Thursday, June 9, 2011

How I became a 'Projectile Enthusiast'

Jennifer is asking bloggers to post how they became shooters.

Well, first thing I need to do is clarify that I am more than just a shooter and gun nut. A few months ago, after geeking out on some slingshot stuff, and then brushing off my 6th grade era sling shot skills- I decided I am more of a Projectile Enthusiast. I like anything that launches a projectile at a target. Guns mostly, but I shoot bows, blowguns, slingshots, cannons, golfball launchers, etc... pretty much anything that involves a projectile and a target.

How did this happen? Honestly, I truly believe that it is inherent. I was born this way. I cannot remember a time that I was not drawing guns, building ways to launch pebbles, using sticks as toy guns, and all that juvenile boy stuff. Heck, here is a true story- In the first weeks of me being in kindergarten, I got in trouble for organizing a pissing contest. Yes, an honest-to-God pissing contest. I got several boys in my class standing on the handicap hand rail in the bathroom stall, pissing for accuracy into the toilet.

I grew up without someone to teach me how to shoot. My Mom did not let us play with toy guns (at the time I thought she did not like guns, but I found later in life that it was more of a 'Rule 1' kind of thing- don't even point TOYS at something you don't want to shoot). So my natural need to shoot was satisfied by spitballs, slingshots, and blowguns (and one VERY dangerous activity*) until I moved to Texas and joined 4H and got into Archery.

Then things took off. I won statewide competitions shooting a hunting bow alongside people with competition setups that were trying out for Junior Olympics. I found out I was pretty damn good with a bow. I went hunting, and this bled into airgun shooting, then into a couple of smallbore shoots, and one round of skeet.

I was hooked. Guns were cool. I had to have some. Luckily, I lived very close to the guy that I still shoot with to this day. He had a .22 and a backyard that we could shoot in. I was busting ass mowing lawns to save up to buy a Marlin Model 60, when my Aunt gave me my recently departed Uncle's Remington 760 Game Master .30-06 pump action. Up to this point, I had ZERO real guns (and a couple of clandestine air rifles), and now I had a detachable mag .30-06.

I burned through ammo in that thing like there was no tomorrow.

I bought my Marlin Model 60, and learned the joy of an afternoon with a 500 round 'Brick' of .22LR. It has all been downhill since then.

I never had any real 'training', or introduction to guns, outside of a buddy of the same age that HAD been trained by his dad and reading every single thing on guns that I could. This was pre-internet, so it was all books and magazines. I never was taught correct stance, grip, sight picture, or anything. I just inferred it from reading, or figured it out by trying. The reason I mention this is as a caution to all us gun nuts on the internet. Out there are MILLIONS of young people with no traditional 'Dad' to teach them guns. They all have computers, iPhones, etc... Be careful what you say, how you do things, and BE NICE TO NEWBIES! The person with a dumb question could be a 9 year old that loves guns and shooting and wants to be like us. You slam that kid down for being wrong or asking the same question you have seen 1000 times, you are going to show that kid that gun people are assholes- and he will grow up to vote against us.

*when I was about 6-7 years old, I dug the old Marlin Bolt action 12Ga that my Dad had left behind out of my Mom's closet. My mom thought she was smart and had hidden the ammo in a Tampon box in another closet that you needed a ladder to get to. Yep. I found the ammo, took the gun outside, figured out how to load it and shot a tree. Second lesson of the day- you CANNOT HIDE ANYTHING FROM KIDS. Do not assume that you can. They will find it. Luckily I did not die or shoot anything other than an old white oak.


  1. Great story! Thank you for telling it.

  2. This is an AWESOME blog post! I actually read it twice.

    And, as a close relative of "That Guy" I can vouch for the accuracy of all statements above, including the part about the pissing contest. That contest caused quite the uproar at his elementary school.