PDA

View Full Version : A gun for a kid, forty years ago



MarkEsq
01-05-2015, 03:33 AM
Can someone name a specific gun that a Texan might use as his first, taken out by his dad 40 years ago to learn to shoot?

It doesn't have to have specific attributes, but the kid is now a man and reminiscing, so I need specifics and my knowledge of guns isn't good enough.

Thanks!

William Haskins
01-05-2015, 03:35 AM
a .22 rifle.

low recoil, suitable for hunting squirrels and birds. good starter gun.

Amadan
01-05-2015, 03:39 AM
Yup. A .22 rifle is the quintessential "starter gun."

alleycat
01-05-2015, 03:45 AM
Agree. A .22. If you need a brand name you can use Remington (there were many others as well).

Also, a 20 gauge shotgun.

slhuang
01-05-2015, 03:49 AM
.22 rifle for sure. A common first experience would be "plinking" cans in the backyard. (eta: In fact, he may reminisce about it as a "plinker" or "plinking rifle." I hear people talk about their first .22's all the time this way.)

RCtheBanditQueen
01-05-2015, 03:53 AM
Agree. A .22. If you need a brand name you can use Remington (there were many others as well).

Also, a 20 gauge shotgun.

This! ^ :) Those were the first two guns I learned on, and they are still my favorites.

Tazlima
01-05-2015, 04:27 AM
My brother and I both learned on a bolt-action .22 Marlin. It originally belonged to my paternal grandfather, who passed away long before either of us were born.

My grandfather wasn't a rich man. He had six children, but the .22 and his wedding ring were the only things he owned at the time of his death that were of any monetary value. He left the rifle to my father and the ring to one of my aunts.

jclarkdawe
01-05-2015, 04:52 AM
East Texas? West Texas? Down near the border? Rancher or city folk?

Is he expected to produce meat with his shooting? How essential is this meat to the family's survival?

.22 is a common choice, but I know a couple of people from that generation who started with 30-30s. Most of them fit nicely in a saddle boot and can deal with anything that might come up. Plinking tin cans means you have some money to waste on bullets.

A guy I knew who grew up in the Depression in Ozark country started on a 30-30. His old man showed him how to shoot with ten bullets, and after that, he'd damn well better show up with some meat for each bullet, or his old man would take a belt to him. He never was much of a marksman in the classical sense, but never wasted a bullet that I ever saw. He'd get close enough to hit whatever he shot at.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Cyia
01-05-2015, 05:03 AM
Another vote for the .22. It's the Texan version of a Red-Rider bb gun.

Another possibility, given the time period, and depending on how relaxed the dad was with firearms, you could also have a former military issue gun from WWII, Korea, or Vietnam. It wouldn't be the traditional first shooting experience, but it wouldn't be unheard of, either.

MarkEsq
01-05-2015, 05:09 AM
Wow, good input, thanks folks. Think I'll go with the .22 Remington. And "plinking" is a great word.

Thewitt
01-05-2015, 06:07 AM
You didn't say how old the kid was...

A .22 is fine for a kid, but once he hits 14 or 15 I would expect him to have a real hunting rifle and not just something to "plink" with.

Trebor1415
01-05-2015, 06:07 PM
The "traditional" plinking target is tin cans. It's not the only thing you shoot for these kind of informal sessions, but it's one of the more popular things. The cans can fall over or even bounce a bit when hit.

The rifle can be a bolt-action, a lever-action, a pump-action (like you normally see with shotguns) or even a semi-auto. Remember that firearms are very durable and it's entirely possible the Dad is teaching the kid on a "family" rifle, maybe even the one the Dad learned on.

I also agree with the question about how hold the kid is supposed to be. For a 10 year old or so, having his dad teach him with a .22 Rifle seems about right.

If he's older I'd expect him to have something larger and suitable for say deer hunting. Something like a Winchester or Marlin lever-action .30 - 30.

Chris P
01-05-2015, 06:22 PM
My dad started us off on 12 gauge shot guns. For RABBITS. Go big or go home, huh? He figured it was better to blast something apart than to wound it and have it suffer. The first time I shot it the kick about snapped me in half. I would have preferred a 22 or for shotguns a 410 gauge since I was only going for rabbits anyway.

It seems bizarre to me now, but I got my first 12 gauge from the JC Penney catalog. We picked it up at the store (mid 1980s, btw). It was a Savage-Stephens, which were no-frills "budget" guns priced affordibly.

WeaselFire
01-05-2015, 08:24 PM
45 years ago I got my first gun, a Remington Model 550-1 semi-auto .22 rifle. It's still in the closet and I still shoot it. :)

It was $22 at Montgomery Wards, if that helps. I used to go to the YMCA rifle club on Saturday mornings and a dollar bought me a box of fifty rounds, the targets and a bottle of Grape Nehi. Made Eighth Bar (A competition class level) before they closed the YMCA for remodeling and it eventually remodeled itself into a hotel... :(

Jeff

Fingers
01-05-2015, 11:08 PM
Forty years ago my first gun was an M-16. Before that It was a .30-.30 Winchester. I just passed that on to my son in October.

Tinman
01-06-2015, 10:47 AM
It would depend on what the dad was taking his son out for and what the son's age is.

Target shooting: probably a .22 (the bullets are cheaper and it's easier to shoot than a larger rifle.)

If they're hunting, it would depend on the game.

Once!
01-06-2015, 11:44 AM
This thread seems very surreal to this Brit.

mccardey
01-06-2015, 11:50 AM
This thread seems very surreal to this Brit.

Bless. Also this Aussie. ;)

Bolero
01-06-2015, 12:58 PM
Yes. And fascinating. Air rifles is all kids in this country would get. (Possibly what you'd call a BB in the US, not sure).

Also just learnt from this it isn't a grape knee high, but a nehi. We've been watching MASH a lot recently and Radar is always drinking grape nehi - been meaning to look it up, now I have.

King Neptune
01-06-2015, 06:51 PM
Yes. And fascinating. Air rifles is all kids in this country would get. (Possibly what you'd call a BB in the US, not sure).

Also just learnt from this it isn't a grape knee high, but a nehi. We've been watching MASH a lot recently and Radar is always drinking grape nehi - been meaning to look it up, now I have.

Most people in the U.S. have never seen Nehi, grape or any other flavor, and few have actually seen even an empty bottle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nehi

Amadan
01-06-2015, 07:27 PM
This thread seems very surreal to this Brit.


The horror.

Cath
01-06-2015, 07:50 PM
Careful, folks. Let's stay focussed on the question please.

skylark
01-09-2015, 02:35 AM
This thread seems very surreal to this Brit.

My first gun was a .22 rifle, bought for me by my father, not much less than 40 years ago. My daughter's first gun was also a .22 rifle - the same one, in fact.

I'm British.

I'd think the significant factors here are: nice and simple, not too heavy, not too expensive, ammo doesn't break the bank, relatively easy to find somewhere to shoot it (obviously in the UK that's not going to be a back yard, it's going to be an approved range, but wherever you are it's easier to find a safe place to shoot a .22 than something of higher calibre.)

Someone said an air rifle is the same as a BB gun? No, it isn't. A BB gun is powered by a spring. An air rifle is powered by compressed air. (Or possibly CO2). But an air rifle fires pellets, not ball bearings.

I think it depends on the dad, though. A dad who's a serious competitive target shooter is going to start his kid off in a completely different way from a dad who's into hunting.

WeaselFire
01-09-2015, 06:52 PM
Most people in the U.S. have never seen Nehi, grape or any other flavor, and few have actually seen even an empty bottle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nehi

I still buy them at the corner market. :)

Jeff

King Neptune
01-09-2015, 07:16 PM
I still buy them at the corner market. :)

Jeff

Clearly a regional product but more wide-spread than Misko Springs.

mfoley
01-11-2015, 06:48 AM
.22 rifle or .38 revolver, depending on whether you want a long gun or pistol.

WriterTrek
01-11-2015, 06:55 AM
You didn't say how old the kid was...

A .22 is fine for a kid, but once he hits 14 or 15 I would expect him to have a real hunting rifle and not just something to "plink" with.
Quoting this because I didn't want it to get lost in the rest of the thread.

I'd also expect that a boy of 15 or so who has been shooting for a few years (or intends to hunt deer, etc.) might get a 'proper hunting rifle' by this age.

akiwiguy
01-12-2015, 03:31 AM
From down-under, but perhaps relevant nevertheless...

In my teens (about 40 years ago), almost all of the guys in my group acquired their own .22 rifle at some point in their early teens. Those who were from farming families would tend to have grown up learning to fire shotguns as well, and a common rifle floating around then (perhaps just down-under) were .303s I think a hang-over from WWII.

For us then, a common caliber as a more serious hunting rifle was the .270. I remember a few of my friends having them. And I suspect this was NOT just a local idiosyncrasy, judging by this on wikipedia..

While not an immediate success, over the succeeding decades and especially in the post-World War II period, the .270 Winchester attained great popularity among gun owners and hunters, ranking it among the most popular and widely used cartridges worldwide.

IClaytonR
02-01-2015, 11:03 AM
Rural North Texas native here born 42 years ago. I had bb guns as long as I can remember. My first real gun I got at a young age was a .22 Remington pump. I still have it and it is amazingly accurate. When I was old enough to go hunting I got a .410 single-shot shotgun, and H&R and soon after a Winchester. I also got a .22 hornet which is about the smallest center-fire cartridge that could take down a deer.

As for a grownup gun for hunting, everyone had a 12 gauge shotgun and pretty much everyone had a .30-.30 Winchester. Now, while the 30-30 was very popular it was unlikely to be a serious hunter's go-to gun. A serious deer hunter would likely go for something a bit more high powered and outfitted with a powerful scope. So, 30-30 is most popular, but not the best.

When it comes to handguns, it would still probably be a .22 as a first firearm for a kid. A kid could handle a .38 or a 9mm, but it's not really very useful for hunting, so there's not a lot of logic for buying one for a kid, maybe if there was a serious need to arm him for self-defense. A large caliber handgun such as a .357 Magnum or a .44 Magnum that would be useful in hunting, would be too powerful for most kids to handle. Requires too much strength to hold it with the recoil when firing. A similar thing applies with large caliber rifles, the "kick" from the recoil would hurt a kid's shoulder, thus the reason my first deer rifle was a caliber that was more or less inadequate.

Reziac
02-04-2015, 09:33 PM
Agree. A .22. If you need a brand name you can use Remington (there were many others as well).

Also, a 20 gauge shotgun.

<eyes gun rack, sees .22 rifle and 20ga. shotgun>

Apparently I never grew up!

A cheap common shotgun was the "Western Field (http://www.guns.com/review/2012/08/27/montgomery-wards-western-field/)" brand from Monkey Wards (er, Montgomery Ward; my dad was a district manager). I still have my dad's old 20ga. -- light and balanced in the hand, simple and foolproof operation, accurate enough for a shotgun, and very little kick.