New Girlfriend introduction to Gun Collection, Help!


September 9, 2003, 12:50 PM
Ok, I'm looking for some advise here. After 14 years of being with my ex, I find myself back in the dating scene. I've met a great lady and we've been getting along better then I ever expected. I shoot a lot and for whatever reason I haven't told her about my hobby yet. How have some of you single guys out there introduced your "hobby" to a new girlfriend without freaking her out or something along those lines. May be a dumb question, but one that I have no idea on how to approach.

Also, once I do introduce her to the collection and if by luck she's interested in learning, what would you all recommend as a good starting point. Handgun, rifle etc. I'm smart enough to know(ok, no peanut gallery comments here lol) that I'm not just going to set her up with the 50 BMG and let her rip.

Any advise from you ladies would be very welcomed as well.


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September 9, 2003, 12:57 PM
Don't show her the collection. Just mention one day that you are going shooting the next afternnoon for a while and would she like to come along. If she says yes, start with the shooting session as a way to introduce her to guns and the fact that that's part of your life. After that the collection won't be so scary for her...if it ever was going to be. If she says no, say 'OK' and leave it at that. I wouldn't put any great weight on the fact that you shoot. Pretend like it's no big deal and if she makes a big deal out of it you can go from there.

- Gabe

September 9, 2003, 12:58 PM
I started 45Boo off with a .38Special and a Ruger MKII .22 Pistol at the local range when we first started dating.

Taught her all the rules and she has been shooting ever since. :)

September 9, 2003, 01:00 PM
My fiancee found out about my hobby the night we met. I was giving her, her friend, and my friend (who was hookin' up with her friend) a ride home. I had been at the range earlier that day, and there was an empty ammo box on the floor in front of her. I told her not to worry, I wasn't a psycho, I'd just been shooting earlier. She wasn't fazed at all, in fact, she thought it was totally natural to have an empty ammo box laying around. After I met her dad, I fully understood why. He's a police officer and firearms instructor, and he's got a lot of ammo strewn all over the house. Heck, he's got a case of .45-70 sitting on the floor of the den.

I took her shooting for one of our first dates, and she impressed me. I let her shoot my 6" S&W 629 .44, and she hit the spinner 4 out of 6 times! I had to help her support the weapon, but she did the aiming and trigger squeezing.

Lucky me.


Gus Dddysgrl
September 9, 2003, 01:07 PM
I say drop hints that you are interested in shooting. Such as saying you are going to go shooting sometime. Don't worry about it too much. If you make a big deal about it, she will make a big deal about. Act natural about. If she doesn't like she will get used to it. Start small and build from there.


September 9, 2003, 01:14 PM
one of my good friends went through this, and his new female companion did not approve. She said, "Tom (name changed to protect the innocent), I want you to get rid of your guns." Tom: "no". Her: "Gee, Tom, can't we talk about it?" Tom: "We just did". And that was the END of the story.

September 9, 2003, 01:16 PM
I don't remember the whole conversation but... The first time David and I talked on the phone one of the questions he had asked was how I felt about guns. Opened the conversation up for some good dialogue (I wasn't anti but had no interest up to then in them) and then he asked me if I wanted to go shooting.

Since it hasn't come up in conversation yet I think Gabe's approach may be the best way to go.

Steve Smith
September 9, 2003, 01:20 PM
I will tell them as early as possible, but only if they show promise. Lots of women never know, like the one I went out with Friday. Carried the whole time and never mentioned it. Dropped my right arm low to force her left arm up when on the doorstep.

I suggest you tell her you're going shooting one day, and invite her along. You've seen plenty of threads about what gun, so I won't waste my breath on that. Make it easy and pleasurable, have a small cooler with cold (or hot) drinks depending on weather, and maybe some food. GET ICE CREAM after shooting. I like ice cream after shooting even if I'm alone, but its always better with a good looking woman, and who doesn't like ice cream?

BTW, surprise her with the ice cream...just make sure you leave the range early enough to go.

4v50 Gary
September 9, 2003, 01:25 PM
I like GRD's suggestion. I wouldn't show the collection either. However, delivery is important.

Say she wants to go out. Tell her you can't and that you have a committment without stating what it is. All worthy daughters of Eve will pry and you can concede you're going to the range with some buddies. At that point, you invite her.

September 9, 2003, 01:26 PM
My vote would definitely be to feel her out slowly (not meant to be a peanut gallery comment) on her acceptance of shooting. The last thing you want to do is take her to your "cave" and show her the armory...if she is the least bit anti, this might put her over the edge. That's not being PC...its just a fact of life in today's world.

My then-girlfriend (now my wife of 11 years) saw my wild boar's head mounted over my bed and immediately became took lots of years to sway her back.

I'd slowly get her feelings on shooting as a sport / hunting / whatever's important to you. You should mention your involvement non-chalantly and defintiely not defensively (remember, if you look like you're supposed to be there, people assume you're/its OK). Don't be *rabid* about it...that can turn people off as well and make them not listen to your words / logic.

I found out my girlfriend / fiance / wife was borderline on guns. They scared her. I basically talked about shooting off and on for a while until I got a sense she was comfortable then took her to the next level (seeing guns, seeing lots of guns, eventually shooting)

My wife still isn't crazy about them but she accepts that it is important to me. I believe I have made her more pro-2A than she would have been otherwise.

September 9, 2003, 01:39 PM
Whatever happens, just remember that being true to yourself is more important than any romantic relationship.

You don't want to spend most of your life with someone who can't stand your hobbies and interests.

If the slightest mention of guns runs her off, then you are better off without her.

Jesse H
September 9, 2003, 01:40 PM
First time my girl saw me was a pic of myself on the Internet, w/a gun pointed at the camera.

When we're out she discreetly pats my hip to make sure I'm carrying. :D

September 9, 2003, 02:01 PM
.... you mean you didn't tell her that you're an alternate on the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team? Ha.ha.ha....

September 9, 2003, 02:14 PM
next time yer out for dinner with her,
pop by Walmart to pick up some stuff for the weekend,
buy a cool DVD like LOTR Two Towers and a 1000 rounds of 22lr.

September 9, 2003, 02:26 PM
Let her know you go shooting as a hobby. Ask her if she might want to come along. Do not show her your collection. She might freak. I'm getting married November 1st of this year and I've never shown my fiancee all my guns, only the ones we have went and shot together. Plus, it leaves the door open for when you are married and she goes, "Is that new?" You can say, "That old thing, guess you never saw 'that one' before." "That was in the back of the safe," excuse has saved me some real ??? chewings so far. Careful it will only work for so long...

If she has never shot anything before shoot a .22LR or a heavy barrelled .357 magnum with mild .38 special target loads. A middle sized 9mm would work too. Just make sure the gun doesn't look too insane. No AR-15 the first time out, no man shaped targets either. Just my advice from a guy that spooked one before learning the proper way to introduce my hobby. Good luck, hope it all goes well!

September 9, 2003, 02:32 PM
Juicy-HWhen we're out she discreetly pats my hip to make sure I'm carrying.
Can I ask you what position you carry that thing? :uhoh: :scrutiny:

Sean Smith
September 9, 2003, 02:49 PM
Simplest way to do it is to mention it in passing. When she asks what you are planning to do at particular time, and the real answer is "go shooting," then tell her you are going shooting. See how she reacts and go from there.

September 9, 2003, 03:09 PM
I mention shooting as casually as I mention anything else. I shoot about eight times per month and run at least 1,200 rounds in that time, so it comes up pretty quickly.

"Let's head up to the beach on Sunday morning."
"I can't, I've got a rifle match that day, how about next week."
"There's a match every 4th Sunday and I hate to miss it. We can do something when I get back around 5."
"You mean you shoot guns?"
"Yea, usually I shoot pistols at various organzed shoots and at local matches, but I like to participate in rifle matches when they're convenient."

Sometimes discussion ensues and sometimes people move the conversation along as if nothing happened.

My point is that if you shoot a lot the topic will pop up early on, but if you plink around 4-5 times per year, it may not enter into the picture for a while which is how it should be. Anything else and you'll be blowing things out of proportion. If she has an aversion to guns, you've got a personality conflict that is going to manifest itself in a dozen other ways before shooting becomes an issue.

If you feel the need to test the waters with her, I would say, "I'm planning to go shooting next Saturday in Chappewa, would you like to join me?" Encourage her to invite a friend, and you can invite someone she is most likely to get a long with.

Steve Smith
September 9, 2003, 03:11 PM
I think that being a competitive shooter also legitimizes it for some folks...don't know why.

September 9, 2003, 03:23 PM
I think that being a competitive shooter also legitimizes it for some folks...don't know why.

heh - this is where we shooters can use the liberal pc mentality against liberal pc minded people!

having shooting pigeon-holed as a sport can make it less threatening to some antis. for example, archery is an olympic sport and so is various forms of shooting. after all, what can be more family friendly than the olympics?

i've done this myself. when inviting people to go shooting for the first time, i mention it as "target shooting". and that seems to make it less threatening...maybe even mention how pistol shooting is very form dependent like other benign activities such as golf.

Standing Wolf
September 9, 2003, 05:21 PM
I make a point of letting women know I'm a conservative well before I ask them out the first time. If they're receptive to the idea, I proceed. If they're hostile, I don't waste time asking them out at all. If they seem ambivalent, I mention the loss of my civil rights when I was a subject of the People's Republic of California, and judge their reactions accordingly.

When I lived in the P.R.C., I had lots of first dates with women who proved whacko leftist extremists. I decided when I moved back to the United States I was finished wasting time, effort, and money on women I have no interest in and don't respect. So far, so good, although I still haven't found Miss Right.

Steve Smith
September 9, 2003, 05:42 PM
I consider mentioning my competitive interests as my "gateway conversation." After that one, and a few weeks, we conquer CCW.

September 9, 2003, 07:37 PM
I grew up with (not anti) but a but a non-gun owning family. So I was always fascinated but somewhat intimidated by guns, never having shot anything other than a BB gun. After the sniper shootings, the GF and I had a conversation about gun ownership (she grew up in a hunting , gun owning family) and left to my own devices would have let it drop with just a conversation. Well, she kept on me until I had gone to the gun shop and at least looked at some weapons. Thanks to her, its been all downhill since then.:D

She says she knew there was a gun nut in me just waiting to get out. Its funny though, she has no anti feeling about guns, has killed and skinned deer, yet is kinda ambivalent about shooting. She'll go to the range occaisionally, but only wants to shoot the .38 and not the .45. Guns just aren't her thing, but she doesn't care if they are mine.

Not to mention her Pop gave me an 20 gauge 870 Wingmaster while we were visiting her folks in Alabama - that was a way cool gift.

We went to see "Magdalene Sisters" like she wanted last weekend, so this weekend we'll go to the gun show. All about give and take!

September 9, 2003, 08:11 PM
You are not married to her right? Well then, just be honest and if she doesn't like it, tell her to hit the road!! I would not want to take that relationship any further.

Jim Hall

September 9, 2003, 08:51 PM
When I first met my wife, she soon found out I had an interest in guns, she didn't say much, and I already knew she grew up in a hunting family. The next day she told me she talked to several friends at work about the fact that I carried a gun and had a CWP, turns out 4 out of the five she talked to also had CWP and carried daily. I took her shooting soon after and now she loves it, and has a permit herself. She is even helping instruct other women at our shooting club. I got a keeper!......tom

September 9, 2003, 11:01 PM
Agree with some comments above about the "competition aspect." I've found that people tend to be more receptive from the get-go if you say "I'm into shooting," rather than "I'm into guns." YMMV.

brad cook

September 9, 2003, 11:44 PM
If she likes them, and you like her...marry her. Dump her if reverse is true. In the long run you'll both be happier. Take my wife....please.

September 10, 2003, 03:30 AM
"Hey, you wanna go shooting?"

September 10, 2003, 06:45 AM
Some excellent ideas above, I really like the one about the Ice Cream post target shooting:) .

2 minor suggestions for the first time you take her shooting ( hopefully )

1) Have another female with her. Helps if the 2nd female has shot before but is not needed. Just having another female at the range means it will bemore comfortable for her, not sure why but it seems to work.

2) Take her to a range with clean toilet facilities or warn her in advance. I have to admit, as long as facilities are available the condition of them is of low importance in choosing where to shoot for me(and I suspect most males). This is not always the mindset of the female of the species.

Good luck,


PS I must also agree with the above who expressed the idea of being anti-gun is a deal breaker for any long term commitment.

September 10, 2003, 10:16 AM
Oh, I don't know--I showed my now-husband my firearms collection the evening after our first date (it was to the pistol range!). He likes to joke he married me for my collection!


September 10, 2003, 10:34 AM
A girl I was dating once said she couldn't sleep in my room w/ the guns on the gun for that night I moved them to another room.......soon I moved to another girl........
Soon after I was married my wife asked"how come every time I close a door or open a drawer,there's a gun there?"
I said,"because I don't have a safe yet.......hint,hint"She got me one for Christmas that year.I was always a shooter,but got more heavily into it after we were married,and she's fine w/ it.
My wife is not a shooter,but supports my shooting and is VERY time recently I wasn't carrying and she was upset....."great,what if we get attacked?What do you expect me to do call 911 and wait??".I love my wife.......:cool:
As for how to approach the subject....depends on how the relationship is could always be a great way of getting rid of someone :D
Show up at her house like Rambo when she has a tupperware party(bring your Glock of course):D

September 10, 2003, 10:43 AM
I agree with just asking her how she feels about guns. Let her have her say then state your opinion. If the water's still smooth then fine, but if the chop gets up then you are in for a bumpy ride. If given the alternative of get rid of the guns or me, like some try to do, either stand and leave or show her to the door. The balls in her court now. Now if she doesn't personally care for guns, but understands your feelings and not complain then remember that this is a 2 way street. She may have something she feels passionate about and you have to understand and live with that also.
As for a total newbie going shooting, a .22lr rifle will be the easiest to learn and hit with. No recoil, limited sound, and a rifle is not as intimidating as a handgun. After that go for what ever she wants to try.
Some may want to see the collection and that could lead to a whole night right there. Other's may be afraid or turned off by a large collection, but it's best to learn that early then later when large scale plans may be disrupted.
She may be the sweetest thing on earth, but if she takes you away from your passionate hobby she takes away your peace of mind. In the long run you will pay dearly for this. Frustration and resentment can do horrible things to a mind.

Jesse H
September 10, 2003, 11:47 AM

When we're out she discreetly pats my hip to make sure I'm carrying.

Can I ask you what position you carry that thing?

3:30 - 4:00 IWB. Apparently I'm real good at hiding them. I remember the first time I had to disarm (going into an establishment were CHL's weren't allowed) I asked her not to freak out, unholstered and locked it in my glovebox.

"Why would I freak out?" :cool:

September 11, 2003, 12:32 PM
Thanks for all the great advise everyone!!! The girlfriend made me dinner last night and the conversation of weekend plans came up. After we made plans for Saturday, she asked what I was doing on Sunday,which I replied that I was going to to the range with some friends to do some target practice and that she was more then welcome to come with us.

Ok, for a second I though things were going to go bad as her fork stopped halfway to her mouth, she was staring at me and then she put her fork down without eating what was on it.

To my surprise she breaks out into a huge grin and starts asking me all kinds of questions about where I shoot, what I shoot, how long have I been shooting and the absolute best question, will you teach me how to shoot!!! WoooHoooo!!!!! She's a keeper!

It looks like the previous Saturday plans went right out the window as she wants me to show her my collection and take her to the range. She didn't want to go on Sunday with other people seeing she's going to be pretty nervous and excited. Damn, two weekend days at the range. Life sure is funny sometimes! :D

Thanks again everybody

September 11, 2003, 01:16 PM
All's well that ends well.......:D :D :D

September 11, 2003, 01:18 PM
She's a keeper! It looks like the previous Saturday plans went right out the window as she wants me to show her my collection and take her to the range.

that's simply beautiful. this little genie's still hopefuly i'll be able to say that too...

September 11, 2003, 01:21 PM
".... and that, kids, is how grandpa and grandma knew they'd spend the rest of their lives together." Now go to sleep, it's a school night! :p :D

Andrew Rothman
September 11, 2003, 01:38 PM
Wow. Some guys have all the luck.

As a new shooter, I faced a very "anti" wife while trying to convince her that I should (a) get a handgun (b) get a CCW permit and (c) carry.

She hated guns, she hate people who own guns, and no one needs to carry. Besides, it'll just get taken away and used to hurt me, and anyway it was 43 times more likely to hurt one of us...

Well, I was able to show her factual refutations of most of that, but she still hated guns and gun owners.

It came down to this, I said. You've known me for 16 years. I am kind, gentle, calm, reasonable, smart, honest, trustworthy, a good father, a good husband, and I always wash behind my ears.

So you can either decide that you have been wrong about me all this time, or that you've been wrong about gun owners.

She still doesn't love the idea. But she decided to respect me. She also said she doesn't want to see or hear about my hobby, so I respect her.

On the other hand, I don't hide the fact that I carry everywhere, every day. She consented to letting me show her the safe operation of the gun, with snap caps, and is a little more convinced I'm not going to blow my foot off.

She has also seen the gun safe and the lockbox in my trunk. She knows that I am fiendishly conservative about safety.

Baby steps. Maybe one day she'll come to the range with me.


September 11, 2003, 04:39 PM
Rockrivr, now get ready for lesson number 2. Take out your most favorite, prized firearm. Carefully disassemble it, clean it, re-assemble all the while fondling and admiring every little detail about it. Why you ask, because undoubtly that's the one she's going to like the best and want to lay claim to it. I used to have some fine rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Now I just get to clean them and make sure there is plenty of ammo for them on hand. If I'm really, really good I may even get a shot off in one every now and then. I have somehow been transformed from a gun owner to a gun bearer. :confused:

September 11, 2003, 08:28 PM
you think your girl could hang out with mine and get her to like them too?

cracked butt
September 11, 2003, 10:10 PM
If you think you are going to marry a woman, better make sure she is not only neutral on guns, but likes them alot. My wife was pretty neutral on guns before we married, and still is, but she can't understand my needs and urges to bring home a new rifle every month or two. I have to keep rotating my stock of guns between my gun cabinet and my workshop so that she really has no idea how many I have at any given time, or she might freak out.:eek:

September 12, 2003, 02:01 AM
Or do what I did, meet your future wife when she is working a table at a gun show!:D

Baba Louie
September 12, 2003, 06:08 AM

Your Karma must be in a very UP mode right now. Good things happen to those who deserve it and all your fears were for nought (if you really had any).

I challenge you sir, to print out this thread and show the young lady in question... maybe invite her to peruse your other "addiction" and even join THR.

Who knows, you may have the next Missdemeanor, MauserLady, Tamara or mastrogiacomo just awaiting the proper introduction ;)

Serendipitous find sir.

Start her out small, watch her grow.

Hope all goes well in your future relationship with said lass, it sounds as tho' you're off to a promising start.


September 13, 2003, 08:56 PM
When I got my license my wide was sort of interested in guns. Then I bought home a Ruger .223 in S/S and a CZ 452 with the nickel barrel. Females must like bright shiny things. A few weeks later she was at the local range to do her long arms test to get a license. Now the CZ is "hers". I still have the pleasure of cleaning and buying the ammo for it.
Then we decided to get our handguns licences (two different categories in Australia). We went to the course and spent a couple of months deciding on which hand guns to get. I'd show her all different types and get her reaction. She wasn't interested in how accurate or how well made they were, they had to look just right. Ended up with a pair of Beretta 87 Targets.
Then about 6 months later, I thought a centrefire auto was in order. I could afford a standard Beretaa 92fs but really wanted an Inox. Best thing I did was show here pictures of both. You guessed it, the Inox was her preference and she even offered to pay for the difference.
I even had to get the 92FS registered in her name, as of the five guns "we" had at the time, only one was registered in her name.
Guess who does all the cleaning for the 92FS and makes the ammo? She is only interested in shooting them, after that everything else is my "job".
Next time I am after a new gun, as long as there is a model in S/S, it is a good a sold.


September 14, 2003, 08:03 AM
First you tell her your hobby is gunsmithing NOT gun collecting. Throw a few hammers, screwdrivers, screws, nuts & bolts, oil can, a file or two, and a disassembled gun on your "workbench" thats well lit with a hi-intensity lamp. Then introduce her to the "raw material" (gun collection) needed to practice your hobby of "Old World" craftmanship. Tell her you no longer "make" firearms but that you like to keep a few around for sentimental reasons. Hell, she will probably brag to her girlfriends about how good you are with your hands!

September 14, 2003, 09:42 AM
I got lucky in that my wife owned a gun before I did. But the best story of introducing a woman to guns was written by one of the Cruffler's (curio and relics firearms collectors) on the C&R list.

Well written and outstanding.


September 14, 2003, 09:59 AM
Congrats!!! you are very lucky.

I got into shooting, and in a big way I might add, AFTER I got married. In some ways, I feel sorry for my wife, because she had no way to see this coming (neither did I, really). I think a strong marraige can survive anything... so I guess mine isn't that strong. My moving from wanting to shoot at the range most Saturday mornings, to wanting to keep a gun (in a safe) by the bed, to wanting to carry, was just too much for her basically anit-gun mentality. Looks like we're heading for a split, after almost 10 years (no kids, btw).

My advice to anyone else facing this issue? Be Honest. All The Time. I don't recommend introducing the political aspect until you have desensatized them to the physical element ("guns in the house") through the "sport" aspect. But don't misrepresent or soften anything that you believe in to the point that you either compromise your beliefs, or find yourself needing to repackage it down the road. Stick with the Truth, just perhaps offer it up in small pieces.


September 14, 2003, 11:33 AM

Great story. :D

How'd Saturday go?


September 14, 2003, 01:51 PM
Congrats on her being so willing to learn. Thats great news.

When i met my wife, we had long political conversations late at night, and she knew that i was a conservative, even though she was a registered democrat.

Sometime during our dating process, i told her that i owned firearms, it didn't really faze her at all. Neither of us remember how i told her, but we both think it was pretty early on.

She did tell me that she never thought she would live in the same rooms where their were firearms. Well, from day one of our marriage, there has been a loaded shotgun under the bed, and most times a loaded pistol next or under the bed as well. Plus there are more firearms in the closet.

She doens't like it that i keep wanting more and more guns, and she is trying to put a limit on it, but really the only limit right now is our finances. And i have told her that as soon as i can afford to, i will buy and "evil black rifle" and a new pistol.

She may not be happy that i have firearms, but the nights that i have come home late, she is very thankfull to have a way to protect herself, just in case.


September 14, 2003, 02:15 PM
I had to help her support the weapon, but she did the aiming and trigger squeezing.

Sneaky Sneaky... the old "stand behind them and help them hold it" gag. That works with Golf and Pool too :D

September 14, 2003, 03:33 PM
I had a girl friend once comment upon seeing my guns that the only reason to have guns is if you are a war-monger...

I commented to her that she possessed all the equipment necessary to be a prostitute... did that make her one?

You just never know what is going to set a woman off sometimes...

Futo Inu
September 14, 2003, 05:06 PM
"She says she knew there was a gun nut in me just waiting to get out." That's funny.

Tankertom, that story by Paul the Cruffler is very well-written and touching, esp. part 4. Interesting.

RockRiver, congrats - now if she just will get involved enough to decide to get into some shooting sport in her own right, then you've got it made. I need a good one too, but being struck by lightning twice is more likely I imagine.

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