Was your handgun exposure mostly friends etc, shows, or range rentals?


Ignition Override
September 24, 2013, 01:48 AM
With very few years' exposure to some, which was very random and sporadic, maybe it is time to hang around the private club's handgun range.

Even though there is no real motivation to ever carry (CCW only), the styles imitating the PPK have by far the most appeal.

Most of you guys (or a few gals) seem to have many years of exposure to many types, and often in a convenient rural setting, it seems.

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September 24, 2013, 07:53 AM
Most of my exposure to handguns came from my brother and friends who had turned 21 a few years before I did. Actually I had been reading about them in books and magazines long before that. I have always been more interested in handguns than any other type of firearm (maybe with the exception of full-auto weapons).

September 24, 2013, 08:20 AM
As a scion of the rural south, guns - rifles, shotguns, handguns - were an everyday part of life. I learned gun handling at an early age and have had an affinity for them ever since. During my military service, I ran into many like minded folks and we'd spend free time at the local ranges and the post POW range shooting our stuff and if somebody had something different, most times they'd let us look at and shoot their new "baby." I learned quite a bit about a slew of different weapons that way.

September 24, 2013, 08:26 AM
Grew up with them, had many different ones over the years. They complete a collection so to say. I feel a good rifle, shotgun, and sidearm are a must have as a minimum.

September 24, 2013, 08:46 AM
Rural boy here. Was dove hunting by the sixth grade when dad gave me my first two firearms - a bolt action .22lr (which I still have ) and a 16 gauge double barrel shotgun (which I wish I still had). My first handgun (a .22lr High Standard which I still have) was given to me by the 7th grade. Learned a lot of rifle technique from my father, but not much handgun. Did not deer hunt until much later in life. OH, I am 54 now.

September 24, 2013, 09:26 AM
Mine came primarily through reading. I was in quite a rural area growing up and few except for gun collectors saw a need to keep handguns around. I shot a few growing up, but not many. We bought a Ruger Mk.II when I pushed a lot to get into pistols, probably at 13-14 years old. (I still have it, and it won't get sold.)

Off at college I had buddies who had more that I got to try sometimes. When I was finally able to scratch up enough cash to "waste" on pistols I bought things I wanted to try and was fortunate to pick some very good ones.

September 24, 2013, 12:10 PM

Junior NRA, Otis AFB, Ma. 1965, shooting 1911's and Remington XB40's.

United States Air Force, 1970 - 1980, especially 3 years in
SouthEast Asia, carrying S&W M15's, an M16, and a radio for base perimeter security detail.

And so it goes, till today.

September 24, 2013, 12:45 PM
I grew up shooting and hunting with shotguns and .22lr but no centerfire handguns, I didn't really get into handgun shooting until I quit small game hunting. No range experience or rental just bought a KGP-141 and 600 rounds of ammo, went out back and learned to shoot it. that was in 1995 and that gun is long gone, I prefer pistols now in either SA/DA or DAO.

September 24, 2013, 12:59 PM
My father taught me some very basic things about shooting a rifle, but during my lifetime, so far as I know, he never shot the handguns that his father handed down to him. My first extended experience with handguns was with range rentals.

September 24, 2013, 06:34 PM
While I grew up shooting my Dad's Ruger Mark 1 we didn't have a bunch of firearms, mostly 22's. I read a lot... Gun Digest, Shooter's Bible etc. I shot whatever anyone would let me. I got my first .22 pistol as a gift, as well as my first center fire pistol. I've been buying, hunting, collecting and competing ever since.

September 24, 2013, 06:42 PM
I tried a friend's 1911 and then bought my first SIG P220. After that it was all practice with the occasional shots from a gun someone had on the range.

September 24, 2013, 06:56 PM
Exposure to Handguns:

A lot of reading Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times,
in my teens, later American Handgunner etc.

mid to Late 1960s
Columbia Basin in Wash. State
Mostly on the 300 acre Family Farm
Age: 13 Uncle let me use his Hi Standard .22 LR Semi-Auto
The next year I had the money to get a
S&W Model 18 K-22 4" Bbl. - open carry
on the farm, w/dad's pemission. Took care of
cottontails, and some rattlesnakes. as well as making
coyotes run faster.

Sometimes teen friends who also had handguns
would bring em out for a popcan shoot,
none had a handgun of the quality my
S&W fwiw.

At Age 15, my Dad knew a guy in the US Army reserves and he brought his
squad up to qual. at the Quincy WA Range, it has a pistol
range, and a 500 yd range with the 8'x8' targets

USN 1970s - Qualified Marksman with the 1911


September 24, 2013, 06:59 PM
My earliest exposure was family friend with a Glock 10mm, then a .38 Special at summer camp, then a friend's 1911. Other than that, my exposure was primarily rifle. I shot air rifle probably every weekend, then my dad's .22 once I got older (early teens). My dad wasn't really into guns (not against, just ambivalent). I took him shooting handguns for the first time (other than boot camp) in the last year or so. Even in his mid-60s, it's never too late to enjoy, and he likes my 1911s a lot better than the old one he got issued.

September 24, 2013, 07:01 PM
I was moderately exposed to firearms by my father, but my real experience came from the military.

September 24, 2013, 07:54 PM
Mostly, it was from my father-in-law. He is a long time hand gunner. He also taught me about hand loading.

There were no handguns in my home growing up. My father thought handguns were only used by criminals. He had rifles and a shotgun though. They were stored in my bedroom closet.

September 24, 2013, 08:43 PM
started target practice when i was 5 :)

September 24, 2013, 08:58 PM
Dad. Taught me everything I know. He had a nice collection back in the day.

September 24, 2013, 09:03 PM
1) My father

2) United States Army

3) Doing tons of reading and research after the service, and buying my own firearms / going to the range.

September 24, 2013, 09:13 PM
I grew up in the 70's, 80's, 90's with my 10 year older brother and father always dragging in whatever they'd gotten their latest deal on. We'd shoot them a few times and then down the road they went to make a few bucks. I suppose I've shot 100's maybe thousands of used pistols over the years. We were also lucky enough to live on a small 80 acre farm.

September 24, 2013, 11:04 PM
I was interested in shooting in my late teens with my older brother. My dad grew up in Oklahoma and hunted and was around firearms but never passed any of that along to my brothers and I. After reaching my 60s several friends who had CC permits encouraged me to get mine. Just after Thanksgiving in 2008 I got my CC permit using a Beretta Neos to qualify.
I tried out several calibers from 9mm to .45 acp after that and decided on a barely used Ruger P345 because it fit my hand like I'd alway had it. I've added another pistol and 2 long guns since then. I'm fortunate to be able to shoot on a farm and now that I've improved my eyesight I'm able to hit what I aim at. While HD and CC are primary and very serious issues, target shooting is fun and instructive at the same time.

September 25, 2013, 05:08 PM
Way back when, I read books, and taught myself with any guns that I saved up for and my dad signed for. My dad was not into handguns at all. I sued to save up my lunch money for ammo purchased at local gunshows.

el Godfather
September 25, 2013, 08:11 PM
When I opened my eyes in the cradle I played with P08 what they call a Luger
When I started walking I used a broom-handle what they call a Mauser
When the remote on TV broke I used a long Redhawk what they call a Ruger ;)

To put it more simply guns were always there- thank heavens for that!

September 25, 2013, 08:47 PM
I grew up shooting rifles and shotguns, but my family was never much into handguns.

My intro came courtesy of the U.S. Army, when they handed me an ancient 1911 that shook and rattled enough that I thought that it may have been around since WWII. I'd have better luck hitting anything by taking the bullets out of the mag and throwing them myself, and this from a guy who barely scraped through hand grenades (no "oopsies" with them, though! :D) and has never once put a basketball through the net.

Didn't think I had much affinity for handguns until I bought my own first handgun: a Colt .357 Peacekeeper. I did pretty good with it from get-go, and got even better with just casual practice.

Now I'm a much better hand-gunner than long-gunner, mostly due to near-sightedness. :scrutiny:

September 26, 2013, 12:12 AM
While I am no master shooter, nor even much more than an average marksman, I have shot a ton of guns over the years. Early on it was my gun trading dad and his pals, then friends. A few rentals but more as a result of just having a friendly demeanor at the range. I have never asked straight out if I could shoot someones gun, nor have I ever expected to do so just because I am friendly, but I like talking to people and the simple phrase "whatcha shooting there" has gotten me more chances to shoot cool stuff than you can shake a stick at. Most recently, a Kriss. If you're not a jerk, gun people are usually pretty friendly, and I have reciprocated and let people shoot my cool stuff on a number of occasions.

Also, reading. I have read tons of stuff on or about guns in general. I will likely never shoot a Mateba, but I can read about it and have an idea of what to expect should the occasion arise.

sent from my Galaxy Note II.

bdb benzino
September 26, 2013, 04:01 AM
My father was an State Policeman for over 30 years and also an avid rifle hunter. With that kind of exposure, I was shooting bb guns before 5 and remember him helping me shoot S&W revolvers and 22 rifles around 5-6 years old.
I did alot of hunting growing up, and it was even easier as we lived in a small town and just outside of town to boot. I could walk through the yard about 200ft and start hunting rabbits and birds whenever the urge came.

My first hand gun came from dad, he gave me his police issued S&W 686-1 357mag and his police issued Glock 17 9mm when I moved into my first appartment at 19 years old.
I had those two handguns, but only shot once every year or 2 until I was 31. Around 31 I had just got married and started looking for a smallish handgun for the wife, through all my reading and research trying to pick one out for her it restarted my love for guns. Since then I have bought a lot of handguns, and read about them all the time. I also shoot atleast twice a month now, my wife thinks I am a gun junky, LOL!

September 26, 2013, 09:49 AM
My exposure to all firearm types, including handguns, came from my father while growing up, the same way everyone's should.

September 26, 2013, 10:17 AM
Yes, learning from father is proabably the best possible. Of course, that is also one of the problems in the country, especially in places where two parent families are more of an exception rather than the rule. There are really two issues, one is the "skill" needed to use and take care of the gun (including choice of gun) and the other is the "responsibility issues" involved. Any person can become a good marksman and good at tactical issues. The responsibility and moral issues are a bit harder to pick up for some.

September 26, 2013, 02:51 PM
The responsibility and moral issues are a bit harder to pick up for some.

Indeed. And that's why every kid deserves a father (or mother!) to expose them to firearms and the responsibility needed to properly use them.

<Fishbed now steps off his soapbox.>

September 26, 2013, 03:46 PM
I grew up in a suburban, politically moderate, obliviously anti gun setting. I had no exposure until I sought it. Through having worked in the business briefly and being consistently friendly, I rapidly went from having had little exposure to now having fired pretty much all of the popular service pistols, many subcompacts, some modern service revolvers, and some fun stuff like a mare's leg, a Judge, a Governor, a 1911 in .400 Cor Bon, etc.

The more I've handled and fired a variety of handguns, the more I've realized that I don't shoot much differently from one service pistol to the next. Nowadays, I believe that the best handgun is the one that requires the least from the user.

September 26, 2013, 11:57 PM
Mainly my dad, but also other family and friends. The first handgun I ever fired was Dad's 1851 Navy Colt, first handgun I have owned is my great uncle's Colt SAA in .357 Magnum.

September 27, 2013, 01:41 AM
My mother was very antigun, my father had a few handguns but never once took us out to shoot. I was fascinated by guns and really wanted to learn about them. After asking countless times I took his 38 Special out in the woods when I was 10 and fired it. Mom and Dad both were angry but at least I did shoot once as a kid. Dad never took us out so my first real training was with the M14 in the Army when I was 18. Then later the M16 in 'Nam.

After the Army (1970) I began buying guns I liked and fortunately they were smart buys, Marlin Model 60 and 336C, Ruger Mark I, Colt Government Model Series '70, S&W Model 19, P08 Luger and Remington 870. I pretty much shot by myself for years out in the desert until I started going to a good range and met others who liked to shoot. Over the years I've had many friends who enjoy shooting and sharing good technique to improve. And of course I've added more quality firearms over the years.

But initially my handgun exposure was on my own and what I read in Guns&Ammo, etc. Fortunately I bought quality guns that I still have and want today. The best advice I could give today is to try out/rent as many different handguns as you can then buy what you like best.

September 27, 2013, 02:25 AM
My father was a probation/parole officer, first with ths county then with the feds. My mother was one of the first female Deputy Sheriffs in the county before I was born. Neither were into guns much, but didn't mind my interest. I saved uo and bought a Rem 870 when I was 12 (Dad took me to a real old-fashioned bike and gun sporting goods shop). When I was 14, I bought a Ruger RST-6. Dad had a 3" Chiefs Special he'd bought used when he hired on with the Feds. I used to go on ride-alongs with him in the summers, got to see the truth about criminal lifestyles and drug addiction long before most kids do. I also got acquainted with several FBI agents, and members of various other agencies.

When I went away to college, I got started shooting handguns. Hung around a gunsmith listening and absorbing enough that he finally put me to work. I helped out at the counter so he could work in back, learned tons about assembling basket cases people brought in, and was the range stooge - anything that needed to be checked at the range went there with me. I got to shoot a lot of guns that way.

During that time, I started shooting 1911s, and competing with them. This led to reloading - a lot of reloading! - and further acquaintances with more LEOs. The gunsmith was the only Class III in Sacramento at the time, so I got to help him with some interesting weapons. I learned more from him than from my classes.....

Ignition Override
September 27, 2013, 02:56 AM
Interesting. Thank you.
Our Dad took us out just once to shoot (about age nine, in '64). This was into a small river south of Florence (so. of Jackson) MS. We used the M-1 Carbine that time, which belonged to his father.

September 27, 2013, 07:30 AM
Was your handgun exposure mostly friends etc, shows, or range rentals?
With very few years' exposure to some, which was very random and sporadic, maybe it is time to hang around the private club's handgun range.

Even though there is no real motivation to ever carry (CCW only), the styles imitating the PPK have by far the most appeal.

Most of you guys (or a few gals) seem to have many years of exposure to many types, and often in a convenient rural setting, it seems.

Maybe it's something I ate last night, but this just sounds like nonsensical jibberish to me! ! :evil:

September 27, 2013, 08:04 AM
Grandpa and uncle started me shooting at the age of 6. I had my first handgun at 16.

September 27, 2013, 09:52 AM
My father who was a US Army soldier. Joining the same and as a medic I carried a 1911. Became an officer and carried an M9.

September 27, 2013, 02:58 PM
USN Navy 1972-1978

I got on board my first Destroyer, Pacific Fleet
homeport PEarl Harbor.

In bootcamp in the USN, we got all of
1 session with .33 Rem. Target .22s,
8 shots standing, 8 shots kneeling, and
8 shots prone. & they told us
anything else you'll be handling will be in The Fleet:
and you'll get training thtere.

So, I'm a Petty Officer, and will stand PEtty Officer of THe Watch
and carry the 1911. There was no familiarization with the
1911 and I was lucky enough to be shown by someone
the correct way to relieve the watch and how to pass the
Weapon to the reliving Petty Offficer. Draw it, clear the weapon
by sliding and locking the slide back, while the other
guy gets the duty belt/holster and mag carrier on then pass the

I asked about familiarization with the weapon because
because I was wondering about ship mates. I knew how to field strip
one having shot tith wht NG back home at age 14..

So, in the afternoons a Gunners Mate met with each
Duty Section of POOWs and exampled the 1911
for 4 afternoons.

Some guys who carried it were afraid of it.
moatly those who didn't grow up around firearms



September 27, 2013, 09:58 PM
My first exposure was via USMC.

September 28, 2013, 12:12 AM
My early hand gunning was with my dad right off my shoulder. There were uncles, older cousins, my grandfather as well. We shot S&W K-frame .22 only.

Later, my sister married a hard core hand gunner. He knew stuff about pistol shooting and was willing to teach. Too bad I wasn't a better student. I tried, I just don't have the real talent.

Now, at age 63, I read and compare effort with friends...but my shooting is just for fun.

Still shooting the .22s and having fun. I've added calibers, ( .38 spec., .357, .45 acp, .40 s&w ) . Now I'm leaning over my grandson's shoulder.


September 28, 2013, 02:05 AM
My dad is a cop and I remember real young shooting his service revolver at home. My parents divorced and my mom married a Marine. Add growing up in northern Michigan guns have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Heck everyone is worried about guns in schools these days. I remember rifle hunting in the mornings and then tossing the rifle behind the seat of the truck and driving to school.

September 28, 2013, 02:52 AM
My exposure to handguns began about age 11 by shooting my brother's byf 42 Luger, Broomhandle Mauser and Ruger Mk II. My Boy Scout Troop also violated every BSA policy in the book and actively shot most everything on camping trips. How many kid's first shots out of a revolver were a .357 Blackhawk and a 4" 629 with full house .44 loads? :evil: By 13, I was carrying a .38 Enfield pretty much everywhere except in school and downtown Boulder.

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