Question of the Day: Still Having Fun?

Underneath this morning’s post Random Thoughts About A Liberal Gun Owner TTAG commentator JohnF wrote: “I used to get a thrill from [shooting] in my youth. But no longer. Shooting is a pain in the a-s. It’s expensive and time consuming and I always wind up running into someone who has either a ‘gun-ego’ problem or worse, a safety compliance problem. Then I have to clean the damn things. I still do it for skill improvement, but I hate it. I much prefer dry firing at home.” I LOVE shooting. It always lifts my spirits, to the point where “a bad day at the range beats a good day anywhere else” is an operative adage. True for you too or is it a case of The Thrill Is Gone?

comments

  1. avatar Gordon Wagner says:

    >”a bad day at the range beats a good day anywhere else”

    This.

    1. avatar Orygun Frank says:

      Unless fishing. Then again being in southern Oregon means I can fish and shoot in the same general area. Win win!

    2. avatar Grindstone says:

      Suppose that depends on your definition of a “bad day at the range”. To me, that might include a GSW. Which is definitely worse than a good day at work.

  2. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I like to shoot but there’s no thrill. It’s not a pain but yeah I can’t afford it either. Oh yeah I saw BB King in 1984 along with Bobby Blue Bland. It would have been better without the lunatic woman I was about to marryLOL

  3. avatar David says:

    a liberal, you left out the most important part of any hobby sport or activity, fun! If the sport is no longer fun to you then by all means find something else RC boats RC planes blackjack something else football. because obviously if cleaning a firearm after using it is it that big of a pain in the ass, then maybe life itself is just a little too tough for you buddy. How about trying to get a life!

  4. avatar SD3 says:

    “It’s expensive and time consuming and I always wind up running into someone who has a ‘______-______’ problem….”

    I recommend you take up golf.

    (Heh!)

    1. avatar BigDinVT says:

      That was cruel, SD3.

    2. avatar Wiregrass says:

      You just described why I quit golf! I figured if I was going to spend that much time in the woods, I’d rather hunt for something other than a little white ball.

      I find shooting much more satisfying. Even when I have a bad day at the range.

  5. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    The range is work for me too. Even with hunting I don’t actually shoot the prey, because then it turns a nice hike into work and a bit of messiness. I like reading about guns more than shooting them. Swords, though, like to handle and practice with a lot more. Not that I would ever grab a sword rather than a gun if I needed a weapon to defend myself or others.

    1. avatar actionphysicalman says:

      Oh, and like JohnF said in his post, I like dry firing (laser) a lot. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that 95% of my practice is dry firing now. I dry fire practice about 20 minutes a day, but only go to the range about twice a month in the non-wintery months.

    2. avatar Dustin says:

      Small game, rabbits and squirrels. I’ve never even shot a deer because I’m afraid it’ll go to waste. I hate the idea of killing something and then not putting it to it’s fullest… If you mess up a little limb rat meat, no big deal..

      1. avatar ACP_arms says:

        You can always take the meat you don’t want/need to a food bank.
        Then it’s not wasted.

  6. avatar Ray says:

    The high cost certainly makes it stressful. Spending $50 on ammo and not liking the look of the holes in your target is not my idea of fun.

    1. avatar Gene says:

      Spend more time dry firing and pay attention to your form as you are doing it.

  7. avatar Phil LA says:

    I can relate to the first two complaints: time and money. I have a hard time justifying turning dollars into smoke. And spending a couple of hours a month doing it.

    But then I spend the rest of the month longing to repeat.

  8. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Every once in a while it starts to feel like work. Or at least just maintenance. When that happens I take a break for a week or so, or I just pick up my flintlock. It’s always fun to shoot the flinter.

  9. avatar Clayton Pascik says:

    I can’t stand ranges with silly rule. “Don’t shoot prone, because we have benches for you to shoot from” you also have a ground for me to lay on and I have yet to see a bench in the woods.
    “No rapid fire, you need 2 seconds between shots” how am I supposed to learn recoil management
    “No drawing from the holster and firing”
    “No stoppage drills”
    “No .22lr carbines in steal but .22lr pistols are fine.”
    I ALWAYS enjoy shooting. But it is the silly “safety” rules that keep me from doing anything fun that bug me.

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      ““No rapid fire, you need 2 seconds between shots” how am I supposed to learn recoil management
      “No drawing from the holster and firing”
      “No stoppage drills””

      THIS! I know these rules are there for the general purpose safety (especially if THAT guy shows up), but damnit I want to draw from a holster! This is honesty the biggest downside to me when having to goto an indoor range and not out to some land somewhere.

      Yesterday, I finally found a local range that will allow these things, granted its only 15y long but the satisfaction is worth the extra cost. They even had a groupon!

      1. avatar michael nieto says:

        here in norther nevada u just go out into the desert and no silly rules other than the 4 golden ones

    2. avatar Brett says:

      You could always go to the nearest National Forest or BLM area and practice. Just make sure you follow their rules regarding where you’re allowed to shoot.

      1. You are at least 150 yards from a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation area or occupied area.
      2. You are not shooting across or on a National Forest System Road or an adjacent body of water.
      3. You are not shooting into or within a cave.
      4. You are not shooting in any manner or place where any person, property or resource is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge.
      5. You are not firing any tracer bullet or incendiary ammunition.

      1. avatar Clayton Pascik says:

        When I lived in California I would just go to the desert and ha e a great time. But here in Florida the woods/jungle are dense, and the rulesfor shooting in national forests are prohibitive at best and very vaguely written. There is no BLM. There is a range I go to which is county run and has the silly rules but rarely enforced, it is 1.5 he’s from my house.

    3. avatar Gary Schulze says:

      I’ve never understood this silly two second rule. What is the purpose of this? Show me a range or club with this rule and I’ll show you someplace that doesn’t have USPSA and IDPA shooters.

    4. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      I was really happy when I found 37 PSR here in North Carolina. It’s a low restriction range meaning as long as it is safe and your bullets hit the berm, you can do it. Yesterday I set up a little scenario in one of the bays and ran around like an idiot (safely) shooting at different targets from different positions. It introduced a little stress and made me have to work to get the shots. It was a lot of fun!

  10. avatar Braenen says:

    This is why I had to get out of the porn business…

    (Yes, sarcasm…)

  11. avatar Jeff says:

    A couple years back I was at the range sometimes several times a week. I had few obligations, a flexible work schedule, and I could pretty much always just grab a rifle and go during the weekday when nobody was there but the RO and myself. Hell the RO would even bring me coffee while I was there.

    Now I have a young son, a lot of home projects to be working on, and just getting to the range can be a chore. If I don’t get ready the day before, it’s stressful to get everything together and ready. Sometimes by the time I finally get there I’m too stressed out to even enjoy it, and if everything doesn’t go perfectly the whole experience feels like it’s ruined. My temper gets really short and I feel like other shooters are wasting my time with their constant need to go downrange and check targets that they’re barely even hitting any way.

    I do have some public land I can shoot on, but stuff even interrupts me there too. Last time I was there a whole train or horse riders came up behind me and I had to call it quits so I wouldn’t scare their horses as they slowly meandered on the trails that butt up against the range.

    I used to sometimes get in a quick range session by just driving out into the woods and dumping a whole brick of .22 out of my Sig 522. Gee, can’t even do that any more because the .22LR market is a joke.

    Ironically I enjoy cleaning the guns more than shooting them sometimes.

    1. avatar Phil LA says:

      Understood on the family, time and ammo availability.

      Might I suggest air guns, be they pellet or BB. Both are legal to shoot within city limits (if that applies), fairly quiet, cheap to shoot and do-able inside. I made a little make-shift air gun range in my garage with different targets and traps. 500 pellets for $2-$5. I often go do a little pellet target shooting (granted only 7-10 yds) at night in the garage after the family goes down. It’s not really like shooting a gun, but it helps with the withdrawals. Kind of like nicoderm I guess.

      1. avatar Enzo says:

        As somebody who shoots a gamo air rifle, and vapes on e-cigarettes. I can relate to this comment. Shooting a pellet gun in a backyard range brings back the fun of plinking with .22 at a much reduced cost. Most of the guys who handle the Whisper G2 agree that it feels just as solid as any synthetic .22 rifle. There’s no smell of burning powder, but it’s convenient and it’s fun to make water jugs leak.

  12. avatar JohnO says:

    Yeah, golf is a much less expensive option without the ego problems on the course. Hahahaha. Seriously, sell the guns and find a hobby you do like. But, a Ruger Mark II or III, treated with Eezox will not gum up too badly and is a boatload of fun to shoot. Very low-maintenance IMHO.

  13. avatar Defens says:

    I have a range on my property, but still don’t shoot all that much. I enjoy a bit of shooting now and then, but actually prefer to go hiking or riding my motorcycle. In the shooting sports, I probably get a bigger thrill out of building guns or working with other metalworking projects on my mill or lathe.

    I used to be an avid shooter – shot IPSC and took a lot of pistol and carbine classes. The cost and time sink spent in reloading for high-volume shooting no longer interests me that much. I do enjoy more of the precision rifle stuff now.

  14. I mostly agree with JohnF. I tend to shoot at odd times and when the weather is crappy. The clubs I shoot at are loose with membership and rules, while this can be good if you’re shooting drills on a timer there are times when it’s bad. I kept running into people where were so dangerous that they’d look down the barrel of a loaded gun while they have a finger on the trigger. The amount of stupid I saw and heard was enough to fill 10,000 short buses. One of the worst I saw was some camo dressed idiot who would chamber a round, pull the handgun to his body, turn the gun upwards towards his face and then proceed to skim his chest with the top of the slide before coming out in front of his face. All this with his finger on the trigger. I had no idea why the hell he was doing this, but, I didn’t stick around much longer.

    Another one, same club, I had some guy asked if I minded if he shot from behind me. Yeah, because I don’t see a problem with shooting past people who are down range nor do I see a problem with a shooter shooting from behind me. This guy was too stupid to figure out that his 5906 had a decokcing lever.

  15. avatar Preston B. says:

    I’m 22, I Iive in Wisconsin, I just bought an SD40 VE. I’m definitely still having fun.

    1. avatar JohnO says:

      I love my SD9VE! Put in an Apex trigger spring kit (~$22) and your trigger will improve tremendously.

      1. avatar Preston B. says:

        That’s the plan! As well as replacing the guide rod!

  16. avatar matty 9 says:

    ALL YOU NAY SAYERS CAN JUMP IN A COLD LAKE. Shooting guns is the best damn thing next sex and fishing.

    1. avatar S.CROCK says:

      ^ Thank you! I was getting a little depressed listening to this.

    2. avatar DownrangeFuture says:

      I think the people with issues are like me and stuck having to use public ranges. I love shooting at reactive targets and doing live fire shooting drills with movement. Public ranges tend to have retarded safety rules. Slow fire, only benchrest, short ranges, no reactive targets, no outside targets at all, etc. Having to stop every 15 minutes for 20 minutes so somebody can walk out and check their paper target sucks. And shooting paper while sitting at a bench just isn’t that much fun.

      The range near me just added in an auto range. They call it an “AK” range… cause that’s the only fully auto gun right? Anyway, they’ll let you shoot reactive targets but you have to shoot from a bench. No exploding targets though and it costs twice as much. Half the time, the idiot behind the counter makes me shoot from the overpriced range cause my AR “looks like an AK to me.” FML.

      I’ve been driving out to dayton to shoot at their crappy little range cause the rangemaster doesn’t care what you shoot with or at. And he actually knows the difference between an AR and an AK. They don’t care if you shoot prone either. And they actually sell tannerite there. Blow up 20lbs all at once, half-buried? It’s cool. They have an old car at the 200yd mark to shoot at. Saw one guy put 10lbs under the fender and blow it off. lol. But it’s a long ass drive and it’s only open when the old man feels like it.

  17. For me no. The thrill will never be gone. I even love cleaning my guns after some trigger time. The only thing I hate is the damn expense. I just can afford to go burn 200 rounds per firearm per weekend anymore. I could when I could get a 1,000 rounds of anything, (9 45 38 223) for $150-$190. but not now.

    1. avatar Dustin says:

      My first gun was a Norinco AK-47, milled receiver. I used to wheel a dolly stacked with 1000rd cases of 7.62×39 out of every nearby gun show for $75ea. I’m not even that old. My dad thought it was a stupid gun and I was stupid. Both are true and still are.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Both are true and still are.

        ROTFL

  18. avatar Jeff in Tacoma says:

    I can’t stand ranges and their bullsh!t rules either. The only thing I use ranges for is zeroing a scope. Otherwise we go up in the woods and make our own range/course. We don’t even let anyone we don’t know shoot near us.

  19. avatar Removed_californian says:

    Hate to say it but I love the mechanical aspect of my rifle more than I enjoy shooting it. Take much more pleasure in stripping and reoutfitting it.

    1. avatar Dustin says:

      I bought most of my guns just to take them apart…

  20. avatar Vhyrus says:

    Buying guns is fun. Shooting them? Not so much. Although I did just build a long(ish) range 308 so the idea of precision distance shooting has me a little excited again.

  21. avatar Don -Pa. says:

    Look, I am almost 67 years old and I cannot understand how any of the negs here have become that way. You make me sad – there is absolutely nothing (other than personal/family, etc. – stuff) better than shootingI You fellas have to get it together! Now, I have to ask you guys something about cleaning guns: Have any of you ever tried G96? I had tried many different types and brands – then tried G96. This stuff is amazing! Unless something I cannot imagine occurs, I will never use anything else. It apparently has been out forever, yet I never even heard of it till just recently. The synthetic version, despite being even a better cleaner, actually smells good.

    Anyone? Bueller?

  22. avatar Red In Texas says:

    Lost a lot of interest during the panic, but it’s slowly coming back. I do enjoy filling my safes though.

  23. avatar Ralph says:

    No, the thrill has not gone for me. What has gone are cheap ammo and good eyesight.

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Same here.

      1. avatar Paul says:

        Find an optometrist or ophthalmologist who shoots and get a pair of prescription shooting glasses. Not cheap but very helpful. More so with open sight rifles than with handguns, at least for me. Much better than wasting the not-cheap ammo.

  24. avatar scooter says:

    The thrill ain’t gone! I prefer to shoot with friends, but a solo trip is usually better for skill improvement. My local indoor is close, but if we want to shoot more than paper we go to family property about 30 minutes away. Last fall out jack o lanterns met their end by way of an SKS. We are going to test penetration on a car door this spring. I’m planning on joining some matches at my range, too.

  25. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I missed a range day yesterday. I’m still depressed.
    The do list was just too big after being gone for almost 3 weeks.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      We all feel so, so sad for you, Bwana Tom. We really do.

      1. avatar jonwaynetaylor says:

        Yeah I’m crying a river over here. I bet Tom’s still shaking the African dirt out of his boots.

  26. avatar mae west says:

    Buy a mosin nagant. Loads of fun. Learn how to clean it. Shoot it. How to make it accurate. Imorove the trigger. Mount a scope. Repeat.

    1. avatar Phil LA says:

      Love the MN 91/30, but my (new) range has a strict no-FMJ policy, so half of my favorite part of shooting the MN is out!

  27. avatar NYC2AZ says:

    No. The thrill isn’t gone. I only wish I had more time than 2-4 times a month to go to the range. I also wish I still had time to shoot some kind of comp. I miss Tuesday Night Steel at Rio Salado… Just no time anymore.

  28. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    I’m still having fun. I wish I had more time to go to a range. I have three indoor and three outdoor ranges to choose from.

  29. avatar acepeacemaker says:

    I can’t afford it, ranges suck, there’s no outdoor shooting anywhere in my county. Once or twice a year the family loads up everything we’ve got and heads out of town, cross country, into the mountains, up miles of logging roads, hoping to find a 50 yard clearing somewhere that they haven’t gated off yet. The actual shooting part is great and everyone smiles from ear to ear the whole time. It’s my favorite thing to do. The journey to get there would get old if I expected to do it more often. To keep the fundamentals sharp I’m stuck with using a Red Ryder in the back yard.

  30. avatar Marz says:

    To put it simply:

    I work so I can shoot. Everything else besides food (for me and my guns) and a place to store my guns is a sweet bonus.

  31. avatar Bryan says:

    To some point yes. I am no longer a gadget of the month gear whore. I don’t keep up on the latest gadgets, flavor of the month instructor/competitor etc. etc. The cost has risen sharply to shoot. I have lots of reloading gear but consider it a chore. I’ve sold about half my collection because they hadn’t been shot in years.

  32. avatar Buck says:

    I can relate. Too many outside forces makes it feel like work to even get to the range.

  33. avatar Gary McClenny says:

    I think what many are implying, if not outright stating, is that shooting has gotten very expensive and that takes some of the fun out of it. I remember when I would shoot one of my .44s and think, there goes a quarter and now think, there goes a dollar every time I pull the trigger. I used to buy .50 BMG for $1.19/round and now it is close to $4.00! Sit down behind that old Browning and shoot 25 rounds and there goes a Benjamin! Is it still fun? Absolutely! Can it be a financial pain for a working man? Of course! Finding a range can be a pain as well. Ranges are not everywhere; not every town for gun safety has one, though you would think that would help with town safety. Not everyone has access to private property where they can shoot. Ranges can be expensive as well, adding to the cost. Some ranges do not allow rapid fire, FMJ, or drawing from the holster.
    Is shooting still fun? Yes! Can it be a pain, taking away from that fun? Yes. I tend to get more fun out of it by teaching non gun owners how to shoot than I do from actually pulling the trigger myself but I still have fun either way. I stockpiled ammo years ago thinking it might become scarce and bought it when it was cheap, but every time I use some, I think about the cost of replacement. However, the greatest thrill to me is filming a youngster sitting behind the ma deuce and stroking the butterfly for the first time! Those kids get the biggest grin on their faces! That, my friends, makes it all worthwhile!

  34. avatar Patrick says:

    I always have fun and have a good time, but the thrill has worn off. My skill level has moved beyond two or three paper targets with maybe a little lateral movement. I don’t have three gun shooting around here sadly. That would be a great challenge and would surely bring the thrill back to shooting.

  35. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Thanks for putting the original version of the Thrill is gone up. Id forgotten how good and simple it was.
    Too many different versions over the last 40 years.
    Makes me want to shoot my 1st gun as I still have it.
    A S&W Model 66. Its been over 25 years since Ive shot it, with all the semi autos and 1911s Ive owned over the years.
    Maybe the Thrill will come back.

  36. avatar Chris Meissen says:

    I’m in my sixties now. I’ve been shooting since at least the first time I shot .22 rifles on the local Boy Scout camp’s rifle range at age ten. I live about a twenty minute drive from a very nice unmanned MDC range that features concrete shooting benches and baling twine target standards at fifty and one-hundred yards. And still, the only thing more enjoyable than shooting is encountering new shooters on the range, talking to them, and coaching them on the finer points of shooting. I like to shoot but now I like teaching new shooters, especially new female shooters, even more.

    1. avatar Bernard says:

      Yup. Teaching new-shooters is more fun than shooting by yourself. Especially if they’re coachable.

  37. avatar Mason says:

    Hell no, I have about two or three range trips a month. The range I go to allows rapid fire and drawing from the holster after you take a class their. Only wish I could shoot steel more, and have some where to practice moving and shooting and more time to take classes. I haven’t had years of range trips or ‘adult responsibilities’ to wear me out yet though.

  38. avatar displacer says:

    What is this “cleaning guns” you all speak of? I mean seriously my collection is mostly AR-15s and I think I actually clean them every 5,000 rounds or so, although every ~1000 rounds I do dab a little more VV632 moly wheel bearing grease on the bolt’s sliding surfaces and call it good. Last time I cleaned my pair of Sig 522s it was not because they weren’t working fine, but rather for fun to see how much carbon I could scrape out of them. (It was a lot.)

    I have found the kind of simple thrill I got from just shooting guns when I was a teenager or in my early 20s is gone in my early 30s, but I’ve also found a more satisfying contentment by pushing myself to try new challenges and not just own but master my guns. It also helps to have private property you can shoot on so you aren’t limited to just slow-fire paper targets, and some friends you trust who also own with guns so you can compete against them in range games.

  39. avatar Bob says:

    If shooting isn’t fun, you’re doing it wrong.

    Shoot some 3 gun or uspsa, and join an outdoor range and shoot some steel. If you just stand and shoot paper I could see how it would lose its fun

    1. avatar Dustin says:

      I’d like to get back into action rifle, but after searching for 250 miles in every direction, I gave up.

  40. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    “Still crazy after all these years…”

  41. avatar Mark N. says:

    Time and money, time and money. I am most definitely NOT having ENOUGH fun because of time and money.

  42. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

    Due to a myriad of circumstances I don’t get to go shooting often at all, and when I do, I drive an hour and a half to a range in another state because it’s cheaper, has longer yardage, and the people working/shooting there are friendly. This has been my labor of love for about five years while growing up in a rabidly anti-gun environment outside the house. It has been a long, tiresome, and sometimes frustrating road, but I wouldn’t have it any other way because it has taught me the value of gun ownership and (freedom/liberty in general) that much more. Plus, whatever pro-gun state I end up settling down in is going to seem like paradise in comparison.

  43. avatar Cknarf says:

    Ammunition costs are a pain in the ass.

    Wedging two 91/30s and a Vepr into a 1996 Toyota Tercel is a GIANT pain in the ass.

    Driving to the range is a pain in the ass.

    Range fees are a pain in the ass.

    Still love it though.

    1. avatar JWM says:

      When I bought my first 91/30 I was driving a metro. Lotsa fun.

  44. avatar PeterC says:

    I’m in my 70s, and i’ve been shooting since I was 13. When I lived in MA, I had a club range just two miles from my house, and I shot at least once a week. Never any hassles, but then again, I was the club president. When I moved to AZ in 1995, I had to acclimate myself to some club and public ranges with rather intrusive supervision. Last year, I bought a small portable shooting bench (Knothole Designs Model 2000), and now the whole desert is my range! My 400 sq. ft. gunroom and reloading area is bursting at the seams, and I couldn’t be happier.

  45. avatar juliesa says:

    Fun, but not in 100 degree weather, or in floods, like today. I don’t have the time to go to Granny’s ranch that often, and when we do we have to make sure there are no bossies or caballos in the way. Other than that, it’s great.

  46. avatar JWM says:

    Sex. Shooting. Fishing. If it ain’t fun You’re doing it wrong.

  47. avatar John in Ohio says:

    I can empathize with JohnF. I enjoyed shooting with my father when I was younger but that was really the only time that I got a thrill out of it. My firearms are tools to me and it would be no different than driving nails into a board with my hammer. I know many people who do enjoy it and I used to always go to the range with them. The cost of ammunition prohibits me from doing any “fun” range time these days, so any range work is for keeping up skills, getting newbies into the RKBA, or function tests and sighting. My oldest and I are hopefully getting back into reloading since he can purchase the equipment and supplies. Perhaps, I’ll once again enjoy it because of family and that I can actually afford to shoot reloads?

    Come to think of it, my great-uncle, who taught me how to wield single action revolvers (my first handguns), didn’t seem to target shoot for recreational enjoyment. He was a genuine backwoodsman from the day, an ancient man by the time I was born. Always kind and patient, he ingrained in me, among other things, the necessity of always being armed. But, he would’ve likely experienced recreational shooting as I do; necessary maintenance of skills and tools.

    There’s nothing wrong with getting a thrill out of shooting but not all of us have the same experience.

  48. avatar Vlad says:

    When I was a kid we used to ride our bikes with our .22’s to the rock quarry or through woods near a creek or down the rail road tracks and plink. No one batted an eye. We’d catch crawfish and sell them at the hardware store/bait shop and then ride down to the grocers and buy candy and aviator sunglasses with proceeds. The town was small and connected to a larger town of 50ish thousand. The shopping center was in the center and was composed of the hardware store/baitshop, two bars and the grocer. Cigarettes were .75 per pack and I could buy them for grandma at the bar with change placed in the vending machine. I could ride my bike for miles in any direction and only needed to be home by dark. We’d camp, hike, hunt, swim and play all day long in the summer.

    Industrial city was annexed by the larger town and Kansas City grew ever farther north. As the 80’s became the 90’s and 90’s the 2000’s things changed dramatically. Everyone is so regimented and regulated and everything is bureaucratic and gross. My life was so free. My child’s life is not. I miss those simpler times in a way I cannot articulate succinctly.

    Shooting is not free and fun anymore the way it was. The younger generations now have never known what it was like before the modern police state and the rise of uncountable city and county bureaucracy. They haven’t the freedom to just be. Life is now consumed by abstraction and all encompassing authoritarianism and hierarchy. I often wonder what my late great grandmother must have felt having watched the 1900’s become the 1920’s then 30’s then 40’s through the 2000’s. How surreal that progression must have been. I have a photo of her, my grandfather, my dad, myself and my son. We still hunt and fish but we must drive long distances and pay fees and tow the line all the time.

    1. avatar Dustin says:

      This. So EXPLETIVE DELETED much of this…

    2. avatar Grindstone says:

      . I often wonder what my late great grandmother must have felt having watched the 1900’s become the 1920’s then 30’s then 40’s through the 2000’s.

      She might have been grateful that her children and grandchildren didn’t have to work constantly just to help put food on the table for the whole family and watch 30% of their siblings die before their 1st birthday.

      My grandma is thankful that I didn’t grow up in a house made of stacked dirt, like she did. And so am I. And I’m thankful that my dad isn’t dead by now from ingested coal dust, unlike her father.

      The past isn’t ever as rosy as we’d like it to be. It’s important to keep things in perspective.

  49. avatar Kendahl says:

    I lost interest 30 years ago because the only available range was neither very good nor very close to my home. Having found a good place to shoot, I resumed shooting this year. My club hosts more than 30 matches of many kinds annually. Practical pistol and bowling pin shoots are fun. Cowboy action would be, too, if I owned the necessary rifle and shotgun. It has been enough to prompt me to get my concealed carry permit just to simplify transporting guns to the range.

  50. avatar Dustin says:

    I enjoy it… Not as much as I used to… It was more fun when the gun was just a toaster to me.

    Now that I know them all inside out, there’s always something that nags at me, that needs improvement, that isn’t quite perfect. Sometimes I avoid shooting just because because the flaws in every gun come to mind over everything else.

    But then, when I do go tot he range, most of that subsides and “Hey, this is fun, why the hell don’t I do it more?”

    Then I have to buy ammo… Bleh. I like it when my stack of ammo grows, it makes me sad when it shrinks. Sometimes I don’t shoot simply because I like the stack of ammo more than I like shooting… Hoarding… There is no such thing as too much ammo.

  51. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    I’m glad I still have the passion about shooting and guns. I love shooting, hunting, cleaning my guns after I shoot, hell one of my hobbies is just trying to find the cheapest quality ammo. I would love to reload but the components are still almost as impossible to find as .22 lr.

  52. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Yes, I still enjoy going out shooting.

    In fact I went out shooting today. I practiced moving and shooting and engaging multiple targets while moving (rapidly) and shooting (rapidly). I was averaging 13 out of 15 hits into a 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper at 12 feet while moving laterally back and forth and shooting at a rate of about 4 shots per second.

    I feel quite good about that.

  53. avatar Davis Thompson says:

    Spent the weekend at my brother-in-law’s fabulous backyard range testing ammo and rifles. (Hornady 5.56mm Super Performance 75r BTHP the winner in my self-lower-built Stag 6H, beating out the same ammo in .223 in my Savage 11.)

    Then I needed to check the zero on the Ruger 10/22 I use to teach newbies.

    Then, since I had some pistol ammo in my bag, had to shoot that, right?

    Home again, tomorrow I have a bunch of Brooklyn hipsters coming over for a safety class then a trip to the range so they can shoot for the first time.

    Yes, it can be a pain in the ass. But what a glorious pain in the ass. And if that joy ever slackens for you, take someone shooting who’s never shot before and watch for “that face.”

  54. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    The thrill is gone for indoor ranges. I only go to outdoor ranges, where there’s ample space between the shooting positions, and there is actually an RO on duty. There’s also something about the smell of burnt gunpowder, preferably mine, and I just can’t imagine ever getting tired of it.

    It costs too much in time and money? Too much? I would be profoundly embarrassed to make such an irredeemable utterance. To admit that I possess a less than serious, or anywhere in the neighborhood of lackadaisical, attitude about my armed self defense, is contrary to the whole point of carrying a firearm. By my way of thinking, if you really believe you’re “good enough” from doing dry-fire drills, then you need to seriously reassess your purpose for carrying, because good enough, you aren’t. Guns used in self defense don’t go “snap” they go “BANG!!” So, dry firing your way to marksman? I’m gonna say….no.

    1. avatar jonwaynetaylor says:

      Of course you have to actually fire the weapons, but dry firing should be the vast majority of your practice. 90% of your time with the gun should be without a live round chambered in the weapon. Give me someone who spends 10 hours a week on the range, versus someone who spends 5 hours on the range and 5 hours in a good and structured dry fire practice, and I’ll bet on the later any day.

  55. avatar Alan Livingston says:

    Conditions have to be right for me to really enjoy it anymore. At age fifty, my goall now is to make each session better than the one before. More bullseyes faster and further than the session before. My pistols and rifles are all optimized to give me the edge in shooting my best. And while I have resolved the expense problem, I often run into fellow shooters that can ruin a session. Those who come to the range to play, squeezing off rounds as fast as they can but not really serious about improving skills. I realize that to some there can be great joy in just making noise with an assault rifle or handgun, but certain shooting styles don’t mix. To each his or her own but these days I try to go to the range early which eliminates many of those problems! Good shooting!

  56. avatar Leighton says:

    I would be bored too if it weren’t for USPSA competition. Moving and shooting rapidly is about as much fun as you can have. When I’m not competing, I prefer to shoot in the National Forest as opposed to the range where I’m a member. I just like the freedom of it.

  57. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

    It is strange that the most frustrating part about shooting is other gun owners. People who you’d think I would have kinship with.

    I don’t like going to the range because of people to either side of me with “aggressive” muzzle brakes that buffet me with shockwaves constantly.

    Shooting in a rock pit on public land this weekend, I was next to a large group blowing up tannerite every few minutes. I’ve seen the videos of tannerite sending rocks flying at shooters, so I just did a few magazines and left. I abhor restrictions on firearms ownership, but I would be COMPLETELY okay with a law restricting the use of tannerite on public land. (Unpopular Opinion time: Tannerite yahoos make gun owners look bad)

    So I love going shooting, as long as I’m alone (or my group is alone). The cost isn’t really that prohibitive. My spot is a bit of a drive, but a few boxes of ammo costs as much or less than dinner and drinks.

  58. avatar Sock Monkey says:

    It comes and goes. Sometimes it’s fun. Other times, it’s just going through the motions.

  59. avatar Wiregrass says:

    I shoot with friends once a week at our club range. We all have good safety habits and let each other try our guns. That keeps it fun. The shortage of .22lr is the only thing that takes the trill out of it. Since I started reloading 9mm and .223 Rem, I don’t feel the pain in the wallet so much, even though I probably spend the same amount or more on ammo, but I shoot more. I’m not a high volume reloader so it’s not a big expense. I would hate for this to feel like work.

  60. avatar Danman says:

    I am nearing 60 and have been shooting all my life. I am more fortunate than many in that my pistol shooting is done in my back yard and I can shoot my AR if I choose out my living room door. Also that I invested in reloading and bullet casting equipment many years ago. I can still crank out a box of .45acp and 9mm for under $5, which over the many years has more than paid for it. If I don’t shoot at least once a week, it’s not the norm. I love shooting, don’t mind cleaning too much but I’m a bit obsessive about it. What I do hate is the .22 thing…. why we still can’t get .22’s is bullcrapola.

  61. avatar jojo says:

    Yes.

    If I didn’t, I’d quit.

    It is expensive, but I’d rather send money into the berm than most of my other hobbies.

  62. avatar CYRANO says:

    try shooting another gun.. I have a CZ455 that never gets cleaned. Its a target gun but loves to be shot dirty. One should have a gun that doesn’t necessarily needs cleaned right away, can shoot cheap ammo and is fun to shoot for the days that you don’t want to drag 4 tool boxes of gear with you to the range. I find 22 bolt actions and shotguns fill those bills well.

  63. avatar Silver says:

    I used to love it. Then I started paying attention to the politics. Now, shooting is a melancholy experience, like playing with an old, beloved dog who’s nearing the end of his days.

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