When did you get into firearms?


May 18, 2005, 11:27 AM
When did you get into firearms? Even though my dad was a small arms instructor for the military I never got into into them until my late 20's.

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May 18, 2005, 11:30 AM
Don't remember a time without them

May 18, 2005, 11:59 AM
My dad used to be a gunsmith before transitioning into being a Machinist/Tool & Die maker. Sometime around my 3rd birthday, (1977) I received a plastic 1911 replica with safety, removable loadable magazine, working slide, and little plastic cartridges that would fire a plastic bullet a short distance, and then eject the "brass" when you worked the slide. I loved that toy.

But they say the cobbler's children have no shoes, and so it was that I never fired a gun until I was almost 19. 5 rounds out of a 4" S&W Model 28 kicked so hard, I thought twice about trying my Series 70 1911. After all, I reasoned, 45 hundreths of an inch must kick harder than 38 hundreths, right? When I fired the .45, and that slabsided heavy frame soaked up all that recoil, I fell in love.

Didn't shoot again until I was at Edsen Range a few years later learing to fire the M16A2. Then aboard MCAS Yuma, I was trained to use the Marine Wingmasters in '99. Later that year, I experienced my first dove season.

After my kids were born, my borderline anti-gun wife decided that mommas need to know how to shoot so we got her a gun, and I taught her to shoot.

When my son turned 5, we practiced the four rules and some target shooting with a pellet gun. Now as soon as I find him a pistol he can fire, or a rifle with a short enough LOP, he will learn to shoot .22LR.

May 18, 2005, 12:08 PM
My Dad started to teach my younger brother and I the basics of shooting and gun safety with the old Winchester ss .22 BA he had as a kid when I was eight.

When I was ten, his Iver Johnson ss .410 became mine, and I learned to hunt small game and quail with it. Dad, my uncles, some older cousins and I would gather almost every weekend during the season to tramp the woods and fields of Henry Co., MO.

I still have that old .410. Retired and sadly in need of restoration after nearly eighty years, it is my touchstone to the people and places of happier memory.

May 18, 2005, 12:35 PM
A friend got me into them in the last few years. I was 28 when I got my LTC.

Guns were never in my house growing up. Now my mom has said she'd like to try skeet shooting.

Gus Dddysgrl
May 18, 2005, 12:42 PM
I think Dad always had guns, but I didn't go shooting until my cousin was into them in his early teens. His interest resurfaced my dad's interest. Cause he talked about shooting out at his house we went one day and were shooting out there for a while. Now dad tries to go on his lunch breaks. I got more into them when I got older and was able to buy my own. Otherwise it was only when I could go shoot at my cousins that I would go.


Vern Humphrey
May 18, 2005, 12:43 PM
I had a BB gun when I was about 6. My dad and mother were divorced at that time (they later got back together) and Dad worked in the oil exploration business. For two years he was in Ethopia, and collected quite a few antelope, a cheetah, and so on -- he was always a hunter.

Later on after they remarried we went to Peru. I had a pellet rifle there. Then we went to Egypt, where Dad was manager for operations in the Western Desert. We went to all the battlefields, and found among other things a BMW motorcycle, complete with side car and MG 32. We got both motorcycle and MG up and running, and the Egyptian Army confiscated the latter.

Later on, when I found a working Bren gun, I was more circumspect -- but Dad wouldn't let me try to smuggle it back into the states.

In '56, Dad retired and we ran about 250 head of cattle on 3,500 acres in Arkansas. I spent most of my time in the saddle, with a .30-30 in the saddle boot -- Dad's gun, but mine by adverse possession. I killed a lot of deer while out looking for cattle in the woods.

By the time I joined the Army, I had been using real guns for about a decade or so.

May 18, 2005, 12:45 PM
I became interested in the real thing at about 12.

Bartholomew Roberts
May 18, 2005, 12:48 PM
Had a Daisy 881 when I was 7 and a Marlin Model 60 when I was 12.

May 18, 2005, 01:02 PM
When I was 13 my uncle gave me a 03A3 that had been sportized by his father. Thing kicked like a mule at that age. After 38 years I passed it on to my 13 year old nephew who still thinks it kicks like a mule.

May 18, 2005, 01:03 PM
I was 5 shooting cans with my dads old Marlin 22 semi...
I was 8 shooting cans with my dads Model 94 30-30 and my Stevens 410 Break-over
I was 10 shooting my Winchester 120 Ranger 20 gauge pump.

I was 17 and joined the Army to be in Armor...wanted the biggest gun I could get to shoot alot. :)

All I need now is to have a son to start the cycle over again as my dad would want me to. :)


May 18, 2005, 01:28 PM
My Dad had firearms in the house for as long as I can remember. As kids we knew not to touch them and before long I had a nice new Crossman BB Gun. Oh how I loved to shoot that thing. While I was able to shoot with my dad as I was a teenager, it was only with long guns. I never shot a handgun until I qualified with a 38 and 45 when I was in the Navy.

Even after I got out of the military I still just shot long guns. It wasn't until my Uncle passed away in the early 90s that I got into handguns. Reason was is that my Uncle left me his S&W M15 that was his service revolver when he was a local LEO back in the late 60s. Then the handgun bug struck BAD!!! :D

I've been shooting anything I can get my hands on ever since then. :rolleyes:

May 18, 2005, 01:35 PM
Bought my first shotgun the day I turned 18, my first handgun the day I turned 21.

My dad owned a revolver for family protection but didn't really like guns. So I had to take matters into my own hands.

May 18, 2005, 01:38 PM
Mostly recent exposure, as my folks aren't pro-gun at all. Basically, I've had an interest in firearms from the time I was 10 or so, then around age 16 I found this website. I registered soon after, and finally got to go to the range for the first time a year or so ago.

May 18, 2005, 01:43 PM
I voted "in my teens". Still in them, actually. I knew there was a shotgun(I now know it is a Remington 11 in 20 gauge, 1948 production) in the house and I had been partially briefed on it by my father. The first part of this lesson was "don't touch it or I'll beat you back into the womb", the second was being shown the insides of a shotshell. Dad even lit the powder to show up what it was like. I didn't even think about touching it after that. :D

My younger brother and I had bugged our dad to taking us hunting since I was 9 or so. Things got in the way, lands closed, etc. But eventually my dad asked if I wanted a shotgun. I think I was 14. I had a working idea of how guns worked. But being curious I hit the net. Somehow along the way that morphed shotgun into an M48A. ;) Then an SKS for the cheap ammo. Then a CETME, just because. And here I be, still without the shotgun. I'll fix that soon enough. Then I need a .357 revolver. Then a .45ACP semi-auto. Then a... :evil:

May 18, 2005, 03:11 PM
I was always "around" guns from as early as I can remember. My Dad had a Winchester Model 12 and a Marlin 39A lever action .22, and we'd plink cans and junk down by the river. We'd go bird hunting with my grandfather and uncles in the fall. When I was 8, I lusted after my first BB gun, which I received for Christmas that year.

I didn't buy a gun of my own, though, until after I got married at age 21. My collection grew slowly until about age 36, when I began to collect them at an accelerated pace. :D

May 18, 2005, 03:17 PM
As a teenager, I had a BB rifle, and was a member of my high school rifle team. When I turned 21 I bought two things I couldn't previously purchase legally: A S&W 28 .357 mag, and a bottle of Champaign. I sold the 28, regretted it, then bought another. Still have that one.

My second gun was a Ruger Blackhawk in .44 mag. Shooting the .357 and .44 created some very bad habits that took years to correct. I really should have started with a .22 to learn correct gun handling habits, but I was young, dumb, and overly macho at the time! :banghead:

May 18, 2005, 03:19 PM
They've always kind of been around. Always was "into" them, though for a short time before my teen years I was deathly afraid of ricochets and the like. Not sure why. I had shot a .22 more than once before that.

May 18, 2005, 03:23 PM
Shot my first gun at about 5 or 6 when my dad would come around. He would drop by on the weekends or when I had a day off of school. Fired my old .22 Chipmunk around 30 times while I was growing up.

Me and my dad grew apart after I hit 14, he was living his own life and doing what he thought was most important I guess. Never really fired a gun after that .22 chipmunk when I was 7 or 8 at the latest. Fast forward to my 20th birthday. By now I'm an avid WWII, WWI history type and can't get enough of the subject. So why not get something that resembles the KAR98, thus introduced to my new Yugo M48 I take to the range... where I proceed to make a fool out of myself. Fired 40 rounds out of that gun and I think the black and blues have just finally gone away.

Dave R
May 18, 2005, 04:44 PM
I wish there were multiple answers allowed. I grew up with them. I was a killer shot with the ol' BB gun and pellet gun.

My wife bought me a .22 and a 12ga during our first year of marriage.

Then I forgot about 'em for a couple of decades. We moved a lot for jobs, and I never caught onto the shooting scene in the new places.

Then I moved to Idaho. Turned me into a gun nut again.

May 18, 2005, 05:49 PM
First time I ever fired a gun: last month =)

I'm 19.

suburbia sucks.


May 18, 2005, 05:53 PM
Guns have just always been around. Dad and all the uncles always have shot/hunted, so it was kinda normal for me. Dad took me out in the yard at 6 or seven with his Marlin 39, and then my very own Marlin 15. There's a picture at my parent's house of me, age 18 months, holding my Dad's flattop Ruger Blackhawk. (OK, kinda cradling it) You can see that the cylinder is empty, but Sarah Brady would crap herself if she saw it.

I'm gonna inherit that Marlin 39 someday, and cry.

May 18, 2005, 05:57 PM
The usual story: guns around when I was a kid, BB gun when I was 9 or so, rifle league when I was 12.

My own guns had to wait until I finished college.

May 18, 2005, 06:17 PM
After playing Counterstrike...

May 18, 2005, 06:59 PM
My father has always hunted so I grew up watching him clean rifles and shotguns and load cartridges. The first time he took me out shooting I was so little he had to help me support the weight of the gun. It was a 20 gauge Remington pump shot gun, I do not remember the model number.

May 18, 2005, 07:42 PM
We had to use them to fight off the British.

bad LT
May 18, 2005, 07:50 PM
Us "youngins" bow to men of your age and obvious firearms experience (with a brown bess musket) MoeMentum.

May 18, 2005, 07:59 PM
There were always guns in the house, but ole 41 Redhawk didn't get me seriously shooting until my teens.

Ala Dan
May 18, 2005, 08:03 PM

At the ripe old age of 21~

May 18, 2005, 08:12 PM
I grew up with my Old Mans guns in my bedroom closet. Un-locked. I used to bust his butt, "Dad, can we clean the guns?". "We ain't shot 'em". "Yeah, but still....".

I never was not into firearms. :) :) :)

Tom Servo
May 18, 2005, 08:26 PM
Since I was 6 or 7. I had to be just big enough to handle some recoil. Most of my ancestors died in war or opression in Europe at some point, so it was only natural that my family took the 2A VERY seriously we came here.

Father gave me a pistol in my late teens, and I bought my own when I turned 21.

May 18, 2005, 08:51 PM
As far back as I can remember there were guns in the house. Shot my first one before I waas even big enough to hold the gun up. My dad held the rifle and I squeezed the trigger. I must have been 4 or 5 at the time.

May 18, 2005, 09:06 PM
Grew up with them

Bartholomew Roberts
May 18, 2005, 11:21 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen, the results of this poll are pretty obvious. The earlier you get introduced to firearms, the more likely it is to take. If you want to secure your children's future, you had best do what you can to make shooting an enjoyable experience for more than your children.

2nd Amendment
May 19, 2005, 12:42 AM
There were always guns in the house while I was growing up(none of them locked up, BTW). I had a gaggle of BB guns before I got the real thing. But I didn't really get "into" guns until the AWB. I had my CCW and had this or that over the years but the ban made me sit up, take notice and spend stupid sums of money I could not afford. :)

May 19, 2005, 01:07 AM
I was always "aware" of firearms thanks to my late Grandfather (I was raised by my Grandparents until I was 14). He always owned guns (former Marine) however, he was not really an active shooter until a few yrs after my Grandmother passed away.

I was 17 the first time I shot a rifle and handgun. The rifle was a 30-06 bolt action and the handgun was a .357 mag.

After I turned 18 I bought my first rifle. A Marlin .22 bolt action (currently owned by my Godson).

My hobby did not really kick into high gear until I turned 24. Oh so many years, guns, and dollars ago.

Some of the best times I had was shooting with my Grandfather. His 45 against my 45. He is the reason there will always be a 1911 in my collection. (off subject buy had to say it).

May 19, 2005, 01:35 AM
I first fired a rifle when I was about 10 or so at summer camp. I can not pick one of your choices though because none fit simply because I certainly did not grow up with them.

May 19, 2005, 02:13 AM
Started hunting with family at an early age, but didn't start purchasing and being interested until after a 4yr stint in the military (22 yrs old).

1911 guy
May 19, 2005, 04:24 AM
with guns and learned to be safe before I learned to shoot. Dad let me "help" clean his guns when I was little and drilled it into me. My son had a bolt .22 in my cabinet before he was born. A noble legacy for a noble people - good old American mutts. :)

May 19, 2005, 05:42 AM
Growing up, it was just me and my mom. Still I don't remember a time when I didn't have a bb gun and then a 22 rifle. That is until my mother passed away, and I was no longer allowed to have anything more dangerous than a pellet gun. Then I got to fire some really heavy stuff in the military. After that I lost interes for about 12 years, until I just recently got back into weapons again. Have never really been into handguns, but thats all I own right now. I have a couple more handguns on my wishlist, then after that I have about 3 rifles on my wishlist. I got bitten by the gun bug.

Commissar Gribb
May 19, 2005, 06:30 AM
My dad always had a shotgun around the house for home defense and occasionally went hunting with his dad but I never shot a firearm till I was about 13 at boy scout summer camp. I dont think I'll ever forget how lousy those .22's were.

When I was 16, me, my cousin, my dad and uncle went shooting and I shot my first .38spec. I remember it felt like the revolver was trying to jump out of my hand!

for my 18th birthday, my Dad bought me a ruger 10/22- I remember not being able to hit a thing with it at the pit where we used to shoot. Good memories though.

After I joined the airforce, he bought me my Bushy AR-15 as a present. We were surprised they made such great quality firearms in our own state! After this, I was hooked on EBR's! I took it home after shooting it and stripped and cleaned it like I did with my service rifle after qualifying in basic training.

Last year, my dad bought me a S&W mod 645 as a present for when I got back from Iraq. It's always been one of my favorite shooters and got me into autopistols. :evil:

I remember he always said the one rifle he always wished he could get was an M1 Garand and this year I'm gonna surprise him! I know it's just a small repayment.

May 19, 2005, 08:21 AM
Although I shot competitively for two years in college, I didn't really "get into firearms" until I married the daughter of an outdoorsman. My wife and father-in-law bought me my first gun (Mossberg 500). He and I started hunting together, and I took my first whitetail with one of his rifles. Wanting to hunt with something other than a slug gun in "shotgun only" areas got me interested in handguns. Then a friend introduced me to Mas Ayoob's Lethal Force Institute, and I started reading about the history and Constitutionality of firearms and the rest, as they say, is history.

41 Redhawk
May 19, 2005, 01:33 PM
There were always guns in the house, but ole 41 Redhawk didn't get me seriously shooting until my teens.
That's cuz he was broke raising you :neener:

May 20, 2005, 01:41 AM
I started getting into firearms at age 14, after a friend and his mom taught me to shoot first on an air rifle, then with a .22LR rifle.

My father, although no longer owning and carrying a gun and not planning to do so again any time soon, allowed me to learn how to shoot and gun safety, and even put me through a firearms safety course at that time. He was going to buy an air rifle or .22 for me to practice with, but my mother, who is vehemently against firearms (long and rather stupid story I'm not going to get into) was totally against it, so it ended up that my father kept me away from guns altogether (he follows the, "Yes dear! Whatever you say dear!" theory of happy marraige LOL).

At about age 18 my friend bought a .22 rifle to plink and target shoot with, and I re-learned my marksmanship skills once again. Anytime he got the bug to shoot, I chipped in a box of rounds and we made an entire day of it.

At 22, I decided I wanted a gun, but my grandmother (who I was living with at the time) was (and still is) more anti-gun than my mother. So no firearms or CCw/LTC for me until I moved out on my own, but she was willing to allow an airgun, so I picked up a Crosman 3576W air pistol and would probably go through a 5-pack of CO2 cylinders and a 500-round box of pellets per week plinking cans, bottles, or anything else I could find to "pop off".

I finally moved out to my own apartment at 25, but my then-fiancé (I ended up dumping her) was also totally against guns, and told me if I brought a gun in our home she would pack and leave. Wish I would have gotten the gun then!

At 26, after dumping the controlling fiancé, and after her new boyfriend starting making threats against me, I decided that it was time to purchase a gun, and my co-worker made me a good offer on a .38 snub-nose ($100 for a 20-rounds-fired-only Weirauch/EAA Windicator) that I couldn't pass up. I filled my long-time desire and NOW necessity to be able to protect myself (should new boyfriend decided to get stupidly-brave). I practiced at least 3-4 times per week (now down to once a month unfortunately) and became nicely proficient with the revolver.

That started the "gun bug," and I don't see it stopping anytime soon. I just bought a DA/SA compact .45 last February, and from there it will be a 1911, a .357 mag., an AR-15 or AK-47, a .308, a 12-ga. shottie, etc., etc., :D


May 20, 2005, 08:41 AM
Depends what you mean by "got into them".....

Dad and Granddads were big bird hunters. Uncles too. Guns were always around. Had my first BB guns around 6 or so. Was allowed to get the .22 and go off by myself by 10. Spent me hours roaming the ranch shooting things....anything. Kinda got bored with guns in my teens other than bird season and the occasional rabbit killing, I didn't shoot or hunt much.

After marriage, (and having a little more disposable income) I started buying some new and different guns and getting back into them some.
Then came my first gun school and my first semi auto handgun :what: That was the catalyst that made me nuts. Started buying lots of guns and having a ball with them. Opened up a whole new world of fun.

Haven't slowed down since.


Edited to add:

This whole interent thing where you guys post pictures of fancy guns (and rare guns, and custom guns, and old guns, etc) hasn't exactly helped my sickness any.

May 20, 2005, 09:31 AM
I was hooked by age 10 or 11. Fired a .22 at boy scout camp and that was all she wrote... I grew up in the middle of nowhere Nebraska so I was always around someone shooting something, but was until my family moved to PA that I actually shot for myself. Started reading every gun publication I could find until I weaseled an agreement with my parents about a pellet gun (Used crosman 3576 from a friend for 10 bucks, but only after passing the PA hunter safety course!) Built a small indoor range in the basement of our house.
Some odd time later was given a .22 by my aunt & uncle. Learned that CCI CB Longs are a hell of a lot more fun to shoot because I didn't have to freeze my hand to a CO2 cylinder every 30 or so shots. Same uncle that gave me the 22 took me out shooting pistols when I was about 12 or 13, that just served to solidify my love of shooting. (Couldn't shoot his S&W 41 to save my life but could put .38 wadcutters & .45 FMJ through the X every time.) Used my high school graduation money to invest in the Mossberg 590 I always wanted. Some odd years later realized I found the woman of my dreams when she bought me my first Mauser for Christmas. Now I'm addicted to C&Rs. It's a slippery slope I tell ya...

We now have a new addition to the family (25 days old today actually) to pass on this hobby to. Can't wait until she's old enough to learn... :D :cool:

Edit: I'll second what Smoke said, the internet doesn't help this addiction any...

May 21, 2005, 12:21 AM
Around 1966 or so. I was about 10 years old and saw my father's pistol for the first time. Colt Pocket .32 Auto. It's mine now, of course, but that little gun (seemed huge at the time) instilled in me a hunger for more. From then it was .22 rifles, shotguns, anything I could shoot that belonged to somebody else until the ripe old age of 12, when my folks bought me my Stevens bolt .22. My recently returned from Vietnam brother-in-law fed my addiction with his collection and his Marine gun-ho attitude, and we spent a lot of time shooting. I'll always be indebted to him. Took me til '79 to get my first handgun, though. Naturally, another .22, but it got better. I'm starting to slow down, now.

May 21, 2005, 10:28 AM
I finally moved out to my own apartment at 25, but my then-fiancé (I ended up dumping her) was also totally against guns, and told me if I brought a gun in our home she would pack and leave. Wish I would have gotten the gun then!

LMAO--I feel your pain there brother and AMEN to that! :D

May 21, 2005, 11:13 AM
I grew up around guns. Started with a BB gun when I was 9 or 10, handguns and rifles at 15. Guns where never "evil" or "needed to be banned". I'm 31 now and I'm still not a homicidal maniac. I guess Sara Brady was wrong after all..... :p

May 21, 2005, 12:29 PM
Started shooting competition when I was 11 yrs old(Jaycee Shooter Safety program). I can't remember when I have not had a deep love of shooting.
My grandmother Enfield got me my Lee-Enfield #4Mk1 when I was 12(that one is getting passed down to the next generation). I slacked off for a while after moving to Ames. Tried Pheasent Hunting, Fell into a drainege ditch in December(kept the weapon dry!), decided that was not my bag. I really want to get into IDPA, but my work schedule has not been kind. When selling cars, it really helps to be there when the customers are there. I now have a range membership and get out at least once a week.

May 21, 2005, 02:41 PM
I was raised right!

MY High Standard Revolver was waiting on me to arrive home from being birthed. I teethed on the leather holster, sigh... had to "help" show Grandma how to shoot the durn thing when I was 3 years old. ;)

Things I did/ do for folks - I swear. :p

May 22, 2005, 09:06 AM
The very moment I saw the first "Halloween" movie. :what:

Gus Dddysgrl
May 23, 2005, 02:05 PM
38SnubFan and mrhuckins -You guys are funny. I tell the girls I know if he doesn't treat you like a queen he isn't worth your time and I tell the guys if she doesn't enjoy or at least respect your hobby she isn't worth your time.

I shot a couple of times when I was younger, but didn't get into them on mmy own till I was 20. Then when I got engaged I pulled him in with me. I also bought him his first real gun as a wedding gift. :D

Now I haven't been to the range for a while, but can't wait to get back to it.


Vern Humphrey
May 23, 2005, 02:27 PM
I shot a couple of times when I was younger, but didn't get into them on mmy own till I was 20. Then when I got engaged I pulled him in with me. I also bought him his first real gun as a wedding gift.

I was in Viet Nam for the first Christmas of our marriage. For our second Christmas (our first together), my jewel of a wife gave me a Colt Single Action in .357 Magnum. What a gal, what a gun, what a present!

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