Whether you grew up in a military family, hunting family, or a family without firearms, we all learned to shoot (or are learning now) at some point.
How long ago did you learn to shoot?
- Within the last year
- 1-2 years ago
- 3-5 years ago
- 5-10 years ago
- 10-20 years ago
- 20+ years ago
- I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know how to shoot
How did you learn to shoot?
- Family member/Family Friend
- Formal instruction/classes
- Other share your experience below
Share your experiences below!
My grandfather was a retired drill sergeant so I should be allowed to check both “Family member/Family Friend” and “Military/LEO”.
My father was drill sergeant and then became a police officer after the military, he taught me how to be safe and taught me to shoot as well as the reasons of why you should always have a firearm with you no matter what.
I learned how to shoot in High School.
We had shooting classes (sport rifle) and I attended Scout camp where everything was treated like a regular military (we even had a fight with local highlanders one night, thanks God without firearms )
Then for 20+ years I haven’t touched a firearm and started using it again 2 years ago.
These days it was for fun, now all is about self defense.
I didn’t really “learn to shoot” until I had been in the military for 10+ years. I joined in 85 and didn’t shoot in Boot Camp, it wasn’t until I got to the Boat and then had to qualify to stand Topside watch that I actually got ANY training on firearms and not much at that. I somehow got selected for the Navy Rifle Team in 88’ and then I learned a bit about positional shooting and had been doing a lot of personal IDPA/IPSC type shooting (Long before it was actually a thing but Red Dawn and similar thoughts were a real thing).
All that changed when I got loaned to SPECWAR for the better part of 2 years. It seemed that SEAL Corpsmen were hard to find at that time and here was a non Frog that could do that medical thing, drive bang sticks, talk on a radio and think on his feet. That was when I actually learned HOW to shoot. That is also when I got bitten by the long range bug and it has been down hill from there.
When I was in kindergarten I got my red rider BB gun. When I was 10 I got a 22 rifle. My dad showed me how to shoot but, my older brothers helped a lot. We would put 6 penny nails in a board and practice shooting the head of the nail. When I became 13 I went to Hunters training and got my first hunting license. I also got my Stevens 30-30 to go hunting deer with. When I turned 21, I got me a Smith and Wesson 357 magnum . and started training with it.
When he was young my father hunted, to eat. By the time he was married and I was born he didn’t need to hunt and didn’t. He actually gave his guns away because I used to be young and foolish and wasn’t interested in them. My sister has his Marlin 22 lever action rifle. Not even sure what handguns he had but they went to Missouri relatives. So I didn’t grow up shooting except a rifle at the occasional fair. It was watching Hickcok45 and Paul Harrel videos on youtube that got me really interested in firearms. Now I have what the media would call “an arsenal” I call it a starter kit
Never fired a BB gun or 22 as a kid. First gun I got was my dad’s 30-06 Remington Semi auto
Watching Discovery Channel’s American Guns (Gunsmoke) and getting fascinated with manufacture of firearms got me interested in owning one.
I didn’t have any intentions of becoming a gunsmith.
I just liked how at the end of the show, the new gun is tested with fireball and all kinds of fireworks that rival the 4th of July.
An unintended consequence of gun ownership is it made me appreciate the 2nd Amendment.
I learned to fairly young, shooting a bb gun at about 5 years old, and learned to shoot my father’s .22 rifle at 6 or 7 years old. Shot a bb gun or pellet rifle almost daily through my teen years. I learned to shoot a handgun about 20 years later after moving to Virginia. New York was, and still is, very anti-rights, and poor people could not readily afford the costs associated with handgun ownership. Everyone owned rifles and shotguns, and in the rural area I grew-up in hunting was commonplace.
Dad had a pellet gun trap for us boys at home as young teens. Many trips to range to watch and learn before our first shot from any other weapons, Finally my first shot with a 22 pistol and grew from that point to other hand gun types he had. High School rifle club, with a hard nose teacher of safety and skill. Hunting followed with all types of long guns. Was handed down all of his handguns and was mostly hobby shooting. Now for the last 5 years is 2ndA and self defense.
I started shooting and learned basics soon after I bought my first handgun at age 21. I really learned and became proficient after I started in law enforcement.
My Mom divorced my Dad and he won custody. My Mom took me. So between my maternal Grandfather and a series of her boyfriends, I learned how to fish, hunt, clean and scale a fish and how to field dress a deer pretty young.
One of her boyfriends, that she married I consider my Dad. The other was just a sperm donor and serial abuser
I learned to shoot when I was mowing the front acre at my mom’s farm in KS and forgot about the hot wire on the cattle pen, backed straight into it, it SHOT me across the driveway!
I’m north of 50 years old and purchased my first pistol a few years ago. I had plenty of experience plinking with a .22 rifle as a kid, but had never shot a pistol. A dear friend of mine, an ex-Army Ranger, taught me how to safely live with my pistol. All aspects - safety, shooting, cleaning, carrying, storage. Since that time, up until Covid and ammunition shortages, I have made it practice to shoot every couple weeks.
As a kid back in the '60’s, with woods in the back, my friends and I shot bb guns and occasionally a .22lr rifle. Not a predominant activity, but something we did from time to time. Gas station in town (still a 2 lane road) sold rifles and ammo, fishing gear and skateboards. Eighth grade, my math teacher got me a free pass into a 2 week camp, which had an emphasis on hunting/fishing. Shot skeet and trap with a 12 gauge (thank God for size 12 feet even then, anything smaller would have had me getting blown over by those guns lol), and targets with .22lr. Still remember the instructor, guy named Joe, just out of 'nam, and would lay prone with his RIFLE and shoot any pigeons in flight that we kids missed. 49 years later, and I still have that image in my head of him. Went decades without shooting, but am happy to be an enthusiast these days.
My Dad started me out with a Daisy Cub (I still have it) when I was young, and from there I moved up to .22 and shotguns.
Got my oldest boy on a cricket when he was 5, on a Ruger. 22 mark series pistol at 7yrs old and he graduated to a Kimber 1911 single stack in .40 S&W at 9yrs old. He now carries a Glock 19 Gen 5. He is now in his mid 20’s.
You trusted a 9 year old with a Kimber 1911? Those are not cheap.
Yes I did trust him, he’s my son and I trained him. He was running USPSA matches with me at that age, he is and was an extremely competent and safe shooter. I am proud to call him Son. I could have always let him use my Wilson Combat 1911 I suppose, I figured the Kimber was cheaper,lol.