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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Poll: How Old Were You When Your Parents Let You Have a Gun?

Poll: How Old Were You When Your Parents Let You Have a Gun?
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Clinically Insane
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Sep 26, 2011, 10:22 PM
 
Figured I shouldn't jack Andi's parent thread.

Not a real poll since there would be too many likely answers.

For me it was 14. As I implied in the other thread it would have probably been younger if I wasn't the first person in the family to own one.
     
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Sep 26, 2011, 10:31 PM
 
I never had my own actual gun, my father had a gunrack in the back hallway for deer season. I recall getting a chance to shoot a cousin's bb gun at some targets, that's about it.

What were those pretend guns with the paper gunpowder tapes? You'd pull the trigger and it would hit the circle and make a bang. I had one of those I think. I can remember how it smelled. Mmm. Gunpowder.
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 12:08 AM
 
Cap guns?
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 02:00 AM
 
probably 12-13ish... bought my first gun after I turned 18 (Ruger10/22) and have purchased a few more since then.

I am a firm believer to teach kids about guns, let them shoot them and instill an early lesson of respect for them.

I do not hunt, nor plan on hunting, but I enjoy target shooting.
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 02:43 AM
 
Teaching kids how to use guns and allowing unrestricted and unsupervised access are totally different things. I see kids at the gun range as young as 5 learning about guns

I didn't start using guns until 25. Would have loved to 10 years early though.
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Sep 27, 2011, 06:13 AM
 
Never.

My parents were/are emphatically anti-gun. They never wanted me or my brother around them.

The only time I ever fired a gun as a kid, was with a friend's father who took us to learn to shoot, despite my parent's objections. The experience was cool, but it didn't influence my personal outlook on firearms one way or another.

Myself, I'm not anti-gun in the least, despite being raised that way. I don't have a thing against gun ownership by responsible people, but I've never felt the need to own one myself.

We have two guns in our house currently (under lock and key) because my wife grew up around firearms and her family has many of them. She can field-strip an AK-47 with military precision, which I think is pretty damned cool.

It's ironic because as stereotypes go, she's supposed to be the gun-hating Euro-chick, and I'm supposed to be the gun-crazy American guy, but we have our roles reversed I guess.

By the way, my parents STILL don't know I technically own a firearm. I know they'd freak out and demand that we get rid of them. I can already hear them insisting there's not a lock made that can keep our son safe even from an unloaded firearm in the house. Just thinking about it now... it does bug me a little bit.

My wife asked me the other day: "How old do you think our son should be before we allow him to have a toy gun?"

My answer: "Never." (She doesn't disagree by the way).

I don't believe guns should ever be kids toys. I'm exactly like my parents in that respect. Something about kids playing at shooting things/each other bugs the crap out of me. I'm sure it's a bit irrational, so be it.

On the other hand, I have no problem what-so-ever with my son eventually learning to shoot a real firearm. And it will be up to him -past a certain age- if he ever wants to own one.
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 08:43 AM
 
What if he gets a big foam finger thingy and starts yelling "PEW! PEW! PEW!"?
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 09:34 AM
 
Crash, I agree, guns shouldn't be toys, but I'm ok with the kids learning to shoot when they're teenagers.

It has been my experience however, that you can not buy toy guns, but things will end up being played with as guns. Sticks, fingers, lego creations. Anything pointy.
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 09:36 AM
 
Never. My dad was in the German Army during WWII, and saw action in Russia. He was aghast when my wife bought me a .22 Rifle, from Sears, for our first Christmas together, and then a 20 gauge shotgun a short time later. He was also none too pleased when a high school buddy and his dad took me skeet shooting. He got over it (or at least pretended to), but we were never allowed to have to have toy guns in the house. I sold the long guns some years later, having only used them for target practice and shooting numerous chipmunks when we lived in the country. Two years ago I bought my first pistol, and now have five.
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Sep 27, 2011, 09:41 AM
 
Can someone explain the anti-toy gun thing to me? I promise I won't be a dick about it.
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 09:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What if he gets a big foam finger thingy and starts yelling "PEW! PEW! PEW!"?
Jesus, you read my mind.
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 09:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
...lego creations...
lee enfield sniper rifle (lego) - YouTube
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 10:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Can someone explain the anti-toy gun thing to me? I promise I won't be a dick about it.
It's easy. Some people see all guns as instruments of violence, and don't understand the necessity of anyone owning one, other than police and military. They don't want their children even play acting with them. I can understand that, although I don't agree with it.
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Sep 27, 2011, 10:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Can someone explain the anti-toy gun thing to me? I promise I won't be a dick about it.
My thinking was that aside from encouraging a toy whose only purpose is violence (kids don't point toy guns at cans for target practice), it also confuses them with what a real gun does. Particularly if there are multiple siblings, it may be hard for the younger one to appreciate the difference between a BB gun and a rifle. Parents who are afraid of the blurring of the lines don't want any toy guns so that their kids see every toy gun as a real gun.
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Sep 27, 2011, 10:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by OldManMac View Post
It's easy. Some people see all guns as instruments of violence, and don't understand the necessity of anyone owning one, other than police and military. They don't want their children even play acting with them. I can understand that, although I don't agree with it.
I can understand that too, but what necessitates the explanation is that both people who brought it up don't have a problem with their older children having real ones.
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 11:14 AM
 
There's a time in a kid's life when everything is pretend, and they don't realize that dead is forever. So they play pew pew pew, you're dead, jimmy gets back up, they play again.

I'm not militant about it (heh) but I don't like guns that look REAL, so when they ever do get their hands on a REAL gun, they know it's serious business and if they play with a REAL gun jimmy won't get back up. My son has used a bb gun at scout camp, in heavily controlled circumstances. He knows the difference. My younger child would not.

I know some parents that are against any kind of gun, water pistols and nerf but those are ok with me.

Despite all that it just plain skeeves me out to hear them saying in Wii or any other game "I killed you!"
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 12:27 PM
 
12th Bday, it's a .22/.410 combo. Best rabbit gun ever.
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Sep 27, 2011, 12:37 PM
 
Why would I have wanted a gun?
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 12:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Why would I have wanted a gun?
To hunt squirrels and rabbits. Very tasty.
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Sep 27, 2011, 12:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Why would I have wanted a gun?
Because you could never have bear arms.
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 12:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Why would I have wanted a gun?
Why, you never know when you'll need your trusty old Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot, range model air rifle. Lucky it's got a compass in the stock, and this thing that tells time.

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Sep 27, 2011, 01:16 PM
 
Didn't a 6 year old get expelled and arrested for doing the pow pow pow thing with a big hand finger in Florida. Anyways, the innocents of toy guns have been lost over the last couple decades because of school shootings and constant news reports about gun crimes. There is a lot more fear around guns even toy ones in the hands of children. Even with orange tips on them now its still not enough. In some communities even playing with Toy guns that look real enough can be instrumental at getting harassed by cops or even worse the reality of a cop being so paranoid and Accidentally shooting a kid with a toy gun. If your a black kid in some places with a toy gun look out. Schools have a zero tolerances around them now when 20 years ago it was not a big deal.
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Sep 27, 2011, 01:26 PM
 
I've been shooting guns since I was 8 or 9, but I've never owned one because my Uncle had all the guns I could ever want.

Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Why, you never know when you'll need your trusty old Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot, range model air rifle. Lucky it's got a compass in the stock, and this thing that tells time.
You're the envy of the neighborhood with a leg lamp, though.
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Sep 27, 2011, 01:39 PM
 
When I was a kid, another kid down the street shot his little brother's head off with a shotgun. The kid was about 8, his little brother was 3.

To this day I don't believe guns are effective for self-defence for a few reasons:
1. To prevent home accidents, they must be stored safely.
2. Storing them safely means they can't be accessed quick enough in some situations.
3. For the other situations, I'd rather get my family out of the house, phone 911, and hope the bad guy knows we have no gun and doesn't feel the need to shoot us on the way out the back door.

That said, I don't live in an area where gun violence is common. If I lived somewhere else, I might feel differently. Because of this, I don't think gun control laws will work. For gun ownership to decrease, it has to be because citizens feel safe enough not to want to buy a gun, not because of laws.
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 01:54 PM
 
Some gun laws work. Just the laws around home safety and community safety. Things like the Long Gun registry are just retarded and useless. I agree Guns don't work well for self defense most of the time. They are handy against protection from Wild Life, and believe it or not even in Metro Vancouver you have enough encounters with bears and cougars to make owning one worth while. Vancouver is near the top in Gun murders only behind maybe Edmonton and Regina, and I still feel safe and most people I know do too. I really never could understand the fear of guns and you have 2 classes of people. City folk who are anti-gun because of whats on TV and what the gangs use them for and the burbs and country folk who make guns apart of there lives. Most gun laws are built around the City Folk's fears.

The real funny thing is the 8 year olds at the gun range are generally more responsible with the guns then some the of older teenagers.
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Sep 27, 2011, 01:57 PM
 
I had a bb gun when I was 7 or 8. It was ok. Never did much with it.
That was the last actual "gun" I ever owned. Not anti-gun. Just never had a need, desire, or reason for one.
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 07:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by hayesk View Post
When I was a kid, another kid down the street shot his little brother's head off with a shotgun. The kid was about 8, his little brother was 3.

To this day I don't believe guns are effective for self-defence for a few reasons:
1. To prevent home accidents, they must be stored safely.
2. Storing them safely means they can't be accessed quick enough in some situations.
3. For the other situations, I'd rather get my family out of the house, phone 911, and hope the bad guy knows we have no gun and doesn't feel the need to shoot us on the way out the back door.

That said, I don't live in an area where gun violence is common. If I lived somewhere else, I might feel differently. Because of this, I don't think gun control laws will work. For gun ownership to decrease, it has to be because citizens feel safe enough not to want to buy a gun, not because of laws.
I love discussing these sorts of things, but I respectfully request we keep it to the thread in the PWL. If this thread gets moved, it's pretty much ruined.
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 07:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
There's a time in a kid's life when everything is pretend, and they don't realize that dead is forever. So they play pew pew pew, you're dead, jimmy gets back up, they play again.

I'm not militant about it (heh) but I don't like guns that look REAL, so when they ever do get their hands on a REAL gun, they know it's serious business and if they play with a REAL gun jimmy won't get back up. My son has used a bb gun at scout camp, in heavily controlled circumstances. He knows the difference. My younger child would not.

I know some parents that are against any kind of gun, water pistols and nerf but those are ok with me.

Despite all that it just plain skeeves me out to hear them saying in Wii or any other game "I killed you!"
Thanks for the explanation. I was an only child, so the problem of differing ages didn't really affect me.

I also get the "I killed you" thing on a basic human compassion level, but I also recall "cops and robbers", "war", "cowboys and Native Americans", etc. being a huge part of my childhood. If it was on TV, I wanted to play it.

I once shot a kid just fer snorin'
     
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Sep 27, 2011, 09:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Why would I have wanted a gun?
To enforce your will on miscreant bottles and cans at 50 yards.
     
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Sep 28, 2011, 02:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Can someone explain the anti-toy gun thing to me? I promise I won't be a dick about it.
I should clarify that for myself, I feel much the same way as andi*pandi spelled out. I'm against younger kids (certainly my own) playing with realistic looking toy guns. I don't mind squirt guns, nerf, etc. Finger pointing and going 'pew!' 'pew!' doesn't bother me too much either- I know I have to be realistic about things.

I remember one Halloween my Mom made me an awesome cowboy outfit, complete with everything save ONE crucial element. So of course, one of my buddies let me borrow his cap guns and holster. I could tell my parents were super-annoyed, but they let it slide. I'd probably do the same for my kid, let something like that slide. I'm not completely insane about it, just playing with realistic type toy guns is something I wouldn't actively encourage.
     
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Sep 28, 2011, 03:10 PM
 
As a kid I had realistic looking (no orange cap) squirt guns. A Walther PPK, an Uzi (battery operated!), a 45 and a few others. Didn't think anything of it at the time. I just enjoyed the competitive nature of playing with them. Hide behind a corner, waiting for your prey to walk by, hoping he doesn't sneak up on you from the other side. I probably wouldn't give my kids realistic looking ones (they don't even make those anymore, outside of airsoft). It probably instilled a fascination with weapons at an early age (FPS are still my preferred game type), but I don't think it was a detriment to my upbringing.

On the original topic - I got a BB gun at 12 I think. Much more convenient than a real firearm, as I could shoot around the house and out while hiking without involving the police.
     
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Sep 28, 2011, 07:19 PM
 
I didn’t personally own a firearm until I was old enough to legally purchase one. At about age 10, my Cub Scout den started going to a firing range and our Dads taught us about firearms. Firearm safety was a SERIOUS subject and we were taught proper handling and to respect what firearms were capable of.

At that age, we were never really curious about firearms because of the time we spent at the range. It didn’t hurt that a lot of the Dads in Boy Scouts were Marines.
     
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Sep 28, 2011, 07:26 PM
 
That is an angle I hadn't thought of. I'm sure I was less interested in being irresponsible with a gun because I had responsible outlets available.

Likewise, the idea of responsible use was never made out to be taboo... by my parents, that is.

I had a teacher in second or third grade who was crazy hippy anti-gun. I had gotten a miniature solid plastic gun out of a gumball machine. You were supposed to put it on your keychain or something*. Even at seven I knew if I showed it to him he would flip out. This goofy little piece of plastic. It wasn't a toy gun. It didn't shoot anything. It was a two inch, miniature plastic representation of a gun.

So I showed it to him.

And he flipped out.


*In hindsight, the only real purpose was to entice you to dump quarters into the gumball machine so you could get all the different types. Sort of a proto-Pokémon.
( Last edited by subego; Sep 28, 2011 at 07:39 PM. )
     
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Sep 28, 2011, 07:46 PM
 
kids have been sent home for having lego guns. Like the little ones figures hold. It's why a lot of toys are banned at school.
     
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Sep 28, 2011, 08:00 PM
 
It's a different age.

As I said in the other thread, in high school I had a pretty realistic looking toy gun that actually shot stuff, hanging in my homemade shoulder holster.

As an aside. Remember Shrinky-Dinks?

"Let's put out a toxic, plastic choking hazard that the kid needs to... get this... use the oven to make work."

[Blink. Blink.]

"Awesome. Greenlight it."
     
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Sep 29, 2011, 12:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Cap guns?
7. I had my first gun, a Civil War rifle that had been brought home and turned into a shotgun, when I was 7. The next one was a few years away, maybe when I was 12 or so (a Remington cap-and-ball replica in 36 caliber, for Xmas). I had access to my father's stuff at 10 or so, though.
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Sep 29, 2011, 03:33 AM
 
5 years old: water gun
8 years old: cap gun
10 years old: air gun, plastic pellets
14 years old: bb gun
18 years old: handgun
24 years old: AK-47
30 years old: bazooka

Hoping for a tank next.
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Sep 29, 2011, 04:35 AM
 
Tanks don't make people any more dead, they just get you multiple Federal violations.

They **** up the lawn, too.
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Sep 29, 2011, 04:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by finboy View Post
7. I had my first gun, a Civil War rifle that had been brought home and turned into a shotgun, when I was 7. The next one was a few years away, maybe when I was 12 or so (a Remington cap-and-ball replica in 36 caliber, for Xmas). I had access to my father's stuff at 10 or so, though.
You still into the period weapontry?
     
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Sep 29, 2011, 07:28 AM
 
I was never allowed to own a gun as a kid. My parents didn't particularly like guns, but they also didn't formally ban them. They just didn't cater to my requests. They did sign me up for the Michigan Hunter Safety program, wherein I got a good grounding in safety and the basics of marksmanship (the program was required for kids under 18 to get a hunting license, but that's not why I took it). When I was 18, I bought a .22 rifle that I do not think my parents ever knew about; I still have it and used it to introduce my son to the basics of safety and marksmanship.

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Sep 29, 2011, 01:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
5 years old: water gun
8 years old: cap gun
10 years old: air gun, plastic pellets
14 years old: bb gun
18 years old: handgun
24 years old: AK-47
30 years old: bazooka

Hoping for a tank next.
What no 50 cal
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Sep 29, 2011, 01:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I was never allowed to own a gun as a kid. My parents didn't particularly like guns, but they also didn't formally ban them. They just didn't cater to my requests. They did sign me up for the Michigan Hunter Safety program, wherein I got a good grounding in safety and the basics of marksmanship (the program was required for kids under 18 to get a hunting license, but that's not why I took it). When I was 18, I bought a .22 rifle that I do not think my parents ever knew about; I still have it and used it to introduce my son to the basics of safety and marksmanship.
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Sep 29, 2011, 10:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
You still into the period weapontry?
Sure, we always had stuff from different eras around. I've got a few different cap and ball revolvers, several plains rifles and a couple of Zouave rifles. All reproductions. The only original I have is the first one, the Belgian 54 rifle. They have several of them at the New Market museum in VA, the only other place I've seen them up close.

Dad's crown jewel is a 69 calibre French flintlock that had been made into a lamp at one point, and he had it restored to "shooting" condition. It had been left as collateral on a telescope that someone had borrowed to observe the British landing at Brandywine during the War of 1812. The headmaster of the school gave Dad the lamp rather than throw it out. It shoots like a beast.

I've got lots of other old military rifles around because they're cheap to shoot and sturdy. And none of them cost more than $100 or so when bought.
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Oct 1, 2011, 12:39 AM
 
I was shooting bb guns when I was 6, with plenty of supervision of course. I got a .22 pistol when I was 9, and a 9mm Star pistol (based on the Browning Hi-Power) at 11. The next year I got a .410 ga. shotgun.
     
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Oct 1, 2011, 02:47 AM
 
I got my first air-rifle at 9, never personally owned anything heavier. However, growing up on a farm, I always had "access" to my father's rifle and shotgun and from as young as I can remember he would take me clay-pigeon shooting or the like.
     
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Oct 1, 2011, 02:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by rambo47 View Post
I was shooting bb guns when I was 6, with plenty of supervision of course. I got a .22 pistol when I was 9, and a 9mm Star pistol (based on the Browning Hi-Power) at 11. The next year I got a .410 ga. shotgun.
/jealous

I didn't get a pistol until I was 16, an M1911.
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subego  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
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Oct 1, 2011, 03:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by finboy View Post
Dad's crown jewel is a 69 calibre French flintlock that had been made into a lamp at one point, and he had it restored to "shooting" condition. It had been left as collateral on a telescope that someone had borrowed to observe the British landing at Brandywine during the War of 1812. The headmaster of the school gave Dad the lamp rather than throw it out. It shoots like a beast.
Win.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Denville, NJ.
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Oct 1, 2011, 01:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
/jealous

I didn't get a pistol until I was 16, an M1911.
You might have waited, but you got one hell of a weapon as your first. I have a couple of 1911's now. My favorite is the standard issue model, but I also like the officer's compact model. Pachmayr grips make a huge difference on the 1911.
     
subego  (op)
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
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Oct 1, 2011, 09:57 PM
 
I've never actually shot one, but I can say 1911s are by far the most comfortable and natural feeling in my hand.

I have stubby fingers, and those double-stacked 9mms are too wide. A Beretta 92 feels ridiculous.

On paper, I also like .45 better than 9mm. Luckily, I've never had to shoot someone, so it's theoretical.
     
   
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