What was the gun that seeded your hobby?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by lsudave, May 5, 2021.

  1. lsudave

    lsudave Member

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    I don't mean your first gun, I mean the one that started you down the road to owning "quite a few", and pushed you to become active at the range, etc.

    My first gun was a Norinco T-54, in 9mm. I still have it, and still like it. But it directly didn't lead to my collection tendencies; although in reflection it may have indirectly.

    Like many of us, I like to research "my stuff" and find things to learn and like about them. I do it with cars, with cameras, etc. I wanted to like this Chinese gun (it shoots okay, but I wanted to find things that made it interesting). So in doing that, I became knowledgeable about surplus, especially Combloc guns. Makarovs and the like. No-nonsense, reliable weapons priced right. This eventually led me to get one; a gun that 'succeeded' my Tokarev design. That way I would have a pair that related to each other.
    This was the fateful desire that started it all: a FEG PA-63.

    I got the Tok at a gun show. It was in 9x19, so I would buy a box of 9mm at a time, at Walmart or similar.
    The FEG- in casually looking at stores, I never saw them at the time, so I began to learn about online purchases. This brought me to Auction Arms, which is now Gunauction. I don't even know if Gunbroker was around then. But I looked at the auctions, and started to see the prices- that FEG was the "right lineage", it LOOKED cool (to my amateur eyes it looked like a James Bond Walther!!), and it was cheap- under $150, which was less than my brother's Bersa 380, itself considered a cheap gun. So I bought it, in an exciting and fun transaction without any problems. Little did I know, it was my gateway!
    • Buying it online, it introduced me to that market, and the potential of it compared to the local shops. To this day I see people asking if buying online is 'safe', having never done it.
    • Being an obscure caliber, I didn't have much luck finding it on the shelf. So again, this led to buying online- ammo. But hey, they charge shipping, so I can't just buy a box. Get a case, so that extra cost is spread thin, ... and suddenly I have "a lot of ammo"
    • Hey, I have a lot of ammo at hand, I may as well go to the range more. Before, I just randomly did it to make sure I could shoot somewhat effectively, but now I've got 1k rds staring at me. I should make it worthwhile, instead of just putting it away to eventually get lost.
    • Hey, shooting is getting fun, and I have a lot of ammo at the house. And I see OTHER guns in this caliber, for CHEAP (real Makarovs, P64, etc). For under $200, I could add 1...
    • these SURPLUS guns are neat. They shoot great, they have a history to them interesting to learn about. What other surplus guns are there...?
    • Combloc guns are neat, but I'm an American :)... let's start looking at US and NATO guns too.
    • Hmmm; online browsing of auctions... used CZ 75 pre B; combloc heritage, 9mm NATO rd, and the more I research the more praise I find of this pistol. Like, legendary status, from guys (Col Cooper) that appear to be big names. I see I can get one for $300, a little more than I could a Mak, and it's the more common caliber. Let's get one...
    Wow (and now I am fully infected with the bug). CZ 75 is a fantastic pistol, and remains to this day my personal favorite. And it was the gun that broke open the floodgates-
    • Online purchase from Cole's Distributing. For those that ever bought from them, you know they had the cheapest prices on imported stuff. I made several more purchases from them, just due to price...
    • On of these was a FEG HP clone. This checked a ton of boxes- the Hi Power was a legendary pistol in it's own right, the clone got me 'into the platform'. Bought it from Cole's again, price was just over $200... can't beat that with a stick. And it being a FEG was actually interesting, since I already owned one. For a company that I'd never heard about in a country that I thought was obscure (Hungary), they sure did make some respectable guns.
    • Ok, now I have 9mm NATO, let's explore- duty guns. Beretta 92, Sig P226, ... Star 30M? Daewoo DP 51? Zastava CZ99? All of these were floating around online, at the pricepoint of $300 or less (except the Sig, it took a LONG time but I finally got one there); all were/are in holsters of military folks, all shared the same ammo. No more trips to Walmart for a box or 2, I needed cheap cases to stay stocked. I needed more range time to be proficient, and see which ones I can shoot the best.
    • S&W 3rd Gen- not military, but was police, and definitely in line with the designs of those above. And again, cheap to get online.
    And it all traces back to that fateful decision to buy that PA 63 online... :thumbup:

    What's yours?
     
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  2. George P

    George P Member

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    Browning Gti that had just been discontinued for the new model, the 325. Bought it with the then "too long" 32" barrels (28 and 30 were the "norm" back then. Still have it
     
  3. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess I'm one of those (dreaded) "I grew up with guns" guys. There was probably a time when I didn't know that my parents had guns, but that time was over by the time I was 6 or 7. I "shared" a shotgun with my older brother by the age of 9. I really got "my own" gun by about 12. I hunted a little and plinked a lot. Still, when I got into my late teens and early twenties, college and girls caught my attention and the guns sat in the back of the closet.

    Fast forward to about 2007.... I was running my own business, spending way too much time downtown either before dawn or after dusk, or both. I got my CHCL, but the only suitable pistol I had (to the extent you could call it "suitable" for CC) was a Colt Peacekeeper from about 1987. Big ol' 6-shot, .357 revolver. So I wheedled and traded my way into a Springfield Armory GI model 1911. Which was stolen three weeks later. So I wheedled and traded my way into another one. Which was a jam-o-matic. But I sent it off to a good friend of mine, who also happens to be my favorite gunsmith. I told him what it was doing, and asked him to put some night sights on it while he had it. What I got back was this:
    [​IMG]
    Now it's a beast that eats anything that I can fit in the mag. After just a few months of CC, along with the attendant range trips, cleaning, etc., I realized that guns were just about the only really "mechanical" thing left in my life. Just about everything else involves a computer chip. And while I'm not the handiest guy in the world, it was kind of nice to tinker with something that didn't involve crud like "firmware downloads." Physics and geometry. I remembered that I really had enjoyed all of that time plinking and shooting. Heck, I even enjoyed cleaning the guns at the end of the season back home. From 2007 to about 2015, CC considerations were the driving factor for most of my gun purchases. But not all. At some point, I dug into the back of the closet and got that old Standard Issue 10/22 out and started plinking again. That of course, reminded me of how much I enjoy shooting a .22, which led me to want more .22s. It was all very "If you give a mouse a cookie."
     
  4. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    The first guns (aside from BB guns) that I shot were my Dad's Remington 121 and Model 11. I hunted with them and plinked with them for two or three years before I got my first gun, which was a bolt-action .410 from Western Auto. I don't remember what my first gun beyond that one was, but I had a succession of several while I was young. There was a small trading post in my little town where I could buy or trade from the time I was about 12 or so. I swapped out guns frequently with little or no money involved. The old guy who ran the shop more or less just swapped with me, perhaps knowing that I'd be in to swap for another one in a couple weeks. :)

    Then by the time I was about 16 I started hanging on to guns that I liked a lot, and still trying out others and letting them go. At that point I had a dealer friend, an older guy, who ran a shop and gunsmithing service out of a room built on to the back of his house. He would do the same thing as the trading post guy -- I could trade guns with him for little or nothing -- so I got to try out a ton of different guns over the course of 10 - 12 years or so.

    Here's the 121, which I am very happy to have. It's amazing to me that it has stayed in such good condition, particularly since my 3 brothers and I all used this gun when we were kids, took it out whenever we wanted to, etc. Fortunately none of us ever left it somewhere in the woods and lost it, or had it otherwise get damaged. It makes me think that a lot of people must treat their guns like crap to have them end up looking as rough as they do several years down the road.

    G6cYfzm.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
  5. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    611B21B9-921A-4904-8FEF-8D55FAC62838.jpeg Wore out a couple BB guns until I was trusted with grandpa's 1930's Stevens model 66 bolt action tube feed rifle .22 (short, long, LR). Shot soup cans then bottle caps then cans in the air. Shot squirrels, rabbits, gophers, etc
    I still have it.
     
  6. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I am from a shooting family.
    No one single gun is responsible for my choice of hobbies. I could name done influencers though.

    My dad's 700 Remington .243
    Model 12 winchester trap.
    My dad's cousins S&W 66 snub.
    The LC Smith 20gs sxs that my dad gave me.
    Ruger SSS....again dad gave me......
    We'll just say that it's dad's fault!
     
  7. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Started out with a single shot Savage .22 for Christmas at about 7 years old. A shotgun and a 30-30 came later as I was in a very gun owning extended family so I got to use theirs alot. Got out of high-school and started buying something here and there with surplus cash when I could. Better jobs and after 21 got the handgun bug as well. Started that out with a 44 AMP just like Dirty Harry. At a point in my late 30's I was into my gun of the month club stage that lasted for some years. Also heavy into reloading by then. Eventually had enough iron and wood to make it a pain to move so slowed up on buying, then on to more reloading and shooting. Still at it today.:thumbup:
     
  8. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I can't really say my firearm obsession started with my first firearm, because it started well before that. I always liked toy guns, squirt guns, etc. Just was rarely allowed to have any as a kid. And I didn't grow up around firearms either like many people here. I started enjoying shooting and firearms remotely. Through video games and movies. I watched Die Hard and really liked the look of the AUG, used by Karl. And the Beretta used by John McClane. I didn't know it was an AUG at the time. I didn't know it was a Beretta at the time. But seeing it, I wanted to learn more. Took running off, and joining the Army before I started getting firearms and training of my own.
     
  9. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    Cz 85 and grandpa's rem 700 in 22-250 I purchased after he passed. Many others from family but these 2 made me want more.
     
  10. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I have been fascinated with guns since I can remember. I loved Cowboy and Combat shows as a kid. My Dad hunted and had a few long guns and hated handguns but I was enamored with them all.
    The first gun I ever fired was a 12 gauge double barrel. I was 8 years old and small for my age. That thing literally knocked me on my butt, but I was completely elated.
    When I was 12 my younger brother’s best friend shot and killed my brother by accident. I won’t go into details here, but my Dad got rid of his guns. He despised them and none were allowed in our home. Not even toy or BB guns.
    A few years later my Dad had bought more hunting guns and he bought a Remington 870 and a Smith & Wesson K-22.
    He let me shoot them often. We lived in the country. Those 2 guns fueled my love and passion for firearms to this day.
    A few years ago before my Mom passed she was visiting and she asked me how it was that with what happened to my brother how could I like guns so much. I explained that I never blamed the gun. The gun is a tool. I never blamed the boy that shot my brother. I blamed his parents for not teaching him better, but it really wasn’t anyone’s fault directly.
    She was baffled by my love of guns and shooting up to that point. I explained it and she said she understood.
    My first firearm that I bought for myself was a Colt Combat Government series 70. I was 22.
     
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  11. John_R

    John_R Member

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    Probably the airgun I had as a kid. It was pot metal, shaped vaguely like a 1911, and you pulled back the rear of the slide to charge the air vessel. It would shoot BBs or little darts. Couldn't hit a thing with it, but I sure filled up the backyard with BBs.
     
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  12. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I grew up around guns. No single gun really caused me to start collecting. Had air guns since i was 8 years old. Got my 1st shot gun in 1977 when i was 12. Still hunt with it. 22 rifle and 30.06 came along then. In the 80's bought my 1st hand gun Ruger SBH. Then later i bought a SW 22 A-1 and a Taurus 66 .357. And over time i added some more guns both powder fired and air. The last 5 years or so i have upped my collection more significantly.
     
  13. George P

    George P Member

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    I think some folks missed that part. My Gti was maybe my 10th gun bought; but it was the one that got me excited about shooting and not just hunting because I could shoot year long
     
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  14. lsudave

    lsudave Member

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    I remember having one of these in college, we used to shoot at our dart board with it.
     
  15. lsudave

    lsudave Member

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    Yeah, I think there's a difference between your first gun, and the gun that led you to buying a lot of others.

    My first pistol was just an inexpensive 9mm as I got out on my own, and my Dad looking it over at the gunshow said it was a better-made gun than some of the other, usually pricier, 'bargain guns'. It just happened to be what it was.

    It was the foray into getting the Makarov caliber pistol, initially just to get a DA/SA and smaller option at a decent price, that opened up my eventual collecting of firearms. My experience with that made me comfortable with surplus, with online purchases, sparked a desire to find similar or competing models for the same task, to buy ammo in bulk, etc.
     
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  16. Llew Taranau

    Llew Taranau Member

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    Honestly? This one, about 60 years ago.
    52EF860F-0373-4DF6-B851-ABBFC0D770D0.jpeg
     
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  17. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    I think that the "gun" that started me off was a little Hubley single-shot cap gun that I found in a sand box.
    It was a tad rusty, but I decided that it was mine - especially after my older sister tried to take it away from me... .
    I believe that I was almost two years old.
     
  18. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    The first "fine" gun was a Colt MK IV '70 1911. This was when I realized that all my spare money, and some that wasn't spare was going into shooting. And I still have, much modified, that gun.


    20180920_151519.jpg

    BTB, $190 NIB in 1971
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
  19. milsurpguy

    milsurpguy Member

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    10/22
     
  20. RougeLeader1

    RougeLeader1 Member

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    OP, never tried a PA-63 before but it looks like a fun little thing! I love my p232, and thats pretty similar.

    For me it was a Model 10-4 4'' barrel in high polish blue. That was the first pistol that was actually mine, and I still shoot the heck out of it. That pistol got me into shooting as a serious hobby, was my first (and still favorite!) piece of equipment for IDPA here in CT, and served as a learning platform for reloading.

    The gun in question has been in my family since the 80s, originally being from my grandfather's time at S&W. It may not be worth much these days, but it holds the place of honor in my safe. It also may or my not have ruined my life by giving me a revolver addiction! ;)
     
  21. gobsauce

    gobsauce Member

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    Three letters : SKS.
     
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  22. RougeLeader1

    RougeLeader1 Member

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    Those are three really fun letters!
     
  23. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Pretty simple really - I started with a BB gun, even before I can remember. My mom used to say I "was born with a rifle in my hands.":D
    I'm not sure what "active at the range" even means though.o_O
     
  24. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    I grew up liking guns and shooting guns, but I didn't have that many until I got my Taurus 85UL which coincided with me getting a carry license in 2008. That opened up my apparent preference to purchase handguns over long guns. It wasn't long after that I learned the new math that I could fit more handguns into a safe than long guns.
     
  25. John_R

    John_R Member

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    Ooh, I forgot about all the cap guns!
     
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