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

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My exposure to all firearm types, including handguns, came from my father while growing up, the same way everyone's should.
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.
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.>
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.
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.
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.
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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.....
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.
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:
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.
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


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.

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.
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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