Late Bloomers


April 15, 2003, 01:41 AM
When I was about 8 years old, I walked into my parents bedroom while they were in the living room with some company. I dont recall where I found it but I did. A revolver. Big. I didnt even know it was a gun, all I knew was that I liked it. I was facinated by the way the chambers rotated and the clicking noise it made. Its weight and its semi-shiny coating.

I walked out into the living room, completely oblivious to the people standing there and there mouths hitting the floor. I looked up from it for one second, only to see my fathers angry face and feel his hand knock me across the room. This was my first experience with a gun.

Im what you might call a late bloomer when it comes to guns. I always supported the RKBA in principal but didnt actually see the need for one until the L.A. riots and how it was affecting communities here in brooklyn. I was 32 years old when I first fired a gun. So many years past since I first picked up that revolver. And now, I find myself resentful sometimes that I didnt come from a background with positive firearms experiences. Instead of hitting me, my dad should have taught me how to shoot!!! :D

That being said, I often feel pretty small here. I own a shotgun. I know how to work it, clean it and make it perform well in the event I have to defend my life, but thats it. That was the reason I bought it right? It serves its purpose.

Because of my ignorance though, I am grateful to so many here who know much about what there is to know about firearms. Its the one thing that makes my resentment a little easier to swallow. I like to think that in the latter part of my life, I will be able to make up for the many years of not knowing the joys that comes with this freedom.

Are there any other "late bloomers" here or am I the only putz around? :cool:

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April 15, 2003, 01:53 AM
I started at 27. Dove into as many different resources as possible, then tried to filter out the garbage. Asked many people and thought out some issues.
Since then, I've owned a few guns and obtained a CHL whenever possible.
I'm not resentful of what my background lacks. I figure I learned other things that are useful to me in that time.
Now I'm learning motorcycle repair from the ground up. Someday I may build one from and old frame and engine.
Life is full of things to learn, and a lifetime to learn them.

Standing Wolf
April 15, 2003, 03:19 PM
I found my father's World War II souvenir pistol when I was nine or ten. I immediately looked it over, aimed it at the wall, and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. It didn't even go click. I figured it was broken. By and bye, I discovered how to release the magazine, and realized it was empty.

My father should have introduced me to firearms at an early age, probably starting with a BB rifle at five or six. He taught me plenty of other stuff, some useful, some not, but nothing about firearms.

In middle age, I have to figure he did the best he could with what he had. Part of what he had was a severely hoplopobic wife.

April 15, 2003, 03:33 PM
I got a late start, and I really regret it. I wasted a lot of money in my youth, and have nothing to show for it, but the memories of spending it. I didn't fire my first gun until my early 20's, and bought my 1300 around 23. Even then I still did not buy guns at a rate I wish I did. I will be sure to start my Son, and future kids out ASAP. If I only knew then what I know now:banghead:

April 15, 2003, 03:44 PM
I was 8 when I got my forst gun which I consider late because I wanted one when I was 6 :)

It's not important when you learn to play the game. It's only important that you play.

Carlos Cabeza
April 15, 2003, 03:51 PM
Gentlemen, I hate to use a cliche but you know what they say,
"Better late than never" !
With that I'll also add " Better to be SAFE than sorry"
Know your four rules about gun safety !;)

Jesse H
April 15, 2003, 04:50 PM
Started maybe 3 yrs ago, I'm 24 now. There was a time where I was scared of guns and couldn't imagine why I'd want to spend so much money on an item I would never use.

April 15, 2003, 05:59 PM
I started relitivly early but had a real bad expierance with my BB gun. My cousin snuck it out of the house and shot my best friend in the eye blinding him when I was about 11. I swore off guns for a long time after that.

About 7 years after that I purchesed a Marlin 22 and had fun with that and my old man gave me a Mossie pump 12ga the same gun my mom took a picture of me holding when I was about 3 :D and a Semi auto Mossie 12ga. I kept them for about 6yrs. Then gave them all back.

It wasn't till about 9 months ago I got back into it. Since then I have gone all the way I have purchased 7 guns got my pistol permit and I am totaly happy and broke:D I don't forsee me ever giving guns up again. They are so much fun and it gets me away from the computer. Plus theres nothing like shooting a jug full of water and watching it just about explode man what a blast.

April 15, 2003, 06:15 PM
I've never worn bloomers, so I wouldn't know... :neener:

April 15, 2003, 06:35 PM
Sorta late. My step-dad tried to get me in to guns( I was on cultural overload at the time) when I just came over in the airplane. Took me hunting (rabbits) with a work buddy of his. I still remember the event to this day. Had me shoot his .22 lr at an apple. Too bad my mom was not too keen on me and guns and him having too much free time (her 2nd marriage, his first so we know who was at a wee disadvantage). I think he liked having instant 9 year old son(s).

Did some shooting in the boy scouts, but really only got back to shooting a few years ago after my divorce, thanks to my best friend (guns, not the divorce). Had a chance to get in to it in the early 80's had I not been working 100 pct and college 100 pct.

Always been pro gun - even when I was a wee one in the former fatherland. Have pics of me and my brother and our toy silver revolvers that our step-dad to be gave us when he was stationed in Germany.

Peter Gun
April 15, 2003, 06:37 PM
I never shot until I was 25. I came from a strange mix of medico/military family. I was always into all things military, but I had been indoctrinated w/ the "guns are for law enforcement and military only" theory. I decided that was wrong. My mother and sister (nurses) are always trying to ridicule me about it, but I think my dad (retired navy doctor) really wants to shoot with me, but cant say so.

Navy joe
April 15, 2003, 08:54 PM
In between for me. Shot guns at an early age infrequently, had airguns I shot a lot. Bought an AR and bolt .308 when I was 19-20 but they got shot maybe once a year. got divorced at 25, bought lots of guns so there wouldn't be money tempting another party in the bank; also as cheap therapy, haven't looked back.

My dad did such a good job scaring safety into me that my early handgun experiences were hard, nervous, elevated heart rate and all that, almost an anti- response.

Night- , your dad undoubtedly did the right thing by knocking you across the room. You always associated with the gun, but the real lesson was in the safety aspect of not accessing guns you weren't supposed to. As a result you grew up as one kid who didn't accidentally shoot another. The next day he should have taught you to shoot, but then and there he got his message out. Nowadays some folks put trigger locks on guns and lie to themselves that the kiddies don't know about the key, combo, or whatever.

Don Gwinn
April 15, 2003, 09:10 PM
Your dad wasn't mad at you, he was filling his drawers at the thought of you killing yourself with that gun because he let you find that gun.

April 15, 2003, 09:17 PM
Have had a pistol of one type or another for about 15 years. But when Michigan became a shall issue state and I got my ccw I realy statred to spend money. Went from one pistol and a 22 rifle to 8 pistols three rifles and a shotgun. It is very addictive. My wife's desire for a new kitchen lost out to my desire for new guns. Oh forgot to mention the ammo dump I have in the house.

April 15, 2003, 09:29 PM
I started 1 month after my 21st Birthday...I turn 22 in July ;)

April 15, 2003, 09:39 PM
and aimed one of them, a cocked and loaded .22, at my father after he had beaten me in a drunken rage. I was 9 or 10. I told him he had best never beat me again. He didn't.

I hunted with my high school friends until they discovered beer and whiskey and decided a day in the field wasn't complete without a flask in their pockets or a 12-pack in the truck. Because of this, I stopped hunting at about 17.

I went to college, went straight into grad school, and took a job that had me living out of a suitcase for 7 years. No chance to shoot.

Finally, 11 years ago, I married and settled down. I started pistol shooting after taking a class about 4 years ago, got my concealed carry license, and now have 2 revolvers, 4 pistols, an M1 Garand, a scoped Ruger 10/22 and a Anschutz 1903 target rifle, used mainly by my 14-year-old stepson for competition. My daughter has a Daisy 499B BB rifle, "the most accurate BB gun made", according to Daisy.

I still consider myself a newbie.

Magnum PI
April 15, 2003, 09:57 PM
At 32 yrs of age now, I consider myself a late bloomer to the gun world....but to no amazing surprise since I grew up in NJ (anti-gun central), had an anti-gun upbringing, no hunters at all even in my extended family, as well no military either. A bunch of SAPS for the most part!

I had an interest in firearms as a teenager as one of my father's acquaintences was a hunter, and took me phesant hunting once (as an observer) and ended up dishing a stack of hunting shooting magazines on me. I have been reading gun rags ever since and still remember the Stainless Colt Mk IV Trooper on the cover of one of them.

Anyway, as I became less sheltered from my family, I was able to meet others with similar interests and have been buying firarms since I was 21 where I worked part time at a sporting goods store. I found myself to be one of the most gun knowledgable people there (with little to no ACTUAL experience) from all the reading!

Since then, I have found that my social acquaintences all tend to be "shooters", "hunters", "LEO's" etc. In NJ, I think the "interest" is so relatively uncommon that pro-gunners really gravitate towards one another. So many people here think guns should be banned and it's purely because they have had no POSITIVE exposure to firearms. Just the 6:00 news and the top Philly shootings each night. Truly a shame.

Well, if I'm lucky I'll be able to move out of NJ in the near future and begin to enjoy the outdoors and the shooting sports more in life. Wish me luck!


April 15, 2003, 10:32 PM
I waited till I was 25, 12-5-01 I bought my first gun, HK USP .45F, I now own 12 Pistols, 2 Rifles and 3 Shotguns. Playing catch-up is interesting. Dad finally is going with me on this(skeet) Shot a BB gun a few times as a kid, but never got anywhere with the rents. Times a changing.


Jim March
April 16, 2003, 01:33 PM
Didn't shoot at all until 25; bought a couple of lousy guns, got turned off, in 1997 when some excrement seriously hit a rotary air movement device and I had crooks hunting me, I applied for a CCW permit thinking I could buy another gun once approved for "good cause" - needless to say, I wasn't "elite" enough and had to go in hiding for a bit. Meanwhile bought some better guns, got serious about RKBA, filed my first lawsuit in early '99, haven't looked back.

Am 37 now.

April 16, 2003, 05:10 PM
Who here can beat my Dad's lateness??

Until he hit 46 he was middle of the road/slightly anti. Then 9/11 happened, he did some research on the net, and snagged a CHL, handgun, and rifle in the span of about 3 months. He still shoots for fun with my grandfather, my brother and I.
Grampa got my brother and I started. We've been shooting BB guns since 10 and .22s since 11.

April 17, 2003, 10:38 AM
I was 30 when I started and I certainly didn't grow up around guns. The closest thing was when my father bought a S&W semi-auto for home protection when I was about 14. He couldn't take it apart... but I could. It was quite a while before he ever shot that gun.

The nice thing about starting later is that I had the intelligence to choose wisely. I'm very happy with all of my purchases and avoided wasting money on silly things.

April 17, 2003, 10:43 AM
My Dad never had a firearm in the house. He tell me that if I wante one, I'd have to get one when I got old enough w/ my own money. Well, when I turned 21, I bought my first handgun & haven't looked back since.

April 17, 2003, 10:53 AM
I am 32 and am in the midst of the permit process of NYC right now. My grandfather was a NYC detective for over 20 years and was hired to handle security measures at Shea stadium for 10 years before retiring in 1986 when the Mets won the WS. The players chipped in and bought him a WS ring for his retirement.

HE always wore a .38 snubby in his holster until the day he retired. He sold it to a neighboring police officer. The thing I remember is always knowing it was Grandpa's gun. It was never ignored, disguised, or frowned upon. I was 12 when he called me into the kitchen once. He took out the revolver and unloaded the bullets. He then put it in my hands and explained how it all worked. He then explained to me that it can kill you and should never be handled without his supervision. IT IS NOT A TOY.

He then told me stories of all the times this item in my hands saved his life and I should thank it because he would not be here today without it.

He grew very sick and passed away without me every really taking an interest in firearms, until recently. Part of me wants to locate the PO who bought that pistol so I could see if I get it back for a fee. I think it would be great to own a piece of personal history again. I hope to continue this with my own kids someday. I am not in law enforcement but respect the people in uniform because they will be somebody's grandparents someday too.

I have learned soo much already from THR and TFL and I hope to add to this great forum too. Keep up the great work.

April 17, 2003, 11:00 AM
My mother and father were avid shooters and reloaders. They have pictures of me popping primers while still in diapers.

First went shooting in kindergarten. Promptly put a .22 shell into the hood of Dad's Toyota Hilux pickup (gun was a Ruger Mk. II and it was HEAVY). Folks laughed at that.

He joked about that day until he passed last April.

Safety First
April 17, 2003, 11:37 AM
Nightwatch, I grew up with rifles and shotguns for hunting purposes, but even at that I am much a novice about hunting guns. I had no interest at all in handguns until after 9-11. After that I guess I became a little more aware of the need for everyone to own a personal defense weapon,and not just to be safe from terrorist but any BG who would do me or my family harm. So after much thought and research I purchased a handgun late last year. I feel it was a wise decision and fully realize the importance of the 2nd amendment and in that regard I guess I to am a late bloomer. But better late than "too late " and as long as we learn how to safely handle/keep our weapons and train with them we are better off having them than not. Amen?

Safety First
April 17, 2003, 11:47 AM
Good story, I would ecourage you to pursue trying to find your grandfathers handgun for you and posterity. I only own one item that belonged to my grandfather (mothers dad) and that was his S&W .32 snub nose issued to him as his side arm in ww1,he was a medic. Of course I would not depend on it as defensive weapon but there are'nt enough Tea leaves in China to buy it either.. So give it a shot (no pun intended) and see if you can find it..

Partisan Ranger
April 17, 2003, 02:14 PM
I shot rifles, shotguns and a couple of pistols at my grandparents' house when I was 7-12 years old. My dad taught me to shoot. Until about 6 months ago, I hadn't shot a gun since I was 15.

I have become a hard right conservative in recent years (thus my handle) and my interest in guns is largely philosophical and political. I simply believe in my bones that the Bill of Rights is sacred and the right to bear arms is the last defense we have.

Because of financial reasons, I still don't have a pistol, although I've come very close to (pardon the pun) pulling the trigger at a couple of gun shows.

Yet, I have a CCW! I bet I'm the only CCW holder on this board who DOESN'T own a gun. Again, to me, having a CCW is important just because I so strongly believe in the right to bear arms.

April 17, 2003, 03:00 PM
Partisan Ranger wrote
I simply believe in my bones that the Bill of Rights is sacred and the right to bear arms is the last defense we have.Nicely put, Partisan Ranger. Very close to how I would put it.

I fired my first pistol at age 48. My parents gave me a .22 rifle when I was 10 or so, but as Southern California became more crowded, places to shoot slowly disappeared.

I now have two pistols in addition to my .22 rifle, but since I can pretty much only shoot at indoor ranges, the .45 (HD) is about all I shoot now.

I've tried to get a CCW. No go. If we ever win the fight to make California a "Shall Issue" state, I'll have one ASAP.

Gordon Fink
April 17, 2003, 03:49 PM
I was 30 when I bought my first firearm, a 9×19mm handgun. Several family members did own guns when I was younger, but I was only peripherally aware of this fact. (I didn’t really know about my father’s extensive collection until he decided to sell it.)

After I married my wife, I began to think more seriously about home defense. Until then, I had supported “reasonable” gun-control measures, but as I researched the question more thoroughly in preparation for acquiring my first firearm, I came to realize that there are very few reasonable restrictions.

Now, I am entirely pro-gun. I own several firearms, have received training, and shoot regularly. Last month, I went to my first gun show … with my dad.

~G. Fink

April 17, 2003, 04:07 PM
I bought my first gun last year, and I was 24. I didn't grow up in a "gun" family, and came over from the other side so to speak. If I had more money, I'd have more guns. But for now my .40 and my 12g will have to do!

April 17, 2003, 05:57 PM
Grew up with bb guns and had a range in the attic. Didn't get my first real gun (Ruger single six) until age 30. Shot as a kid at an uncle's and in the Boy Scouts and occasionally with freinds when I was in my twenties and thirties.

When I was 48 (1999) I got my first larger caliber handgun - 9mm. Since then the collection has grown exponentially as has my political awareness and activism. I've always been pro gun, but never politically aware of all the bad things happening to us until the past few years.

Entered my first competition this year at 51. Snubby's at 25 yards. Came in 6th out of 10. 4 of the 1st 5 are people who always win club matches, so I felt pretty good.

Sorry I didn't get into it sooner. Never have enough time (or money) to shoot as much as I want to.

April 17, 2003, 06:24 PM
Here is a sad one:

The "old man" liked his guns so much he would come home drunk and shoot the house up. After the divorce, I found a little wheel gun in the attic (sorry, make unknown). I was 10 an was not strong enough to pull the DA trigger, thank God!

Told Mom about it later, she jumped for joy. Later in life I realized we were broke and she sold that, along with the house and car, so she could feed her three (3) children.

I always figured guns were "bad" as they certainly left that impression. As a man I joined they Navy, played with those scary guns and found out they were not that bad afterall (standing watch with ol' slabside did'nt hurt either
:D )

And thats all she wrote.

The 1911 R U L E S! ! ! !


April 19, 2003, 11:39 AM
I didn't start buying guns until I was 26. Before that, I didn't think about 'em much, but i knew about and agreed with the 2nd ammendment.

I made up for starting late by quantity. I have over 50 guns, in 43 different calibers.

April 23, 2003, 02:09 AM
Only recently (19 y. o.) have I developed an interest in firearms. Fortunately a good friend of mine (Azrael256) grilled the four rules of firearms into my mind from the start and still quizzes me to this day. At present, I've got a small collection of air pistols but have been looking at a ROMAK-47 SAR-1.

My parents were always against me and my older brother owning/ using guns (including toys), but through friends and trips to shooting ranges I've become almost obsessed...:D

Dex Sinister
April 23, 2003, 03:26 AM
Dav said: I've tried to get a CCW. No go. If we ever win the fight to make California a "Shall Issue" state, I'll have one ASAP.

A.) Buy a vacation home in Northern CA.
B.) Apply for a CCW up here - regardless of where you get them, they're good throughout the state. :evil:

I started late - I'd always had in interest, but my semi-suicidal ex-wife kept saying, "Please, buy a gun and bring it home!"

At 40, decided ex-wife could manage to kill herself (if she really wanted to) without me, moved to CA, and now my new wife (who also started late) has more guns than me, CRuFFLs, and also has a CCW. We're starting the kids off early though.


April 23, 2003, 03:59 AM
Hadn't fired a gun since I was a little kid in OK. up until August 2002 (age 44) when I bought my first handgun (Walther P99/.40).

Now have 5 handguns (#6 a Beretta 9000 will be in my hands in a few days - stupid 10 day waiting period), 4 rifles (#5 a M48A Mauser will be here in 10 days <grrrrrr>) and a shotgun.

An Arizona CCW let's me keep those tools of self-defense handy when out of my state of residence :cuss: :banghead:

Chris Rhines
April 23, 2003, 09:13 AM
Sorta. My Dad had me checked out on gun safety when I was eight or nine. I shot some smallbore rifle and skeet on and off through high school, but I didn't start getting !seriously! into shooting until I was 22. That's when I bought my first pistol and started competing.

- Chris

April 23, 2003, 10:14 AM
.....when I was 19 years old. Asked the shotgun instructor of the Boy Scout Camp (had never been in scouts) where I worked to let me shoot....broke 11 clays in a row with a little 20 gauge
he didnt think I had never shot before
I was hooked after that
my dad started buying guns when I went to college because his friends hunted.....for the first 18 years of my life there was never a gun in my we have a safe stocked with 3 shotguns and a .22.....and im sure another addition will be coming sometime this summer
I wish I had started earlier, but like somone else said, better late than never

April 23, 2003, 11:15 AM
I was 55 when I got my first handgun, kids were gone, just my wife and I at the house.

I had hunted with my dad and brother as a kid (jackrabbits and squirrels) but never felt that safe with the way other people handled guns. Then a highschool friend nearly blew my foot off hunting. Kinda took the joy out of hunting for me.

Fast forward over thirty years and I get nice 1911. I called a gunshop about taking a handgun course. I honestly didn't know till the course started it was for a Handgun Carry Permit (TN). Well, it's been three years, I have three handguns know, my wife and daughter both shoot with me and I learn something new every day. Ain't it great! :D

April 23, 2003, 12:41 PM
My dad was never into shooting or hunting. My oldest brother was. But I moved out after college and never got into it with him before I left. I
did go fishing with him a few times though.

Then at about 25 I passed on the party scene and started getting into 'the outdoors' in general - camping, fishing etc. As my login id implies, I have always loved fishing. Summer time is a fantastic time in New England, and I'm fortunate enough to be within 30 miles of the ocean. I went
that route for many years while the 870 sat at home. I'm 38 now and bought my first handgun last year. Shooting is a blast, but it will have to be an 'off season' hobby.

For me, there's nothing like firing up the boat at first light - watching the sun rise over a calm ocean horizon, the smell of the saltwater, the noise of the bell bouys & birds. All this decompression only interrupted by the life & death struggle of the occasional 20 pound fish on 12 pound line. It is awesome.

I won't give up fishing - but this means I can't scout for deer prior to hunting season. I enjoy shooting, I'd love to go hunting, but there are only so many hours in a day....

April 23, 2003, 03:52 PM
My uncle Henry gave me a bb gun when I was 5. Mom shat on the carpet, and it went hidden for a few years till I was 7 or 8. They never did let me have BB's.

When I was 12ish, I shot .22lr with the boyscouts, till I could consistently score 47 or so out of 50.

Then we moved to NJ. (dark, ominous music starts)

Since I couldn't shoot with the scouts anymore, I asked Dad if I could get my own rifle, and he reluctantly supported it as long as I took an NRA course, and we could find a nearby range.

It never happened.

Fast forward to 30:

Off to the range I go with some friends, and have a hoot of a time. I start thinking maybe I'll fill out all the paperwork & prints (which I had a huge philosophical problem with) and get my own, as I was picking up all these bad habits from my buddies right handed pistols. Lacking spousal support at the time, it didn't seem too big a priority to me, for the time being.

Fast forward to 34:

I was 34 the year I watched the towers burn and fall. I had always accepted in the abstract that there where evil men in the world, but 9/11 brought it home. I thought about it for a few days, and started educating the spouse. I filed for my NJ paperwork on Nov 7, 2001. 10 months later, I got my permits, and 30 minutes later I picked up my .45 from the shop.

The spouse came enthusiastically on board, and packs a 9mm. :)

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