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Not a very original thread but here - gauging overall shooting experience against actual carry time. Comparison if you will, and realizing state factors play a part.

I got into handguns seriously late 70's so - 25 years plus for me. In Uk could not (<cough> - ''legally'' carry) and so only really carried properly now for three years since settled and domiciled here.

Most know I am dedicated 16/7 carry regardless. But I am not paranoid (much!). :biggrin:
 

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I shot a handgun for the first time when I was, I think, 11 years old and rifles before then. I've had at least one real gun for at least 14 years now and was always the gun obsessed son.

I've been a CCWer for a relatively short time (7 months or thereabouts) and still pay particular attention to ways to gain new skills/information.
 

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My first handgun was a High Standard .22, which I aquired in 1959 or 1960. I've owned at least one handgun ever since. I got my CCW earlier this year. Advancing age made me realize I wasn't invincible any more, so I decided I'd better get serious, train more, and carry. No regrets.
 

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Bought my first one in 1976.
 

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Well I've been shooting (rifles and pistols) since I was sixteen. I'm twenty-four now, and I'm pretty sure that's eight years. I've been carrying since April of this year. But I still think I'm invincible.

A1C Lickey
 

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I've been "into" guns for almost as long as I can remember.

Used to play army as a little kid (even converted my swingset house to have a turret with an opening hatch...ok...dad did it, but it was my idea.)

I first shot a rifle when I was in middle school (I think) with my brother's boy scout troop. It was ok.

I kept my interest, and always said "well, when I'm older..." I found out that one of my co-workers, older, had a .22 pistol, and he taught me to shoot pistols. This is about...oh 4 or 5 years ago.

Had to be 21 in NJ to buy a pistol, and took me almost that long to convince my parents that I should be allowed to keep it in the house. (hey, so far, I enjoy NOT paying rent).

So, I've been the proud owner of two pistols (i'm sure everyone has seen the pictures, they are posted) for almost two months. Carry? In this state? I wish. And on a college campus to boot? LOL.

--Jim
 

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I am very fortunate to have grown up with a father that was and still is into guns and shooting. I am 48 years old and I can remember the first pistol I shot was a German Luger. I must have been around 6 or 7 years old. I was shooting a 22 rifle, that I still have, before that. We would spend our free time wondering the deserts of California with Jeeps and Dune Buggys. So we had plenty of space and time to do lots of rifle and pistol shooting. While in my early teens my father discovered skeet shooting. So we would spend our weekends at the gun club skeet and trap shooting. Those were some great times together. Moved to Missouri when I was 18 with my parents and have continued hunting and shooting. I have not gone through the steps to obtain my CCW yet but will be doing that in the very near future.
Mike
 

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Bought my first gun last summer, a G19. (It has since reproduced into other guns.) Shot the heck out of it, and got comfortable with it's operation. Have had my CHL for over a year now, and I carry every day without fail.

Just another up-and-coming gun-nut. :biggrin:
 

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I've been into firearms from early on in life from my youth in NYC.....with no chance to exercise my rights until I turned 21 while living in (very anti-gun) Puerto Rico (need a license to even reload ammo).

When I moved to TX in 1989, there was still no chance to carry concealed for me, but I did a fair amount of shooting....then back to states that were not very gunfriendly like DE, NY and NJ.....then nirvana! I moved to FL (in 2003).....oh joy! It's been great since.
 

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I've had handguns since I was in the single digit age group. My parents didn't let me have toy guns, and I happened across a real one and kept it hidden along with my other forbidden toys.

I've been carrying for a long, long time now. I learned to do it in that major metro area off of Lake Michigan where those pesky firearms are forbidden, along with a lot of other residents. Idaho is great - all my toys are legal now. ;)
 

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I started with my first handgun in 1969. It was a Ruger Blackhawk 3 screw model with a 4 5/8" barrel in 357.

I carried concealed in LA, CA for many, many years w/o a CCW permit. I've had my CCW here in NV since 1994.
 

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My best friend in junior high got me interested in guns - we shot a lever-action .22, and AR-7 and a double-barreled shotgun. We often took the .22s plinking at a quarry near my house - shot up old model airplanes, my sister's barbie dolls... :biggrin: When we got to college, I guess I lost interest (not having discretionary income didn't help, either.)

Now I'm in my 30's, and I have gotten into guns again. Got my CCW permit last July, and my first pistol, a Glock 30, last October. Replaced the Glock with a Springfield 1911. Since then, the gun safe has become somewhat crowded (although it's a small safe).
 

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I got my first BB gun when I was 4, dad set up a range in the basement and had to cock it for me to start; first .22 when I was 10; 20 ga at 12 and bought my first center fire rifle (British .303 Enfield No 4) at 13 (pre ’68) with money from a paper route. I applied for my first CCW the day I turned 21 (1974) and was pissed to find out I could have gotten it at age 18 (Indiana) and bought a S&W round butt 19 a couple days later. Except for ’97-‘04 living here in Misery I have carried almost daily since, we just got CCW here last year, but open carry was legal except for a few cities and I always had one in the car.

What got me into thinking about self protection was an incident in about 1971, a buddy and I had finished working for his dad stringing fence and were taking a swim in some stone quarries which are plentiful in the area. There were 2 couples also swimming at the same quarry, 3 redneck pieces of white trash with a single shot shotgun screwed with us for about an hour and I think were working themselves up to raping the girls when they thought someone else was coming and took off. That day I swore no man was ever going to lord over me like that again, one of us was going to die if it ever happened again, and a couple days later we took our weeks pay and each bought an M-1 carbine and carried those until we got handguns.
 

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I don't remember the exact age but started off by shooting the pellet gun with my dad off the back porch when I was in elementary school. He had me shoot the metal fence posts so they became a reactive target (shoot, and then it would "tink" so you knew you hit). Shot my first shotgun at boyscout camp.

When we moved to Florida, I was given a .22 that I was allowed to keep in my room and shot my mom's .22 pistol every now and then.

To tell you the truth, I wasn't "heavy" into guns when I was a kid.

Left home for the military. I was 19 so the only thing that I was interested in was learning how to drink (we could still drink while on base (kessler) even though the legal age was then 21).

When I was stationed at Holloman AFB, NM I turned 21 while there and went in and bought my first handgun, a GP-100. It was a thrill and we'd go up into the moutains and shoot. I bought a Ruger P-85 about a year later for protection but didn't even think about carrying it. I still wasn't really into guns at that time either, was still just interested in partying and drinking :frown: .

Got my first CCW in Georgia, then in Idaho when I moved there for a short time, and now Oregon. Been carrying for around 10+ years now.

The "bug" didn't really hit me until right before I got out of the Air Force and then once I got here to Oregon. I had a few pieces before then but now I have more than I'll ever really need but just want.

Now if I can just remove the first "hobby" that I had and just concentrate on this one.

Wayne
 

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Chirs,

If you meant being around all guns vs owning a handgun, since I was born.
My Dad competed at Camp Perry and had a very nice but small collection of weapons, he also carried.

 

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First BB gun about 1947, First Firearm 1954, Been carrying since the Watts Riot in LA (I lived in Inglewood at the time) and I am still carrying.
 

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been shooting since I was a kid. Actually several forms of competition with the NRA junior program. Airguns, .22 pistol and rifle , hi power service matches as well as L.E. training and hunting since age 12.
 

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Had .22 rifles and shotguns when a kid at home but no pistol's or revo's. Didn't even shoot a pistol til I joined the USN in late '64. And then, didn't really like them. Shot/trained with pistols when in school in Jax Fla. and in Calif. Started to get sweet on 'em and never looked back. Mostly used a S&W 39 and a 1911 during my early years overseas and then a .357 revo and still later a Colt 1911 during my last several tours. The military gave me the opportunity to really learn the art of the pistol and to appreciate what could be accomplished with the use of that weapon. I love all weapons but have a special fondness for 1911's.---------
 

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Owned my first BB gun at 12, first rifle at 15, first shotgun at 18, first handgun at 23, carried off & on since the late 70's and finally got a CC permit a few years ago when I was in my early 50's.

Shot my first gun (.22 bolt action rifle) at 10, my first shotgun (12g auto) at 12 and first handgun (.455 Webley my dad got during WWII) at 18.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I was thinking back even further - in fact if I exclude firearms per se - I had my first air pistol, a smoothbore, in very early teens - others (rifled) followed as well as air rifles so - in actual shooting terms did start early.

Probably the one significant ''edge'' that gave me as I progressed thru the years was knowing what a correct sight picture meant - plus trigger control - not too bad a way to start.
 
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