DIY

5 Hobbies That Gun Owners Will Love

Fishing on the lake at sunset. Fishing background.

Whether you visit the range on a regular basis or enjoy the thrill of hunting, shooting sports are fun, multi-faceted hobbies.

Unfortunately, they can be fairly limited. You can only go to so many places and use your firearm in so many ways.

If you’re looking to try something different (or you’re running low on ammo), here are five gun-adjacent hobbies shooters will love.

1. Photography

Shooting is a fulfilling hobby, even if you’re only shooting pictures.

We’re not talking about snapping photos with your cell phone, we’re talking about snapping photos with something designed to capture the true colors and forms of the world around you.

Of course, you don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a high-end DSLR camera with all the accessories.

You can take pictures of your guns or of anything else that catches your eye with minimal equipment. You can even take pictures of animals and nature.

Start small. Pick up a used digital camera and a lightbox for the best lighting possible.

Then, take some pictures, experiment with different settings and figure out what works best for you.

Photography is a fantastic hobby that allows you to continually learn new things.

If you’re showcasing your gun collection online or taking pictures of items for sale, photography skills can serve you well.

camera on tripod facing woods and mountains

2. Chainsaw Carving

When you talk about manly hobbies, you can’t get much more masculine than breaking out your favorite firearm — or a chainsaw.

If you like working with your hands, chainsaw carving can give you an artistic outlet.

You don’t need to be Michelangelo with the chainsaw to find joy in carving a hunk of wood into something that looks amazing.

All it takes is practice and persistence, even if you don’t see yourself as the creative type.

The only downside with this hobby is that you can’t start small.

The chainsaw isn’t exactly a tool that lends itself to delicate movements, so you’ll be working with large pieces of wood.

Try your hand at it and see what you can come up with.

man carving wood with chainsaw hobbies

3. Car Restorations

Buying a project car is something of a rite of passage for any automotive enthusiast, but it can be a great choice for shooters, too.

Auto restoration is a hobby that requires a lot of meticulous attention to detail — a skill you’ve probably already honed while taking care of your gun collection or utilizing them at the range.

If you can build an AR-15, then you can restore a car. The skills are the same, even if the result is drastically different.

Take a minute to think about what your dream car might be or look like if you get a chance to build it.

Are you a classic muscle car fan, or do you want a Japanese coupe designed for some turbocharged drifting on the track?

If you’re not sure where to start looking, check out some forums online or talk to your car-savvy friends.

You might be surprised how much help is readily available if you ask.

classic car in garage automotive restoration hobbies

4. Sleight of Hand

If you’re looking for a hobby to keep your hands strong and nimble when you’re not shooting, why not practice sleight of hand?

It requires a lot of delicate hand movements.

It also takes a lot of practice to develop the muscle memory necessary to flip a coin around your fingers or make a card vanish without looking deliberate.

Again, you’re going to want to start small, especially if you’ve never tried sleight of hand before.

The goal is to master the movements and then learn the art of redirection to fool your audience into believing you belong on a Vegas stage.

One suggestion — practice your tricks in front of small children or pets.

The awe they show even if you mess up is great encouragement when you feel like you’re struggling.

playing cards on table

5. Trout Tickling

Trout tickling is the practice of rubbing your fingers along the belly of a trout in the water.

This puts them into a kind of trance, allowing you to catch them with your bare hands.

It requires a lot of patience, not unlike sitting in a hunting blind and waiting for your quarry to cross your path.

If you find yourself struggling with patience, either while hunting or shooting at the range, taking up a hobby like trout tickling is a great way to hone that skill.

Make sure you ask permission before you try your fish tickling skills.

The practice is illegal in some places, but if you have a friend who owns a stretch of river, you may be able to hone your skills.

catching a brown trout in the river

Which of these hobbies sounds appealing to you? Have any hobbies to share with your fellow gun owners? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author:

Oscar Collins

Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded where he writes about gear, the outdoors, survivalism and more. Whether you're interested in ice fishing, building a rooftop tent or the best hiking trails, Oscar has you covered. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates!
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (3)

  1. I have been in physical decline in the last 21 years. I have been a shooter since I was seven. I will be 75 soon. I’m a disabled Vet, too. I still make ammo with my Lyman “nutcracker” and service my collection of interesting firearms many single shot arms with long bbls. My readiness seeks to take down a Brown Bear at 1000 pounds at as many yards with a .45/70 govt round from my wheel chair. I have a Savage 3″ 12 gauge so I can take geese on the fly. Being prepared is what my decade in Scouting prepared me for. When I cannot do those things I will distribute my collection to my children, step-children and grand kids. I just moved back to my home state where I can sit in a pond noodling for bass. Where I lived before a few years the trout were called steelhead. Not so much in Oklahoma.

  2. Trout tickling has to be a joke. How would you possibly get close enough to them to tickle their underbelly, especially without catching them. I thought for sure #5 was going to be fly fishing.

  3. The obvious hobbies for a gun nut are reloading ammo & refinishing old, tired firearms. Then trade the firearms off for something you want.. If you do this & also get into blackpowder shooting, even if it’s just a cap & ball revolver,,,,, you should stay busy enough, and leave those psychotic trout in the river

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