What are your building blocks?

A long time ago at a farm far, far away … It was a lifetime ago when I took those first steps to firearms, but only recently have I started owning a handgun. It was the recent “troubles” that really convinced me to purchase my first handgun. I couldn’t even shoot it, as everything was shut down. I honestly was a bit concerned over that, as I hadn’t even shot a hand gun in like 20 years! Fortunately there are a lot of resources out there on the internet, and I was still able to get some training in - dry firing. I also got some good advice: Get carry insurance. After going through videos from what I consider reliable sources, and literally staring & comparing USCCA to 2 other organizations, I joined USCCA! First as a free member, and then later upgraded to my current level.

The ranges have reopened, and I was able to get comfortable enough to take & pass my CWP. I still need more training, and this organization has helped with the non-shooting training that I never knew I needed, as well as improving my shooting skills.


I started as a free membership and upgraded as well. It was a very good choice for me.


Now this is good brother and thanks for sharing this with the family.


After retiring from law enforcement and losing the FOP Legal Defense Plan, I knew I needed protection from somewhere. I originally had the NRA plan but, understanding the limitations of the policy, primarily a reimbursement plan, I looked further. After evaluating USCCA like an insurance defense attorney, I knew it was the right policy for my wife and me.

It has only gotten better since then!


I started off with Virginia Dept. of Corrections, 6 weeks of training. Shooting, firearms
fundmentals, keeping felons in their cells, and more. I automaticly qualified for my CCW
because of training in Va.
Fast forward many many moons, go to the doctor and wife is diagnoised with breast
cancer. I am pretty livid - now we are facing a monster I cannot see. For seven years we
beat back the monster, then June 9 2017 at 1:25am the war ended for my wife.
Today I carry everyday in Florida, Today all is well, I am a shooting instructor through the
USCCA. Now the story moves on !


My apologies on the passing of your wife.


@Proverbs31.10-31 - Thank you so very much. After 2 years of grief therapy I can finally
talk about my Deb and not go into a crying spell. I miss her greatly, but we talked a lot
over the last month she was with me and we both agreed that I would move forward. I
am in the process of moving forward now. Mike


Oh my gosh Mike…thanks for sharing…glad you are moving forward…



Words don’t always help, I can only imagine how painful. You have my thoughts and prayers. Peace be with you brother.


This started as a hobby to kill time during the Pandemic / + Semi Retired

I am 16 weeks into this -

Realized the Power of a Gun
Realized the responsibility of owning a gun
Realized the Importance of Safety
I have shot over 2,100 rounds since I started
Support from this group / Intel / Experience / Suggestion / Recommendation has been fantastic
I gain a few Friends one’s specifically who enjoys "Likes’ TEXAS and Jersey / Mike -etc
What I have learned and continue to learn is unbelievable

Confident / Handgun Owner (Still Learning)
Confident Protector of My Family
Confident on my continued path of Gun Education
and I am having a whole lot of Fun

Shout Out to Texaseskimo / My Friend - has been a huge influence in using the right tools


David, congrats to you! Even some of us that have experience learn. The kindness extended here is overwhelming, and the knowledge base is incredible! You are a good learner and might be a candidate for an instructor. Again, nice, well done!!!


Thank you I appreciate the kind words, But I am only where I am today because of the people whom I have met here in this forum / They are the true teachers


The reason i joined USCCA was because as I saw how things we’re evolving, it didn’t matter how many things you did right or tried to avoid that you could find yourself in trouble. I looked into a few of the big name companies and USCCA was the only one who protected my home while I was gone. I’ve always taken precautions and from an outside perspective it may appear as “paranoid” but my day to day actions have become habitual.


You are not paranoid! I can understand what you are dealing with. I have been called paranoid most of my life. I remember one time in particular (I was around 9-10 years old), I was playing with my cousins and a few friends in the front yard, when a car that was driving by stoped out at the road and a guy called over my younger cousin. And, of course she started walking to the car. I grabbed her arm and told her not to go. She insisted she knew the guy, pulled away from me and went to down to the car. Well, me and my well meaning fury wanted grab my cousin and run. But, I was afraid he would get both of us. So, I started running up the small hill toward the porch that my mom, dad and uncle were flying off of as they had seen everything. Turns out my aunt and uncle really did know the guy in the car. But, I knew it was a very bad thing for her to approach a vehicle, it felt bad in my gut as well even when my uncle said he was a friend. My parents were way more safety bound then my aunt and uncle. My parents had already been teaching me (age appropriate) about bad people that hurt children. And, I was good at listening. I got so mad at my cousin for doing something wrong but I was glad she was okay.


To all, what amazing stories!

I got into shooting the LONG way around. My first husband (passed) carried. I wasn’t comfortable, so I adopted a dobie-matic (SUPER TRAINED doberman). I was actually the one to be trained to work with him, and we became best buds. Man, there was no one in the world who could touch me. He was a machine. Did not know how to be a dog, or play… but he knew his job. Fast-forward to a spine surgery… especially my right arm. So what did I do? I bought a 25 lb recurve bow. 100 arrows a day. My own rehab. Guess what? I got very good at shooting. Then I went to pellets/hand gun. Easy transition. My second husband was a long-range competitive shooter. Kept telling me to look at the front sight. Super annoying, but something suddenly clicked. I out-shot him in a public competition. (Girls, don’t ever make this mistake.) Still married, but 5 miles away so that neither of us can shoot the other.

I now have a little farm on the edge of a State Wildlife Preserve, and I have WILDLIFE. Push-back is so important. I grow yummy stuff, I have yummy chickens and a yummy swan. I don’t shoot for fun or amusement. I only go to the range for calibration. Means to an end. I have strung cables to keep the eagles out, planted large trees to deter the coyotes, and finally bought a Daisy (WHO on earth would name a rifle after a flower?) air rifle, and right out of the box there is NOTHING I can’t hit.

I used to have my place mapped out for the bow, but deflection is dangerous. This rifle is soooo perfect. And it’s air! The pump is a pain and you only get one shot, but it’s quiet. And no cleaning!

When we have a wet winter/wet spring, the wild animal invasion just has to get pushed back. My birds are out all day and only kept up at night. Utopia. Fresh eggs… lots of love. But squirrels? Coyotes? Get aggressive and sorry. sweetie…

I have an open ticket with the Sheriff’s dept, but it is an absolute investigation. (Permission for a .22 for coyotes… they don’t know about the squirrels [.177])



I absolutely love this! Warring! You may get a little emotional. And, do NOT let young ones watch until you preview to determine if they are capable of handling the content.



I am now almost 4 months into this -

Realized / Understand the Power of a Gun
Realized / Understand the responsibility of owning a gun
Understand the Importance of Safety
I have shot over 4,500 rounds since I started

What I have learned and continue to learn is unbelievable


Not sure if it interests anyone but I am compelled to update because most of my progress has been from members of this community who deserve much credit and thank you

First and foremost a shout out to a friend I met here TexasEskimo who has taken me under his wing and guided me through some of my progress

I am still learning every day / and I am having a whole lot of fun doing so

My first Learning process and I have mastered because it is almost a natural routine now is Safety
the most important rule which guides me through the rest of the safety process is “Treating your gun as it is always loaded and ready” with that alone the rest is simple - I now am confident enough that I am teaching my son and my brother in-law who I have join me as Gun Owners and I have taken to the range

I have made some friends at the range with my respect to the owners and keepers of the Range / My gun is always in a case locked / with the Wired lock through the Chamber and Magazine port No Magazine Loaded and it has gone a long way with them

I have experimented and learn a few things -
How important Grip is to shooting I am currently using a Talon Grip and was until recently my Magazines was the standard 6 and I added / purchased the Pinky extension (Glock43)

I did some minor modifications to my Glock43 added a extended Magazine release. Back Plate and a Plug just for some cosmetic upgrade / The Glock 43 is good looking as is without the modifications

I also just bought a FAB +4 Magazine Extension : It does not really make my Glock 43 Look better but today I went to the range and grip alone gave me more Hand Purchase that my shooting at 30 Yards was fantastic I was so surprised how good it felt and control I had - The only Issue I had is that it is almost impossible to load 10 rounds in it - and when I did it was difficult to use the slide (Hope that is the right terminology) So as a 9 round Magazine it works great !!!

It wont work for CC which I haven’t gotten yet (Working on It) Not liking how it looks when I wear it OWB which I do - I got to get over that because the +4 Extended grip is fantastic for me and that is more important

I also for the first time received a bulk delivery of Ammo and I was almost like a child who just got a bag of goodies :slight_smile:

I know a little about Ammo - I have been using FMJ 9MM 115G since I Started for Practice / I also have experimented with some defense Hollow Points

I need to research and experiment with some of the higher grains AMMO

So that is where I am at today 4 Months so much more confident and I have recruited 2 more gun owners who think I know alot LOL - I keep telling them I don’t, but What I have learned is from experts and experience community members -

Thank YOU USCCA Members and TexasEskimo


@DavidM58 You have studied and trained well. Your enthusiasm is contagious. Kudos to you! :+1:

… and now the student becomes the teacher.


@DavidM58 @TexasEskimo that’s so great and what this community is all about.

@Dawn, what a wonderful success story of the community working together.


When I was a boy my grandfather lived with us. He survived the 1895 Armenian massacres so I was influenced by him to a great extent. My dad was a reserve police officer, so he had his issue revolver, as well as a being a pretty good wing shot (we live under the Pacific Flyway) so I grew up around shotguns. My mom grew up on a vineyard out in the middle of nowhere. Her dad passed away so it was her, her mom, and her older brother who tired of farming and moved to LA to find work as a stuntman and prizefighter----he left my mom a Luger for protection. She said she slept with it under her pillow every night until she married my dad. That was the first handgun I ever shot!
Later in life I served in the Army Reserve and as Sheriff’s SAR Posse member where I got to shoot quite a bit, as well as a lap through the local Peace Officer’s Academy where I was fortunate to receive some excellent training. The RSO encouraged cadets to shoot on days when the range wasn’t being used for training or quals. This was followed by a summer internship as a student investigator with the DA’s Office.
A real eye opener to the criminal mind, that!