Question of the Day: What Non-Gun Hobbies Do You Enjoy?

Jaguar XK in Montery (courtesy

Holding a deadly weapon focuses the mind wonderfully. Assuming you’re not a TTAG writer slinging lead next to Jessie Duff eating a hot dog, shooting pushes all thoughts of food, work and sex to one side. I’ve found that people who love guns and shooting tend to have other “hobbies”; activities where they can experience some much-needed mental diversion. For me, it used to be cars. Two divorces later and I’ve downsized my daily distraction to . . .


I’m fortunate enough to own Tales of the Arabian Nights and Theater of Magic — games by legendary designer John Popadiuk. Pins whose challenges never fail to engross me. Like keeping it working. Researching games online, competing in tournaments, playing new-to-me machines — it’s a hobby that keeps on giving. Outside of firearms, what absorbs your quarters attention?


  1. avatar Nanashi says:

    Video games and hounding politicians.

    1. avatar When Bullets Collide says:

      You left out Gator Football!


      1. avatar MiketheHopsFarmer says:

        Now if we could just get a decent coach in there. I’m tired of rebuilding years!
        BS ’02
        MS ’04
        GO GATORS

        1. avatar When Bullets Collide says:

          From your lips to God’s ears…

      2. avatar Mr. Woodcock says:

        You might need to find another hobby. UF hasn’t played real football in quite a few years.

        1. avatar Mr. Woodcock says:

          You’re welcome. Let me know if you need further assistance. Did you also know the F on Gator ball caps isn’t actually for Florida? It stands for [email protected]&$tard.

          Have a nice day.

        2. avatar Coach O says:


  2. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Reading about guns.

    1. avatar Shotgun Sam says:

      Gawd, this here thread is way too touchy feely for me.

      Guns man. That’s why I’m here.Nothing less, and certainly nothing more.

  3. avatar little horn says:

    gaming mostly computer, horror movies.

  4. avatar When Bullets Collide says:

    Mountain biking!

    Attending the Alma Mater’s home football games with family and friends!

    Anything my kids are doing!

  5. avatar Pelvicpunch says:

    Jeeps! And other misc. offroading vehicles

  6. avatar NYC2AZ says:

    Flying, reading, skiing, hiking, camping, fishing, brewing beer, and playing the occasional video game.

  7. avatar MDH says:

    Skiing. Computers and IT. Volunteer project admin for a couple of genetic genealogy projects.

  8. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Apparently home repair and maintenance is my most important hobby.
    At least my wife thinks so.

    1. avatar hellofromillinois says:

      Must be an Illinois thing. 😉

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Um, no, it’s a Wyoming thing too.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          You can count TX in, too.

        2. avatar Ing says:

          It’s a wife thing.

  9. avatar sci52797 says:

    I am shocked that you can get paid $4264 in a few weeks on the computer .

    browse around this site>>>>>>

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Browse around my butt.

  10. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    Running, lifting, RVing, RZR riding, videography/editing, video games, movies, reading. These are my most important ones.

  11. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Reader, sometime essayist. It works out better when I write for my own amusement — I crack me up.

    Computer jockey, lately working toward getting paid for building stuff I also enjoy doing at least a little.

    Home chef.

    1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

      How nice to find someone else who writes mainly for their own amusement. 🙂 In the winter here, that and reading is what I do most. But I also raise orchids. In warmer weather I garden and work in a greenhouse downtown.

  12. avatar Daphreak says:

    Video games, and learning violin

  13. avatar When Bullets Collide says:

    Cooking is fun.

    Mowing is not.

  14. avatar Rokurota says:

    Ho! Clever way to survey your readership for market research! Just to toy with your metrics, I’ll say stunt ballooning and history of the Holy Roman Empire.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Nice. Well played there Sir. Well played.

    1. avatar Pete Zaitcev says:


  15. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

    My Jeep takes up a ton of time but my other hobbies include gaming, making things with 550 cord (slings, belts, bracelets, and some adult costume play pieces), and trying to understand the wife…. actually no the wife part is more a fulltime job!

    1. avatar Ogre says:

      Drop trying to understand the wife. You can’t win, you can’t break even and you can’t quit the game (actually you can, but it’s damned expensive!). Instead, memorize these phrases (to be said at appropriate times to preserve domestic tranquility): “Yes, dear, it’s all my fault. Everything I did or didn’t think, did or didn’t do, or did or didn’t say is wrong, wrong, wrong!” Once she goes away (hopefully mollified), just forget about it and get on with whatever you were doing.

      1. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

        I already got the “you’re right I’m wrong I’m sorry” part down pat… Now it’s just trying to figure out why it was wrong of me to sit in my bean bag chair and drink beer on my day off…

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Because she had all manner of things planned for you to do on your day off that you were unaware of, because you were not prescient enough to discern from some subtle hint(s) she was dropping that she had plans for you.

          So, you’re in trouble twice: First, for not doing what she had planned (which is minor – you can do it tomorrow and still get some brownie points out of it), but you’re more especially in deep fertilizer because you didn’t read between the invisible lines before your day off as to what she had been suggesting/hinting.

          Here’s my advice to men who are newly married: Learn what makes women happy – Nothing. Not a damn thing. As soon as they get what they want, they’ll find something new, more trivial and superfluous that offends them.

        2. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

          She wasn’t too mad… I still got to touch her trigger and flick off her safety. Still did other stuff though like dishes. Just didn’t do the still unknown task that made her angry.

  16. avatar Wiregrass says:

    I play guitar, cook, ride bikes and drink beer.

  17. avatar Joe R. says:


    I got like 4 jobs man.

  18. avatar Jacob from Upstate NY says:

    Miniature war games, model railroads, playing with my children, whiskey.

    1. avatar BDub says:

      What base sizes do you use for your children, 25 or 30mm?

    2. avatar Jeff says:

      Yea for model railroads! Myself as well. Also camping, hiking, fishing and whatever my kids are doing. I run, but i don’t consider it a hobby. How is running fun?

  19. avatar MyName says:

    Bicycles, cars (jeeps and old benzes – weird combo I know), backpacking.

  20. avatar pieslapper says:

    Demolition derby and Crimean War re-enactment.

  21. avatar Nigel the Expat says:

    Weights, hiking, motorcycle touring, dual-sport wandering, reading, other minor things.

  22. avatar hellofromillinois says:

    Colonial era and early 19th century history (mostly American), reptiles, video games (Fallout, The Last of Us, Uncharted, and offline RPGs mostly), hockey, canoeing, hiking, classic cars (I’m no mechanic though), and debating.

  23. avatar Anon in Ct says:

    Lego – with the kids, and sometimes on my own just to relax.

  24. avatar troutbum5 says:

    Motorcycles, fly-fishing, guitars, skiing, and reading. Geez, I need some cheaper hobbies.

  25. avatar matt says:

    I like trains. What else has 20,000+ horsepower, goes 80 mph, takes over a mile to stop and can weigh 15,000 tons+?

    1. avatar Matt(Tx) says:

      An Aircraft Carrier. LOL

  26. avatar Dr. E says:

    The details of my life are quite inconsequential. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. Tap dancing. Acting, dancing. At the age of 12, I received my first scribe.

    1. avatar MyName says:

      In the spring we would make meat helmets – pretty standard really.

  27. avatar Derrick M says:

    I’m a novice Strongman, and Powerlifting athlete. I also enjoy motorcycles touring a great deal.

  28. avatar meadowsr says:

    Amateur radio—another skill likely to come in handy when the SHTF…

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “…another skill likely to come in handy when the SHTF…”

      If the defecation hits the rotating air-moving device via ‘Rocket Kim’ popping one of his new toys high overhead I sure hope some of your RF ‘stash’ is sealed away in an RF-tight container.

      And you have at least 2 years of food socked away and live far enough out in the sticks that no one can see you don’t seem to be starving…

    2. avatar Paul says:

      Another ham. Been a radio amateur since 1955. Used to build a lot of my own stuff, but not so much any more. Also fishing and photography.

    3. avatar p6r says:

      Ham radio here, too. Headshot photography, programming, knife collecting, fountain pens, autocross & track days.

  29. avatar Mr. Woodcock says:

    Bourbon! Pappy drops in my state in about another week. Will hopefully score a bottle this year. Hoping for the 20, 23, or 15 but will take anything I can get.

    1. avatar Lew says:

      Maybe you can obtain some 15 or 20 year bottles for me? CA is a pain for any “good” bourbon.

      1. avatar Mr. Woodcock says:

        Wish I could buddy. With Pappy it’s every man for himself.

  30. avatar Ogre says:

    I collect vintage fountain pens/pencils, practice penmanship, collect Marine Corps enlisted cap insignia and selected militaria, collect swords, read, watch baseball (in season), participate in 18th c. reenactments and chase steam locomotives (when available).

    1. avatar Chip in North FL says:

      Ogre….email me if your interested in some vintage pens. My father died about 15 years ago and he had collected some really nice pens (about 8 or so). I believe most of them were made around the 50’s. Not sure what their worth now as I have not looked up values since he died. Normally I would not sell them (cause dad in all…) but he left behind so much to remind me of him and the pens were not a big part of his life. Email me at [email protected] if you are interest and I can send some pics.

  31. avatar M1Lou says:

    Classic and Muscle cars. Ive downsized down to only two cars from the 5 toys I had before. I did a lot of drag racing in my 20s. That ended after divorce and the local drag strip shut down. Now I don’t have as much time to devote to them.

    My third hobby is computers. I like to build new gaming computers for gaming I don’t have time for anymore.

  32. avatar Kendahl says:

    My wife and I share hobbies. We used to belong to the SCCA and participated in rallies and autocross events. I raced for a couple of years. Now, we are amateur astronomers and own a couple of horses. She is a semi-pro musician who shoots occasionally. I shoot more often but play rarely. She is a better shot than I am a musician.

    1. avatar Pete Zaitcev says:

      Aww, man, I didn’t expect people can just burn out of AutoX…

  33. avatar Paul Short says:

    Motorcyles and Amateur Radio…

  34. avatar Defens says:

    Home machine shop work (mostly gun related, though), photography, drone piloting, hiking, skiing, motorcycling, wild food foraging. Oh, and just bought an RV, so RV “camping.”

    Formerly mountaineering, mountain biking, paragliding.

  35. avatar TommyJay says:

    The classic Jag in the photo is the one featured in the original “The Fast and the Furious.”

    John Ireland and Dorothy Malone, 1955, and the car was white.

  36. avatar S.Crock says:

    Reading, watching baseball, snowboarding, skateboarding, running, gym, and youtube binge watching if that can be considered a hobby.

  37. avatar Nine says:

    I’m a pretty avid gamer, also enjoy a good Dungeons and Dragons campaign, and then there’s cooking.

  38. avatar BLoving says:

    I make bows.
    Been putting some thought into crafting an atlatl and practicing with one of those. 🤠

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I’m researching archery to add to my hobbies as I’m retiring for the second time in a couple of weeks. My step son made one of those pvc bows. I think I want a recurve.

      1. avatar BLoving says:

        I started down this journey on
        I’ll give you fair warning: it’s terribly addictive – I get twitchy when I’ve gone too long without making some sawdust. And I’ve noticed that I now look at every discarded bit of hardwood I see and wonder “what kind of bow can I make from that?”
        One thing you’ll learn quickly – as Sam on Poor Folk likes to point out, a bowyer is a person who breaks bows, and occasionally makes a working one.
        Suffice it to say, I’ve made lots of “kindling”.

  39. avatar Jason says:

    Scale rc aircraft. Usually 100”+ wingspans.

  40. avatar KMc says:

    I have been collecting “muscle bikes”, 20×20 and 20×16 tire banana seats with sissy bars!!!
    Great hobby, the thrill of the chase is awesome!
    If you were a kid of the sixties and early seventies, you know what I mean.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Oh, man, do I ever.

      My fist kid bike was a Schwinn with the banana seat and a three-speed shifter that looked like a Hurst.

      Saw one just like it on eBay a few years back for truly stupid money they were asking…

      1. avatar KMc says:

        Right now the “off” brands are bringing more than the Schwinns.
        Would you ever think of dropping $5-6K on a 40 year old unrestored bike? Welcome to my world, Brother!!
        I have the only unrestored Dragger signed by George Barris!!

  41. avatar BDub says:

    Miniature Painting/Wargaming.

  42. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Other hobbies, past or present:

    archery (marksmanship and hunting)
    amateur astronomy

  43. avatar neiowa says:

    Canoeing. Less often now than a year ago.

  44. avatar Chip in North Fl says:

    Boating…Love to be on the water with a beer, friends and tunes playing!

  45. avatar Bernard says:

    I am currently taking ballroom dance lessons. Why? Because lessons are surprisingly cheap and I never took a girl to a dance before. I’ll show them. I’ll show all of them.

    1. avatar Bernard says:

      Also, I need to start lifting again.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      What a plan! Are you taking a girl to the lessons? What a kick showing up somewhere and actually knowing how to mambo, or samba, etc.! Might have to look into that.

      1. avatar Bernard says:

        LOL no! I’m single. It’s a little less than $15 a day for 1.5 hours of instruction. I’m learning a little bit of salsa, tango, foxtrot, waltz, and swing. It’s kind of like taekwondo where there is bronze, silver, and gold medal moves. You should definitely look into it. And if you get too good, you might want to watch out for a girl named Billie Jean.

        “Dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal idea.”

  46. avatar Steve W says:

    photography and microscopy

  47. avatar Gordon in MO says:

    Old cars.
    I’m not sure it is a hobby but I spent almost full time the last twelve years on veteran’s affairs. Member of American Legion, VFW, Marine Corps League. State officer, local officer, lots of time, travel and work.

    I’m trying to retire from so much so I can do other things I need and want to do.

  48. avatar Southern Cross says:

    Spending time with my son. It is a joy to see the world through their eyes.

    A month ago I took my son to the North Head Artillery Museum in Sydney. It has the location of the coastal defense batteries that protected Sydney (not very successfully) in World War 2. Part of the tour involves going through the tunnels. My son thought this was amazing to see and feel real history and said he didn’t even know anything like this existed. A great morning for $12.

    We also like spending time LAN gaming together working as a team. This is what boys want to do. Work with dad as a team. And the PC takes physical ability out of the equation. My son is so used to PC gaming he prefers mouse and keyboard over a gamepad. We play Day-Of-Defeat, BF1942 and Desert Combat mod, Unreal Tournament Classic, and UT2004. We spend hours doing this.

  49. avatar NJ_Doc says:

    Stamp collecting.

  50. avatar RCC says:

    Before I broke my eardrum twice scuba diving was probably hobby number one. Followed by 12 years in active army reserve post full time. That took care of any non shooting time after work.

  51. avatar Darkman says:

    Thrift store shopping and yard sales with the wife. Fishing on occasion and eagle watching. They are here year round so I take pictures of them. Mostly I stick to firearms related activities. Just start painting guns. So mostly experimenting on technique and process.

  52. avatar PROUD chicano says:

    Browning America.

  53. avatar Lew says:

    RC scale Aircraft, SCCA Motocross, Photography, Full Scale Flying, RC cars, Travel Abroad, Reading, Movies both at home and Theater, White Water Rafting, Travel in the US, Play Ice Hockey, Gym, specifically weights, Occasional Camping, Bourbon, plus more.

  54. avatar Hunter427 says:

    My hobby is hating my state of NY and all it’s politicians, horse back riding too

  55. avatar anaxis says:

    All my hobbies ended in when the exwife & jody cleaned out my garage; FSJ Cherokee W/T Laredo, GF & Santa Cruz downhill bikes, tools, inherited 1911 & Arsenal SLR, etc.

    Even if i could afford (financially or physically) to pick up my old hobbies or a build a new one…. meh. Besides that…. emptying & collecting interesting whiskey bottles is cheaper & more fulfilling, though I wouldn’t call it a hobby (yet).

  56. avatar Docduracoat says:

    I go sailing and windsurfing here in South Florida
    I like to play with the kids and taught all of them to sail and to shoot
    But it did not take and they come only to please the old man
    Where did I go wrong?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Don’t kid yourself. If they come to please the old man, you did just fine.

  57. avatar Noishkel says:

    There are other hobbies besides guns?? Well what well they think of next. |3

    Joking aside… I’m actually kind of a mad scientist sort of nut. Interested in all kinds of weird and wild new technology. Everything from drones, to fusion power, over to industrial automation, and even into advanced horticulture.

  58. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Varied interests in most parts of the electromagnetic spectrum and mechanical gadgets of various sorts…

  59. avatar Klaus says:

    Old Fords, old Spanish dirt bikes and German made knives.

  60. avatar Matt(Tx) says:

    I strap on a suit of armor and fight guy/gals in armor. Society For Creative Anachronism. I can shoot and I am very good in a knife fight.

  61. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    Historical Fencing and weaponsmithing

  62. avatar Ironhead says:

    Video games, building cars and trucks

  63. avatar Mark N. says:

    I don’t have the time or money for hobbies. Well, mostly. I’ve enjoyed refinishing the walnut grips on my black powder pistols, built a Kentucky long rifle from a kit, and crafted 2 pairs of faux ivory grips for my 1873. I read a lot on current world events, including the Middle East, China and the Koreas, plus the occasional history, the last being “A Team of Rivals.” Outside of that, not much; my wife is disabled, so I am responsible for all household chores (shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work, etc) and running her around to her various appointments.

  64. avatar Joaquin says:

    Traditional archery, wristwatches, mountain biking, and Latin percussion.

  65. avatar Timothy V Noecker says:

    Detailing Cars, Watching Sports (Ohio St. Buckeyes/L.S.U. Tigers NCAA F.B.), (Maryland Terripins/Syracuse Orangemen NCAA B.B.), (Buffalo Sabres NHL), (Pittsburgh Steelers NFL), (N.Y. Mets/Cleveland Indians MLB)…

  66. avatar Ing says:

    Nerd things. Tabletop roleplaying games, both playing and creating (I’m working on a system for roleplaying in the Old West). Writing fiction, listening to metal music, and playing computer games like Robocraft and Minecraft. And occasionally a bit of (very amateur) woodworking.

  67. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

    Hang gliding over hazardous waste dumps. At night.

  68. avatar Ken renner says:

    Biathlon. Oh wait….never mind.

  69. avatar CCDWGUY says:

    I’m a very serious though not professional Photographer. So part of my carry is related to being out in places where i have $20,000 in camera equipment with me that I don’t someone to try to take from me. The other side is that there are sometimes animals that might not like me being in their territory that I might have to defend myself against.
    I also have a 2002 MINI Cooper S with significant modifications and have done some track time to enjoy the speed and agility of the car. My view of the road is that anything that is paved is worth using to go faster. I home carry every day.

  70. avatar jwm says:

    Hunting. Fishing. Gold panning. Reading. Museums. Historic sites.

    Acting the fool with the grandkids.

    Looking into archery.

    Anything that gets me out of the city and in the boonies.

  71. avatar Winterborne says:

    Writing SF/Fantasy fiction. Table top RPGs. Reading. Beta – reading for an author friend. Miniature Wargames, specifically Flames of War.

    Spending time with my wife, who’s also my best friend.

  72. avatar Uber nerd says:

    Model trains, war gaming, sci-fi, reading and work.

  73. avatar OregunianC96 says:

    I do a little writing and just started my hand at sub-miniature photography, but mostly I collect out-of-print non-fiction books.

  74. avatar What The Heck Is That says:

    There’s a few things. I’ve got an old car I like to mess with. I’m also a huge fan of pinball machines and I’m fortunate enough to live close to an arcade with some couple hundred tables to play. I enjoy tabletop RPGs for the creative exercise, and I also like to write, and annoy my neighbor. (He hates cats, so I sprinkle catnip under the bushes in front of his house. It attracts all the strays to his yard. That’ll teach him to run his leaf blower at 6 AM…)

  75. avatar matt o says:

    motorcycles, reloading when i have the time, fishing occasionally, D&D, comic books, you know, nerd stuff.

  76. avatar greymas says:

    crabbing, gardening, amateur radio, hockey

  77. avatar Mark Kelly's Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist's Dummy says:

    What Non-Gun Hobbies Do You Enjoy?

    Of course my number one hobby is smoking CRACK. (Just Kidding)

    Really it’s the normal stuff men of my age do, dealing with the dog, maintaining the vehicles, working on the “O” gauge train layout and of course trolling/taunting Libs when in front of the computer and not on TTAG, CNN/MSNBC hosts are soooo “sensitive”. Can’t forget devouring history books from all time periods, Spain’s Civil War a favorite.

  78. avatar Marach says:

    Coursing my salukis.

  79. avatar Slow Joe Crow says:

    Mountain biking, Nordic skiing (want to try biathlon to combine hobbies) photography, reading history and sci-fi and both wrenching and riding my classic motorcycle.

  80. avatar mark s says:

    Does reloading count as ANOTHER hobby ? I buy old farm equipment and OPE and restore them for resale or shows , I have a tool sharpening business I run on the side , but it’s still a hobby too . I repair and rebuild small engines , collect old tools , I manage a 65 acre farm , my wife and I grow a 1/2 acre vegetable garden as well as 1/2 acre of various grains that we harvest , thresh , winnow , clean and store , we can and freeze our own corn , beans and tomatoes and I make and can my own spaghetti sauce and salsa , my wife makes fresh jelly’s and jams with our blackberries , raspberries and grapes , She also makes real tasty Kraut . I like to oil paint when I find time and I dabble in 8 ball Mini-clip online for about 30 minutes a day .

  81. avatar Todd says:

    Riding adventure motorcycles and observed trials motorcycles. Spending time with the kid. Dogs. Wife. Not necessarily in that order. 😐

  82. avatar KAP says:

    Fishing, Cross bow Hunting, Motorcycle Touring, Knife collecting, Prepping, Wood burning, knife throwing, Smoke cooking, used to be NFL and MLB but now they allow Players to disrespect our country and it’s flag but most of all Veterans just like they did too Vietnam Veterans (may the bird of Paradise napalm them) after a dose of Willie Peter.

  83. avatar pickle rick says:

    I drive race cars, and I also enjoy maintaining and modifying my street cars.

    Basically the same thing I do with guns, just with extra zeros after the price.

  84. avatar Scoutino says:

    Reloading and bullet casting doesn’t count, it’s gun related. Other than that motorcycle riding and reading. I spend too much time on TTAG.

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