There is no way I could count the hours I spent walking in the woods or wandering through the creek bed with a .22 and a box of 50 in my pocket. Ah, the joys of youth. I feel so sorry for kids today (including mine) that did not grow up with woods and a crick to play in. Mud is special. A creek bed with 15 foot straight walls is about the safest place to shoot you can find. And back in the day a 50 rd. box was only .50 to 1$. And if the store folks knew you, you could buy cartridges at any age.
My youngest son recently asked how I learned to shoot so well. I told him I started with a Daisy Red Ryder (which I bought for myself for $6) and spent every dime I could scrounge on BB’s and shot them all. Then I did it again. Great way to learn fast sight acquisition. They could probably mine the old farm for BB’s and make a fortune.
Then, at age 9 we moved to a bigger farm and I was allowed to carry and shoot Dad’s old Winchester 77 tube fed (Inherited it from him and still got it). That’s where it started and I never looked back. My first two rifles were a Remington 510 Targetmaster single shot .22 that I bought from my cousin for $15 (Yes, I still have it and the kids love shooting it) then I bought a 1943 Remington manufactured Springfield 1903 30-06 when I was 14. Still got it. In my early teens my mother brought home a Ruger Standard and I began shooting pistols. She took me to a gun show when I was 14 and the $65 I had in my pocket (I started sweeping floors and mucking out toilets in an office building at age 11) turned into a Colt 1911. Still got it, though my oldest son claims it. Mom was pretty special. NRA Life Member when being NRA wasn’t cool. She put Orwell’s Animal Farm in my hands and a hard core anti-Marxist was born. Gee, that’s more than my kids know about me.
I recently ran across a stash of Mom’s Remington 22LR. Boxes are marked $1.12 each.
My how times have changed.