First Experience Shooting


March 5, 2003, 11:29 PM
How was everyone here brought into this sport (or family of sports)? Through family? Friends? Walmart?
I imagine for most people it was family, but it wasn't for me.

My family is fairly indifferent to guns. Not outright against them, but not doing anything for them either. Being in NYC, gun ownership was not a big enough priority to bother with.

Around the neighborhood, my friends and I played "guns" where we ran around pretending to shoot each other with anything that remotely looked like a gun. (although none of us actually ever saw a gun except for a revolutionary war musket or something). A solid diet of Arnold Shwarzenegger movies and a lot of manhunt and "guns" left me enthralled with the concept of guns, although wanting in ownership.

It wasn't until 4 or so years ago (I was already a couch commando by then, if not a chairborn ranger) that I picked up a .30-06 from a Walmart in Florida (I was working at a zoo down there for the summer). Mind you, my only experience with "real guns" was in the movies. The .30-06 cartridge looked tiny, as it still can today, when compared to the monstrous things you see on the big screen. (guess i neglected to account for scale :P )

So anyway, according to me, a .30-06 wasnt that big. After buying a remington model 700 adl and some ammo (at the same time, no less) I showed it to one of my co-workers who was, and still is, the most knowledgable person regarding firearms I know, and he took me out "shooting". I had been talking big all week about how managable a .30-06 was, so when I asked him if I needed ear protection, he said "Naw, that theres just a plinkin' cartridge" or something to that effect.

At 75 yards I drew a bead on the plastic Poland Spring bottle I wanted to rub out of existence, steadied myself and squeezed the trigger. KABOOM! My ears rang, my shoulder felt like it was broken, I damn near dropped the rifle, and almost passed out. I turned around and my friend was sitting there, laughing his a$$ off at me, with his fingers stuck firmly in his ears. I stumbled over to the truck, put the rifle on the bench and sat down next to it, after a few minutes the ringing in my ears went down enough so that I could hear him still laughing.

"That thirty aught ain't so small now, is it.."

I learned more about gun safety, respect for firearms, and NEED FOR EAR PROTECTION in those 5 minutes than I did in the hunters safety course I took a few months later.

After taking ample time to recover, we checked the bottle. I had oblitterated the cap (not where I was aiming, but I was so happy I hit it.) He offered me a set of ear plugs (which I still use) and proceded to teach me some of the proper ways to shoot while standing, kneeling, sitting, and prone. It took me a month to get rid of the flinch tho.

Since then, I've brought 3 friends from shooting indifferent families into the shooting sports (without the trial by fire that I got).

Any other experiences?


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March 5, 2003, 11:38 PM
that's hilarious! it reminds me so much of my intro to guns...

i was born and raised in los angeles, so guns weren't a real big part of our (mine and my brothers') day-to-day lives. we would vacation to s. dakota, where we would occasionally meet some uncles who were really into firearms...

well, my brother and i had our gun education through the movies, and just knew we could handle guns responsibly (i was probably 10 at the time), and that guns were no big deal. we begged our uncle to take us out so we could show him what we knew...

my uncle loaded the 357 magnum loads into the ruger revolver for us, and did not offer us hearing protection (we would've declined, anyway)...the rest of the story is about the same as yours...

the learning experience was invaluable.

March 5, 2003, 11:42 PM
Got my Grandmother's .410 for my 5th birthday. I could shoot it with Dad holding the butt and using Mom's shoulder for a rest.

Here's me and Dad and my nephew (age 8) workin' to make shooters out of the next generation.

March 6, 2003, 12:16 AM
Welcome to the collective! My 1st shooting experience was when a cousin turned legal age & he bought a lever action 30-30. We Shot that afternoon and we couldn't have had bigger dmber grins on our mugs...:D and it has only gotten better!

Malone LaVeigh
March 6, 2003, 12:34 AM
Some friend. You might have gotten permanent inner ear damage.

When I was a kid, no one ever thought about hearing protection. These days I've noticed myself saying, "What?" a lot...

March 6, 2003, 12:36 AM
I'm glad I wasnt the only one that was taught gun safety that way. The first and only time I've heard a gunshot like that.
Wouldnt be the first ear damage I have gotten. Already got tinitus from fireworks when I was a wee little runt with some m-80s.


Mark Benningfield
March 6, 2003, 01:04 AM
Hello All.

Yep, my first big one was a .30-06 also. I was twelve, and all I had shot up to then was my .22 rifle. I was getting pretty good with it, so I kept bugging my step-father to let me shoot his deer rifle. He kept saying, "That ain't no .22, son. Why don't you wait awhile yet." Well, I kept after him like only a kid can (much like mine do today) and he finally said, "Okay, hotshot. Let's go see." I should have realized right then that I was in over my head. We went out back and he set a pop can up on the fence and said, "There it is. See if you can hit it." Well, it would have been a fall-down easy shot with my .22 Marlin Model 60 -- about 20 yards -- so I puffed up a bit and thought "No sweat." I managed to hit the fence post, anyhow. The only thing that kept me on my feet was my step-father standing behind me. I swore that I had been kicked by horses that weren't that strong! Suffice to say, I was quite content with my .22 for some time after that. :D

March 6, 2003, 01:05 AM
About age 5, dad sat me down and we had a talk. He said, "Son, only G-d almighty has the power to give life. With this gun, you have the power to take it. ALWAYS be mindful of that. Never so much as point this gun at anything you're not ready to shoot, keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot, be sure you're not shooting at anything that can't take the bullet without a ricochet, and ALWAYS treat this gun like it's loaded." With that, he handed me grandad's old .22 pistol, and we spent the afternoon slaughtering beer cans. It was the most fun I've ever had.

For my 12th birthday, dad gave me my very own .22 rifle, a Craftsman toolbox, and a set of wrenches. I got that exact same talk once again, then dad kicked me out of the house with a brick of .22 and a stack of paper plates. He had to come find me that night out in the woods. Evidently I had missed lunch... and dinner... and bedtime... and I was still blasting away. I still feel that way when I go off in the woods with a brick of ammo for some quality man-rifle time. I can't wait until I have a child. According to dad, seeing me so happy about that was more satisfying than what I got out of the deal.

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