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TOPGUN749
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It is 50 years this month since I got my first shotgun certificate age 14, it cost £1 I believe then and lasted 3 years. No need for a cabinet in those days,we could keep guns anywhere really,and some were hung on the wall.Cartridges were about £1 for 25,or £9 for 250.

Who can remember even further back than me?

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First air gun was a smooth bore rifle like a large pop gun where the pellet (177) went into a small section that screwed in to the end of the barrel in '57 for my 8th birthday.

First shotgun at 11 and using a punt gun at 13, just before the fowling rules changed.

Fac in '77.

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16 minutes ago, Yellow Bear said:

First air gun was a smooth bore rifle like a large pop gun where the pellet (177) went into a small section that screwed in to the end of the barrel in '57 for my 8th birthday.

First shotgun at 11 and using a punt gun at 13, just before the fowling rules changed.

Fac in '77.

Went into the local hardware shop with Father in 1954 to get me a penknife for fishing on my 10th birthday. Came out with an air rifle which YB will recognise - a Diana Model 1.

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You put me all to shame guys! First FAC on 4 June 1967 for a .45 Colt 1911, and a Colt Trooper Mk III in .357 Magnum. Early lesson! Colt revolvers aren't any good for double action rapid fire as they don't have Smith & Wesson's "hump". Odd to say my SGC came later. Three or more years later. There were always guns in the house, including my mother's own rifle so never "needed" an SGC as such if out with a family member on our own landholding.

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Had an ancient Webley air pistol as a kid, around aged 17 I bought a BSA Mercury air rifle and a Scorpion pistol.  Roll forward to 2008, so 14 years ago, aged 50,  a mate went on some birthday bash and they did clay shooting.  The following Monday the guy is asking if I'll go with him for a lesson at Edgehill SG, we had perhaps 5 lessons together,  he gave up - and I carried on, absolutely hooked and has cost me a small fortune ever since with zero regrets.

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Kids walking down the road air rifles and catapults who remembers the gat guns and no one bothered them. (happy days) 

Now you would have hell for having one not even allowed a cap gun in our streets christ how times have changed.

No wonder kids are messed up used to play in woods and the fields all day long on south east London/ Kent border

Edited by bottletopbill
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First used air rifles in 1960, aged 11. 
Had shotguns from 1961.  Eley Grand Prix were 10/6d (52.5p) per box.
Gun licence was 10 shillings (50p). 
Used father’s .22LR from 1963. 
First SGC when they were invented in 1968. 
Had my first FAC in 1972. 
Didn’t shoot my first deer until 1988. 
Had centre fire rifles since 1989. 
Shot boar in Croatia and Turkey.
Went to Africa for a ‘once in a lifetime trip’ in 2004 and went back nine times. 
I like shooting.

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My first legal licence was in 1962 , I say legal as I had a single 12 bore three years before that but for a schoolboy the 10 bob licence was beyond my means as I had to save my school dinner up to buy a box of cartridges :lol: , the shooting was free on the estuary and so were the marshes if the owner wasn't about , cabinets were light years away and nearly every house in our village had a gun leaning on the wall beyond the door. 

One lasting memory was a chap I knew looked liked Wentworth Day , he would walk through the village in three quarter thigh boots turned down carrying a double eight bore under his arm with no sleeve on , all the years I knew him I never did see , or hear him shooting anything , I used to knock on his front door on a Friday night , which his house was called Curlew and buy a box of 10 Baikal cartridges for 5 bob , 25p in today's money , those days are gone now, but not forgotten .

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Air rifle (Webley Mk III) circa 1970.  1st shotgun circa 1974/5 - and I still have it (a 1920 ish William Powell) as it was an 18th birthday present from my godfather.

Edited by JohnfromUK
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Had my 1st hand gun in 64, by 66 I'd got a collection of around 7 or 8. Expensive to feed on my money at the time a pacjet of caps were 3d. By 1969 I bought my first spud gun, with that came my 1st shooting accident, shooting my big sis in the face with a piece of Maris Piper. That got my hand guns confiscated for 2 weeks (1/2 term) 

By age 11 I got my 1st go with an old air rifle, Pop (grandad) was a rifleman in the Sherwood foresters, he taught me well. Match heads at 20 yards seemed easy, so moved on the next floor neighbours flower heads. This is were I picked up my liking for long range shooting. 

By 14 I'd put 101 holes in my neighbor's cap as it was left on the scaffolding he had erected to point his chimney stack. 

I then went onto rabbits and would walk down to the canal and pop off a load of rabbits, feeding the household, sometimes it was the only meat we'd have all week. 

Having 2 part time jobs helped me save for my 1st decent air rifle, a BSA meteor. That was awesome,  I could take pretty pigeons out at 40 yards, later found out they were a chaps racers from over the road. They were no good anyway if they didn't go straight home. Apparently !!! And they did nick my dad's lettuces so crop protection was an acceptable reason. 

Then I started full time work and enabled me to buy things that made a louder bang. 

That's about it really, we all started in small stuff and things just seem to grow. 

 

 

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Got my first shot gun for Christmas in 1959 aged 12 . A 20 bore and 12 cartridges. First day out on the foreshore shot a redshank. At the ripe old age of 14 I was allowed to take it out by myself and used to bike 6 miles to the Humber foreshore  on a Sunday. Shot a pinkfoot with it one outing and remember running out across the mudflats to pick it up after it flew off before dropping. My dad went mad with me when he found out!!!  Still have that same gun in my cabinet. Couldn't bike that 6 miles now and have to put all my gear in a wheel barrow.

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3 hours ago, bottletopbill said:

Kids walking down the road air rifles and catapults who remembers the gat guns and no one bothered them. (happy days) 

Now you would have hell for having one not even allowed a cap gun in our streets christ how times have changed.

No wonder kids are messed up used to play in woods and the fields all day long on south east London/ Kent border

I still have a gat gun  !

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Had a webley junior air pistol in 1958 (aged 10) then went onto an air rifle that year both of which saw the demise of many spadgers. These made good cooking plucked but whole over one of our camp fires. We always seem to have a camp somewhere in the woods. A year later had a folding Belgian .410 which accounted for many rabbits some to eat and most sold to the village butcher. Used to roam where I liked without ever being questioned. Up at 5am (before school) popping off the odd rabbit, even in neighbour’s front and back gardens who were pleased that I was keeping them off their valuable veg patches. With the money from sold rabbits, was able to buy my first single 12 bore at 12 years old for £4 10 shillings, a BSA Snipe. Baikal cartridges in packs of ten and some ‘borrowed’ cartridges from my Dad’s boxes kept in the shed.

Used to roam the foreshore at low tide and shot and ate most of the waders then on the list. My old Mum even made the odd curlew palatable, god knows how. Nothing was wasted and was a welcome addition to the family budget. 
 

Not sporting, I know, but November 5th. used to see my mate and I visiting the local village ponds to take a mallard on each one (3 ponds visited) with a .410. With fireworks going off all around, the sound of the .410 was unnoticed and our nefarious deeds went undisclosed. As said, any meat especially a plump mallard was very welcome additional as things were fairly tight budget wise.

I won’t mention the occasion hare taken afield when no-one was about. Oh I just did 😂
 

When at senior school, I used to take in the odd rabbit for dissection in science lessons. Got £3 for each rabbit and £3.50 if it had tapeworm as that was more educational. Cannot see that happening today.

Also, our art teacher was an avid wildfowler and used to bring in a mallard, teal or widgeon for us to draw or paint. Always the male of the species being more colourful. Again, this just wouldn’t happen today in our woke society.

Those certainly we’re the days.

OB

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1958 aged 17 armed with a deadly 9mm Acme bolt action.  Yearned a .410 but in fact graduated to a ghastly 12 bore single barrel  folding hammerless onwards to a Army and Navy hammer gun which I still own but no longer use.

 

Blackpowder

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15 hours ago, bottletopbill said:

Kids walking down the road air rifles and catapults who remembers the gat guns and no one bothered them. (happy days) 

Now you would have hell for having one not even allowed a cap gun in our streets christ how times have changed.

No wonder kids are messed up used to play in woods and the fields all day long on south east London/ Kent border

My first was a chrome  GAT  in 1961 age 10, followed by a BSA meteor, walks  up & down the Leeds & Liverpool thinking I was a big game hunter.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, bottletopbill said:

Chris hands on experience is the best way to learn. 

All this new DSC1/2 sorry to old for classrooms thats fine for  the younger guys .

hope you are all ok

Bill

Hi Bill,

A bit of an addition to the above.

I used to stalk the rabbits with the .410 along the cliffs around Bishopstone Glen (North Kent coast). One morning I saw a rabbit on the other side of the glen, just in range. We had had torrential rain previously and the gorge between the two sides of the glen was in full flow which ran into the sea. I shot the rabbit which fell in the gorge and was heading for the sea. That was the first and only rabbit that I`ve ever had to wade in and retrieve 20 yards out to sea !!

Another time, again stalking rabbits, I spotted one in the bushes. Just as I lined up on it (all sitting shots in those days to preserve valuable cartridges and learn fieldcraft), noticed something alongside, hesitated and realised that it was a mortar bomb. We often found these along the cliffs and the normal procedure, not to blow yourself 50 yards in the air and scatter over a large area as advised by`Blackadder` but to advise the local bobby who would then call the bomb squad to take it and blow it up on the foreshore. I duly strolled up the the police house in the village, gun over arm to advise PC Herbert Tuff of what I`d found. He duly thanked me, taking no notice whatsoever of the gun. The bomb was blown up that afternoon. In hindsight, I don`t think that even a charge of 5 shot from an Eley fourlong cartridge would have detonated the bomb, but I was taking no chances.

Sorry Bill, forgot to ask how the legs are, improving I hope.

Just to correct my previous post (couldn`t edit it). I got 3 shillings NOT £3 for the rabbits and 3/6d for one with a tapeworm.

OB

Edited by Old Boggy
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I am 82 in September and was born into a farming shooting family , so work it out for yourselves. My grandfather could make some of the finest catapults in the country bar non and as soon as I could pull some light eleastic back I had one  moving on to 1/4 inch elastic about 8yrs old.  First 410 70 yrs ago( they say you have a seond childhood and I shoot 410 almost exclusively today) but shot air rifles as soon as I could shoulder one and cock it.  

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Hi Chris legs getting worse still no further  on now left elbow as torn ligament and need surgery on.

Soon there be more metal than bone( the Mrs will be weighing me in for scrap metal )

But reading the above comments our times as a kid was great  bird nesting and catapults  plus air rifles . making hay jumps with bales then jumping out of trees into the bales.

Massive rope swings come on guys who used to go out looking for pram wheels to make a trolley.  

Made on ten years ago and the two foster girls loved it they wanted to take that when they moved on the joy they got from junk.

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