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Great stories....I was ancient (61); an older friend living in Utah took me to a local range; I'd not been anti-gun; I figured that those who wanted firearms should have them, but I didn't have any.

He let me shoot an old .22 he'd had as a boy (oh, he has some very nice firearms) - I was scared, and terrible, but I also enjoyed it. I came back home to Southern California, went to Turners and ordered a 10/22, waited the 10 days. I emailed my friend who was delighted and surprised. Went out to a range, struggled a bit with the 10/22, but got all kinds of help. Kept going back at least twice a month, got a Glock 19 as well. Got comfortable with shooting the 10/22 and 19, then got a Predator 6.5 Creedmoor. Took a 2 day General Rifle class, with law enforcement and ex-military (I was in kind of over my head, and I was the only female) - the instructors were awesome! At the end of the class, I hit the center of a head silhouette at 100 yards with the Predator - never thought I could do that - all the guys clapped for me and said I was the most improved shooter (that was wonderful)

I want to continue learning and practicing - unfortunately all the ranges are currently closed :(
 

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I guess I was about eleven. My dad had this Springfield M1903 he had bought in the late '50s. He ordered it from an ad in Field & Stream magazine... military surplus: $29.95! (High number receiver, with correctly dated SA 5-18 barrel.)

I had always wanted him to get it out so I could look it over. I was fascinated by it. Eventually, he took me out into the woods near our home and let me shoot it in the prone position. I don't think I fired more than 3 rounds at a pine tree about 50 yards away.

About 10 years ago, he and mom made a trip to visit and he gave it to me, along with a bayonet and scabbard that he had bought with it way back when.

It's my most prized firearm -and, I have quite a few!

 

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My Mother used to work for Olin Corp., in East Alton, IL. They had something called the Westerner Club on Powder Mill Road. It's basically a private park area for Olin employees that also includes excellent shooting facilities, including pistol range and trap & skeet.
They also had a youth shooting and education program, so I first learned to shoot at 8 years old in the mid-60's.
They had these ancient training rifles, they looked an awful lot like 1903 Springfield rifles, they were single shot, bolt action .22 rifles. I think I still have one of my NRA marksmanship awards from those days.

It was always an odd sight to drive around in that area and see multiple trucks with explosive warnings on the sides, driving back and forth between the various manufacturing areas.
 

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First time had to be a BB gun. First time with gunpowder was at boyscout camp .22
I wanted to hunt desperately but my Family didn’t hunt. I got started on Pheasants with the neighbor at 14 and it was uphill from there. My Family wasn’t anti hunting or even anti gun, they just didn’t hunt. My Dad was a USFS Forest Ranger in Colorado so we were in the mtns all the time.
 

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I’m not sure how old I was. 5-6, if I had to guess. It was a Remington Model 12A 22, that was my dad’s but was always kept in Grampa’s gun cabinet. I shot it at Grampa’s house. My Grandpa was gifted it by his uncle when he was ten, then the same to my father, me, and my oldest son. My son was the fifth generation in our family to own it.

It’s still a fun little shooter.
 
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