Here’s To Dad!
For many of us, our dads or other father figures in our lives have played a pivotal role in our own interest or love of firearms. Many of us can attribute our first gun memory to dear old dad. To celebrate this Father’s Day I asked you and some of my friends to share some of your stories and memories of your pop that you hold dear. This is what you said:
I think my most favorite memory was when my Daddy gave me my first hunting rifle. A Marlin 30 30 and its still my favorite to hunt with today. He is a retired police officer and was shot while on duty in 1978 and I can remember how proud he was when I made him a scrap book of the ordeal but sharing our love of firearms, hunting, fishing, and law enforcement has been a real blessing. -Tammy, reader
My dad taught me so many things — how to throw a spiral with a football, how to run hills, how to paint a house, how to serve a tennis ball and how to write a history report. Of course, by being there for me all my life, he taught me so many other things — without even knowing it, I’m sure. Lately, though, I’ve been on the teaching end of things and have been working with him on learning to shoot a gun for self-protection. Last fall, we even went to the range and he shot my pink AK-47. Among my two sisters, Dad and me — he was the best shot! -Barb Baird, Founder, Women’s Outdoor News
I was lucky to get to visit with my Dad the week before he passed away. Years before, I had won a Mossberg shotgun in a raffle put on by his Shriner unit. Since I lived in MA at the time, he offered to buy it from me instead, with the intent that I could use it when I came to visit in PA. During that last week, he had me go up to the gun case and get the gun. It was still brand new, never shot – and he gave it to me. It means so much to me to have that thing we shared now – since it was my Dad that taught me to shoot. -Tara, reader
My father died when I was very young. but he left me his German Diana competition air rifle and a Sollingen Steel hunting knife. That rifle was my first firearm and I learned a lot with it. It is a break barrel and I hope to pass it on to my daughter when she grows up. – John, reader
When I was just around 12, my daddy took me shooting for the first time at my cousin’s house. Then a couple months ago he took me target shooting, and I did as good or better than him. Another recent time, he took me to a fellow firefighter’s house to shoot with the men. He’s taught me how to ride a dirt bike and 4wheeler. He’s my hero – he’s been a firefighter for around 25 years. ♥ – Joelle, reader
My dad was in the Army but rarely talked about it – not because he didn’t enjoy it – he is just extremely private. My mom lived in France with him while he was deployed, my oldest brother was born there. He did however, talk about how while in the Army he gave haircuts for a quarter! and he still had the pale pinkish ancient clippers that he did the haircuts with – he was very proud of that! He also had a very old toolbox filled with pennies and a few knives and bayonets (one of which was from my great uncle who brought it back from the war – it had a swastika on it). For some odd reason, those two things – quarter army haircuts and bayonets – lead to my perpetual curiosity about history, war, military operations and eventually guns. – Karen Bartuch, President, Women’s Tactical Association
When I was 10 my dad started teaching me how to shoot. I was so excited learn because all of my older cousins knew how and I felt left out. The first gun I shot was a little 22 pistol and I remember feeling so accomplished that I finally shot a gun. After a few weeks of learning how to shoot and use the gun properly my dad took me hunting. We went to one of my families favorite hunting spots and in about 30 minutes I shot and killed my very first pig. My dad was so proud of me that he bought me my first gun. A Walther PPK. I was so happy and even til this day its my favorite gun to shoot at the range. Every Fathers Day since then we go out hunting and continue to make new memories. -Jamie, reader
My Dad had a very old pistol that he kept for safety reasons and he always had it in the glove compartment of our car when we traveled. The night my husband of 44 yrs. now proposed to me and we were waiting in the house for my parents to return for Mike to ask Dad’s permission Dad chose to bring that big old gun in from the car. Every ounce of color drained out of hubby’s face as he mouthed to me, “How did he know?” Our kids love that story. Of course he didn’t know, it was coincidence but it’s a fun story to tell. -Barbie, reader
Back when I was in high school I spent summers both shooting at our local gun clubs with my Dad. Every August we
would volunteer to work the Miller Invitational which was one of the premier matches on the circuit. All the big names in shooting made it this match that was dubbed the “unofficial warmup” for the USPSA Nationals. I remember one year I took on co-chief range officer duties with my dad. Dad encouraged me to not only design a course of fire, but also help build all the props. He said, “You just tell me what you want and what you need and we’ll figure out how to do it.” I didn’t realize it then, but by giving me the reins, he was helping me learn about responsibility. Through the entire process, dad didn’t take charge or push. He let me plan it all and then we worked together to make it happen. The stage was a fun house, complete with giant clown head props, a hall of mirrors and a merry-go-round carousel with moving targets. It ended up being a lot of fun to shoot and work. I learned so much but the best though was being able to share it together. – Julie Golob, Smith & Wesson Team Captain, Champ shooter and author of Shoot!
My best memories of shooting with my dad was going out every evening in the old HQ holden ute shooting foxes and rabbits, with his old Sako 17 ( which is still his pride and joy) bringing the kill home. Dad skinned them and I pegged them out and salted them . It was a blast! ♥ my dad -Emma, reader
As you may know, connecting with my dad was the reason I started shooting just a few years ago. If you have a story or memory to share about your dad, grandfather or other father figure, please leave it in the comments below. We would love to hear them. Happy Fathers Day! – Natalie