Poll: Your first experience with firearms?

We’re waxing a bit nostalgic this week. Many of us learned how to shoot when we were really young. Others were lucky enough to have shooting be part of a family tradition. Others didn’t learn until they were much older.

chi-gun-training-kids-video-20150327 (1)Tell us about your experiences!

Were you just a little tyke with your first Henry rifle?

Did you go plinking with a parent?

Did you learn when you were older? Did a drill instructor put that first rifle in your hands in Basic Combat Training?

Give us your story in the comments, if you’d like. We’d love to see it!

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14 thoughts on “Poll: Your first experience with firearms?”

  1. At age six, my grandfather taught me how to shoot his .22 rifle. By age seven, I was learning to hunt in his back pasture and woods. At age 16 I learned to reload for my .30-’06 1917 Enfield. Got into IPSC shooting in 1980. Had a bench rest and 100-yard range on my property since 1967.

    76 years of happiness. 🙂

    1. Love that! I wish my parents had taught me that early. My son shot his first automatic weapon when he was 8 – an MP5 – and he loved it so much, he demanded I buy him one!

  2. I was broken in early by my older sister’s husband, with the full approval of my father who was not himself much of a shooter. Brother-in-law was a farmer and a hunter (poacher, to be specific, though in central Michigan at the time it was a technical distinction) and to him skill with firearms was just an ordinary part of life that everybody should have. Though my branch of the family had moved to the city, I don’t think the elders of my family ever considered that anyone could believe anything else. There were always guns around – it wasn’t a macho or ‘tactical’ thing, it was just an understanding that sometimes you needed to defend life and property and that was easier done with guns.

  3. My family was never anti-gun, but I don’t recall anyone in the extended family owning a gun or shooting. So, I was open to the idea when my new husband proposed to teach me.

    Unfortunately, he played the same sick trick on me that so many macho men do.. handed me a 30-06 and showed me how to hold it. When I pulled the trigger, you can imagine the pain and shock of the recoil on a young woman totally unprepared for it.

    I always thought it was some kind of miracle that I was willing, later, to really look at guns again. We had a small farm, and I knew we needed something to fight the vermin… but not the 30-06, of course. A friend introduced me to the .410 shotgun (that years later would be used to save my life), and I got to be pretty good with it.

    Moving to another place, we were faced with a large pack of vicious feral dogs. They had been taking down livestock all through the area, but nobody was doing anything about it. I had small children and beloved horses and other animals by that time, so I consulted my friend again and we bought a Marlin 30-30 for me. This time I had a competent instructor, and learned to use it well… fast. Between the 30-06 my husband shot, and my increasingly accurate hits with the Marlin, we eliminated the feral dogs in a few days.

    I didn’t get a handgun for a very long time after that, in fact not until after the incident where I had to shoot a man to save my life – with the .410. My sister helped me obtain a small handgun after that, and I joined the local gun club. With practice, I got pretty good with the little H&R .32 revolver, but never enjoyed shooting it.

    Another 20+ years went by, and I moved to Wyoming. The rest, as they say, is history. I now have more guns than good sense, I think. 🙂

    1. Gaaah! When I hear about those macho men wanting to make their girlfriends hurt, I want to hold them down and punch their face to a pulp. Shooting’s too quick.

      Fortunately, unlike those worm turds, I can show some self restraint.

  4. Uncle took some family members and me (age 15) to the FBI range; a patient of his was an instructor and invited us to shoot some guns. I shot a 9mm pistol, a .45 1911, an Uzi and a Thompson SMG (the MOST FUN gun ever!) It was a great time and I definitely enjoyed it. But I didn’t get into gun-ownership and defending the 2nd amendment until much later…Like most people, you really don’t appreciate a right until you fear losing it. that was motivation enough for me at a much older age when I could understand it.

  5. I’ve been around guns since I was born. Shooting with my parents since I was old enough to get around well. My mom or dad would hold a lever action rifle and let me look over the sights and pull the trigger. I really thought I was shooting! Some of my best memories with my kids involve guns too. My son worked at a range with me at age 16. Lots of pride watching him give correct advice to adults two or three times his age.

  6. I have photos of me wearing toy six-shooters when I was 5 or so. By the time I got to the first grade I was pretty heavily “armed” by Mattel. Somewhere in there Dad taught me to shoot with a Red Ryder BB gun well enough to make “diamonds.”
    (Shoot a BB down the neck of an old-fashioned glass Coke bottle and tap the base, and it would pop out a glass “diamond.”)
    But my first FIREARM was a Marlin Model 1 under the Christmas tree when I was 11. I still use it to teach physically small people to shoot.

  7. I can’t say exactly how old I was when I got my first gun but it was after birth and somewhere in or around 10 or so; I would guess. My very first gun was a 410 bolt action, I used it for hunting, doves, quail, squirrels, rabbits and deer, later I was upgraded to a 20gauge Stevens side by side. Where I was brought up in Virginia there was no rifle hunting, only shotguns, therefore I never owned a rifle until I moved to the left coast.

    My fondest memories were not only about gun hunting but even more so about the hunting dogs. We had this wonderful pointer and my Dad friends had beagles. There is no better experience in hunting than hunting with dogs and the inaction you have with those dogs IMHO.

    My Dad unknowingly & mistakenly gave me one of my most important lessons with guns which to this day I will never forget and will always have in the back of my mind when there is a firearm in my hands. We were bird hunting a clear cut, right off a freshly cut corn field if I remember correctly and if you have ever hunted a clear cut, it’s like a war zone of where the trees that are left are smashed into God awful configurations and the earth being similar to how it would look after an artillery barrage. I had my place given to me to stand as always and after a while I remember a Dove landing on a limb to my right on a twisted tree close to the earth, I aimed and fired, but immediately thereafter I heard my Dad’s voice telling me to stop shooting. It turned out I had shot my Dad, the good news was it was only with a light bird shot load coming from a 410, no real damage but if you knew my Dad you would first know he was not a guy you would like to piss off, man did I think my meeting with God was coming quick in my life however surprising enough his attitude was one of consoling me by letting me know it was his fault for not informing me that he had changed position. From that day forward I have always made sure of what the background was before I ever shot again even if it meant letting the game get away. But never did I find out if I got that bird or not.

    I shot my first pistols with my Dad, his 22lr Hi standard and a 25 small colt pocket pistol auto, wonderful little guns, both of which I inherited after my Dad death which are owned by two of my sons now. However the first gun I ever bought was a 38special Taurus revolver which I bought for a cross country journey in which the love of my life & my two young sons, and our dog took with me in a covered wagon with a VW on the front of it, and now that’s another story for sure too. Going across country is about 3,000 miles, we travel over 10,000 and saw a lot of the south, southwest, into Mexico and all the way to California.

  8. Army brat, and there were toy guns around, but other than some .22 at a boy scout camp (and I probably sucked), I had zero exposure to real firearms until I was 26 or maybe even later. Been making up for lost time ever since.

  9. I shot a .22 rifle a few times in Boy Scouts (about 10 rounds total, maybe). I don’t count that; oddly enough, they didn’t cover safety (other than, “keep it pointed down-range”) or marksmanship. Just, “Here’s your rounds, there’s your target. Go.”). In retrospect, it would border on negligence by today’s standards and was not particularly enjoyable. (In Scouts, I was far more into archery than rifles; with a decent bow and good arrows, I could out-shoot some of other guys’ rifles.)

    My REAL first experience with firearms came much later. Age 29 or so. Went out onto some BLM land with friends, a pistol and carbine in 9mm, and a few 12ga shotguns. Shot at targets and clay pigeons. Within a few months, had purchased two guns of my own and was becoming very aware of the endless political controversy surrounding them.

    *mumble mumble* years and *mumble mumble* firearm purchases later, here we are. 🙂

  10. I shot my first rifle here, in Toronto, Canada, under the auspices of the IBM Rifle and Pistol Club. Went on to become part of the the IBM Prone Rifle team.

  11. I was about 35 years old in the early 1990’s, married with 2 little kids in Oregon. Raised by hardcore liberal parents who despised “gun nuts” and guns. I was sure they should all be illegal. And yet…always a tomboy, I had lusted after BB guns as a child but was forbidden to have one. Then Oregon ODFW started their “Becoming an Outdoorswoman” classes and I saw a flyer. Signed up for the beginning shotgunning class. I literally did not know the difference between a shotgun and a rifle. Most of the other gals in the class had never touched a “real gun” and had been raised to fear them. The most wonderful, kind, patient, encouraging, non-condescending man taught the class…I will never forget him. Finally it was my turn to shoulder the 12 gauge and pull the trigger. Then gun went BOOM and the paper target downrange was instantly shredded. One of the coolest moments of my entire life! My husband (who was not a shooter then) bought me a shotgun for my birthday that year. Talk about proud and happy! That changed my whole life, not only because my childhood dream was realized, and I went on to become a hunter and carrier (sans permit!). But also because now that I knew the left was lying about guns, I figured out that they were lying about everything else. I educated myself about history and liberty, Dave Codrea, Mike Vanderbough and Aaron Zelman became my heroes. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to remember how much we owe to those wonderful mentors who change lives!

  12. I was just a kid with access to rural areas and friends that hunted and did target shooting; so I joined them. We also played baseball, fished rode bikes, etc. My single shot .22 was just another boyhood tool, like a fielder’s mitt. Then as I grew older I was the target of gun haters who labelled my shooting activities as evil and worthy of ‘correction’; some of these were otherwise ‘respected’ adults. I made my choice. I still have that .22 (it is 60 years old) and other hunting guns. Those gun haters and their like are no longer in my life and their descendants in thought are banned from my house. They made me into a 2a supporter and a 1 issue voter. Screw them, then and now. They started it.

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