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How'd you get started shooting? (long)

2020 30
I'll go first. My father always viewed guns as tools, never very interested recreationally, but he was very, very competent. Older sister, brother & mom never liked them, didn't (still don't) want anything to do with them. I'm youngest. At age 12 (sis & bro are in college now) mom, dad & I move cross country to AZ. Dad has an old Marine buddy (Dad was Army) already out there, one day the 3 of us are out horseback riding. We stop for lunch (nothing like a warm turkey sandwich yumm), Dad's friend has his 1911 on his hip & of course I had to ask about it. With Dad's approval his friend clears it, takes me over facing a hill and proceeds to begin my education in all things 1911. That began my intrigue w/1911s, as Dad's bud pointed out "the kid's like a dr. operating on a patient when he strips & cleans my gun." Hence the screen name. After every range session it was my job to strip & clean the pistol (after learning how of course). That's it, I was hooked. Dad retired, kept a couple of his revolvers, & shooting became our common bond. We didn't always see things the same, but the older I got the smarter he became (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). We always had that common interest. Once I turned 21 I had to have my own & a 1911 it was...sort of...actually a Star 9mm that looked like a Colt w/o grip safety (all I could afford). Well, fast forward through lots of guns and interesting experiences and I taught my 2 sons how to shoot. The older one (21) is leaving any time for the land of sand (the Nat'l Guard has been telling him this for close to 3 months, general orders came last week, waiting on his individual orders since he's doing a volunteer deployment w/o his regular unit). Younger son (17) is hell on wheels with the Browning Hi-Power though he does enjoy my TRS when I let him pry it out of my hands at the range. I'm only sorry Dad didn't live long enough for all of us to go out together. the boys were 7 & 3 when he passed.

Hope anyone still reading doesn't mind the long post, share your start & I'll bring the popcorn.
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My father ditched mom and me when I was 2 weeks old, . . . my stepfather did what he could, . . . but he didn't really know how to do kids and a family, as his was so disconnected.

Anyway, . . . an old uncle (mom's baby brother) took me "under his wing" and got me started. That was 46 years ago, . . .

All you uncles out there, . . . take a lesson: I probably wouldn't be shooting today if mine hadn't.

May God bless,
Dwight
 

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My boy hood friend Mike, took me out shooting with his Col Model 70 Gold Cup. The first magazine was loaded with his reloads in it. Each one went down by a half a grain each time, so I got to learn real quick how to clear a stovepipe in a 45.I have been shooting since then.
 

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My story is super long....

For me, I've grown up in California all my life, predominately anti-gun. My family has no interest in firearms, I guess for me it all started playing cops and robbers as a kid. I'd always buy cap guns (hmm... I haven't seen anywhere sell capguns anymroe now that I think about it), and let my neighbor use the Berertta 92FS capgun while I used my 1911 capgun.

When I was around 8 I found my dad's CO2 BB gun of a Walther P38. Beautifully made too! All metal, plastic grips, great gun. Of course curious minds, my dad never taught me any safety lessons and I thought it was a real gun in the beginning. I asked him about it and he took me shooting in the backyard. He got me a daisy Winchester BB gun that next year for Christmas.

Then came more BB and pellet guns, and even a Daisy Desert Eagle BB gun that I bought off a magazine because you can actually rack the slide back :dope:

Well... that evolved a few yrs later when I subscribed to Shooting Times in 7th grade. Dad wasn't too happy with that and wondered why I was subscribing to gun magazines at such a young age.

After that, I never really mentioned my interest in firearms. My family knew about it, but I never brought it up.

At age 12, I shot blanks full auto from an M-16 in the basement of my cousin's house using my uncles gun.

Age 14, shot my first gun. The only handgun, of course that I remember was a parkerized or blued 1911. That day, I also shot the M-16 using live rounds, and a 12 ga. pump shotgun. Dont remember much else from that day except shooting steel gongs, zuchinis, and water jugs all day long. I remember how much that .45 kicked! :D

Age 17 I dragged my dad to the range once with me to shoot a lil'. It never peaked his interest. Shot at the Firingline, now called Orange County Indoor Shooting Range.

Throughout highschool I never mentioned anything firearm related.

Then, at age 21, one of my best friend invited me to go with her and another of her friends to go "shooting". Sure, why not... I was familiar with how operate a gun and shoot, so I showed them. We rented a Glock 17 and a P226. Ever since then, I got back into shooting, and she comes to shoot with me every once in a while.

Funny, she always gets me into new hobbies, and I always get really into it and she's just kinda into it. Before shooting was motorcycle riding. :dope:

I've gotten my dad to shoot trap with me, since shooting paper is quite boring to him. At least shooting clay is a reactive target, so that is more fun to him. At least I can get him to the range every once in a while, that's good enough for me. He even has his own shotgun. I guess its a start...

Most of my friends never knew that I used to be a firearms nut. I keep that to myself, they all think that my interest started when I turned 21. If they only knew.... :eek:
 

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Dad started me off when I was 10 or 11 years old with a .22 bolt rifle. Went onto .22 revolver and then his .38 S&W. I got away from shooting while raising my family. Then my oldest son bought a Springer 1911 .45 and took me shooting about three years back. That was it. The love of shooting was back in place big time. I now have four 1911's, a load of other guns and shoot three times a week at least.

Be safe, shoot well. :rock:
 

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I grew up on 360 acres in southwestern Ohio. We had a large, man-made lake stocked with bass and bluegill. The family raised beagles and **** hounds with about 35 breeders on hand at any one time. My grandfather was an avid fisherman and both uncles were avid fishers and hunters. (My father was active duty USAF and overseas most of my life, so his impact on me was minimal.)

Our property was mostly upland game habitat with a few stands of hardwood including maple, oak and black walnut. We had rabbits, quail and the occasional white tail deer on the property. Naturally, the acorns and walnuts fed a pretty good squirrel population.

I was given my first real gun at age seven - a Steven's Favorite rolling block .22 rifle. My dog Pokey and I were allowed to roam the property at will and that little .22 kept the freezer full of cottontails and squirrels. (Actually, we had two freezers to store the results of my Uncle Bill's hunting trips to the Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming. Mom cooked far more pheasant, quail, venison and elk than she did beef, pork or chicken.)

By the time I was 16 I owned a Winchester Model 37 12 gauge single shot, a Browning Auto 5 in 28 gauge and a Weatherby .30-06 and I was a veteran of South Dakota pheasant and Wyoming elk hunts. About that time one uncle died and the other got married and moved away, so my hunting opportunites were drastically reduced. That was okay, though, 'cause I was developing an interest in cars, guitars and girls.

I started target shooting for the first time after a friend's father gave me a cheap little .22 revolver. I was hooked on handguns immediately and the long guns were all sold and the money used to build up a nice little collection of Smith & Wesson revolvers. As much as I enjoyed shooting I'd always dreamed of leaning to fly, so in 1976 I sold all the guns to finance flying lessons.

About three years ago the shooting bug bit again and I started buying handguns and shooting bullseye and bowling pins. Since then I've bought and sold about 30 guns. Right now I just have a handful, including my SA 1911A1 and a Colt Peacemaker .22.
 

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Age 7 or 8:Watched my father drive off to the range with his work buddies(father was a small arms instructor in the Air Force, He knows his stuff) After the trip he field stripped the old Smith and Wesson 9mm and taught me how to clean it. Seed planted...
Age 12: Received a 4-10 shotgun for my birthday
Age 12-15: random starter and intermediate excercises provided to me by my father. Trigger control, sight picture, etc.
Age 15: got my first job and saved up $450 for a Ruger P95DC (still have this gun, Love it) my father bought this BTW.
Age 15-20: Went to the range as much as possible, this became a bonding experience for my father and I. As Doc said my father and I didn't always see eye to eye but as I've grown and am about to graduate college he seems a lot smarter.
Age 19: Started dating my current Girlfriend whose father is a pistol nut, he owns 16 pistols and is a CWP carrier.
Age 21: CWP class and I began carrying (got my mother into shooting!, she outshoots me though, even without firing a single shot for 20 years)
Age 22(now):trying to pay off a Kimber Tactical Pro II, I'm not the shot that I want to be but I practice as much as possible.
Age 22 on: who knows...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Guys, great insights. Thanks for your replies. Turning 49 the end of this month & trying to figure out what gun my sons are buying me (yeah right).

Only half way through the popcorn, keep 'em coming.
 

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Interesting question, and in my case, one without a quick, neat, answer. I was born in 1950, but I'd suppose what got me started shooting was when my dad got his Remington Model 33 rifle back in 1931. :) He gave that gun to me when I was maybe 8 years old, and I now treasure it. Other guns followed, but growing up in the city, I was mainly limited to shooting my air rifle and a CO2 pistol in the garage, but occasional trips into the country allowed me to burn some powder. That CO2 pistol got me to REALLY like handguns, and I now have a small arsenal, some inherited, some purchased. I guess I didn't get interested in shooting, I just grew up with it, like breathing. Marty
 

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dad is the main reason.. he was really into guns before i was born but then he had to sink money into me.. but he took me to gun shows and took me out and taught me safety and then bought me a daisy at age 9 i lived on a farm so i could "hunt" and plink but then it grew into a winchester m67 single shot .22 (which i still love and shoot all the time) then up to a stevens 20 ga breakopen then to a ruger comp target to get me started on pistols but i think the main reason i really caught onto shooting is going out on the farm and woods with the .22 and my dog also it allowed my to spend time with dad and learn from him. -pops
 

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Age 6: Sitting in a "Kettle" eating my breakfast as my father buys my remington 700 .270. Best breakfast to date!
My father is also a 1911 nut. He's resistant to the whole computer thing, I've tried to tell him about all the great info and characters on these forums.

Age 12: My father takes me to the Academy range for the Sheriff's Dept. I was introduced to a certain pistol we all know and love. Colt series 70 stainless. I have to admit that the 1911 took a back seat that day to a mp5.
Started me off only letting me squeeze 2 off at a time, but at the end of my session was allowed a full mag. LOL! That is the moment I graduated from recreational shooter to a full on shooting lunatic.

Age 22: The Old Man and I go to the fun show. I tell him I finally have the money to purchase a 1911. He directs me to the Colts, but I break his heart when I walked out with a TRP! LOL! He insists on calling it a piece of **** every time he sees it. I tell him if he keeps running his mouth I will have a Colt soon enough!
 

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its easy for me,,.. i grew up on a farm, there were 3 gun cases ful of guns.. (cival war muskets in there to but we never fired them) my dad was a drunk but mom was a crack shot, any time i wanted to shoot, which was at least once a week from age 5 she would go get a gun and we would go out " to the south 40" and shoot ten cans.. i loved it and it has never stopped for me.. i love to shoot and am a "natural" as most instructers later told me.. not i am harder on myself than anyone else is on me even when i was with the police reserves for a year in a war zone out side of st louis...
thats it
i took some guys at work shooting a couple months back, they have all shot but not for a while.. we all ran our targets out and when we brought them back i had a nice little group of about 5" at 20 yards shooting not as fast as i could pull the trigger but close... my waste water guy who is 6'6" and 425lbs told me "man if i ever cause you to draw that thing i aint runnin from you cause i aint coing to be tired and dead" LOL i laughed so hard i cried.
 

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Mines a little different ...

Grew up in Massachusetts. No one in the family was into hunting or guns or anything like that. Went into the Navy in 1982 and missed shooting in Basic Training because I was sick. Got to my boat, a fast attack sub and had to 'qualify' with the 1911 .45 - the old Remington Rand models. I was an instant crack shot and the guy told me I was a 'natural'. Whatever, all I knew was that I liked it - ALOT!

Firearms training in the Navy was minimal at best so I started reading and learning all I could on my own. Fast forward, out of the Navy and now an NRA instructor at my local range. Started my son shooting when he was 7. He's 12 now and shoots my full-size, all-steel .45 better than some of my fellow instructors. He says it's 'his' .45, because I said he could have it when I die which to him means it's already his.

We shoot pins once in a while and the last time he went up against our lead training instructor, a very good shot (retired LEO) and beat him on one round. He's still talking about that! My boy wants to be a firearms instructor and CCW someday. It will one of our common bonds for life, I'm sure. I highly recommend sharing the experience with your children.

Great thread idea, btw.
 

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Long time ago was a civilian. Got a haircut, too short. Got olive drab shirt and pants, too baggy. Got boots, too brown. Got an M1 Garand, too heavy. Got a sergeant, too mean. Brushed the hair, wore the shirt and pants, dyed the boots, obeyed the sergeant, shot the rifle. Eight weeks later was The Ultimate Weapon.
 

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My story is very short...

My father has always worked in the industry, and always had a family that were gun enthusiasts. After working for Winchester (before I was born), Crossman (until I was about 1 or 2), and then finally getting a job with the NRA (still employed with the NRA 20 years later), I've naturally grown up around and with a passion for all guns. I can still remember my first Crossman BB guns and our indoor BB gun range that was constructed in our house, that's what first got me hooked. I then was eventually given a .22, a shotgun, a rifle, and so on as I got older... When I turned 18 I immediately started purchasing and collecting rifles and shotguns for my expanding collection which really got me hooked. Then last December when I turned 21 I decided to start a small collection of pistols which is slowly growing as I see the need to purchase more. Never will I lose my love for guns...

There's really not much more to my story! Guess it's kind of dull, but I sure don't know what I'd do without my guns...
 

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I might as well tell my story...

A couple years ago, in 11th grade advanced drawing III, we were assigned to do a project "showing motion". At the time, I was having a bit of a feud with the teacher, so I decided to creatively cop out by showing motion with the first thing that popped to mind, of a profile view of a gun firing (with multiple stages shown). For whatever reason, he approved it. So I began doing research online. The Fates decided that the only decent picture of "gun operating" or whatever term I used, was an old scan of the M1911A1s blueprint from over at m1911. So I decided to create a doublesize, accurate rendering of that old picture, as an exercise in draftsmanship (which I had virtually no experience in). But first I needed to figure out what I was seeing. I found out it was a "model of 1911". And then when I read the history of the 1911, I began to get interested. So I had to figure out how it worked. That took the better part of a week or two in class, attempting to visualize mentally how a 1911 worked without having ever seen one in person. Eventually, I finished the drawing and got a good grade for it.
As time passed, I kept thinking of the 1911, and the seed of a thought of buying one got into my head. Did some shopping online. Decided I had no interest in hi-cap Paras, or stainless Kimbers, or anything else other than a plain-Jane M1911. Lo and behold, I found the Colt WWI Replica. After a month working at my first real job, I'd saved up almost enough for it. My mom (to my continuing regret) offered to pay the other third, thus purchasing a share and giving her grounds for not wanting to ever give it to me ;) One thing lead to another, and when my father had the opportunity to shoot the Colt he realized it was far more accurate than the rattletrap he had used in the Coast Guard. So he became interested again, after decades of zero interest, in shooting. At this point we're up to three 1911s, several different .22s, and a few other random odds and ends we found interesting. My realm of interest has turned out to be mainly pistols (although this trap and skeet thing is starting to show signs of being a dangerously addictive sport...), and his, shooting the .22 accurately at longer ranges. So it goes!
 

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We move from the city to the country in 1960. Nearest neighbor was 2 miles up the dirt road and nearest town was 4 miles the other way. Started hunting grouse with a Model 94 30-30 that my dad had. Was almost a year before we could afford to get a 22. Got real good at taking the heads off of grouse. One shot one kill!!!

I grew up in the 50s with all the cowboy shows and and WWII movies. Always had cap guns and such. But didn't have a chance to shoot real guns till we moved. Then I went shooting or hunting almost everyday for 7 years. My grandfather bought me a 410 guage bolt action shot gun and mailed (that was legal at one time) it to me for Christmas one year. Had a great time with it but the 22 was cheaper for grouse, squirrels, and rabbits.

Got away from shooting much until about 12 years ago. Bought a P90 in 45, S&W 457 in 45 and had a ball. Got into cowboy action shooting for about 6 years until my back gave out. Now do some indoor target shooting with my Kimber Pro Carry II and Mak 9X18. Don't get to the range as much as I would like but when I can it's that much more enjoyable.
 

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Self Taught

My dad died when I was 3, and my mom, rest of family was indifferent to shooting. Dad left me a .45 service revolver, a .22 H&R revolver, and a .30-06 rifle. Mom bought me a shotgun when a friend and his dad invited me to go duck hunting. blazed away, but I only got a a few birds. I do remember taking the .22 and the .30-06 out to the river in high school for a comairison test on a block of ice. Needless to say, I was very impressed by the recoil AND power of the .30-06.
Got into shooting a bit more in college, bought a glock 9mm, colt trooper.357. Faded in and out of shooting till I moved to Colorado. got more interested in shooting and finally got a 1911. Bad news. Got the bug bad now, up to 6 pistols/revolvers and habitually drop into my favorite stores "Just to see" what they have. Don't belong to a range, I usually shoot out in the national forest. Ocassionaly go to indoor ranges to tweek or if it's too cold outside.
Teaching my boys to shoot. Priceless.
 

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My father rarely ever shot guns when I was growing up. I think we actually went twice together, shooting .22 rifles out on our lake property. He always has owned them, though. Several .22's, a single barrel 12ga., and a couple of other shotguns. He has let me borrow his S&W M&P a couple times to take it out shooting. His firearms, along with my grandfather's interest in hunting (he was too old to take me by the time I was old enough to go) got me into it. I had a BB gun of my own by 12, then I would mostly shoot my friends .22 rifle in the back yard, or his 20ga. at the annual skeet shoot they had before opening dove season.

When I was about 19, I was out on my own, so I bought a little .25acp from a friend to carry everywhere. Then a little RG(?) .22short revolver. After that, I just had to have more. Since then, my Dad has given me my gun inheritance early, I've added lots more to the collection, and Dad is going to the range with me as soon as our schedules will allow it.:rock:
 
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