It was Spielberg’s father, an electrical engineer and amateur film buff, who spurred his interest in movie-making. It was also his dad, a World War II Air Force sharpshooter, who taught Steven his gun-handling skills.
As someone who never enjoyed much of the regular sports during his childhood, Steven Spielberg introduced his son Max, in 1995, to the sport he knows best — Sporting Clays.
Screenwriter and director John Milius (Apocalypse Now and Clear and Present Danger) describes Steven Spielberg as a sharpshooter. Spielberg, he said, regularly shoots an Italian over/under Fabri shotgun, an engraved model of which costs in the neighborhood of $85,000.
Milius said he began shooting sporting clays with Spielberg in the late 1960s at the Oak Tree Gun Club in southern California. During their younger days, Milius said, they used to play at least once a week. “We call it red-neck golf,” Milius said, “just like golf, you either like it or you don’t.”
Explaining Spielberg’s passion for collecting top-of-the-line shotguns, Milius told this writer, “They are just beautiful things. How many beautiful works of art can you take out and use?”
Milius would often shoot Sporting Clays with Spielberg. He admits having lost “a few times” to Spielberg, who actually received some shooting lessons from him in the past. “I’m the teacher and he’s the student, but on a good day he’s really good.”
Art Bright, manager of the Pachmayr Range in southern California, remembers giving Spielberg and young Max a few shooting tips. “Steven Spielberg is a pretty good shot,” Bright says. “He’s probably a solid B-class shooter.”
Hollywood-types (that’s Hollywood, California–not Hollywood, Florida) are usually thought of as being anti-gun, even as they surround themselves with armed bodyguards. But according to this article, Steven Spielberg is an avid sporting clays shooter: