019, 12:31 PM   #1
SmellyShooter
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How did you get first interested in shooting?

I'm really a first generation shooter, my grandfather owns a couple of guns and I have a cousin who is a gun nut, but for the most part, I have come into shooting and gun ownership on my own so I'm curious about how other people got interested in guns and shooting. I have to say as a millenial that video games played a role but ultimately it was my interest in history and historical weapons (primarily WW2) and my strong desire to protect myself and more importantly my family that turned me into a shooter. What about y'all?
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Old February 7, 2019, 12:51 PM   #2
BarryLee
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Really just grew up around people who hunted and just enjoyed shooting. As I mentioned my Father hunted, but really we seemed to spend more time just plinking with the .22 rifle than anything else. Then shot a little in Boy Scouts with a bolt action .22lr. They didn't give us much ammo, so it sort of made you really focus and I learned to be a decent shot that way. Then got my own .22lr a Remington Nylon 66 which some hate, but I thought it was the greatest Christmas ever. At the end of the day shooting was just something everyone did and as you grew up you learned that skill along with many more.
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Old February 7, 2019, 01:01 PM   #3
cjwils
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Dad: A collector and hunter and WW2 combat veteran.
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Old February 7, 2019, 02:25 PM   #4
mgulino
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Grew up hunting, mostly used shotguns for rabbits and squirrels. As I grew older, I started duck and deer hunting. Now I just shoot for fun at the range.
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Old February 7, 2019, 02:27 PM   #5
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Always enjoy this nostalgic discussion. As a kid, my Dad was sick and he passed away when I was 15. Going shooting was always on the "to do" list but we never got to it. Very shortly after he died, my Mom made a tremendous effort to get me on the right path with this interest and I credit her almost fully! She first drove me out of town to a friend of the family whonwas an avid hunter, gun guy and kitchen table FFL. He got me started shooting and also sparked my true interest (handguns.)

From there, she seeked out and joined a Sportsman's Club in the next town over. I joined up with the four position smallbore team and it was my coach who taught me the fundamentals of marksmanship and the patience of "natural point of aim." At the sale time, we also started shooting skeet at the club on Sunday mornings.

By the end of high school I was literally at this club 5 out of every 7 day week doing some form of shooting. I was loading my own 20ga on a Mec-650 and handloading .38 Special on a single stage press.

Not bad for a kid who didn't make a gun go "bang" until 15. Thanks Mom!
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Old February 7, 2019, 05:57 PM   #6
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Great story, Sevens. Thanks for sharing.
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Old February 7, 2019, 06:33 PM   #7
Mike38
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My Uncle, and my Dad. My Dad always had a couple .22 RF rifles and a shotgun, but never really was big on shooting much. Take a .22 out once a month or so, roll a few tin cans, then put them away. Anyhow, prior to that, when I was about 4 years old, my uncle came to live with us for a few months (marriage problems). We lived in the country. He saw a rabbit sitting out near a brush pile in our back yard. He grabbed my Dad's .22, stuck the barrel out a window, and popped that rabbit. It was hunting season. I thought that was the neatest thing, instant supper. As I got older, and Dad did his monthly pinking, I got to join him. At about age 10, I got a new 20 gauge shotgun for Christmas, J.C. Penny if memory serves me, and I've been hooked ever since.
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Old February 7, 2019, 07:35 PM   #8
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I grew up in New York. Long Island. Only police and bad guys had guns. Toy guns were not allowed in my house. I moved to Texas when I was 18 and my roommate had a shotgun we would plink with. That didn't last long but it got me started shooting. First up was a 10/22. Then a S&W 916T 12 gauge. One of the worst shotguns ever produced. I still have both of them. A Ruger Security Six that I just loved followed but I finally traded it for a S&W Model 57 . It just grew from that with a little hiatus when we bought the house.

I'm sure my mother thought I was paying her back for not letting me have guns when I was a kid.
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Old February 7, 2019, 08:59 PM   #9
rickyrick
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Dad started taking me to shoot before I even have memory of it.
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Old February 7, 2019, 10:30 PM   #10
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Started shooting in the military. Kept shooting after I got out.
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Old February 8, 2019, 12:50 AM   #11
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Grew up on a farm as a kid... learned to shoot a 22 early on from my Dad, Grandfather.
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Old February 8, 2019, 08:12 AM   #12
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BB guns when I was a kid. Dad, wasn't into anything 'gun' or hunting/fishing(career USAF)...so nothing till first squadron in USN..issued a S&W Model 39..shot it a little..BUT USN found out about the 'open purchase' and had to give it back.
Fast forward 10 years..ship going to Libya 'line of death'..second CV there after the strike..all of us 'carried' a variety of handguns..all very unauthorized but majority of the airwing aviators brought 'something' for this cruise. I had a little CharterArms .38...nothing until about 20 years later. Son, doing code enforcement for Denver..Got CCW and also a Glock 43/17..went shooting with him and GUN FEVER...bought a S&W 642 from an employee, 'confiscated' a Taurus 22MG from mother in law..
Never liked these, including a Ruger LC9S..realized, with my wrist and thumb(thanks USN docs)..needed either a BIGGER 9mm or a .380..settled on Glock 17 and 42..with a Taurus Model 82 along the way.
Fun stuff..now younger son into guns too..we own 10 guns between the 3 of us.
Nothin' more fun than going to an outdoor range we have close and put holes in bottle, paper targets, melons...
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Old February 8, 2019, 10:08 AM   #13
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Summer camp, age 6 -12. Shot single shot bolt action .22 SHORTS. The "range" was the basement of the gym; probably a 10 yard range. Loved the aroma of gunpowder and the unique smell of the old gym. Other than shooting my favorite part was digging the lead out of the gypsum and sawdust backstop. The range officer, probably not older than 16, had a saying that has stuck with me for 62 years. "Chastisement is bad for the body but good for the soul". He administered corporal chastisement for any infraction of range rules. My marksman ship was "minute of wall" accurate.
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Old February 9, 2019, 10:35 AM   #14
gbclarkson
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I, too, am a first generation shooter. My parents did not have a gun in the house. I bought my first pistol when I was in my mid-20's, after university graduation, when I had my first non-hourly salary. Why not?, I thought. I bought an HK USP 40 which was way too big for my hands and experience level so I traded it for a Beretta 92, then a Para 1911, then a Sig 229, and on and on and on, with many add-ons and deletions along the way. I joined the military in the middle of that timeline and was taught the fundamentals of shooting. It's definitely more fun when I hit what I am aiming at.

My 11-year old has 2 .22s. But he is more focused on fake shooting video games with his buddies right now.
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Old February 9, 2019, 01:07 PM   #15
SIGSHR
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First generation, baby boomer, no exposure at home but I can't remember not being interested in firearms. And I wasn't a big TV watcher, watched few of the 1950s-60s westerns. Must have been in my blood. First fired a real gun-22 rifle-at Boy Scout Camp, Summer of 1963.
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Old February 9, 2019, 03:16 PM   #16
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I started with BB guns. As a kid I would play with the cowboy and Indians, or little toy soldiers that came in a bag of 100. I would set them up all over the back yard, off of cans, tree branches, behind rocks and than shoot them down with by BB gun at various distances.

Living in west Texas my back yard was as far as the eye could see and on weekends I would ride my bike pretending to be a horse and hunt lizards in the desert. It was not until I joined the military and got married that my wife bought me my first rifle a Savage 110C in 30-06 and this started the ball rolling. I made the mistakes of cleaning my rifle with water after midnight and than my collection started to multiply.
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Old February 9, 2019, 04:32 PM   #17
JohnKSa
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I don't know. I just always have been. There's no one in my family who was really into hunting or shooting so it's kind of a mystery why the bug bit me.
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Old February 9, 2019, 05:34 PM   #18
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Late bloomer here. No one in my family was much into guns. No hunters or shooters to speak of. When I was about 23, we would be out in the desert riding our dirt bikes and one time back in camp, a couple guys broke out a couple of .22's and a .357[Blackhawk]. When asked if I wanted to shoot one, "Yes" was the answer. I haven't stopped since. Bought, sold or traded some rifles, mostly for shotguns for upland birds. Now, I'm knee deep into lever rifles. A 39a, Mod94[30-30]. Henry BB in .357/.38 and a Henry BB in .45 Colt. Not done. Late bloomer, but, took off.
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Old February 9, 2019, 07:07 PM   #19
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Grew up with an avid hunting Dad. Just rifles in .30-30, .30-06 and pump shotguns in 12 ga and 16 ga. , a .22lr pump rifle and pistol. My Dad brother and I shot less than a box of ammo a year combined except for the .22 pump. Guns were mainly for hunting and implicitly for home defense but never discussed as such. But I adopted the Win 94 as my choice when left alone at home (rural area). Dad also started us boys in NRA rimfire competitions held in the basement of the local NG armory across the street from our Junior High.

It wasn’t until I was 33, married and had two little daughters and hearing more about local home invasions and other crime that I thought I had better get on the stick and do something to protect my family. Started reading the old rec.guns forum on CompuServe to learn more about defensive firearms. Took a handgun class from a local police officer who let me shoot his Python and Gold Cup. Wow, those guns got me hooked!!

Started with a Llama .45, then a Firestar .45 as they were about 1/4 the cost of a Colt 1911. Realized their shortcomings and bought a Glock 21 when it first came out. Then an AR15 a few years before the 1994 AWB. As income substantially increased I got a customized used Ruger Redhawk .44 which forced me to start reloading ammo; and started getting lots more rifles shotguns and handguns, mags and ammo through the ensuing years. In more recent years I also got interested again in the rimfire guns and acquired several more rifles and pistols in .22lr, and finally another lever action this time in .44 mag.

So I would say four things started me with guns and helped me pursue this interest
- my Dad
- NRA competitions and instruction
- a kindly police instructor for handguns
- online gun forums, as no one else in my family had near the same interest I did until much later in my life
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Old February 9, 2019, 07:08 PM   #20
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My father was a Navy gunners mate in WWII, and afterwards, never wanted to talk about his experiences or guns. I got started while in the Boy Scouts as well, got my marksmenship badge, and convinced mom & dad I could be trusted with a BB gun. I didn't hold my end of the bargain up more than once. Got a 22cal pellet rifle later on, and never caused them any more grief. I always like the accuracy part, and now enjoy reloading as well.
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Old February 10, 2019, 08:28 PM   #21
zeke
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Best times i had when young was going to grandparent's house. He got a bb gun when we were real young and got to shoot it in his basement. When we turned twelve we got shotguns and he took us small game hunting. Grandma was a real cook, and we ate everything that got shot. All birds were plucked, and the bones got picked.

Grandpa had a bar in his basement, and he made us shirley temples to act like the grown ups. Eventually when older (maybe 10?), he started putting a little whiskey in there to "settle" us on the ride home.
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Old February 10, 2019, 10:58 PM   #22
kmw1954
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Friend got me started shooting hand guns. Enjoy hand guns, long guns not so much.
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Old February 10, 2019, 11:04 PM   #23
Rifletom
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zeke, that cracks me up. Grandpa's rule! Pretty good.
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Old February 12, 2019, 05:19 PM   #24
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My dad had me out shooting at about 2 years old. He’d hold the gun (usually a Sterling .22 pistol at that age) and I’d empty the magazine just as fast as I could. Worked up through 9mm, .357, 44 mag, .223, .270, ‘06 and .375 H&H by about 8 years old, and started my own accumulating as soon as I was of legal age.

Dad, grandpa, and one of my uncles were always into hunting and target shooting, and we were always taking trips to grandpas pasture to target shoot, out to Utah’s west desert after bunnies, or chasing elk and deer in south east Idaho.

Started “helping” dad and grandpa reload when I was 5-6, started on my own on dads equipment in my mid teens, then moved on to my own equipment and components.

On my moms side, well, they mostly despise firearms, so they really haven’t had much influence on it. My mother’s dad used to have a rifle and shotgun, but put them away in the 70’s after a close call on a deer hunt and grandma freaks out. The shotgun is in my brothers hands now, after sitting in a closet disassembled for close to 30 years. Nobody knows about the rifle, one of his sons borrowed it, and lost it, has no clue where it went, hasn’t been seen in 25 years or more.

Have 4 of my own kids now, who love to “help” dad reload and go shooting. And the older 3 (youngest is only 3) have already started claiming some of dads guns.

My wife grew up with hunters and enjoys going out as well, when she’s not on Pintrest finding new items for her honey-do list.
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Old February 12, 2019, 05:43 PM   #25
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I grew up on 7 acres in rural Iowa and got my first rifle, a Glenfield bolt .22, when I was 13 or 14 for a Christmas present. My dad wasn't about to let us have bb guns, probably thought we wouldn't be serious about not using them on each other, but he never said. Money was tight too so probably another factor. I shot dozens and dozens of boxes of Remington 22lr through that gun.

From there I started buying other guns and started hunting on my own.

Dad had a few guns but did not hunt. He only ever shot when he was teaching me and my brothers or if a stray dog or 'yote was getting into the hog pens. Maybe took an occassional woodchuck out that was burrowing under the concrete slabs under the out buildings. My brothers and I shoot and have a pretty good variety of shooters and dust collectors. Our sister, OTOH, is a nun and won't even pick up a gun to move it. We're working on that though.
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