Everybody Needs an AirGun

When I was a child, the very first “gun” I ever received was…and I am not joking…a Red Ryder BB-Gun. But it didn’t have a compass in the stock like the same model in the famous Christmas movie.

Don’t get me wrong, I had fired a .22 rifle under the supervision of my grandfather. But the Red Ryder was the first gun that was “mine”. I kept it in, “My room”. Bought and sourced all the ammunition (BB’s) myself. And fired it at my discretion with no supervision.

The Full Monty GAMO Airgun.

I don’t recall my age, but I seem to think I was around 8. And instead of it being given to me on Christmas, I got it on Easter. While out of town visiting my grandmother’s house. Not sure why. We didn’t have a tradition of exchanging gifts on Easter. I just know my father gave it to me then. Actually, he didn’t give it to me. He and I were at the local small-town department store without mom, and he bought it for me. I guess you could say he ambushed mom.

On a personal level, I can’t overstate how important that gift was. I was 8. It was, “a gun”. And it was mine. No different than any other gun a cop or solider carried. Again…I was 8. But little Marky was bit by the gun bug bad. I never outgrew it.

The model is 640. I never paid attention to that before.

So imagine my surprise a few years ago when I received a call down in the armory. We have some deprivation issues and could we handle it? Turns out it was birds. Every spring a few of them try to do something that damages some of the out buildings.

I guess it was made in Spain! I never noticed that either.

Well…I certainly don’t want to be firing even a 22 at our buildings. So off to the sporting goods store I marched to pickup a high-speed airgun. It was like I was 8 years old all over again. I came back with the rifle shown here. And every spring, the armory gets the call.

The deprivation process goes like this: we wait for after-hours when most facility staff leave. We then recon the buildings looking for the offending situations. Setup and individually ID the guilty parties. And dispatch them as needed.

Single shot GAMO airgun. This can of pellets was bought at least 5 years ago. Perhaps 7. Will probably outlast me.

This always happens between 7pm and sunset. Usually lasts a week. Maybe 2. And then the airguns are cleaned and checked back in the armory for next year. Maybe I’ll do an armory chat showing this rifle and my original Red Ryder.



“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

Writer at John1911.com
Writer for john1911.com. Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • Hoze928

    That’s a great story. Mine is a bit different but close enough. My dad taught my brother and me how to game bird hunt. First few season you had to be the dog usually around ages 6-9 then you graduated to getting to carry the Daisy pellet gun for a couple of seasons before graduating to the single shot 20 gage. Needless to say I’m in the same boat been a gun bug ever since. I also still shoot the pellet gun indoors in the winter to keep from going crazy.

    • I always tell myself I should do that. But I end up shooting outside all winter so I skip it. If I ever get laid up with a significant injury, I will likely do it.


  • Mikial

    Great story. My first ‘gun’ was indeed a Daisy BB rifle in the best Winchester look-alike tradition. I got it one Christmas when I was around 8, and remember vividly taking it out and trying to shoot birds in a snow storm. I too had shot .22 rifles and my dad’s old .410 break action (which I still have), but like Marky said, this was MY gun. I was welcome to take it out and shoot it whenever I wanted, and did so a lot. We lived on an old farm so far out in the country in upstate New York that you couldn’t even see the nearest house from home, and shooting was a way of life growing up. From the age of 12 I was welcome to take the shotguns and rifles out to shoot on my own when no one else was home whenever I wished, and I did so often. New York had a law then (and may still) that if you owned and lived on farming property over 100 acres, you could hunt small game on your own land without a license. Cottontails, woodchucks, grouse and other upland birds were regular prey for me and I still remember those days fondly. My dad never owned a handgun, so that came later.

    We have a few BB pistols, and a nice Gamo air rifle that I shoot in the air gun range I built in our basement. It’s nice to just get the urge at 9 PM and go downstairs to shoot for a while.