What's the LONGEST you've gone...


January 17, 2013, 04:42 PM
Without shooting? ;)

And how awesome was it when you got back to the range?!? How rusty were you? Was there a particular gun that you were really jonesing to shoot?

For me it was about 3 months late last year...I just never got to the range. Busy with holidays and work...it was a pretty glorious range trip when I finally got back there. The gun in question I just had to shoot was my 1911. I got it last summer and shot it several times before life got hectic, I loved it right away, so when after sitting in the safe for a few months it was calling my name. Of course I shot like crap the first time back (handguns really are a perishable skill) but I felt great! Better than any massage for sure. This was after Christmas, and I have been shooting about 4 times since (more typical of my range trip frequency).

I figure the forum could use some fun anecdotes for levity in contrast with all the threads about legislation lately...

For the sake of simplicity, say in the past few years. Obviously I don't care about the 6 years you didn't shoot between the age of zero and 6 :)

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January 17, 2013, 04:46 PM
Wow sad to think of this but it has been probably 4+ months now that I haven't shot. No specific jonesings, I have different things I want to do with each of them. If I had to pick one: going beyond 200 yards with my .308.

January 17, 2013, 04:50 PM
The woman didn't shoot for about 2 months and limp wristed her Glock 19 like crazy the first couple mags... :scrutiny:

January 17, 2013, 05:22 PM
I went 7-8 years without firing a handgun, and a couple of years without shooting at all. OTOH, I've had a few 10k-round years.

The long handgun drought ended when a local shop opened a new indoor range. I went in one afternoon to check it out, and they were having their first pistol match that evening. I joined, signed up for the match, and drove home to get my 1911. The wife thought I'd lost my mind. Went back to the range, and shot in the event without any practice - and still scored in the top third.

Life gets busy, and priorities change. I was heavily involved in shooting 30 years ago, but raising a family changed my priorities. I was heavily involved in R/C model airplanes, then the kids moved out and we built a new house, and then my wife wanted "a couple of Harleys"....

The fun little pistol shoot and an accident with a model airplane that damaged and shortened a finger prompted me to re-evaluate my priorities. Over the next 15 months, I converted a 20-year collection of model airplane stuff to cash - much of which I then converted to firearms and related purchases. Along the way, my wife attended enough shooting events to decide that her lifelong fear of handguns - she's proficient with her M&P 9c. The rest of the money went to a motorcycle vacation to Alaska...

January 17, 2013, 05:24 PM
Probably a month.

I really look forward to busting clays as I don't get to the outdoor range too often. I have always loved all-things shotgun :).

January 17, 2013, 05:41 PM
Maybe a decade. Give or take a couple years. Work got busy, girl friends came and went, got married, Dad got sick, other hobbies took up time. No effect on my shooting skills that I noticed.

January 17, 2013, 08:24 PM
Since I started shooting a few years ago, the longest I have without shooting is probably a 1.5-2months. Pretty good feeling to get out there and shoot as always.

January 17, 2013, 08:46 PM
A couple of weeks.................

Adam the Gnome
January 17, 2013, 08:54 PM
Two years, the time it took me to get a good job after moving out of home.
Miss the family property it's 35 minutes to the rang now :(

January 17, 2013, 08:59 PM
When I left LE related work I had a period of nearly 5 years where I still carried (after all, not doing LE didn't mean the enemies I'd made went away) but I didn't go to the range or do ANYTHING. I really can't say why, it's like I was in a fugue for that time.

My first trip back to the range was...appalling.

I made myself a promise [that I've kept for many years now] that I'd never let my skillset fall that far again if I could help it.

January 17, 2013, 09:04 PM
I have gone for a couple years without shooting. My gaps are more commonly seasonal and last a few months.

January 17, 2013, 09:07 PM
Usually just a couple days to a week.

January 17, 2013, 09:34 PM
Ditto. I'm a gunsmith so I at least get the recoil of test firing, if not the sight alignment.

January 17, 2013, 09:53 PM
I figure the forum could use some fun anecdotes for levity in contrast with all the threads about legislation lately...

For the sake of simplicity, say in the past few years. Obviously I don't care about the 6 years you didn't shoot between the age of zero and 6 :)

About four years.

A little over 20 years in the Marine Corps, shot a rifle, pistol or both at least once a year. Always qualified Expert. Also got to fire a shotgun a few times, but not since 1992. My last annual pistol qualification (M9) was about 11 months before retiring. Almost three years after retirement I realized it was kinda dumb we didn't have a firearm. My wife and five kids knew only about the firearms they could use for Halo. I bought a Kimber 1911 and qualified for my state's CWP two days later (perfect score, though it was far easier than the USMC pistol course). Despite the serious nature of the exercise, it was FUN! I had forgotten how much I enjoyed shooting, perhaps because it was also just another part of the job for so long.

Now we have a few more pistols and a rifle, and I'm picking up a shotgun from layaway soon. I've taught the whole family safe handling and basic pistol marksmanship. We don't get to shoot the rifle much, but two of my sons have shot the rifle with me, and I never go to the range alone, whether pistols or rifle.

The pistol range is on the schedule every Saturday, though it gets crowded out by other stuff about half the time. Occasionally we may go a month between range trips, especially during the holidays.

I too am disgusted with all the anti-RKBA stuff going on right now, so I don't post much to those threads because it can be a challenge to keep it all on the high road. Thanks for a thread on a lighter topic where contributing is more fun.

January 17, 2013, 09:53 PM
A decade, I got back into it in FL, Even though I had a carry, there was no place to shoot in NYC. It's also boring if you are the only guy you know with a permit. I got right back in a few months. Mainly I dropped my speed, the gun was like riding a bike. I have been carrying for 43 years, sometimes you are more involved than others as with everything in life.

January 17, 2013, 09:56 PM
Been about 3.5 years for me and the last time was just qualifying on the m16 when I was still in the army reserve. Last time I shot any of my guns was 4 years ago. Combination of work , wife, house, going back to school for my masters and kids.

January 17, 2013, 10:08 PM
About four years.

...Also got to fire a shotgun a few times, but not since 1992...

I am a shotgun nut and I have always had a keen interest in their military use as well. Thus I have to ask what model shotgun you used in the Corp (I'm assuming a 500?) and thanks for your service.

January 17, 2013, 10:15 PM
OK I win. No contest. 34 years. None after Vietnam until the Katrina evacuee invasion hit Houston and crime went through the roof. Since then the longest is about two months.

Please excuse typos. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk.

January 17, 2013, 10:17 PM
I have probably went 2-3 years a few times without doing any shooting, maybe even as much as 4 years once. Time flies, other things take priorities, often this would have been when I was living somewhere with no easy access to place to shoot, etc.

January 17, 2013, 10:29 PM
At one point I went 15 years while I was busy establishing my adulthood and professional career. When I shot I did just fine from a self defense perspective which I define as keeping shots in a 4 inch group. The rust wasn't SI much as shooting and hitting a stationary target as it spasms loading and changing out magazines. The other thing I noticed was recoil felt much more intense. That took a while to get used to again say six months to a year.

January 17, 2013, 10:40 PM
I was out of shooting and reloading for 20+ years. Between jobs, no jobs, and family it wasn't high on my priority list.
After I broke my wrist I can't wrap it around a rifle stock but I do enjoy handgun shooting (until NY screwed it up. But I digress......)

January 17, 2013, 10:55 PM
After I got hurt, I purchased my Smith mod 66 and put about a thousand rounds downrange. Swearing the whole time I'd never be a victim again. Another story, for another time. I stayed away from the range due to college, then my career, girlfriends, and other life involving hobbies and activities for about 10-15 years before getting the urge again.

Then comes a Taurus mod 66 (7) rnd. .357 mag. The doggone thing just followed me home one evening, after about 200 rounds down the pipe, of course. Then about three years later, that damned bug showed up again, and a CZ83 followed me home. Since that point, I really don't go more than about two, maybe, maybe, three months between sanity trips. As with all good teams, a few more members have been added, traded, sold, added again.

The best part, for me at least, I seem to get better with each new pistol/revolver I get. So I'd have to say the time between trips to the range have not hurt my accuracy at all. I'm going to make sure of that this weekend. Just to make sure I don't have to eat crow.

January 17, 2013, 11:11 PM
Chicago says:

A few hours max...;)

January 17, 2013, 11:40 PM
There was a period of several years when I didn't do any shooting, for one reason or another. I was very busy at that time: the last couple years in the Navy, where I was busy transitioning to my new command, only to start my transition preparations for retirement and a civilian job shortly afterwards.

Then a few years afterwards where I was more focused on the new job, and family details during the transition and such.

The good thing about it was that during this time the Winchester 115 gr 9mm was $9.95 per 100 round box and the Winchester 230 gr .45 was $19.95 per round box.

Every time I went to Walmart for whatever reason, I'd pick up a box or two of ammo and add it to my stash in my ammo cans.

Needless to say, it's possible to save up a huge pile of ammunition this way, when spread out over a few years.


How did it affect my shooting?

Well, I was a little rusty...but had absolutely no problems with center of mass hits at 10 yards, even if they weren't as tight as they used to be.

Didn't take long to tighten up the groupings, though.

January 17, 2013, 11:49 PM
The longest I ever went without shooting so far is say 8 months or so.

January 18, 2013, 01:33 AM
Currently in the middle of a 6 month deployment. This will be the longest I've gone without shooting. Most Air Force deployments used to be 4 months, but then we cut a bunch of people. Guess who picks up the slack.

January 18, 2013, 01:39 AM
You'll laugh.

On active duty in Germany and Iraq I qualified less than once a year. My time in the army has been my slowest shooting time.

January 18, 2013, 01:41 AM
One year, when I lived in England. I didn't even see a gun on a cop until I went back to Gatwick to fly home - and they weren't carrying any the year before, but the IRA had been really active, along with Euro terror groups. At that point, an MP5 looked weird to me.

Zach S
January 18, 2013, 02:03 AM
Probably about six months with no rangetime. My groups opened up, but drawing and firing on an IDPA target didnt seem affected.

Up to the end of my failed marriage, most of my rangetime was with a 1911 that I rebuilt into a dedicated .22. I'd go through one or two federal bulk packs a month, but I probably went a year without shooting a centerfire round due to being broke...

My first trip back to the range after she left was awful. I had gotten so used to the lack of recoil that I thought I had a kB! and shot patterns until I stopped flinching.

1911 guy
January 18, 2013, 02:14 AM
About a year. It was a bad year...

And my worst skill degradation was handgunning. Rifle picked up okay after a couple range trips but it took serious effort to get my pistol back up to snuff.

Truth be told, i don't shoot nealy as much now as I did way back when and I am of the opinion that my discretionary income this year needs to go toward a LOT of training. Once a year isn't cutting it anymore. I'm not twenty years old anymore.

January 18, 2013, 07:49 AM
I used to go all winter with out shooting. Since I joined a club only a few miles from my home I can go shooting any time I want. The most I go without shooting now is my be 2 or 3 weeks when it is really cold out.

January 18, 2013, 08:07 AM
Been 4 months for me. Shooting in north NJ is ridiculous so I go to the backyard range in PA at 2nd home. Haven't gotten to go there since September. Meanwhile I am polishing my Marlin 60 bolt and hoping like heck that it still works GREAT next Sunday when I hope to get to PA : )

January 18, 2013, 09:08 AM
Lots of Vets posting in the thread.

I am always honored to say THANKS for your service! We don't have this forum absent your efforts.

You guys get to actually handle REAL "Assault Rifles." ;)


Ranger Roberts
January 18, 2013, 09:09 AM
For me, currently, I only go a week or two tops without shooting. Funny thing is the longest I've ever gone was when I got back from each deployment.
My father on the other hand hadn't shot a pistol in 30 years. A few months ago I'm standing in my backyard shooting a few of my pistols, he reaches down, grabs my CZ and puts every round center mass! 15 shots! The kicker was his group was better then mine and I'm one of the better shots in my department! He just looked over, smiled and said "keep practicing, we'll try this again in another 30 years!"

January 18, 2013, 09:56 AM
Hey everyone, thanks for the responses!

It is funny that a lot of the longest times people have posted were military deployments, which at first seems weird, but I guess it makes sense after thinking about it. And I'd like to echo PT92's sentiments and say thanks to all you vets for sacrificing (among so many other things) your range time to serve. :)

January 18, 2013, 10:02 AM
I had a 20 year layoff...... Jobs, family, money all had higher priorities during that time in my life. I owned handguns but they were locked up.
Then when the kids moved out, money was freed up and I got back into firearms. Now the longest time without shootings something is a few weeks. :o


January 18, 2013, 10:05 AM
Before becoming part of my school's shooting team, typically I did not get to shoot at all during the Fall and Spring semesters. So, the longest I have gone is probably 5 months. Afterwards I am a little rusty, but after about 5 clays, I am typically back on track. For me I guess it's kinda like riding a bike ;)

January 18, 2013, 10:13 AM
Approximately 183 days a year... I travel worldwide for business. Im posting from Saudi Arabia, while I see tons of machine guns everywhere, it probably wouldn't be wise of me to ask to shoot one.... just sayin...

January 18, 2013, 10:19 AM
Longest I went was about 6 months while I was in school. When you're living on ramen noodles with eggs the $13 box of ammo just isn't on the top of your list.

First thing I shot was my 10/22. Simple choice $13 for 50 round of 9mm or $10 for 333 rounds of .22. :)

Now that I'm in the real world I try to make it out every other week or so, with Red Ryder practice in between.

Russ Jackson
January 18, 2013, 10:22 AM
8 years when I lived in San Diego.

January 18, 2013, 10:25 AM
I've gone a few years in a row there in the 90's...the "boating days". I haven't been for 6 months probably except not for lack of trying. Had several dates on the calendar that were cancelled due to "range improvements" (we're pretty much on a "call ahead" basis) and a recent snow storm.

January 18, 2013, 10:43 AM
...Thus I have to ask what model shotgun you used in the Corp (I'm assuming a 500?)...

It's been more than 20 years; I just don't remember. It was a 12 Ga., and maybe we called it an M7. A little quick Google-fu hasn't helped me confirm or reject that guess.

Sauer Grapes
January 18, 2013, 11:48 AM
After all my hunting and shooting venues disappeared, and then got married, I didn't shoot for 20+ years.
I'm getting older now and decided life is too short. Now I shoot regularly with either shotguns or pistols. Winter is a slow time for me. I haven't shot in about 5 weeks. I may try and get to the range this weekend.

January 18, 2013, 12:33 PM
I didn't shoot a rifle offhand for 6 months. I went to a Highpower no sighter match and shot a 96 in offhand.

Just because you can't shoot live ammo does not mean you can't practice. It is a mental game at least as much as a physical one.

January 18, 2013, 12:36 PM
in the last 4 years the longest I have managed to go without shooting is a little over 2 weeks, but with the current ammo prices on certain calibers the amount I shoot during each trip has greatly decreased. :(

January 18, 2013, 12:53 PM
I haven't had the chance to shoot handguns in about two months, but I still shoot one of my .22's every few days.

I am a shotgun nut and I have always had a keen interest in their military use as well. Thus I have to ask what model shotgun you used in the Corp (I'm assuming a 500?) and thanks for your service.

I had to qualify with an M-1014 while in BSG. And a Mossberg 590(?) at my unit until they were replaced by the 1014.

January 19, 2013, 07:22 AM
I forgot when I posted before, thinking back a few more years I went between 3 and 4 years without shooting during the reign of my ex wife.

January 19, 2013, 10:34 PM
I got into shooting in late 1985, or early in 1986. Handguns came along for me in 1987, and I was sworn in as a LEO later that year.
I left LE in 1991, and fell away from the "gun culture". A friend I met later, in 2000, got me to shoot with him when he took up the sport in around 2004. It didn't really stick for a few more years, until the summer of 2008. Then, it was all-speed ahead; I got my civilian-carry license, and the first of several more handguns to come since then.

So, from 1991 to about 2004, then another four-year hiatus.

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