Beretta Blog

The Hook

Posted by matteo recanatini on Jul 26, 2012 5:59:00 AM

by Rick Chisholm -- guest contributor
It is often asked, do you remember where you were and what you were doing when certain events took place. It’s usually pretty easy to recall, in perfect detail, those memories formed when JFK was shot, when the Challenger exploded or when those events unfolded on that fateful day in September 2001. However, being shooters, hunters and gun lovers I bet there is something else squirreled away in the back of your mind, something special, something sacred -- that precise moment when you took that first shot that changed you forever.
    I remember that event vividly, I may have been seven years old, and we were attending a small party at my uncle’s place. I had one of those uncles, the kind that was easy to idolize as a child, the kind that could produce some manner of amazing gadget at the drop of a hat, the kind that drew a crowd of wide-eyed children whenever he reached into his pocket. A family gathering never went past without the appearance of a deactivated hand grenade, or a switchblade, or the ever-popular pyrotechnics of questionable legality. Yeah, I had that kind of uncle, it was pretty awesome. Did I mention the guns? 

He was a bit of a gun nut, or maybe just a nut, although hindsight is 20/20, it’s also biased so it’s safest just to say he was an interesting fellow with a decent collection of firearms. Getting back to my story, on that evening in question in the dwindling light of a chill late summer evening a gun was introduced to the crowd. It was a strange contraption, a .22 rimfire that was fed by a sizable magazine and fired from an open bolt. Later in life I discovered this to be a French Gevarm semi-automatic, an interesting firearm to say the least. I should also say I use the term “semi-automatic” loosely, as most who have had the Gevarm experience will understand.
My uncle’s house sat near a cliff and a couple Javex bottles had been tossed down into the surging wash of the Great Lake below. Bobbing in the surf, the bottles made for frustrating targets. Several men took turns alternately sniping and cursing at the elusive quarry as my cousin and I looked on in eager anticipation. To my astonishment, I was also to get a turn. I got the usual coaching you receive as a young, first-time shooter -- butt-stock to shoulder, hand here, hand there, look down the sights, shoot the bottle.
The small firearm was heavy and unwieldy to my younger self, I think the stock ended up in my armpit as I struggled to gain a sight picture of the small, white blob, floating so far below. My small finger squeezed, the bolt slammed forward and a small lead projectile spat forth to the water below. To this day I swear I hit the bottle, but more importantly, I fell in love. I was never to be the same from that point onward, I was hooked and guns would forever have a special place in my heart. It was a defining moment that I remember like it was yesterday, a moment that is largely responsible for who I am today.
What was your first gun experience, what made you love guns? Share your story with the Beretta Nation or shoot us a tweet or comment on Facebook, we would love to hear from you.

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Rick Chisholm is an IT Security Officer and guest contributor for the Beretta Blog. He can be reached on Twitter

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Topics: New Shooters, Other