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Reader Adub must be in a contemplative mood. He recently looked back at the long and winding road he took from his first gun purchase to where he is now and decided that flowcharting the process might be illustrative, if not instructive. We all have our own histories, ballistically speaking, whether you learned to shoot at your Grandpa’s knee and accumulate a lifetime of boomsticks or you bought your first gun in your 40’s and that constitutes your entire collection. What does your firearms path look like?

107 Responses to Question of the Day: What Firearms Path Did You Take?

    • Tell me about it. When picking out the house that we eventually bought, I chose this particular house because it had a barn with a finished interior.

    • Bought 30 acres with a small farm house(1948), built a $35000.00 house for the misses, I now have a 1400 sq ft reloading, hunting gear storage, high def tv, internet access man cave. And yes my better half is still happy.

  1. 1) Help my uncle move his gun shop at age 12. Don’t touch a gun again for 14 years.

    2) Play Fallout 3.

    3) Go on a trip with dad, walk into a Tallahassee gun shop and spot 10mm Auto ammunition on the shelf. Think to myself “Wow, that’s real?”

    4) Go shooting with bro-in-law for the first time. Put 5 rounds in a quarter-sized hole at 15 yards with a compact .40.

    5) Walk into gun shop, buy Glock 20.

    6) A year goes by, get CCW permit and Glock 19.

    7) Carry for 4 months, buy reloading press “to save money”.

    8) 1.5 years later, have so many guns, so much ammo, and so much extraneous stuff that it doesn’t all fit in my new 14-gun safe.

    • What guns do you have? I am just curious. I am new to guns although not to gun rights, but due to my financial situation at the moment haven’t been able to buy any yet. My first will probably be an SKS, followed by a Mossberg 500, then Ares SCR.

      • Kyle, what do you want to do with your guns? Think long term, and you will have less guns laying around that you dont use. The AK is fun, but not so great for hunting or accurate target shooting/competitioin. The Mossberg 500 is a great all around gun, hunting, home defense. The SCR is cool all day long, but depending where you live you might not be able to hunt with it.

      • An SKS is a really decent starting carbine, but they’re not as cheap & plentiful as they once were. Still, I’d suggest trying to find a Norinco; they have chrome-lined bores unlike Yugos, and replacement parts don’t need to be Yugo-specific.

        • I used to shoot AKs with some guys that worked for me back in the early ’90s. Kind of a fun-and-gun-teambuilder exercise, nobody took the shooting seriously.

          The days were kind of random, and inevitably someone would have forgotten their rifle at home. So as we were buying a crate per person (~$90 per 2 880 round spam cans) we’d pick up a spare Norinco AK – for about $130. This happened often enough that we all ended up with 5 or 6 “extra” AKs by the time we went our separate ways.

      • What is it for?
        If you are budget conscious, and the gun is for defensive purposes, consider one of the en vogue compact polymer pistols. They are all highly capable as long as you do not abuse them. They are similar in price depending on what kinda deal you got.
        Incomplete list, ranked in the order of accessory support: Glock 19/23, M&P, XDM, P320, PPQM2, VP9/40 and a lot i cant think of immediately. Sig P250 generally runs cheaper than those if you can find them and find the trigger OK (which i do). However please take into consideration replacement parts, mags, holsters (aliengear), mag pouches, and weaponlights (buy surefire once and for all or streamlight pretty good. Do not try your luck with Inforce they have more lemons).

        My personal preference is Glocks though.

        You can use it for home defense, EDC and competition if you have the time and money.

        • Thanks for the information, however unfortunately, you need a permit in NY state to even purchase a handgun and the county I am in (Genesee) is one of the most restrictive in the state. You need like four references, a meeting with a judge, it can only (officially) be for sporting purposes, etc…crazy.

      • Kyle,

        I see in one of your later comments that you live in New York. I don’t honestly know if you can purchase an SKS in New York. (SKS rifles are semi-auto and have bayonet mounts … I would be stunned if New York allowed such features.)

        I strongly recommend a pistol caliber carbine. They can be an excellent choice for target shooting and home defense. And since you live in New York, a lever-action carbine in .357 Magnum might be a great choice. You can use relatively inexpensive .38 Special ammo for plinking. And loaded with .357 Magnum cartridges it will pack a wallop for home-defense.

        Aside from the carbine angle, a Mossberg 500 is a great choice. You can use inexpensive target loads for plinking. (If you shop carefully, you can purchase 100 shells for about $22 on sale!) Of course buckshot and slugs are devastating for home defense. (But a pistol caliber carbine would an order of magnitude more quiet than the blast of a shotgun.)

        • Hey there, thankyou for the advice. Yes, SKS’s in New York are fully legal because “assault weapons” under the ban here are weapons that have a detachable magazine and then the various “military-style features” banned. The SKS I would get however would be the one with the fixed magazine.

          Good information on the pistol caliber carbines versus the shotgun, will consider that.

  2. 1) went shooting with friends who owned firearms a few times during childhood/teens
    2) got into Deer hunting with a compound bow during my mid 20’s.
    3) bought a shotgun for hunting, thinking it’d be the only gun I’d ever own.
    4) ???
    5) own more guns than I can count off the top of my head.

  3. Live in gun-averse city while doing post MD surgical training.
    Witness perp trying to steal my car battery as I exit hospital at 3AM
    Buy J-frame (required fingerprinting and picture at City Hall) before taking it home.
    Move to burbs….Remember neighbor from childhood who hunted pheasant and deer….begin hunting.
    Need bigger home to house growing heads on wall….opt to get freezer chest instead.
    Buy a safe to house growing collection (aka arsenal)
    Need bigger safe….opt for box to hold AR goodies (aka tinker toys for boys).
    Take up trap shooting.

      • Raised in Montana. Certainly didn’t grow up, though.

        Hold no memories before guns were in my life. Prefer it that way.

        Got a scrapbook full of gun pics at all ages. 100% normal around here.

        Montana. Still is what America used to be.

    • Yep. Red-neck kid surrounded by guns and hunters. If you didn’t know about guns (and repairing cars and fixin’ things in general) you were considered to be a little weird. Growing up, you quickly learned that guns were something you were expected to know about—it was just part of the skills set. My dad first took me shooting when I was 7 or 8. I still have the nickel I hit at 25 feet with my .22.

    • Family were farm folk from WV, KY and OH. Some immigrated to Texas and Missouri. I have no memory of a life without guns.

  4. I was born and raised in central Maine, from a family of farmers who were die-hard hunters. I am pretty sure that if I wasn’t actually born with a firearm in my hand, that there was at least someone present at my birth with one.

  5. 1) Wife doesn’t like guns, or facial hair

    2) Wife files for divorce

    3) Buy gun and grow a beard

    4) Find out I really like guns, plus having a beard is awesome

  6. Played with toy guns as a kid.
    Played and refereed paintball in teens.
    Go to indoor range and rent a pistol and box of ammo in late 20s.
    Take a job as an in-home drug and alcohol counselor and have to visit every ghetto and housing project in Allegheny county.
    Buy first pistol and carry permit.
    Member at sportsman’s club and enjoy frequent training and target shooting.
    Take friends to their first shooting experience, and argue pro-gun position in discussions whenever possible.

  7. If BB guns count I’ll have to start mine at age 5……… 🙂 Flash forward 41 years and I can’t put them all in the same room cause the wife “might” flip-out. As of late I’ve noticed I’ve been buying “because I can” not for any real need.

      • I’m in with that. Recently figured out I’m a slacker since I have no safe, am currently shopping. Hopefully it will clean up some of my mess, but I’m afraid I’ll just buy more guns. 2 currently on order, considering a third, inability to find guns I want is saving me, since I won’t just buy ANYTHING, though close.

        One difference-my bride doesn’t mind at all, I taught her to shoot over 50 years ago when she was 18. She has her own collection.

  8. 1. Learn about the Constitution and the founding fathers in high school
    2. Witness the aftermath of Sandy Hook
    3. Read the tea leaves
    4. Procrastinate for over 2 years, then buy a 9mm
    5. Discover the fun of practice shooting and blow a few Gs on assorted guns, ammo, safes, accessories as well as hours of research along the way…

    • Btw, it was a cool feeling when I researched gun laws around the country and realized how free AZ is. I wish we could scare all the shmucks from LA with this knowledge and divert them elsewhere.

  9. Grew Up shooting guns with grandpa for fun.

    Parents always had guns but taught me to not treat as toy.

    Started getting curious later in life and started researching and found TTAG.

    Sandy Hook happened and Democrats played politics and tried to grab guns.

    I was moving slowly towards purchasing but bloody shirt waving sped that process up by an exponential factor.

    Now have like several guns and plenty of ammo in a safe. Found out parents had a model 1873 springfield rifle

  10. 1. Never touched a firearm growing up.
    2. Joined Marine Corps – shot expert at Parris Island and realized I enjoyed it.
    3. Bought nothing until after I finished college. First firearm was a surplus Star “Modelo Super” 9 mm Largo
    4. Clinton gun grab got me into rifles in the 90’s. Expanded in several different types including Mosin madness
    5. Sold Star, bought a S&W 2nd gen SW9VE – still my only pistol
    5. Took up hunting last year – added a shotgun and shoot at pheasant, deer, and clay targets.

  11. First rifle was semi-auto Sears .22LR that was my Grandfathers. He taught me how to shoot, I was about 7-8. LONG rifle for me then. Then at 10 I was allowed to shoot my Great Grandfathers ’94 Winchester 30-30 RIFLE (not carbine) and took my first deer in our garden thus starting my life of crime. By 12 I was allowed to use my Grandfathers 1903-A3, we were the last house on the creek, so our entire back yard was ‘hunting territory’.

    First pistol was my Uncles 1911 at about 8 or 9 I’d guess. Pretty powerful to me then.

    Fast forward to now. 4 safes full of mostly rifles and shotguns to play engraving on, 1 safe of rifles and pistols that are commission pieces in progress or getting ready for OK to start, 1 safe of black powder. two sets of reloaders (name just about any caliber). large corner of old barn – the chicken-goat area with wall torn our and benched up into an OK workshop. Had a safe stolen by some renters that had my log-book in it, and haven’t logged most of my pistols or rifles back into it — insurance won’t cover them without a high price policy so why bother? More rifles than pistols. Lots of bolt actions and a truck load of lever action ’94’s- or equivalents – Marlins, Brownings, etc. just a couple of ‘black guns’ just for fun but not for ‘carry’. Maybe 10 Sigs, a couple of older 1911’s – a few revolvers, though I don’t like them much – even a couple of Dan Wesson’s which are OK, but I prefer a Sig for balance and hand-fit. Probably 20-30 extra shot-gun bbls of various lengths and choke for various makes, though the bbls I use are already on the shot-guns. maybe 5 or 6 standard bbls fro pistols, which have been replaced by custom match (often longer) bbls. —

    Am not a gun-smith, but an engraver, though we use some of the same equipment so lots of home-made tools – my tree would look like a branch of bitter-brush turned into the whisk of a broom. Amazing what 60+ years will accumulate.

    And my real hobby is photography (smile). Ask about my ‘Camera tree’ (laugh). Or finding out where roads go – “no road doesn’t go nowhere” is my motto – so might as well ask about my FWD tree as well. Even my first ‘car’ (VW bus) had twin batteries in a gimble mount and an electric winch.

    • Locked up kind of tight is – from US Navy family (many uncles USMC) all HM or Medical Corps, so was Corpsman in Navy – ended up FMF IDC in Vietnam for a few years – thus my distaste for killing and death and disabilities caused by firearms — seen more than enough for a life-time or two. And thus my push to NEVER ESCALATE to killing (ALWAYS TRY FIRST TO DE-ESCALATE) then if you can’t — shooting at someone is the LAST thing you can do – the VERY LAST OPTION — and then it’s 1) to protect others or 2) make the choice for MY Self. Try to DE-ESCALATE as much as you can – and if you can’t, escalate VERY slowly.

      I find beauty in fine finish and beautiful wood — both seem to come with very nice accuracy as well. A Wingmaster is a very fine shotgun – but there is a special beauty in a mid-line or above A-5 Browning. And lever actions always have a beautiful metal plate for intricate engraving and/or inlay. Old Sako’s are works of art. And very accurate out of the box. Even if the one in the box has had 1, 000+ rounds through it, it stays sub MOA. And the wood glows — even old finishes seem to glow. You can’t say that about black plastic. Though you can’t deny the fun that black plastic can give you.

  12. 1. As a child asked if self-defense was valid in God’s eyes. Parent said yes.
    2. Bullied in junior high. Learned importance of self-defense;
    3. AWB expired. Learning it was nothing but hot air, developed interest in getting an AR “someday “;
    4. While still IDing as liberal, thought liberal efforts to double down on factors encouraging mass shootings as ridiculous;
    5. Played nearly every Fallout game. Loved the guns in them;
    6. Moved to high crime city to finish schooling. Gentrified neighborhood turned out to be ghetto hellhole;
    7. Accosted but not assaulted by thugs. Girlfriend at time nearly assaulted;
    8. Moved up the street later, got burglarized over Christmas break;
    9. Moved to a better zip code, fully saw urban liberal policies for fraud they are;
    10. Taught to shoot by a couple friends on a .22 rifle, 9mm, and even an AR-mounted grenade launcher;
    11. Newtown. Alienation from liberal politics completed;
    12. Shortly after schooling, finally could afford a 9mm pistol;
    13. Discovered TTAG, developed better sense of self-reliance and personal fitness;
    14. Following messy breakup, joined Air Force;
    15. Learned to break down, clean, rebuild, and shoot M16;
    16. Prior service classmate in AF tech school recommended choices for AR and optics;
    17. Returned home for mission qualification training. While on temporary duty station at high crime city above, followed recommendations in #16 and over time bought M&P-15, optics and ridiculous amounts of tools and gear;
    18. Close friend followed suit, he bought another .22 and we went shooting at store/range I bought my AR from regularly. Turned out to be a good shot on AR. Due to ridiculous AF policies, had to rent storage unit for storing arms;
    19. Attended first gun show;
    20. Returned home and joined an outdoor range, joined friends on many shoots;
    21. Made numerous mods to AR;
    22. Bought an M&P9 Shield;
    23. Planning on eventually getting concealed carry license.

  13. 1) Pest elimination on the family farms during summers in my pre/early teen years with BB/pellet/22lr.
    2) A BB/pellet gun or two in my teens.
    3) Then didn’t touch a firearm or air gun for 35+ years.
    4) A squirrel problem with significant damage got me back into an air rifles.
    5) Newton and gun control started up just as I was rediscovering shooting.
    6) Got a CC license and pistol mainly to make a statement and add to the numbers. Joined NRA and several others.
    6a) Got two more pistols.
    7) Took bunches more training because I always said I’d never own a firearm unless I got appropriate training.
    8) Discovered again that I really enjoyed it.
    9) Realized that I could have paid for a reloading press with my first year of 9mm and…
    10) The new AR in 300BLK for suppressed subsonic (air guns, remember) really does need custom ammo.
    11) So I got into reloading for my two calibers. Already had room for it, just had to clean out some junk.
    13) Got a 10/22 for some quiet plinking with another suppressor.
    14) Got a 300BLK bolt action for more subsonic quiet fun, and maybe some hunting.
    15) Send lots of emails to state legislators urging them to support friendly bills and self defense rights.

  14. Grew up with guns, funny my dad never taught me the 4 rules, using your brain cells its sorta self explanatory. Used BB pistol to terrorized crows and lizards in suburbs. Joined Marines, accepted instruction, good bang stick operator. Shot every light weapon however most fun was calling artillery. Left Corps never wanted to touch another gun until Sandy Hook. Legislators waving dead kids shirts to infrige the Constitution I fought for. Walked into a range rented a Glock fired 100 rounds, still had skills. Bought pistols and a rifle secured CCW CA (many do).

    Everyone inclined to get a CCW please do. Sooner the better.

  15. 1. Avoid bad neighborhoods.
    2. Buy 9mm just in case, because thugs have cars and like to target decent neighborhoods.
    3. Train so I know how to handle my piece.
    4. See HUD emptying the ghetto into nearby subsidized housing and watch crime reports going up.
    5. See DHS “resettling” MS-13 15 minutes away, and watch crime reports going up.
    6. Watch hickock45 videos and plan to move somewhere that still looks like America and I can shoot off my back porch.
    7. See US sign on to UN anti second Amendment gun ban treaty and start emailing Congress.

  16. Started with a Ruger Mark II while in high school. Along with occasionally shooting neighbors’ pistols and shotgun, in our ‘backyard’ of 22 acres of pine forest, I fell in love with firearms.
    After high school, joined the USMC and fell in love with the M14. Scored Expert on both the M14 and the 1911a1 .45 Pistol. Later, also qualified Expert on the M16, with perfect scores on both the M14 and M16…
    and also bought a small .22 6-round revolver — that I kept very well concealed at all times, of course.
    Although I still had both the revolver and the Mark II, I very seldom took them out to shoot. And my employers prohibited firearms carry of any kind. Both of them got “lost” in 2 different ‘long stories’ that I won’t go into. And I had NO firearms for quite a while.
    Then, I was mugged in a Bank Parking lot at about 10:30 pm and nearly murdered… so I decided it was time to get RE-Armed…whether my employer ‘liked it’ or not.
    In the last few years…particularly with all of the talk about “Outlawing” our firearms, or making them nearly impossible to buy, I have gradually built my ‘collection’ with a variety of weapons and calibers.
    I now have ‘most’ of my “Needs List” — with just 2 more List items to add — but plan to add a few more “Wants” over time…and to continue to ‘load up’ on ammo… And I am a member of a Very Nice Gun Club, so I can get plenty of practice with each of the different platforms…

  17. (1) Grew up in a family of hunters and among men who appreciated fine firearms; taught to shoot and hunt SAFELY (and how!) by my dear, dear uncle (RIP); absorbed the belief that a man ought to be able to safely and accurately shoot a rifle, shotgun, and pistol; absorbed a passionate love for the wilds.
    (2) Passionately continued to enjoy the out-of-doors; guns are an adjunct to that enjoyment, and are often necessary in the sure-enough wilderness where I play; purchased a firearm now and then as tools of this enjoyment for hunting and defense in the woods.
    (3) Passed along gun safety and the shooting sports to my two sons; bought a few firearms for them.
    (4) Noticed that society was deteriorating (somewhere around the year 2,000 my wife was accosted in a WalMart parking lot); added self-defense firearms and training; purchased self-defense firearms for my sons; gave gifts of self-defense firearms to a few dear friends and my sweet, sweet daughter-in-law; got my CCL; insisted that my sons and wife got their CCL.
    (5) Began taking friends to the range and passing along the shooting sports to them; am now teaching a teenage boy in my church how to hunt and shoot (safely).

  18. When I built my detached garage, I added my man cave to the back. Now I have a 9X21 foot gun room. 10 years later, it’s not big enough.

  19. Guns growing up.
    Joined Army at 17
    Traveled all over world and country
    Bought S&W 686 after retirement
    Kept buying pistols and revolvers
    Wife started buying her own
    Bought rifles for each other as Christmas presents
    Lost all in boating accident in case this site is being monitored

  20. Grew up shooting, moved to island in Chesapeake Bay, while rowing my firearms across the bay, a squall hit, boat flipped, lost them all, swam to shore. Broken hearted, I couldn’t bring myself to get back into the hobby. Not so much a path as a wake.

  21. 1) Back in the early 80’s, someone put a bolt-action .22 rifle in my young hands at Camp Wallawhatoola. Earned my NRA Pro-Marksman badge soon after. I was proud and hooked.

    2) Joined the NRA the week after I got back home from camp, earning the mild disapproval of my mother.

    3) Soon discovered shotguns could be even more fun than rifles because clay pigeons explode when you hit them right. EXPLODE! Decided I had to have a shotgun and started lobbying my parents. I lobbied for a long time.

    4) Turned 15 and finally got my birthday wish with a beautiful used Remington 870 Youth Model in 20 gauge. It was a dark day for the clay pigeons of the world. And certain squirrels.

    5) Saw ‘Red Dawn’ and started keeping that 870 in a rack over my bed with a shell tube full of 00 buckshot. Because commies.

    6) Moved to Alaska for college. Saw my first bear and found I couldn’t sleep well through the night while camping up there anymore. Because bears. Big ones.

    7) Turned 21 and bought my first handgun, a six-inch Cold Anaconda .44 magnum. Started sleeping much better in the Alaskan woods.

    8) Back in Old Virginny, many years and guns later, I discovered a website called The Truth About Guns and started spending way more time reading about firearms than is probably good for me.

  22. 1. BB gun at 5
    2. Hunting with 410 at 6.
    3. 20 gauge at 8 – got big enough to shoulder it.
    4. Guns and ammo and shooting times magazine – Skeeter Skelton was great influence.
    5. Saved and got a Ruger bearcat at10.
    6. Smith and Wesson Highway Patrolman at 13. Began handgun hunting for squirrel and deer.
    7. Received a reloading press for 18th birthday. Wondered why I didn’t do it before.
    8. Years of revolvers and a couple of autos – 22 and 1911.
    9. First plastic – walther p22 for training son.
    10. Bought two surplus sig 225s in 08.
    11. LCP and SR9 in 2010.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that I like guns..

  23. 1. Read the SAS Survival Guide in fifth grade. became fascinated at how a person could survive with close to nothing
    2. Slowly became enthralled with survivalism
    3. Start out with knives.
    4. Got first BB gun for Christmas when 13.
    5. Lull in progression 14-18 years of age.
    6. Began playing alot of first person shooters. Call of Duty Modern Warfare mostly.
    7. Used the semi auto 308 battle rifles alot in CoD. Fell in love with them.
    8. Realized you could own one for real!
    9. Realized a new production DSA58 FAL cost ALOT more than I could afford
    10. Realized I lived in Connecticut… (side note: wasn’t AS bad is it is now)
    11. Time goes by…
    12. 22 birthday. F#$@ it! I’m buying a gun.
    13. Buys a VEPR Kalashnikov in 308 and four twenty round mags.
    14. Sandy Hook shooting
    15. Lost the VEPR in a boating accident.
    16. Doesn’t like guns anymore. Besides the government will protect us. Hillary 2016!

  24. – Grew up in a family of Loggers in Oregon.
    – Told at around 6 when I turn 12 I get my grandpa’s Remington Gamemaster 760 for hunting. Go hunting and shoot guns.
    -Turn 12 and my grandpa gives me the rifle and I hunt with it.
    -Join the Army and leave my guns with my parents.
    -Ditch substandard wife #1 and immediately go get a .45 ACP pistol. A few months later buy two Nuggets. A year later an AK.
    -Go to Iraq in 2010, return and buy another handgun. Go on buying spree that hasn’t stopped since.
    -Find creative ways to bring guns in the house. Buying AR parts to buold seems to work as they just gradually appear over time. Get caught and my excellent wife #2 just rolls her eyes.
    -Learn to build AKs
    -Learn to build CETME / HK rifles
    -Start learning how to build FALs.
    -Find even more creative ways to fit all guns into safe.

  25. Shot some as a kid with my dad and brothers. No hunting. Even went to gun shows. Lost interest. Got very big and strong and never worried about self-defense(even after living in Chicagoland and being violently attacked). Got OLD and had some $. Decided to arm up. Got really PO’ed after Odumbo and the demtards went after my rights(especially living in Illinois). And HERE we are…

  26. Dad didn’t hunt. Shot bolt action .22 LR at Boy Scout Camp til I was 15.
    27 years old, buy a Ruger Mk II. Enjoy shooting tin cans and the occasional prairie dog. Buy, sell trade a Makarov 9mm, a 686, numerous other handguns, didn’t get my first rifle until 3 years ago at age 49. Inherited my granddad’s S&W Mod 10-5, a Winchester model 1906 .22 short-long-long rifle takedown, my other granddad’s Stevens 410, a Belgian made British Bulldog revolver that belonged to my great-great granddad, a braided leather sap that belonged to him (my only illegal weapon) and a wall hanger muzzle loading something or other. I have all the inherited guns, still shoot the 1906, have my EDC 9mm Kel-Tec, a Hi-Point 9mm carbine, and still have my first gun, the Mark II, tens of thousands of rounds downrange and I can count failure to feeds on the fingers of one hand.
    So I don’t think I have too many guns, but I would be considered a gun nut by the Left, I’m sure. I collect them, I shoot them, I train with them. Shrug.

  27. My first rifle was a .243
    that Papa gave Daddy and Daddy gave to me
    and they taught me how to shoot with a steady – wait a minute…

    No, that’s wrong; my bad. I bought my first rifle by myself with my own money when I was nineteen. And my parents wondered why the heck I wanted it.

  28. In ’64 our city had some pretty bad riots. Remember as a young child at the time , my Grandfather holding his side by side Remington and stating what he would do if it came our way.

    That gun sits in my safe today, though behind a large number of others .

  29. -dad puts BB gun in hands at age 7, first .22 at age 10, first 12gauge at 12.
    -hunting at 12
    -grandma hands down grandfathers Korean War pistol, fall in love with pistol shooting
    -turn 21, bought all the guns
    -turn 21.5, meet dream girl, loves guns.
    -5 years later have three gun cases that have only one open spot left and four stacks of ammo crates that’re taller than me (6′ 4″).

  30. 2012 I buy my first gun, a Remmington 870 as a starter to hunting that unfortunately never took off due to lack of land to hunt on and not really knowing anyone in the hunting culture.

    2015 I bought a Glock 19 at a gun store and went through the process to get a concealed carry license.

    That’s my gun history other than the few times shooting my grandfather’s ancient double barreled 12 gauge or my Mother’s .22 Iver Jonson revolver. Overall, I’ve been interested in guns for a long time but lacked the culture in my family, and more importantly, money to get deep into the gun culture.

  31. 1) Grew up with at least 5 guns in the house – not a gun lock in sight – I survived.
    2) After extended family member committed suicide – the 38 pistol went into hiding – the long guns always remained available – I survived.
    3) Could always look at guns without help (or a lock) at the Fleet Farm & Coast to Coast and walk out with any ammo even though it would be 5 years before I had a drivers license – I survived.
    4) Hunted all through high school and college with whatever guns were available – yes, even available at our fraternity house – still can’t remember a lock on anything yet somehow we all survived.
    5) First job and an apartment in a neighborhood I could afford (bad) – couldn’t afford guns but it would have been nice – some close calls but still survived.
    6) Bought a shotgun – background check seemed like bureaucracy was beginning to take over – health of my freedoms beginning to be questioned.
    7) Bought a handgun – permit to purchase – thought bureaucracy really overreaching – my freedoms are on life support.
    8) Love to shoot – bought more over the years – CCW class and background check – have the “freedom” to carry (for the next 5 years until renewal) but not sure the next generation will even have a chance despite the events we see in the world – “shall not be infringed” is pretty simple yet it feels like my freedoms are long dead.

  32. 1 Dad bought chipmunk the day I was born.
    2. 10/22 given to me for 14th birthday
    3. 870 20 gauge for 14th for deer hunting
    4 Mini 14 at age 16.
    5 Get carry license at 18.
    6. Add pro gun wife
    7. To many guns and reloading components to list now. Also my kids all have henry 22.s

  33. 1. Dad “gave” me a single shot 20 ga when I was 6.

    2. Bought a 20 ga pump in 1999 for Y2K just in case

    3. Bought my wife a Sccy cpx -2 and myself a Beretta nano 1.5 years ago, and a holster last thanksgiving to EDC.

    4. MY wife wants a Sig P238, 380 (purple) and I’m not sure yet but I’m thinking of getting a S&W M&P shield for EDC and while I haven’t researched the particulars I want a 1911 range gun.

  34. Started with BB gun at age 6.
    father(old school Marine) bought me a .22 at age 8.
    JOINED Nra at age 10.
    Bought my first at age 12( 410 break action to go dove hunting).
    Been buying, and shooting ever since.

  35. -Bought a house
    -Neighborhood streets have national park names. decided to visit the park of my street’s namesake I had been close to but passed by many years ago
    -Learned about trail opportunities in park and also learned about the cc law passed regarding national parks. Started the think that a firearm would be a good thing to have in the wild, four legged critters and all.
    -Began to think about personal firearm ownership (some, that is, as the seed had been planted).
    -Time passed. Discussed firearms with a coworker when I heard him talking about firearms with someone else.
    -More time. Then Newtown. Decided it was time. Went with coworker to gun show. Met my first 4473.

  36. Was given a plastic Winchester that shot plastic bullets when I was 7 – best Christmas ever! Till it broke. Same year, Dad let my older brother and I shoot his BSA .22 single shot. I couldn’t see whether I hit anything. Younger brother had lingering resentment ever since (he was too young).

    At 13, hunting rabbit with my cousin with a double barrel. I fired where my cousin pointed, then he grabbed the gun off me and fired twice again. I hadn’t seen a thing. Later on I discovered I was short sighted. I didn’t notice any recoil…

    After many years of work, I had a serious illness and couldn’t work any more. I then had two cataract operations (resulting from excess Prednisone to control asthma), and now my eyesight is fine. I found TTAG, and an interest developed. I applied for my gun license, and after many tests and interviews by Police, I was approved. I joined a small bore rifle range, then bought a couple bolt action .22s. And then a Maverick pump action ( I preferred the controls to Remington or Mossberg), a Winchester 70 in 7mm08, and an SKS (Chinese model 56, made in 1957, same year as me). No pistols, as the licensing is very strict and guns are expensive.

    I must buy a life jacket, and then I can begin my adventures in boating, Heaven forfend that any mishap should occur while transporting my firearms to a remote hunting site on an island…

    • Sorry, forgot to add a few rabbit hunts growing up, where I accompanied Dad or other relatives, but never fired a shotgun myself.

      I grew up in an area which became bad over time, and I recall several run ins with local thugs. I was tall, and had a bigger older brother, so they mostly left me alone. One time I was accosted in a subway by a thug fresh out of prison. I ducked his punch, then used my natural charm and good looks to deflect his rage. He eventually apologised and gave me a beer. I left after he was arrested by Police for damaging public property. It made for an evening’s entertainment, and he got to go back where he felt at home. I never felt the need for any self defense weapon. If you keep your cool, this chills out disturbed and angry people quite well.

  37. While picking shot out of my dinner (pheasant) at 7, Hey Dad!, when we going huntin’ again?!
    After fishin’ season, son, after fishin’s done.
    Then I was sent out back to shuck a 50lb gunny sack of corn.
    No flow chart needed.

  38. Has been gamer all life loving guns, dad used to own them too.

    Goes on Youtube and finds out that I can actually own these awesome guns.

    Is now 18, owning Mosin, AKM clone, and Taurus .357.

    Many more to go

  39. Grew up in N.Y.C. and Long Island. Got a .22 rifle right after marriage so I could plink at my folks house upstate. Moved to Florida in ’87. I was 35, and finally saw the light. Numerous firearms, CCW, NRA member, local range member, reloader. As the real estate folks say, location, location, location.

  40. 1. Married a U.S. Citizen.
    2. My new family members take me out to go shoot a 12ga Remington 870 and 30-30 Lever Action.
    3. Saw that I could buy BB and Pellet guns at Wal-Mart that look realistic and buys a couple.
    5. Moved back to the Netherlands where I can only own Pellet guns without too much hassle.
    6. Come back to the U.S. and bought my first Hi-Point pistol.
    7. Joined the U.S. Army and can now afford more expensive guns, Over my 6 years of service bought all the toys I wanted.
    8. ????
    9. Profit
    10. Buys more guns…

  41. Was heavy into milsim airsoft for a while when I realized I could buy real guns for what the toys cost. If only the ammo was as cheap as 6mm plastic BBs.

  42. 1st experience- Spent a summer’s afternoon shooting little plastic army men with my Dad and his new Browning .22 when I was about 7. We had green ones and grey ones (he chose the Germans), built little bunkers and trenches in the dirt for the brave troops, and I don’t remember there being any survivors on either side.

    2nd- I was allowed to borrow his 16-gauge and go with him for pheasant season when I turned 16. I was more excited about that than getting my driver’s license.

    3rd- Joined the Army when I was 23, ran an M2 for the duration, and started building a milsurp collection after living in Germany for 5 years.

    4th- Wife divorced me on my last deployment downrange, and I came back to an empty house. She had sold my AK (which her late father had given to me), all of my ammo, and took the rest of my collection with her. I spent the next 5 years trying to get it back.

    5th- Finally got most of my collection back, and have slowly been rebuilding since then.

  43. Started with BB guns & pocket knives. First pistol was a revolver and rifle was an AR. Bought the AR when Clinton ban was being pushed through. Since then I’ve boughten a gun almost ever single time the liberals push against firearms. Thus, I’ve ended up with a lot of guns. I’ve taken my hobby seriously and I train very regularly. I have concealed carry permits and carry everywhere I go. Will defend the right to bear arms with my life. Passing along my feelings and hobby to my kids and everyone I can.

  44. Got introduced to guns at 7 (BB and .22s mostly), looked at guns online once we had internet, fast forward a few years, graduated college and got a job, realized I now had money and was in my early 20’s so I bought a XD-40 Service. Someone mentioned the idea of getting a carry permit so I got one. Been buying guns since.

  45. Texas kid in the 60s.

    Learned gun safety from dad and uncle by age 6.
    First BB-gun at age seven.
    First .22 rifle at age eight. (Single-shot Ithaca)
    First shotgun at age eleven. (Savage .22/20ga O/U)
    First handgun at age 12. (H&R model 922 revolver .22LR, IIRC.)
    First repeating rifle at age 11-12 (Ruger 10/22 – had to pay for it myself with my paper route earnings)
    First deer rifle at somewhere between 12 and 14 (Memory’s a bit unclear on exactly what year I found it under the tree. First deer hunt at age 14.)

    And so on and so forth.

    *shrug* When I was growing up, a .22, a shotgun, a bedside .38, a deer rifle, and a lever action .30-30 weren’t guns: they were part of the household tools.

  46. Short version:

    Fired first shots out of a .22 at Boy Scout Camp in 1979.
    Am now a firearms industry executive.

    There’s a whole bunch in between there but my points are that I owe the BSA for setting me on this path and that one never knows which pivotal moment in a lifetime can set your course.

  47. Wanted to be an Army officer at one time, so I started shooting for future effectiveness at defending W. Civilization against the Soviet hordes. Flunked officer training, but kept shooting!

  48. My childhood “gateway gun” was a Crossman 760 BB-pellet rifle.

    Then the following happened:
    (1) I acquired a semi-auto rifle in .22 LR in high school. (I still have it and it still works flawlessly.)
    (2) Fast forward about 20 years. I borrowed an Ithaca Model 37 shotgun for deer hunting.
    (3) I returned the Ithaca and purchased a Mossberg 500 12 gauge shotgun combination package on sale with upland hunting barrel and rifled slug barrel (slug barrel includes cantilevered scope mount). I promptly purchased an 18.5 inch barrel for it as well.
    (4) I purchased a semi-auto pistol in .40 S&W.
    (5) I purchased a .357 Magnum revolver.
    (6) I purchased a break-action rifle in .243 Winchester.
    (7) I received a bolt-action rifle in .270 Winchester as a gift.
    (8) And I purchased a couple more firearms that I will not disclose.

  49. Shot a gun for the first time at age 6- Ruger 22 rifle

    Got a Remington Viper 22 rifle for Christmas at age 10

    Involved in self defense shooting at age 15

    Concealed permit for 10+ years

    Too many guns,ammo, and gear to count and still “collecting”

    Shooting is fun

  50. My best friend and I must be cheapskates.

    In college, we bolted our shared RCBS Jr. to a piece of wood and used c-clamps to mount it and the powder measure to his desk. We went to the school’s maintenance shed and borrowed their drill press to make a couple of loading blocks. Instead of a case tumbler, we washed our cases in dish soap and air dried them.

    To think we needed to buy a house… and $1,000 worth of reloading gear instead…

  51. 1. Grandfather takes me shooting for first time at appx age 10, and a few years later gives me the .22lr semi auto rifle he taught me to shoot (still have it).
    2. Join the USAF at 20, shoot M16A2’s and M9’s for the first time.
    3. Buy my first pistol, a Ruger MKII.
    4. A couple months later buy my second pistol, a Glunk 31 for use in IDPA.
    5. A year later buy my third pistol, HK USP 45 full size. My IDPA scores greatly increase.
    6. Go full HK fanboy, buy three more pistols in various calibers sizes, and a USC 45 carbine.
    7. Pick up various other rifles and revolvers along the way.
    8. Get married, have kids, sell most of my collection.
    9. Shoot my first 1911, no more tupperware for me.
    10. Slowly rebuild my collection adding very select pieces.

  52. 1. About 4 years old Dad takes me covey quail hunting behind house in So. Il. – has to carry me back – tuckered out from pushing through brush – addicted from then on to weekly quail hunts.
    2. Five years old Daisy BB gun for Christmas to be taught safe handling and accurate shooting. More quail hunting weekly.
    3. Six years old taught care and feeding of Marlin 39A with Lyman Peep sight – best thing going. More quail hunting and can now push through the brush myself and make it back to the house.
    4. Eight years old and cut down (stock) Stevens 16g SxS as a learner shotgun – now trying out clay shooting and quail with own gun with dad.
    5. Ten years now and tried out dad’s Rem Mod 11 16g but as a lefty didn’t like shell eject in front of face. Dad sold Stevens and moved me on to an AyA 16g SxS – much nicer gun than the Stevens!

    Moving on a whole bunch of years:
    Always been shotguns in my life for hunting then discovered Sporting Clays and over/unders. Collect and shoot Brit SxS’s and use quality stack barrels for clay competitions. Got into IPSC shooting at age 38 and had a whole bunch of fun but when first son born I couldn’t keep up the practice to remain competitive so started clay competition for fun and games.
    Pretty much guns all though my life – thank you DAD!
    Have done the same with my sons too!

  53. 1. Shot cousin’s BB gun in his backyard as a kid.
    2. Buy a Co2 pistol with money from first job as a teenager.
    3. Shoot various pistols and rifles belonging to friends.
    4. Buy a beat up, sawed-off bolt action Mossberg 20ga from a friend of a friend for 50 bucks two weeks later.
    5. Shoot said Mossberg whenever possible, until dad points out it may not be legal.
    6. Sell Mossberg for 50 bucks a week later.
    7. Decide to buy another gun the same day the Mossberg is sold.
    8. Get married, have kids, bills, car repairs and rent get in the way of plans.
    9. Handle a coworker’s Ruger SR9, fall in love with it, and decide to own one.
    10. More bills, car repairs and rent get in the way of plans.
    11. Finally decide enough is enough and buy a Ruger SR9c.
    12. Make plans to get concealed carry license.

    Sadly, I’ve had it almost a week and I haven’t even shot the thing yet. This job stuff keeps getting in the way. I hate going to work at noon and getting off at 9pm. Very little time to do anything before work, and no time afterwards. I’d take it out to the backyard after work, but I live in town, and the neighbors and police wouldn’t be to happy with me.

  54. Turn 18, buy shotgun
    Turn 21, buy pistol
    Buy Rifle
    Buy Rifle
    (learn ‘stuff’)
    Build rifle
    Build rifle
    Build rifle
    Build rifle
    etc.

    The Trouble with Tribbles

  55. Take regular road trips in station wagon towing a travel trailer. Note that father carried a revolver on those trips. When questioned, he replied, “Just in case.”

    Hear stories about mother who repelled boarders from house with shotgun while father was in Vietnam.

    Occasionally shoot stuff on special occasions like the 4th of July with father, some family, some friends.

    Study martial arts in mid-20s.

    Wait until in mid-thirties to get married. Realize that there will now be at least one other person (possibly more soon) for whom responsibility for safety will probably fall to you.

    Then….this: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/12/johannes-paulsen/draft-progress-carry-jkps-glock-43/

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