The other day I picked up a hot beverage bottle and a wine stopper with an elk on top of it over at BerettaUSA.com. I know no one cares about what frivolous things I decided to order, but it did give me pause for thought. During the transaction BerettaUSA.com asked, “How did you hear about us?” I had options such as “Other” and “Word of Mouth;” the normal culprits.
For those who don’t know, my introduction to shooting was at Salem Clay Target Sports in Salem, OR. I used to shoot Skeet, Five Stand, or Sporting Clays there on a weekly basis. They were a Beretta stocking dealer, and until I picked up my CZ Mallard I was borrowing their Beretta shotguns. We used Beretta shooting vests, Beretta-branded shooting glasses, Beretta shooting gloves, and as a poor college student I yearned to be able to afford to buy these things for myself. (I still want a Beretta shooting vest, they’re nice and it holds sentimental value. My birthday is next month.)
Not too long before I moved back to Seattle and started working at the range, I hadn’t been shooting shotguns as much but I had been watching Boondock Saints A LOT. The 92FS – a version of the military icon 92 for so many – became, to me, iconic of one of my favorite movies. Before I was educated on firearms the 92FS was the gun I wanted, for no other reason than Connor MacManus carried one and if my 20-year-old self could notice nothing else, a young and shirtless Sean Patrick Flannery was bound to get my attention.
I had never before thought about “how I heard about” any particular brand – they are all just guns, and some I like and some I don’t. It’s interesting, however, to reflect on a brand that was so instrumental to the beginning of my shooting interest and subsequent career.