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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sitting on the front porch lat ate night drinking a glass of wine [maybe two or three] and wondering what us old guys should be doing with our interest in firearms. I've had a CC license for about 30 years, and while self-defense is still important to me it's not the focus of gun ownership. Collecting is interesting, but spending $10,000 for two collectible Colts or S&Ws is certainly outside my SS retirement income range, so I thought I would try some competition at a local range. One week is .22 cal and the next is center-fire [both semi-auto at present], but then I realized my 73 year-old eye-sight is not up to the challenge. The competition was to use the 5 best shots to build a poker hand. I was okay at 15' but after that I couldn't even read the cards. Then when they changed the sequence I couldn't use my memorized locations and was really lost.

My current collection is 10 guns, with a .45, a .380, a 9mm, two .22s. and five .38/.357s, small but varied. What do we older guys with limited funds do to have fun with our guns? Suggestions appreciated.

You may see this post on several forums, as I am really seeking some answers.
 

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Whatever is fun for you to do. I still shoot cans and try to make them dance but then my range lets you do stuff like that.
 

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Hey corgicolt.....You have a wide enough collection of guns there. Just enjoy shooting which ever ones you can. I'll bet you were competitive when you were younger. As long as you can still shoot safely just enjoy the companionship of others. The best we can all do is share our love of firearms with others and hope that the right to own them is never taken away.
 

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As a kid in the 1930s my pistol targets were mostly jack rabbits, in fact most anything that ran, flew or slithered. Later fixed targets like cans and shotgun hulls. As I got out into the world, in Africa, I lost interest in shooting animals - could have been easy picking which one out of the dozens in sight at once. I did kill what I thought was a leopard by car lights, yellowish critter with black spots, size of a big dog, that turned out to be a civet.

Mid-life I was teaching my daughter how to shoot her .38 Special, reliably, positively, hit a pie plate at ten feet. Now at 89, that pretty well describes my pistol prowess today.
 

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I took up fishing. Not that much cheaper though. Boat, motor, and trailer, rod and reel, bait, lures, truck, and gas. :)
 

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While I haven't gotten to your age yet, I'm old enough that I am feeling the effects of aging vision and slowing reflexes. Like you, I still do many of the things I used to - I hunt, I carry, and I just enjoy the pride of ownership in a few nice weapons, even though they're not $10,000 collectibles.

But also like you, when I decided to get out and try a little competition to broaden my horizons, I found out I'm not what I used to be. I still shoot a few IDPA matches now and then because I believe it helps keep my skills and hand-eye coordination tuned up, but man, I tell ya - there are some younger, sharp eyed guys in those matches that are FAST. I feel like a dinosaur lumbering around in the stage.

One thing that we can do as "more experienced" members of the shooting community though is to share what we know. Help a kid - or an adult - get started shooting. We have folks show up at our club meetings all the time saying "I've always been fascinated by guns, but no one in my family ever owned any, and I don't know where to start." Maybe you can get an NRA instructor certification and mentor folks, or teach a few classes.

About a year ago, our club was begging for someone to teach a basic reloading class. I reluctantly agreed to give it a try, since I'd been reloading 36 years, and I felt I had things I could share. I'm teaching my fourth class at the end of this month, and they're sold out with a waiting list every time. It's been a rewarding experience helping like-minded folks who want to expand their shooting repertoire, but need some guidance and instruction.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that you can always find ways to stay active and involved, even as you get older.
 

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I'm pretty much de-activated for a variety of physical/medical reasons. I try to contribute my considerable experience in old gun work wherever it's appropriate. Happy to note that my twin G-Sons are arriving for a visit in couple days. US Army vets of Iraq and Afghanistan, they are avid gun admirers, owners and shooters. We will go to the family 50 acres and shoot up a bit of a storm. I'll be able to make to an iron shooting bench I put out in the woods years ago. Bad as things can get there's always something to look forward to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There are a bunch of good and helpful suggestions in these responses, and I appreciate them all; thanks very much. A common thought in many posts is to get into reloading, but that one is out because when I retired a few years ago I decided to get back into woodworking with hand tools. So my garage space is already taken, as is much of my time.
 

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while my first love is pistols (1911s), my son (41) and I (65) do a fair amount of prairie dog shooting. With the optics I am good out to about 200-250 yards with a 223/556. When we do go to the range my pistol shooting is usually 10yards or so. The old eyes don't do much better than that. It is difficult with bifocals. either the front sight is in focus or the target, but never both <G>

My son however is a great shot with either pistol or rifle. This elk was taken at 643 yards with a Weatherby 257mag

 

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I can appreciate your question. The only recommendation I can make is to find what makes you happy and do it. At this point, it sounds like shooting at 15 ft. is about the limit.

However, you may wish to consider some form of optics to extend your range. Good luck.
 

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At 68 years young, I just started to do steel plate shooting at a local club. Like others, the old eyes are not as good as they once were, but this place shoots at about thirty feet at 12 inch square or round plates. My son started and got me going. It's fun and
still gets the old juices flowing again. I love camping but this fills in one day each month and one night reloading.
Give it a try, may help you.
 

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I'm the same age as the op, and while my eyesight is diminished, I still enjoy going to the range and doing the best I can (which is better'n most). Both my wife and I collect and we enjoy going to the gun shows throughout the state. We don't buy all the time, in fact, we're pretty picky and look for reasonable deals (few and far between) but it's always enjoyable to see our favorite dealers and friends, not to mention keeping up with values. We never cease to learn something. A suggestion: If you like going to the shows and you're knowledgeable, find a dealer you may know who needs help. That way, you get a pass into the shows, earn a little money and have a good time.
 

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Ask your gun club to add a seniors class so you'll be competing with others with the same 'handicaps'. It would also allow you to advertise it in order to bring others in your situation into the mix. Too often we concentrate (or at least gab about) getting new young shooters into the hobby, there are plenty of folks your age who liked to shoot when they were younger but shooting got to be too much of a chore (lack of freedoms and ranges) or were always interested but never had the time or opportunity. The main thing is make it fun.
 

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While not directly firearms usage related, perhaps documenting your adventures and experiences with firearms. I for one love hearing stories about adventures involving firearms (especially Colt SAA's) even if they are not the direct focus of the story. My father was born and raised in depression era Texas and became a professional rodeo rider in the late 1940's and early 1950's. After some years and many broken bones, he left that life to become a preacher. Sometime in the 1990's he decided to write a book about his life's adventures and had it published. Although not a best seller, it is filled with fascinating stories of a life lived. In my travels, I have never met an "old guy" that didn't have a great story to tell. Hell, I'm 45 and I might even be able to tell a story or two.
 

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I'm finding the targets are getting blurry and my hold is getting shakier, but so are all my friends. We may not be tearing up the bullseye but we spread plenty of bull. WE enjoy each others company more than the quality of our shots.

After a good friends funeral yesterday my daughter told me she brought her pistol along, So we enjoyed a little time on the farm. She took her target to show her hubby her groups. I taught her well. All my family shoot so I'm teaching my extended family and a neighbor kid to handle and shoot pistols. I find great satisfaction in getting the next generation the joy of shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ask your gun club to add a seniors class so you'll be competing with others with the same 'handicaps'. It would also allow you to advertise it in order to bring others in your situation into the mix. ... The main thing is make it fun.
Funny thing happened at the range last week: I placed first in the competition! The setup was 1 shot at the BG holding the hostage, reload [I was shooting my Colt/Walther .22 Gold Cup], shatter 2 clays at 20' [with whatever it takes], 2 shots at a paper target for points at 40', and finally 1 shot through the first target into another paper target at 50' set so it was mostly hidden by the first. I left feeling pretty good after that. This week will be center-fire, and I expect all the others [usually about 8 folks, one guy brings his wife to shoot too] but I will bring two revolvers, probably my S&W 66 and 67 [or maybe the Colt Metropolitan].
 

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Corgicolt I posted something similar to this idea awhile back. It started with a kid shooting at a Saltine Cracker glued to a target. It displays the force of impact that a kid can appreciate and when the bullet strikes, it shatters and crumbles the cracker. Well myself and some competitive friends took it a step further. Top of target is a Graham cracker, then a Saltine, then a Cheez-it and finally a Gold Fish. Lots of fun and the best deal is it is environmentally friendly and the birds eat the crumbs. Giver er' a try and let us know your outcome/thoughts.
 

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I was an avid shooter, in the military and later in life at a competitive range in Texas. Three years ago, at 63, my eyes went south.

After two cataract surgeries and 2 Tecnis Multifocal implants, my eyesight took me back, so the surgeons say, to 19. Targets are in focus once again and life is good; and even though the younger shooters may consider me an old codger; I can routinely outshoot their butts!!
 
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