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Who taught you to shoot?


Let's see where everyone learned to shoot.

My first memory of a shooting range was watching my Uncle Bob shoot trap at a range along the Mississippi River near Muscatine Iowa. I must have been about 5 and it was so cool to watch them clays fly out over the river bluff and watch them go poof when they were hit. I picked up a pocketful of shells and walked around all day sniffing the gunpowder smell in them.

My Dad and the Boy Scouts taught me a bunch more on shooting. My first shotgun was an H&R .410 single shot. Later I used my Great Grandpa's old 12 ga., what a blunderbuss that was and could it kick. First rifle I used was my Dad's 30-06, a Remington 742 Woodsmaster, aka Jam-a-matic.

I really got good advanced instruction when I joined the military. It was then I found out I was a lefty with my right eye being dominate. This explained why I was a decent shot with a rifle but a mess with a shotgun.

What's your first memory of shooting and who taught you to keep em in the 10 ring?

Here's Pop with an old gray Missouri doe and that Rem 742.



Well-known member
Good thread! Although I bet a lot of the answers are gonna sound similar, it ought to be interesting.  Personally, I feel a long one coming on.  Bail out now, if you know what's good for you!  For the short version... My dad and Red Ryder taught me almost everything I know about shooting.

My dad brought me into this world hunting, almost literally.  He was in the Coast Guard, and spent six to eight weeks at a time gone to sea, so when he came home this is how he spent time with me.  Of course I don't remember these trips, but mom said he'd load me up in the car and haul me down to his squirrel hunting spot.  

The spot was near a farm pond, and he'd shoot squirrels and snapping turtles (we ate both).  I suppose that's also why I don't remember the first time hunting, but I remember bits and pieces of early hunts.

I suppose I was 5 or 6 the first time he put held a gun against my shoulder, pointed us downrange (across the ditch), and squeezed my finger against the trigger.  That was an old Glenfield .22 semiauto, and that gun still sits in the closet at dad's house.  

He ended up stationed in Puerto Rico, and my shooting took a short hiatus for three years. Base housing in San Juan was no place for a youngster to be shooting.  When we came back stateside, though, my first Christmas found a bow and a Red Ryder under the tree.  We were in the boonies, then, and except for some tutoring and a short safety lecture, I was off...Dan'l Boone never had nothing on me, let me tell you!  My bike and my bb gun and miles upon miles of woods and fields...  wish more kids could have that kind of raising.

Dad taught me some, but that old Red Ryder taught me more about sharpshooting rudiments than any scoutmaster or DI could dream of.  I could shoot quail on the rise, and pop a bullfrog between the eyes before he could jump.  There were only a couple of other kids around, and we'd have contests shooting minnows and crawdads in the irrigation ditches.  We even had "air raids" on summer evenings, where we'd fight off the swarms of dragonflies descending on the backyard.  We didn't know any better, but we were all pretty danged good shots.

It was about that same time that I inherited the "family" gun, a 20 ga. Savage single-shot.  Dad started taking me along on dove hunts, although his main purpose was to use me as a bird dog.  He also occasionally let me go after squirrels, but he usually beat me to the draw with his .22.  
Later, when we'd moved to the suburbs again, my dad and I would set up plastic civil war army men in the back yard, surrounded by intricate earthworks, then proceed to stand on the patio and blow the hell out of one another's army with BB guns.  By accident, I was somehow born in New York City (my birth defect), and being the product of an old southern family, this "Yankee" bore the brunt of much teasing...and also always had to play the Union Army soldiers.  

I guess I was 11 when I received my own shotgun, a sweet little 20 ga pump.  It was stamped Revelation, which I later learned was a Mossberg 500 made for sale by Western Auto.  The next year, right after Christmas, I shot my first deer (another LONG story...so I won't go there.  Say, "Thank you Speckmisser.")

Shortly afterward, we moved back into the boonies.  Instead of the BB gun, I was afield all season with that shotgun.  I used it for squirrels, doves, ducks, quail, rabbits, and deer, and it wasn't long before that gun was like a third arm.  

I don't shoot all that often any more, and my marksmanship tells it.  Of course, I'm not a kid anymore either, I suppose, but I know that I owed a good part of my marksmanship to the fact that I could and did head into the woods and shoot any time I felt like it. .. which was danged near all the time.


Well-known member
I started out like most with BB guns. Shooting frogs and birds and everything else I could. Typical kid. Today, I wonder how some species have survived with all of us shooting them as we grew up.
Eventually, I traded up to a single shot, bolt action 22. No idea what brand it was. I just know that it was accurate. I could hit just about anything. I live down the street form some people who were originally from the Tennessee hills. When they had a ho-down, the father would invite me so that he could enter me into their shooting matches. Made a little friction between his sons and me.
When I wanted a shotgun, my father resisted. He said that anybody could shoot something with a shotgun. He had to be sure that I knew how to aim and get my game with one shot. So, I had my mom make me some gloves with elastic on the backhand side that would hold shells. When season opened, the first day, I went out and shot four rabbits. He got me a 410 soon after that.

And I have been practicing ever since.


Well-known member
My dad bought me a 22 for my first gun. He taught me safety and how to shoot. I owe my love of fishing and hunting to him.            Fubar

cedar N sandy

Well-known member
My Dad.    Now let me tell ya'll about him.
He was a virtual walking encyclopedia of gun knowledge. He was a gunsmith for many years and from '93 - 98' He got into the benchrest competition game. He raised 3 sons and never forced a gun on any one of us. I turned out to be the only one interested and our bond was inseparable. He would stand Vantage cigarete butts up along the edge of the road in front of our house when I was a kid and we would take turns clipping them off with my Benjamin Air Rifle. He was a marksman with any firearm, be it handgun or rifle. My Dad and I went shooting regularly at a range called "The Hole". It was a dirt pit dug out when the interstate split Ga. into back in the early '60s. We began benchrest competing together in '94. With his assistance I won the first match I ever shot in and there was not a prouder Dad on earth that day. Likewise there was not a happier son. My Dad passed away 4 years ago and I can't wait to bust a cap with him in Glory.
Happy Father's Day


Volunteers from the National Guard.  

Started with an Explorer program shooting surplus .22's and moving up to -06's in high-power range competition.  Parents did not approve of firearms in the house.  

Brother-in-law gave me the hunting bug.  


Well-known member
I learned in the basement with a break action pellet gun with my Dad(we lived in the city),I could hit them targets better then my brothers.Gun safety was also a big issue with Dad even though he didn't hunt.
I then joined the Army Cadets,think you Americans call it ROTC.Anyway,I started shooting 22's here that were old surplus Enfields.I got alot of shooting there and eventually got my marksmanship.We went to summer camp and got to shoot all kinds of different guns GPMG's,SMG's,FN C1's and FN C2's
That was up until I turned 15,then I never got shooting again til I bought a 16" barreled Winchester Carbine in 30-30 and went deer hunting in the fall of 84 at the age of 24.Now I'm still hunting and have been hooked since then


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Started much later than most.Mostly plinking with teenage friends.I had a Ruger 10-22 that I shot about a millions round thru.(or it seemed).Saddens me I didn't keep my 1st gun.
Now my boys on the other hand have been shooting up the backyard like crazy,soda bottles,army men,pictures of their brothers,ping pong balls.Shooting at those small targets sure make them concentrate.Especially with bragging rights on the line.
Now my dad wasnt against hunting, just wasnt his thing ,But after 30 years of not picking up a gun we went out into the hills to shoot the 30-06 his father passed down to me he drills the target many times in a row.Humbling  me to no end.some shooters are made by hard work ,some are gifted.I gotta go .Need to go practice.I 'm not gifted


Well-known member
good ole dad,it started w/bb gun then to single shot 22 then towinchester 12 gauge pump gun then to his steyr mannlicher 270.  he has hunted as long as i can remember and at my request he would bring back spent shotgun shells and like spectr i used to sit around smelling those things all day long.  i had adrawer full of them and usually had some in my pocket to smell when i wanted.  thats probably what is wrong w/me now. after college and then a 10 year stint in law enforcement that also helped my shooting abilities and being a member of our "swat" team i got to shoot alot w/many types of weapons.  but my dad did the ground work for all my intrests in hunting and shooting.since leaving law enforcement and into the private sector i dont get to shoot as much as i once did but i still hunt every chance.   think ill go call dad to see if he wants to go plinking tomorrow.


My dad also started Me hunting very young.I to also started with a bb gun.I also remember getting My eyebrow split open the first time I shot his 30/06 when he sat me at the bench & sat behind & forgot to tell me not to rest my eye against the scope.Which I still have the scar from.he thought My mom would shoot him for that one.He would take me dove hunting.Back in the good old days when you could just out to the nearest almond orchard & go hunt.Not no more huh.I would go down the rows & shoot the doves on the ground that we're too fattened to fly.I would come back with more than they had.But never shared My secret that you shoot them on the ground lol.god I must of been 6 or 7 then.Then moved up to the 20 guage.The first flying dove I shot was in the middle of a bunch of black birds.Which I got a couple of them too.Dropped on top of a shed & stayed there.Deppressing fo Me as a kid.Remember My first buck getting so excited I got 1 dad My first buck.Then thinking uh what now?He said here's the knife I'll hold his leg back you start cutting (gulp) ok dad.To this day we still hunt together.I also shoot with My grandpa.And he can still shoot a friggen fly @ 100 yds with that 357 amazing with that thing it's fun though.So now I'm a dad with 2 daughter's 7 & 10.They both love to shoot & know guns are not toys.They each have a 22 registered to Me of course (california).So now the 7 year old wants to go deer hunting & the 10 year old wants to go pig hunting.They tell Me it's no fair when I say not yet when I'm leaving to go hunt.So the tradition live's on I guess? Thanks for listening to My story wavesfr


I'm with Jesse, first memories were from the local skeet range... smoking hot shells that burned my fingers, and the glorious smell of gunpowder.

My Dad and Grandfather bought me a .22 for my 8th birthday, I still have that gun.

Later my Mom remarried, and my step Dad made it a point to try and teach me how to shoot right handed (I'm a lefty). I can still shoot right handed when necessary, but obvously prefer what comes natural.

(bad kid) I bought a true Sheridan Blue Streak .20 from some kid I met for $20.00. My step Dad didn't allow pellet guns, so I had to keep it hid in the field. Everyday after my paper route I would go shoot anything and everything that moved, rabbits, squirrels, tweeties, lizards etc.. I shot that Sheridan so much that I wore the pivot pin and arm out on the pump. Fortunately when I sent it back to Sheridan, a friend allowed me to have it sent back to him. That was the most agonizing 3 weeks of my life waiting for that gun to come back. For $15.00 Sheridan replaced the arm, rod and pivot pin, and replaced the spring and seals (what a deal!) That gun shot like new. None of the kids with their Daisy's or Crossmans could outshoot that Sheridan. It became an obsession, I would go shooting before school even. About 2 weeks before I moved to Idaho someone found the gun hidden in the field and stole it  :weep-yellow:

I have bought another Sheridan, and have had it for many years, but it is not the same as the first one... maybe imagination, maybe ...

I miss those days of freedom, and a never quenched desire to shoot more.

The smell of gunpowder hanging heavy in the morning still brings back memories :big-grin-aqua:


My first guns were cap pistols and air rifles *L* I was hooked . My parents weren't into hunting and shooting. first live ammo was at boy scout camp. . 22's . Army also gave me alot of experance with various firearms . Had a BB gun in my sons hands at the age of 5. He has the bug too and prefers shotgunning for pheasant in S. Dakoda.


Well-known member
Started in the Boy Scouts, then Marine JROTC, then the Marine Corps.  Started competing in '92, and then teaching shortly there after...I can still remember that old Mossberg .22 and then smell of spent casings....


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I got a copy of Outdoor Life (October 1978) and a BB gun when I was 7.  It was all downhill from there.  I got the basics of safety from dad - which end of the gun was the dangerous one - but after that I was on my own.  It takes a lot of sneaking to get close enough to a squirrel or cottontail to put his lights out with only a BB.

[Full disclaimer on being a naive kid at this time]
Once into firearms, I shot a lot or dove with a friends family.  He use to have a yearly dove shoot with his extended family (40 or so members) in Central CA.  I tagged along and it was my first real firearms hunt at 10 years old.  The limit was 15 then and after I'd shot mine, his various relatives who were basically blind (they had a recessive hunting gene in the family) would hand me boxes of shells and say "son, here's two boxes, I need 11 more birds" or something along those lines.  I would shoot a couple hundred birds in a day.  After doing that for a while, you get the hang of that wing shooting thing.

Now before someone busts my chops on this - I was 10-12, didn't know any better, don't do it any more, don't condone it, we ate all the birds and no, I'm not the reason that the bag limit went from 15 down to 10.  I'm just saying that shooting live game on the wing does a lot for you in the accuracy (shotgun) department.


I llearned to handle guns and safety from my dad.  To actually shoot a gun effectively though I learned that in the Marine Corps.  


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My dad felt it was important for everybody to know how to shoot and taught our whole family (Mom, 2 sisters, my brother and I) using an old Remington Single Shot 22.  He was a rifle range instructor in the army for 6 months when Pearl Harbor was bombed, then was in for the duration.  Because of his teachings, I had the top score in our Battalion while in the Army and have also won a few local shooting matches.

Dad passed away back in '73 but everytime I take a shot, I remember it was him who taught me how to do it properly......



 Dad was the teacher,when i was very young he started me out with a BB gun,I would follow along on squirell hunts and shoot whatever he would allow,i guess i was about 9 yrs old then the following yr i was a full fledged .22 shooter.He taught me not only how to shoot but all the safety rules before safety classes was available,also i had ethics preached to me.
 Dad is still with me but he dont hunt much at all anymore,if we all get together for firearms deer season at camp he will show up and walk around with a gun,but he just does this for the fun of camping,yhe spends most of the days in camp eating and visiting,when everyone is in the woods he will go find a tree and ZZZZZzzzzzzz.but camp would not be the same without him.
 Im with Tinhorn on this one,Every time i go hunting i think about dad,it was him who gave me this and kept me out of trouble.everyone should take a youngster hunting,fishing and camping,it will bring you closer together and make you a hero in thier eyes.


Well-known member
Like most  others my dad taught me how to shoot.  I can't remember how old I was when I got my first BB gun but I had several crossman pump BB/pellet guns.  I was the typical kid and took out more than my share of birds.  I was 12 when I got my license and my first .22 (Marlin 39A).  I've been hunting with my dad ever since.  Great times.  We now both take out groups of kids together and teach them to shoot. That always fun too.

Qbn Hunter

Well-known member
I was about 5 or so. It was at the San Gabriel Valley shooting range in Duarte. I shot my oldman's Remington 30-06. It kick so much that I almost fell from the bench my dad and his friend held me up.

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