Meet Steven K. Ledin



I’m a gun guy, and have been my whole life. As a toddler, my earliest memories, even before girls, or motorcycles, or money, were holding dad’s shotgun and game birds. As an older boy, my worst punishment was to stay home while he went hunting on the weekends with whatever dog we had at that time.

I spent the last couple decades as general manager of one of the country’s largest gun shops and ranges, and in sales and purchasing in a “big box” outdoor sporting goods store. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for the world; they can’t be bought. I was an aircraft carrier based U.S. Navy Gunner’s Mate before that. Saw some big chunks of our wondrous world.

Here are some other current and former qualifications that brought me to Optics Planet:

  • NRA certified instructor: Firearms and muzzle loaders in 10 categories
  • Competitive firearm shooter and archery staff shooter
  • State of Illinois private investigator
  • Boy Scouts of America merit badge counselor
  • State of Illinois volunteer hunter’s safety instructor
  • Glock armorer
  • Consultant to Illinois DNR biologists
  • Expert witness in firearm related court cases
  • CERT member
  • NRA life member
  • Published author
  • TV and radio host
  • Illinois CCW instructor

I’ve hunted from Alaska to Africa for large and small game, and prefer to process my own meat from field to table. I love wildlife, especially with butter and garlic. I cook a lot. I am also an avid fisherman, and enjoy watching birds for Cornell University every winter for their feeder survey, although I prefer to watch game birds through my oven window. I regularly shoot a variety of rimfires and high quality adult airguns in my basement range. I do some gunsmithing and have mounted thousands of scopes.

I am blessed with my beloved wife Shirley, and our pit bull Tinker, our black lab Tranrek (pronounced train wreck), and our min pin Crash Almighty. I’ve raced and crashed cars and motorcycles, jumped out of planes, gotten lost in countries and continents, broke things (including myself), built things, blown stuff up, and in general, had a hell of a good time. I survived stage 4 throat cancer so far, and my wife’s lung cancer has been removed.  I’m truly blessed, and wish the same for you.