Shooting for the First Time

by JB

Hunting for land roaming creatures wasn’t part of my childhood, although seeking swimming critters was. So my exposure to guns was quite limited. I don’t recall ever shooting a gun until I was 30.

I grew up in a small town, just 40 miles from a big city of 400,000 people. I fished with my dad and grandmother, camped, rode a bicycle, and mowed lawns. I knew my grandpa had a shotgun, but I had never touched it or saw it in action. My first real exposure to a gun was when I was 8 or 9, my dad and I ventured into the woods with my grandpa and a relative to shoot rabbits. All I remember was the unexpected blast of the rifle terrifying me at that young age.

After that, shooting and hunting wasn’t something I was exposed to as a youth, but I continued to enjoy fishing. So, going to work for a fishing lure manufacturer after college was a natural progression. I loved to fish. I was decent at catching them, but not the greatest at locating them, but hey, that’s why it’s good to know and work with great local guides and famous fishermen. I learned to catch a variety of species in various waters. But after almost 10 years, it was time for an employment change, which led me to the shooting sports and my introduction to shooting.

I learned quickly–that, unlike fishing, shooting provides instant gratification. My first shot was with a replica BB gun, a Walther PPK/S that uses a CO2 capsule to shoot steel BBs. I thought it was cool because the slide cycles, imitating the real gun. My next one was a CP99 Compact BB pistol–much the same as the PPK and another Walther replica. Then I shot an RWS break barrel rifle. It’s amazing the amount of power an RWS Rifle has from just cocking the spring piston one time. After becoming comfortable with daily handling, I had the opportunity to fire a couple of firearms. The first was a Walther P22. Nice pistol. I really enjoyed the friendly target competitions and I wasn’t half bad considering it was my first time with a firearm. I gave my friends a challenge when it came to hitting the smallest target. Since then I’ve shot some larger caliber pistols, done a little shooting with dad, and obtained my conceal carry license. I continue to pick up airguns, but I have yet to find an airgun that tops the Smith & Wesson 586 revolver. I bought a pair. They’re a big hit on date nights with my wife.