Appleseed Shoot This Weekend

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TXKajun, Nov 12, 2010.


  1. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    After almost 2 years of trying to match my schedule with Appleseed's, this weekend is it! WOOHOO!

    I've been planning this for a while. In fact, my 14 yo son and I got 2 "Liberty Training Rifles" ready about 2 months ago. Unfortunately, he's not gonna attend. He wants me to go and then train him.

    Anywho, it's supposed to get down to 33 degrees tonight and up to about 63 tomorrow. A tad chilly, but I got lots of cold weather gear, I think.

    Hopefully, Sunday I'll get my Rifleman badge. My one claim to college sports fame (many MANY years ago LOLOL) was I was on the rifle team. I've kept up my shooting since, so have high hopes.

    Kajun
     
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Great. You'll have to give us a full report when you get back. There are a few here at the Monkey that have participated before.
     
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Kage, you are going to learn something, but quite possibly not what you expect. I've been to one and hosted another. Sometimes, it takes a bit to qualify. Sight in for 25 meters and carry a wad of ammo.
     
  4. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I owe my daughter a day of .22 shooting. I was too busy with sighting in an AR10 for deer season and she wasn't able to shoot this week.

    She fires well from the bench. The only 6 year old I know that can keep on paper at 25. She's at least minute-of-bunny. She understands aiming and sight picture- I didn't cheat and buy her a scope either. Next, I am going to get her in the prone-supported position to learn how breathing affects her shots. And eventually I will sling her up in front some small bore targets.

    My wife is interested in attending an Appleseed shoot. Since I'm military and my whole family is girls, I think we can shoot for free. I may volunteer to help out??
     
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    You can volunteer, but it'll be target setting mostly if that. The host organization usually provides any help needed for set up the day before. The RWVA brings range officers and trainers that go thru a qualification process that takes quite a bit of time and attendance at shoots.

    Suggest you go with SWMBO and shoot one first. For perspective, I did a one day shoot and worked thru over 600 rounds. The two day took 750. I don't know if the other trainers go thru that many, but these two shoots had different ROs.

    And yes, you can qualify with a 22, but chances are you will be hamstrung in the timed portions by reloading time (one guy did it that I know of; he was a busy little guy.) I've seen ARs, AKs, SKS, M1A, and at least one M1 used and qualified with. And a few others I can't remember. I add rather gratuitously that being active duty won't guarantee qualification. At the Chesterfield shoot there were two guys that had recent discharges that couldn't make it.
     
  6. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    I Survived!!

    It's Monday evening, after the shoot. If I only had one word to describe the shoot, that word would be "OUCH!!" LOL I'm 59 and in great shape, if you consider round a shape. [​IMG]

    It started out Saturday AM at 8:15 with signup.....and 31 degrees! Yikes! Fortunately, I dressed for the weather. 2 pair longies, hunting pants, heavy coat, hat. I used a little Ruger 10/22 that I'd modified with a sling and scope. Had problems the first 3 hours trying to get zeroed in. Also, had bigger problems trying to talk my body into getting into the prone position. I said to it "OK, just lay down, get the rifle into position and relax." My body said "You gotta be kiddin' me! Ain't no way these old bones and muscles are gonna get in that position for more than 5 seconds without major protests!" And it did protest!

    First equipment problem was with my scope. I'd adjust, it wouldn't go where it should have. Adjust the other way, got worse. Finally, one of the instructors took the rifle and tried to adjust it. You have to realize, I'd bought the rifle and scope together quite a while back and had managed to get a semi-good zero on it a few weeks ago using a bench rest, but felt like things were a bit squirrely with it. Come to find out, the scope was 90 degrees out of whack on the mount! The left-right adjustment was doing up and down and the up-down was doing left and right! Jeez, did I feel like an idiot! [​IMG] But, once that got straightened out, things got better.

    They put us (all 8 students, ages from 70s to 14, both male and female) through prone, sitting or kneeling, and standing positions, and shifting between standing and sitting/kneeling and standing and prone. Add in magazine changes, timing on the rounds, and it got to be fairly stressful both physically and mentally. I was ready to quit at noon, but said "No, I'm gonna stick it out, at least today." We had a great lecture at lunch on Revolutionary War history, then back to shooting. The temp only got up to about 55 and was windy. Brrrrrr!!! By Saturday afternoon, 4:55, when we ended, I was stiff, sore and pretty disgusted with my performance.

    Home for the evening and our jacuzzi tub definitely payed for itself! About 30 minutes soak, a nice scotch on the rocks, a big dose of ibuprofen, pizza for dinner and then to bed. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. [​IMG]

    Got up early Sunday morning and cleaned my rifle. It was definitely dirty. We fired probably 300 rounds on Saturday. Back to the range by 8:30 and feeling pretty good, all things considered. A full day of shooting. Standing, standing to sitting/kneeling, standing to prone, prone by itself, back to standing, round after round after round. My body was starting to accept the fact that I wasn't gonna quit, but was still stiff and protesting. The weather was better Sunday. It got up to 65, no wind. There are 6 steps to getting off a shot that they kept hammering into us. Trying to remember all of them was almost impossible. I managed to have a few flashes of brilliance, but overall, did pretty miserably. We had only 1 student who managed to fire Expert, and it was his 4th Appleseed. Plus, he said he practiced at least 2X/week at the range and almost every evening at home dry-firing. He was absolutely ecstatic and we were really REALLY happy that someone "made it". '

    The instructors were all super. They gave each of us lots of individual attention and encouragement. I saw a large improvement from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon in my performance, but nowhere near enough to get my patch. The instructors did some shooting on Sunday and showed us that it really IS possible to shoot regularly good enough to qualify. The one guy who qualified turned around and improved his score the next 3 rounds too, showing that it wasn't just luck!

    It was an outstanding weekend for this old fart on many levels. I woke pretty sore this morning, but it was bearable.

    Yep, I'm gonna keep trying and going back till I get that darn patch! LOL

    Kajun
    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
     
  7. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Some how I know I am going to catch flack from this post..... I think the Appleseed Shoots and the training they provide are outstanding..... to a point. The fact that most people must adjust their sling differently for prone than for sitting, and again for standing, is just not practical. Then there is the real world factors of cover, and concealment. Appleseed allows scopes, and considering my eyes that is a good thing. I to am challenged by timed prone due to my age, out of shape, arthritic body. Real world, if I am given the opportunity to use cover and concealment and shoot over a log in prone, I damn sure am going to do it that way. Ditto the use of a bipod, crossed sticks, or using a tree or a post standing. To me I am going to take every conceiveable advantage to get off shots that go where they are supposed to in a timely manner. Slings have their place on the target range, shooting military positions at targets. It's great practice, and practice is important. That said I just feel there are better options in the field and in combat if it comes to that.
     
  8. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    If you ain't cheating you ain't trying....
     
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    No flack, chiefie. The Appleseed thing is more directed to making a rifleman out of a complete noob than making a marksman or sniper capable of combat. The fact that most folks think a sling is for carrying, not shooting, is another aspect; that is a mindset that needs to be changed. What do you do if there is no handy stone wall or tree and you left your shootin' sticks at the truck? (And I still wonder why they don't teach the Ching.)

    Appleseed is strictly basics. Some of the instructors are better at that than others, and obviously that shows in the results. More interesting is that the sessions get sprinkled with history, and it's a good session that gets one instructor who knows his way around the subject of minutemen at Lexington and Concord, they leave you with a sniff at how farmers became soldiers.
     
  10. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    If I get caught in the open, I guess it's kiss your butt goodbye time. Actually prone would be about the only option, and I do have a bipod.
     
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Tactics and concealment are not taught before the basics of position, trigger control, and aiming. That is one criticism I had at one of the two sessions I've been to; they didn't address some things that have to be ingrained before an engagement. The Revolutionaries didn't have much in the way of tactical training before Lex and Con, either. (Had it been so, they might not have used what we consider guerrilla tactics these days. And they would have lost.)

    It's also why I emphasized getting sighted in at 25 meters before attending. They don't go into that deeply enough, and trying to qualify when you are sighted in for 100 yards is to stamp FAIL on your targets. (Getting good groups is nice, but target score is what earns the patch.)

    Yes, they allow scopes and guns of less than military caliber. The idea is to make the trainee proficient with what he has, much like any farmer in any era. Not everyone has (like the Swiss) a main battle rifle in the closet. Gotta start somewhere, and already owned hardware beats taking a pass because the equipment isn't available.
     
  12. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    Like said above, it's abll about fundamentals. If you can shoot well from an Olympic sporter standing position, you will have no issue with any other position to include field postions. I shot small bore for 8 years and those skills I carried to shoot expert on every military range except 1 (Fort Riley, in the teens, feet of snow, 15 MPH winds- 300M targets were near impossible to judge with gusts and some 250s were a crapshoot- still shot sharpshooter). I attribute all my shooting skills to that CSM that took the time to teach me those fundamentals as a kid. It translates in combat or on the tactical ranges.
     
  13. fireplaceguy

    fireplaceguy Monkey+

    I attended a week long Appleseed Rifleman Boot Camp earlier this year. I was in the middle of a leisurely move and my .22's were at the wrong end of my box van, with literally tons of crap in the way. So, I shot borrowed rifles.

    Started out bright and early Monday morning. The first rifle had a bad scope, as in reticles shot loose. I complained, but the class was moving fast, no one was shooting for score and I didn't get anyone to listen to me until that evening. (They didn't know me from Adam, and weren't alarmed at the size and randomness of my groups like I was!) The second rifle (the "Tuesday" rifle) was ok when handed to me, but that scope was in the process of going bad too. (Appleseed loaner rifles have LOTS of rounds put through them, and breakages are commonplace!) By that afternoon I was having fits with it as well.

    Wednesday morning I was handed a very nice customized 10/22 with a 4 to 14 scope on it. I failed to check the adjustable objective and had a bad day with it as well. It was mid-afternoon before I noticed that the adjustable objective was set at 250 yards! (On a .22! My right eye can no longer be corrected to 20/20, so I spent the day not noticing the problem...) I had used up my 1000 rounds of ammo by then, so I knocked off early and rode into town with one of the lead instructors where I picked up ammo and she got the supplies she needed at the local WalMart.

    Thursday morning was windy as hell, with range dirt and dust flying everywhere, so we spent it indoors in a classroom. After lunch, I shot two AQT's with the properly focused scope, scoring 217 on the first and 232 on the second, which turned out to be the high score of the week. Vindicated!

    I decided to become an instructor in training and stayed for the weekend, helping coach the public two day Appleseed event. I spent a lot of my time coaching a young Marine, fresh back from the sandbox. He worked through a couple of problems and his shooting improved dramatically. He was just shy of shooting a Rifleman score by the end of class, and I'll tell you all, the gratitude of a young soldier was something special for a guy like me who narrowly missed the draft and never served. Without asking or being asked, he stood up at the end of the class and told everyone how much better our training was than the Marine Corps! (We've since done an Appleseed at the local army base, and they're trying to get approval to have us in regularly!)

    Appleseed is all about rifle fundamentals and American history, and both matter. The whole thing turned out to be a very rewarding experience.

    I suggest everyone take advantage of these classes. They're inexpensive and fairly local regardless of where you live. Do it their way, and stick with it until you can shoot a Rifleman score on demand, under any weather conditions. Then transition to the Ching sling.

    (There were folks there who understood the Ching sling, including one Gunsite grad who drooled all over my Steyr Scout, which was autographed by Jeff back in the day. The point is, Appleseed teaches anyone with any rack grade rifle and ammo to shoot 210 or above on the AQT, and a Ching sling is not a rack grade item. It's all about duplicatability...)

    Speaking of sling work, and thanks to spending a week in a Rifleman Boot Camp, I now shoot practically as well from prone with a sling as I do from a bench! This sure opened my eyes!

    Appleseed is a legit 510(c)(3) tax exempt organization, staffed entirely by volunteers. It turned out to be a great way to spend a week. I met Fred himself (founder of Appleseed) who tries to make it to a day or two of all the boot camps, along with the two de-facto field leaders of the organization, who were both rather interesting characters in their own right. Every evening, we spent hours of quality time around the campfire, solving the world's problems.

    The instructors are good people. Many are survivalists, and all are patriots - they're well aware of what's going wrong in America these days. Any group of folks like that is pretty interesting, but when you add in the quality of character that's willing to volunteer their weekends, rain or shine, to teach people to shoot, you're in pretty select company.

    Anyone who was there for ego would wash out in the blink of an eye - it's too much work and too fast paced for that, and you have to know what you're doing to advance. Before you transition from instructor in training to instructor, you must have shot at least one Rifleman score, demonstrated coaching and range safety proficiency and have committed all the Revolutionary War histories to memory!

    They tell me the classes have changed just this year, and are now filled largely with new shooters - mostly people who are just now waking up. That's pretty cool in my book, because I'm big on spreading the Gospel of the Second Amendment! Active duty military, women and children shoot for free, and I have no doubt any presentable single guy could meet a handful of quality single women a year by coaching. I sure have.

    Stick with it, Kajun, and let us know when you get that patch!
     
  14. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    +1. Huzzahs for fpg!!!

    (Met Fred at the Chesterfield, VA shoot in 06. That guy knows Rev War history.)
     
  15. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    fpg, you pretty much told it the way it is with the Appleseed folks.

    They are there to teach basics.....fundamentals.....and it's pretty darn fast-paced. We had 3 instructors-in-training. Yep, they have tons of history to memorize as well as having to shoot expert regularly. Also, there are "levels" of instructor-in-training, apparently. A super bunch of folks who are really dedicated. And all are volunteers!

    Kajun
     
  16. fireplaceguy

    fireplaceguy Monkey+

    Yes, there are levels of instructors in training, with specific benchmarks to be met before you can move to the next level. And, the only way to advance is on the job. The whole thing is quite elegant, in that the only pressure to progress is the pressure you apply to yourself. People who don't have what it takes just drift away, no hard feelings.

    Appleseed is one of the best conceived grassroots patriot organizations in the country, particularly in light of the skills and knowledge they impart. It's one heck of a network to be part of.
     
  17. fireplaceguy

    fireplaceguy Monkey+

    Thanks, ghrit!

    Yeah, Fred was a bit of a surprise. I wasn't expecting someone so soft spoken.

    At the boot camp he spent a fair amount of time just watching the class from a distance. He also had meetings with people up in Denver, and while he was at the range he spent much of his time talking with the state coordinator and the senior instructors about the program, so overall we didn't get a lot of face time him the two days he was here.

    His intensity about Appleseed is amazing, and while the instructors did a great job, I was disappointed that Fred never recited any history for us while he was there.
     
  18. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    At Chesterfield, he stretched the half hour lunch to an hour and a half yakking on history, names, dates, places. He CAN talk. Pretty good a diagnosing targets, too.
     
  19. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    OK, Monkeys, you get early notification. My club is hosting on an Appleseed the weekend of Sept 24./25 2011. As soon as the RWVA gets around to it, the shoot should show up on the Appleseed website here:

    Appleseed Project - Search States

    The club is shaded just north of halfway between Scranton, Pa and Binghamton, NY. Easy on and off I-81.

    Y'all come.
     
  20. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    ghrit, if I was closer, I'd definitely be there. But 2,000+ miles is gonna make me a no-show.

    Any of you monkeys up thattaway, it'd be a great weekend.

    Kajun
     
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