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Your Journey to Firearms

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by BigBL87, Sep 13, 2020.

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  1. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    I know many on here have probably grown up around firearms, but not all of us have. I'm interested to hear what led everyone to become involved in the 2A community because I'm sure we have alot of different stories.

    Myself, I grew up in a gun-free household. My parents were not anti-gun, my father saw it as a constitutional right but never felt the need to exercise it. Around the end of undergrad I started dating my wife whose family shoots on occasion, though pretty much everything they owned was specifically for hunting. I started to get interested, and after we got married and bought a house I bought a shotgun for home defense and shooting clays, figuring that would cover my needs. I do think my job (corrections) also played into my mindset. One thing led to another, and I bought a handgun, then a 22 rifle, then an AR, and I was off to the races because I enjoyed it.

    Ironically enough, I pulled my father-in-law and brother-in-law with me as both now own ARs and handguns which they hadn't before.

    Anyway, looking forward to hearing how other people got here!
     
  2. tark

    tark Member

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    My father was not a gun person. The more he tried to discourage my interest in guns, the more I wanted them. It's an age old story.. When I turned 16 and got my driver's licence, he bought me my first gun, a Steven's FAVORITE. Guess that is kind of another age old story. He encouraged safety and took me shooting. God rest his soul.
     
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  3. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Well my Dad was a cop, so, kinda grew up with them. He also hunted, so I did, (and will until I physically can't) too. He taught me to reload shotgun shells at 9, rifle rounds at 14, and pistol at 15. Our family is all mechanics (Grandpa owned an auto shop) so that and my interest in guns got me into gunsmithing. A 3 year stint as an Armorer in the Army helped that along. It deepened my appreciation for the 2nd, (and the others, some of which are curtailed when one is in the service) as well as cemented the oath I swore at induction; it did not expire on my ETS.
     
  4. caribou

    caribou Member

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    My mom had a .22 lr loaded beside her bed since I could ever remember.

    My grandfather Frank showed me the power of the gun. He loved shooting small blocks witha .22 I would toss up for him, and he didnt do too bad......he would also have me throw clay pidgins for him when I got older and learned how to use a shotgun from him.

    He really stuck my Constitutional Rights and all matters Civic in my brain, and the responsibilty that comes with owning a gun......and he took me hunting........as did my step father Dan who came along when iwas about 12, and he only intensified the interest and skills, as well, he showed me how to make money and support my own habit....LOL!!!..... by the gun, Ive made a great living.
     
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  5. Pivot Dr

    Pivot Dr Member

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    I think I shot my first rabbit at age 4, it kind of just snowballed from there. It got far worse after all the kids got out of college and on their own.

    No regrets!
     
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  6. BWS

    BWS Member

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    Mom and dad grew up in the country during the depression,hunting was just a way of life. Dad was in the battle of the Bulge and never really cared for cold weather or firearms too much after.

    But he understood my interest and supported best he could. Pretty much gave me all his guns once I was 16 or so. I'd rather be in the field than sitting at a bench. Just love the outdoors.
     
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  7. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    My Dad had an interest in .22 target rifles before WWII; not so much after he got back. Mom wasn't anti-gun, she just didn't want any in the house. Of course that didn't stop my older brother from buying them and hiding them in our rooms!

    About this time a buddy of mine from work would go out on the weekend to do some shooting (and hunting when in season), on some property their family owned in the country. His Dad was a patrolman in a nearby city and he use to frequent the pawn shops to buy old hunting rifles and shotguns, which he let us take with us when we went out there.

    Well one thing led to another and soon I was buying my own guns, something that's still happening to this day, though I don't hunt anymore but I still have an endless passion for handguns!
     
  8. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Growing up in NYC, not many people legally owned guns. My father had also been in WWII in some very nasty social engagements, including the Battle of the Bulge and Hertgen Forrest, and was not interested in ever touching a gun again.

    An uncle was interested in target shooting, and joined a private gun club in Queens, where we also lived at the time, and got me started shooting at 12. My folks supported my choices and soon bought me a .22 target rifle, and I joined the gun club where I shot competitively as a jr. member.

    Going out of state for college got me into hunting, then a stint in the Army, and a career in LE, solidified guns in my life.
     
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  9. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    My mother was on her high school shooting team. She used to hunt with my grandfather. I never got the whole story but I think they were out hunting one day and somebody that was with them shot themselves climbing over a fence. My mother and my grandfather both quit hunting that day.

    Growing up it's not even that guns were forbidden in my home it was almost like a sacred taboo. Guns were not mentioned. Guns were not acknowledged. As far as my mother was concerned guns did not exist.

    Shortly after I turned 18 I moved out. Shortly after I moved out I bought a Remington Nylon 66 .22 caliber rifle and a pre 1964 Winchester model 94 in .308. My father thought the 22 was great and thought the 30-30 was the stupidest purchase I'd ever made.

    I kept them for two or three years then sold them to a pawn shop right before I joined the Army. When I was in the army I lived in the barracks for most of the time I was in. So no guns.

    The day I got out of the Army I took my separation bonus and bought a Smith & Wesson model 915. It wasn't something I put a whole lot of thought into I just thought I should have a gun and since I wasn't in the Army anymore they couldn't tell me I couldn't.
     
  10. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    My dad was big into duck hunting. Tried to get me into it at about age 10, but it was just too darned cold for 10-y.o. me. Dove hunting was another story. I haven't had a place to dove hunt in years, but it's still my favorite hunt.

    Got a single-shot H&R that I "shared" with my older brother (that's pronounced "my brother got a shotgun that I saw on rare occasion") when I was 8, and got my first Wingmaster at about 10. Got my 'standard issue' 10/22 (which I still have and love) at about 12, and a Ruger Standard .22 pistol a couple of years later. In my late teens/early 20s, I drifted away from guns. I didn't sell any, they just sat in my closet collecting dust. In my late thirties, I rediscovered them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  11. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    My dad had a 22 revolver that he hardly ever shot. I haven't seen that gun in 40 years now. I had no interest in it or any other gun.

    I bought a Ruger p97 in 1999 and shot it twice in 20 years. I woke up in 2019 and decided I need to have the skills to defend my family. My family and I jumped in with both feet in 2019, bought guns for each of us, got some training, and have been practicing ever since. I was lucky to get a 1 year head start on this panic.
     
  12. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    I'm an engineer (my mental model of the world is a free-body diagram, Dynamics was a joyride in college, etc), and I realized early that firearms were fascinating little machines.

    Then there was a life-altering event at Virginia Tech that put a sharper point on my opinion of the moral culpability of anyone who acts to disarm a free citizen.

    "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is true; and no "good intention" mitigates the guilt that rightly rests on those who do the paving.
     
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  13. stonebuster

    stonebuster Member

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    My father spent WW2 in the South Pacific island hopping and I think he had enough of carrying his weapons by the time he got out. He did buy a 10-22 Ruger in the seventies. My mother's father was an avid bird hunter. I had a Daisy BB rifle when I was a kid like all the other kids did. My first firearm was a 12 gauge Ithaca model 37 my father bought me in 1969. I bought a .410 next for bird and rabbit hunting. I didn't do any shooting after @1980 until 2015 when I got my first handgun and pistol permit. My F-I-L left his Colt service revolver behind when he passed and shooting it for the first time got me hooked on revolvers. That's what brought me here to learn as much as I could since I got a late start.
     
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  14. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Dad put me squarely on the path when he bought a little single-shot, .22RF bolt gun from Sears in the late '50s. The LOP is so short that it was probably advertised as a kid's rifle. I still have that little rifle.

    He gave me my first lessons when we next came to the farm where Mom grew up (where I have lived for the last 30+ years). We would walk the farm until he found a spot that he liked and we would setup some things as targets (pinecones, cans, dirt clods, etc), walk back to the shooting line, sit and slowly go thru a 50ct box of ammo. He would only shoot a few. It wasn't until later that I understood how much patience that had taken for him to do that. :)

    Dad also took us both into Reloading a decade later.

    Mom was in a position to put the kibosh on our hobby, but did not. Concealed behind the open farmhouse front door was an alcove where her dad kept his longguns ... so she was comfortable with firearms around the house and in the hands of the boys. :)
     
  15. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    I started a similar thread almost three years ago. Here's what I said...
     
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  16. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I got my daisy BB gun when I was about 8 like most other kids where I lived. At 9, I was dove hunting with dad under close supervision with a 410 single. By 11, I was hunting on my own with a 20 gauge pump, and a 12 by about 14. Small game like dove/quail was most of what we did, but I deer hunted a few times with friends. Other than screwing around in the woods with a 22, I never really fired a rifle, and didn't get much training on how to do so correctly. That changed when I went in the army- M16, M60, SAW, and then the really big stuff. I joined SF and went to the weapons course, and got introduced to the word's handguns, SMG's, rifles, machineguns, and heavy weapons. I learned depot-level maintenance on the M16 family of rifles, which meant that I now knew how to build an AR correctly, and was doing so in the late 1980's (before it was cool). I was 100% hooked by then. A co-morbidity with deer and turkey hunting took root at Ft Campbell, Ky through the 90's. Along the line, I got sniper qualified, and attended other advanced shooting and tactical training. I came full circle, and ended up being an instructor at the SF weapons course for 3 years. 9-11 happened my 2nd year there. While I was an instructor there, I attended several more armorer and tactical courses. When I left the schoolhouse in 2002, I went back to a team. At that point, it was a wide-open blur of world-wide deployments, train-ups for deployments, and more advanced training. Hunting took a back seat to everything else, but I kept buying and shooting guns both at work and on my own time. I was forced to leave team life in late '07 following some significant injuries on a deployment, with me having less than 3 years before I was eligible for retirement. I was given a "free ticket" by my command to take whatever position I wanted that would allow me to get the med care I needed prior to retiring. I ended up working in the unit doing R&D and as a sniper instructor for my final assignment. After I retired, I worked for a friend at his gun shop for about a year while I was getting my VA affairs in order. I continued my training at the range, and was able to finally get some hunting in. After the VA situation was addressed, I started deploying overseas again as a contractor, which I did for about 4 years, at about 220 days a year. For my 50th birthday, I gifted myself and Mrs. Fl-NC the decision to stop doing that. Now I enjoy training at the range and hunting at every opportunity, though lately MMA training in the gym happens much more than time at the range. After all, its a great workout, and doesn't require ammunition.
     
  17. entropy

    entropy Member

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    You can own guns in the Army, you just can't have them in the barracks. They must be stored in the Arms Room. Several soldiers in my unit who lived in the barracks had POF (Personally Owned Firearms), they had to draw them out of the Arms Room just like any issue weapon, though no Equipment receipt or DA 1150 required. If you live in on-post housing or off-post, no restrictions. One guy had a Delta Elite, which I helped him find at a gun show, and we'd go out in the back of Ft. Ord and shoot it.

    FL-NC- You lived the life I had planned for me, the asthma I had as a kid came back at Ft. Ord and changed my plans.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
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  18. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Grew up in a house that was mostly gun free. The few that my dad owned were tucked away in the basement, and they were all ones he was given or inherited. No hunters in the family either, and we were city people with an unrealistic idea of how a violent encounter would go down.

    I moved away from that dumpster fire of a city years ago. Met some people who shot. Bought an AR. Meh..... Moved out to the country even further where police presence was not a thing. Also had an incident where someone pulled a gun on me. Had to testify in court. Didn't care for the feeling of helplessness it left behind. Bought a handgun a few weeks later because I also wasn't entirely sure the guy I helped convict wouldn't seek revenge.

    Once I started shooting handguns, my interest completely changed. I was hooked.
     
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  19. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    This is 100% true. However, in one unit I was in as a junior NCO living in the barracks,(where we were famous for not following rules) there wouldn't have been room in our arms room for all of the guns being illegally stored in the barracks. In fact, one guy had a Dillon reloading press bolted into his gov't issue desk in his room. But despite all of the "animal house" like shenanigans that happened in that barracks (many of which are unsharable here) we never had a single incident or accident with a firearm. The leadership HAD to know (or at least have an idea) of what we were up to, but they weren't overly concerned. In fact, one Saturday afternoon, the CSM showed up as we were quartering a deer hanging from the pull-up bars. He just complemented the hunter on the deer, and reminded us to do a good clean-up because he didn't want to see a mess Monday morning in the Bn. area. Different times.
     
  20. entropy

    entropy Member

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    You SF types tended to get away with that more than the rest of us.;) As it should be.
     
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  21. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    My father joined the Marines to dodge troubles back in his home town, became a Forward Observer attached to an Army unit at Inchon, became a sniper by default once they got far enough inland and the weather closed in, then wound up in Oahu to recover from a back injury. He promptly got in trouble again, got a BCD and lost his right to own a firearm.

    I was born not too long thereafter.

    Dad stayed in trouble so we were constantly moving. I often found guns and other hidden items in the crummy places that we wound up in, Sometimes these guns meant that we got to eat - then the sale of these guns meant that Dad got his cigarettes.

    This has led to my current philosophy regarding firearms:
    I feel that I must have the means to hunt and fish but I only do it when needed.
    I feel the need to defend myself and my family.
    I am fascinated by the weapons and devices of history, I enjoy repairing them and introducing others to them.

    I have never been much of a marksman but I still enjoy shooting.
     
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  22. rust collector

    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

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    I was fortunate enough to grow up in farm and ranch country. Dad shot more pheasants and ducks than I can dream about, many to feed boarding house guests for his grandmother, but was not interested in big game. I got hooked on deer by reading accounts of gun writers of that era, and always had a fascination for guns, knives and other tools. The 50s and 60s were a good time to be a boy on the northern plains!
     
  23. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    I honestly don't remember the first time I fired a gun. Just too young. Dad started me out with his old Ithaca 49 single shot, shooting DP cans in the back yard. Couldn't have been over 5 or 6. When I was about 8 my maternal grandfather ( Pap, who I credit with 95% of my raising) began taking me quail and rabbit hunting. First with an unloaded 410, and later with carefully rationed ammunition. It was around this time that my love for all things guns and hunting was born.

    When I was 10, I found a Stevens Crackshot, well the barreled action anyway. Me and pap made a stock for it from an old oak corral board, the front sight was half of a dime, and the rear was fashioned out of a worn out plow bolt with a hacksaw and files. He'd give me 10 22 shorts, and tell me that I'd better come back with 10 critters or the balance of the shells. We were (if you couldn't tell) quite poor then, and he'd already lived through the Depression and served in the Korean war. One might say he taught me the value of a dollar.

    At 13 he gifted me his model 37 Winchester single shot 16 gauge. It was with that old full choke, mule kicking gun that he taught me how to "shoot flying", as he called it. I became quite good. Good enough in fact to shoot on my HS trap team in later years, though I won few trophies. But that didn't matter then. It was here that my love of "shooting flying" blossomed, and has not yet been quenched.

    In the words of a song, "my very first pistol was a cap and ball Colt". Well, it was actually a Uberti, but I digress. I loved that little 1861 London Navy like no other. Shot it so much it became dangerously loose. Wish I could find another like it. Ever since then, I've always kept a revolver of some kind, even though my folks always claimed "they ain't good fer nuthin' but killin' a feller, or gettin' 'im kilt." Such is life on the Ozarks...

    Dad taught me how to deer hunt, and we went together every opening morning for years until life got in the way. I still go, and so does he, just not together. He gifted me his Remington '06, that mom bought him new in 84 right after my wife and I moved to the farm. Its killed many deer in my hands and his. And it holds a lot of good memories, too.

    Sadly enough, grandad and the little Crackshot are both gone now; the gun was stolen out of my truck 10 years ago and we lost pap last May. I mention that because, even though he couldn't in his last years, pap always encouraged me to hunt, even going so far as to helping me fund trips and supplies. I think he knew I love it as much as he did. But, I still have the shotgun he gave me all those years ago. And at his passing I got his old New Haven automatic .22 that he dearly loved, and that he'd slain so many rabbits with through the years.

    So yes, its true I don't remember the first time I fired a gun; you may rest assured I remember every other time, though.

    Mac
     
  24. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Mine started early. When I was a couple years old (before I can remember) my grandpa gave me a Marlin 60. My dad gave me a BB gun at about 5 and I quickly mastered the art of arching a silverstreak over a row of army soldiers and down onto a dinosaur or a rogue Yoohoo can. My other grandfather lived out in the country and using the 22 rifle he was given as a kid by his grandpa I got a good lesson in hitting small moving targets in the form of water snakes at the creek. Always head shots. If snakes weren’t present then I would aim at the silver spot on the back of a chub minnow and stun them with my BB gun. I was a lost cause by the time I was 6 because I was shooting everything I could every time I could. By the time I graduated high school I was getting into tricks but without having a good way to show off it got boring. The only tricks I can still do consistently is shoot my Mossberg upside down and bust clays, and shoot the same Mossberg one handed.
     
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  25. 375supermag

    375supermag Member

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    I think I was born with a sixgun in my hand.
    Been shooting as far back as I can remember.
    I have memories of shooting my father's H&R .22LR revolver and he had to support the revolver so I could shoot it, so I had to be very young. Probably less than 4 or 5.
     
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