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The other day, I was taking advantage of a house to myself and pulled out all of my guns so I could wipe them down, and started wondering just when in my life did this...obsession, I guess...first hit me. Thinking back, I realized that I have been fascinated by guns just about as long as I can remember. As early as 4 or 5 years old (that woulda been 1959-1960), I remember watching Matt Dillon walk down the street in the opening credits of Gunsmoke for that showdown with the bad guy who always lost...and doing my best to outdraw him with my cap gun and holster set. (I won sometimes... but I'm pretty sure I cheated.)

I realized that the media played a big role in either creating or sustaining my interest in firearms. From the westerns to the cop shows to the war shows, and all the old movies on TV, I always payed attention to the guns. I noticed Elliot Ness and his crew all carried revolvers, and the bad guys seemed to all have automatics. The cowboys had to cock their guns, but the cops didn't, how come? (Later I noticed in some of the older cowboy movies, they didn't cock their guns either, and saw that they were really using guns that looked like the ones Elliot and his boys carried!)

In shows like Combat, Saunders had a Thompson, the Lt carried a carbine, and Cage had the BAR (if I remember right). I think that show also was the first time I saw that strange thing get ejected out of an M-1 and remember asking my Dad just what that was.

Then I discovered reading, and after a while found myself a big fan of the Matt Helm series by Donald Hamilton. He talked about guns like he really knew them. I read my first description of aluminum framed 5 shot .38's (you could get another brands 6 shot version but they were bulkier - and if you couldn't get the job done with 5, you probably couldn't get it done with 6). He had adventures where the .44 magnum and .45 auto and even highly accurate sniper rifles were characters in the books. I even remember Helm lamenting to his boss that they were "...using damn .22's in Viet Nam now days." Later re-readings showed me he made some mistakes...but all in all, they were pretty good gun books.

I discovered gun magazines at 12 or 13, and they kinda replaced comic books for me after that.

Then I joined the USAF at 19, they made me an S.P., and one day plunked a S&W Model 15 down in front of me. First time I ever got to hold a real handgun. That was it. I was totally hooked. I have spent the last 36 years buying, selling, trading and shooting all kinds of guns. And it's been a real blast (no pun intended).

I wish I still had all of the guns I have owned during those years...guns I ended up selling because the car needed repairs or the washer broke...or a couple of daughters decided to get married. But...C'est la Vie.

Still haven't figured out if it was popular media of the time, or something intrinsic in me that led me down this path. It wasn't my dad. He wasn't much of a gun guy. Guess I'll never really know.

But it sure has been fun! :thumbsup:
 

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Like you, I was exposed to guns all my life (though said life was at risk if I got caught playing with the wrong ones). I had BB guns and .22s on which I learned safe handling and basic marksmanship. In the Marines I got to shoot "real" weapons, but it wasn't until an encounter in 1986 that I got serious about firearms.

I was at church one morning, when an acquaintance told me he was packing. I promptly went to one of the pastors and told him that there was a "gun nut" carrying a gun in the church. It bothered me as I realized that I was using a term blindly, so I started reading up on gun control and learned what a tragic farce it is. With this realization came the determination to exercise and defend my civil right under the Second Amendment. The rest is history...
 

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I guess I started as the typical kid of the late '50s and '60s. Cowboys & indians, cops & robbers, and all the other stuff of the life of kids of the time.
My father brought back an M-1 Carbine from Korea, which I thought was neat; he never let me shoot it (in fact he never shot it himself) it was all .22 rifle.
As an adult, I had spent a lot of time relatively unconcerned about guns ... until for some reason the rifle bug hit me, so I bought a Winchester 94AE in .30-30.
And from there, it was downhill, into blackpowder revolvers, other lever guns, and rifles, and modern handguns.

BTW- I was also a big fan of COMBAT! as a kid. The show is now available on DVD complete with extras on channel 2 sound, interviews, et cetera.
:ek: And it was Kirby who was the BARman, not Caje, who's real name was Paul Caddo, and who was refered to as "Caje" because he was Cajun, from New Orleans. :wink:
Did you know it was originally Lt. Hanley who was supposed to have the Thompson? Rick Jason, who played the role, refused to carry twelve pounds of steel around during the long filming day so that's why he wound up with the 5lb Carbine. Vic Morrow refered to the Thompson as a "jammomatic" and wound up having MGM prop dept. build a lighter wood dummy Thompson for scenes that he didn't have to be shooting. :)
 

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"Rick Jason, who played the role, refused to carry twelve pounds of steel around during the long filming day so that's why he wound up with the 5lb Carbine. Vic Morrow refered to the Thompson as a "jammomatic" and wound up having MGM prop dept. build a lighter wood dummy Thompson for scenes that he didn't have to be shooting. :) TommyGunn

No wonder the weapons used seemed so light! I have to keep reminding myself that those Hollywood warriors aren't carrying around the loads that were hauled around in real life. The standout to me is "Where Eagles Dare", where Clint Eastwood and crew throw around full packs, supposedly chock full of dynamite, detonators and other assorted goodness, as if they were full of styrofoam or wadded newspaper. :ek:
 

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My Father. When I was six years old he took me to an open-house the Army Guard unit he was in had. I held a carbine then an M1, I couldn't lift a BAR. I was so hooked you could almost see the Snelled #2 Eagle-Claw in my mouth. Got my first High-Powered rifle at nine, a 'Sporterized' pre-WWII Oberndorf M98 my Dad bought from Klein's for $25.00, for Christmas. Recoil was brutal but I loved that rifle. Been giving in to the addiction ever since.
 

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I have been fascinated by guns since my childhood. Growing up in Mexico City in the 1950's, I used to cut out handgun advertisements, about one-inch, one column ads for a particular model, illustrated with a line drawing, from the newspaper to which my parents subscribed. (There was actually at least one privately owned gun shop in Mexico City in those days). My favorites were the Beretta Modello 1934, an infatuation that I lost when I learned its limitations, and the 3 1/2" S&W Model 27. My love for the latter gun has never died.

My parents decided to return to the US shortly after my 15th birthday. We lived in Phoenix for a year and a half until my parents decided "California is the place we ought to be." After thirty-five plus years I returned to Arizona and spent ten and a half years looking for a 3 1/2" M-27 in nice condition at gun shows. I finally found my childhood dream gun last December. :D
 

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I can't remember when I wasn't.

During the war I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and grandaddy was a quail hunter. There were several shotugns including two Brownings I still have plus a Mauser .32 and 1911. He would let me handle them if I asked but I never got gun and bullets at the same time.

When I was 10 I got a 22 for Christmas and it was on. As soon as I was able to make a little money it went for guns or ammo and basically has never stopped.

I talked my mother into ordering me a S&W Victory model ($15?) and started reloading around 15. I was very lucky and had a number of older men who were kind to me and I'm just lucky as heck !
 

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I've always liked guns. My Dad was career Army. We always had a bunch of guns and plenty of ammo. I used to run around like a chicken with its head cut off when he said "Come on, let's go shooting".
 

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Discussion Starter #9
TommyGunn said:
BTW- I was also a big fan of COMBAT! as a kid. The show is now available on DVD complete with extras on channel 2 sound, interviews, et cetera.
:ek: And it was Kirby who was the BARman, not Caje, who's real name was Paul Caddo, and who was refered to as "Caje" because he was Cajun, from New Orleans. :wink:
Did you know it was originally Lt. Hanley who was supposed to have the Thompson? Rick Jason, who played the role, refused to carry twelve pounds of steel around during the long filming day so that's why he wound up with the 5lb Carbine. Vic Morrow refered to the Thompson as a "jammomatic" and wound up having MGM prop dept. build a lighter wood dummy Thompson for scenes that he didn't have to be shooting. :)
Oh Yeah, Tommy. How the hell could I forget Kirby! He was one of the smaller guys in the squad, of course he humped the BAR! I remember "Caje" being cajun, and that the source of his nickname. Don't know why I didn't process that when I spelled out his name. Wasn't aware of the genesis of Hanley's choice of armament, or the wooden prop Thompson. I'll have to hunt out that DVD anthology. Wonder if it's available in Blu-ray? Oh. I also remember thinking that the "krauts" Lugers and "Schmeisers" being really cool looking. The K-98's not so much. Kinda retro compared to the semi auto M-1's our guys toted.

I also remember "Rat Patrol", with those M-2's mounted on the jeeps. I kinda liked Garrison's Guerillas too, but can't remember if it was pre or post The Dirty Dozen. The only character that I remember from Garrison's was the guy described as a "switchblade artist". Amazingly effective in tossing that knife underhanded like a softball. :roll:
 

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When I was very young my Dad took me to an old fashioned shooting range. .22 Gallery shorts out of a Remington (I believe) semi auto.
Then he took me out and bought me a Daisy Pump style rifle and put a range in the garage.

Geoff
Who has a Daisy around here somewhere.... :thumbsup:
 

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Think I was about 8 when my uncle took me to the range to sight in his .32 WinSpl. He asked me if I would like to shoot it and naturally I said yes. Not knowing about recoil I put it up to my shoulder, aimed it and pulled the trigger. Luckily he was smart enough to be standing behind me. The .32 went from horizontal to the vertical position with me falling backward. He did catch me in time.

I do remember my dad taking me out shooting with a .22 when I was 9.

.22 LR HP's were $0.53 for a box of 50 when I was able to buy them from the local hardware store at the
age of 12. Yes, you could buy them if you had a note from one of your parents which they kept in the
same case as the other ammo. Try that today :lol:
No serious kid shooter would ever shoot shorts or longs, only long rifle hollow points.

Sigh, those were the days......
 

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My story is similar to several others already told. I grew up in the '60s, on TV and war comic books. I came from a gun-free home (my Dad did have an ancient, cheap H&R "Young American" .32 revolver I wasn't supposed to know about; he's never shot it to this day) so Combat and Rat Patrol and Man from UNCLE was as close as I could get. Oh, and the DC and Charleton war comics and the Colby books in the school and public libraries.

When I was maybe 9, I was allowed to have a Daisy BB gun (the cheapest model) at my grandparents' home, which we visited once or twice a year (it was a 10 hour drive in those days). A couple years later, it was revealed to me that Papa had a single-shot Remington .22 (Model 41, I think?), which I was allowed to shoot on visits from then on. We'd go to the dump and shoot at bottles and cans and old refrigerators and stuff. Papa died when I was 17 and I inherited the rifle, which I have to this day.

I was a big toy gun collector, and had some good stuff. The MACO Thompson and 1911, and the MARX 1911, Luger, Colt Detective Special, 2/3 scale M1 Garand, 1903 Springfield, battery-powered M14, and so on. The excellent Johnny Eagle toys came out right about the time I was growing out of the toy gun phase and getting into model cars, so I never had any of those, but always secretly coveted their 1911 and M14. They sell for big bucks today. I finally scored a less-than-pristine Johnny Eagle 1911 on eBay a couple years ago but haven't found a JE M14 that I can afford. Don't have any of my old toy guns but I've replaced a few of them in recent years, notably the MACO Thompson and 1911, and MARX Colt Dick Special, which is full-size and a pretty good replica.

At 14 I asked for and got a Crosman M1 carbine BB gun for Christmas. Loved that thing, and carried it for prolly thousands of miles on adventures in the woods behind our house. My Dad has it today, and chases squirrels out of his bird feeder with it. I bought another one, filthy and rusty, at a gun show a couple years ago and cleaned it up and shoot it in the basement once in a while.

When I joined USAF, to become a Small Arms Marksmanship Instructor, in 1972, I'd never fired a handgun, a shotgun, or a centerfire rifle of any kind. The 10-week SAMI tech school was like heaven to me. As soon as I turned 18, I bought a surplus M1 Carbine ($65) and a Remington 581 .22 ($37, the floor demonstrator model at a discount store) and put a $15 Weaver V22 scope on it. Still have all that stuff. My folks, figuring that since I was now a fully trained and rated USAF weapons instructor, I was probably mature enough to be allowed to own a gun, bought me a Tom Forrest 1911 kit that Christmas. I had it assembled and shooting before Christmas dinner.

And I've been an official "gun nut" ever since. :wink:
 

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I guess that I've always had the bug. I grew up in a well-to-do household until the depression. Dad had a deputy sheriff's commission and kept a .38 and some ammo in a tin box along with his badge. I wasn't allowed to touch it but I could look when he brought it out.

When the depression hit he rented the house and we moved into an apartment. Had a nice woods beside it and I used to play cop and robbers with the other guys who lived in the neighborhood. We all had cap guns and used sticks for rifles. I wanted a BB gun but got the usual argument about shooting eyes out so no got. I did get a Mosburg .22 when I was 12 and still have it, a Model 46BT target rifle. It was drilled and taped for a Mosburg scope and I'm still looking for one.

I went to a summer camp in Vermont where I got to shoot .22 shorts for riflery. Got my NRA Jr Marksman, Marksman First Class and Sharpshooter. That was it. I went to a military school at 14 and got on the rifle team. We all had .30-06 03's in the armory and God help you if you picked the wrong one. You knew your serial number or else. I was lucky, I was made an instructor at the range at the Army camp the cadets used. We all tried to qualify on the 200 yd range. I did.

Came the war and I enlisted in the Navy at 17. Got to shoot at Newport Training Base. Our instructor was George "Twinkletoes" Selkirk. He was a CWO. When we finally got our ship the Gunners Mate was a friend. Got to shoot .45 ACP's and Thompsons. I was completely hooked by then.

I started reloading in '87 and have been at it ever since. Everything I shoot except .22's of course. Since we got my wife a Taurus .327 Fed Mag I'm looking for .310/.312 bullets to reload with. So far no luck.

When I was 69 I finally got my Red Rider BB gun with a RR knife, too. Heaven at last.

BobMac
 

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I was about 4 years old when we visited some cousins on a farm in Indiana, and they had a BB gun . . . I got to shoot it and did pretty well, so I got one of my own shortly afterwards.

A .22 rifle came along at 7, and a "Crosman .38 C" pellet gun around 11 or 12. Growing up in Chicago I didn't have much chance to use these (other than plinking in the back yard with the BB and pellet guns) but then for 8th grade graduation Dad got me a Colt Diamondback .22 with a 2 1/2" barrel . . . about that time we started going to a suburban pistol range on a pretty regular basis. Bought myself a Colt NM .45 when I was about 14 - Dad had to fill out the paperwork. (STRAW PURCHASE ALERT!!! :shocked: )

From my viewpoint, looking at the mail-order ads in gun rags back then from places like Klein's & Hunter's Lodge, it's a doggoned shame that the GCA '68 came along just a couple of years too soon . . .
 

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HankB said:
...and a "Crosman .38 C" pellet gun around 11 or 12.
Oh, man, how I envy you! I absolutely lusted for one of those all through high school. Didn't get one until about a decade ago, and then I lucked into good deals on several in a short period of time. I think I have five of them now, three Ts and two Cs, and I think three of them actually work and the other two need new seals, which I'll get around to someday. Haven't shot one for three or four years now--now that you've reminded me, I might dig one out and shoot it tomorrow.
 

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.32 bullets shouldn't be a problem. All the biggies have them. I use Hornady 100 gr. LSWC but if you want to come close to factory specs. you probably want jacketed. There's a Gold Dot for the .32 Mag. that should be fine.

When I was 17 I joined the Navy reserve and my first summer cruise was on a DE out of Charleston. One morning I heard gunfire from the bow. I wandered up and found the XO shooting at flying fish with a Thompson. I went up and offered to load magazines for him and did so for awhile. He sent me for more ammo and I got two more boxes from the chief. When those were almost gone he offered to let me shoot. That was the first, but far from last, time I shot a t-shooter. Hit a fish too...
 

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It was the 8th Grade when a friend of mine got a CO[sub]2[/sub] pistol. We thought it was the greatest thing! Alas, I had to satisfy myself wearing out my Daisy Win94 replica--and I did a good job of that! :mrgreen:

There was also my sister's .22 Remington. She got it because she got mad when Dad gave me a .410 shotgun. The only way to describe the ammo I ran through it was "lots". My favorite targets were plastic models I built. Once, I went back to a place we had lived years earlier; I could still find bits of plastic. Holiday gifts always included boxes of .22.
 

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Snake45 said:
HankB said:
...and a "Crosman .38 C" pellet gun around 11 or 12.
. . . I think I have five of them now, three Ts and two Cs, and I think three of them actually work and the other two need new seals, which I'll get around to someday.
I remember the seal right at the top of the CO2 cartridge began leaking while I still had the pistol. So in finest WECSOG tradition, I set out to repair it. I had some thin (1/8") but dense sponge rubber, and cut a circle out of that and put it over the nipple that pierced the CO2 cartridge. Reasoning it was dense but porous, I put a balloon over the end of the CO2 cartridge and cranked her down.

Worked BETTER than the original seal - as far as I could tell, ZERO pressure was lost.

Never had a problem with the internal seals - those would have been more difficult for a 7th grader to deal with using whatever scraps of "stuff" he could find laying around the house.

Despite the shorter barrel, my 38C was more accurate than my buddy's 38T - the rifling on his was so loose that if you shook the pistol with the muzzle down, the pellet that was lined up with the bore would fall out on the floor!
 
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