Post By gasmitty
Post By Rattlehead
February 21st, 2013 01:57 PM
I watched the TV show Shooting Gallery last night and the episode focused on a group called Project Appleseed.
They seem like a great bunch of folks that not only teach basic marksmanship, but American Revolution history as well. They want to see America as a nation of riflemen again.
It made me feel good, but I'm curious if any folks here are part of this group or have participated with them. What was your experience like?
Here's a link to their site: Project Appleseed Home
US Air Force, 1986 - 2007
"To disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them..." George Mason
February 22nd, 2013 01:45 PM
I too saw it, & I was impressed with the quality of their presentation & product available to the public!
February 22nd, 2013 03:19 PM
Absolutely! The Appleseed Project is really worthwhile, as it unites your skill at arms with a historical perspective that reminds you of the importance of a "nation of rifleman." (Perhaps more important today than it has been for 238 years.)
I did mine at a club range in Payson, AZ a couple of years ago, with a friend. The whole class numbered from 35-40, with not everyone being there for both days. Safety was paramount throughout the weekend, with lots of ROs to observe and correct. The sequence each day was periods of instruction and practice interspersed with history "lessons" during breaks. The history focused on the events at Lexington and Concord and other Revolutionary battles where superior marksmanship skills decided the outcome.
The first shooting exercise is to get a baseline with everyone's skills as they arrive. That's followed by instruction on sighting in, with practical information given on minutes of angle, scope clicks and inches. Then lots of practice on one-inch squares. We worked in pairs, critiquing our partners' targets, and throughout the day additional skills and techniques were taught, building on each other. My guess is that 3/4 of the participants had no familiarity with using a sling as an aid to accuracy, and 9/10 knew nothing about shooting from trigger reset. Mastering both of those are keys to shooting well. You learn to shoot from all four positions.
The default gun, if there is one, is the Ruger 10/22. It's popular, it's not expensive (putting gun ban panic aside), and its easily modified to shoot better than stock if desired. The event is geared toward using autoloaders, but there were enough bolt guns present; about the only type of repeater that would not do well is a tube-fed .22 due to muzzle direction being a problem when reloading. One instructor mentioned a class where a shooter made Rifleman using a lever-action centerfire. In my class, maybe 40% of the shooters used centerfire rifles - several Garands, M1A1s and ARs, an AK, and a 1903 Springfield, with the balance shooting all sorts of rimfires. Iron sights or scopes, no matter - all were welcomed.
The goal of the course is to improve shooting skills and to have all make Rifleman, roughly equivalent to "Expert." Appleseed Events use a modified "AQT" target, scaled to 25 meters (to accommodate lots of different shooting venues) but printed in red instead of black, to add a measure of "realism" by diminishing target contrast. And if you don't make Rifleman, you're kiddingly considered a "cook" until you do. In the afternoon of the first day, we were given the opportunity to practice on a few AQT targets, and one guy (the friend I attended with) actually made Rifleman the first day, a noteworthy achievement.
The second day started with a zero-check, more practice on one-inch squares, and then working in earnest on the AQT, and of course more history offered during the breaks. The shooting was pretty intense, and after literally hours of peering through an inexpensive scope, the lesser-quality optics took their toll with increased eyestrain. But there was consistent coaching and encouragement, and midway through the second afternoon, after shooting several 200+ scores, I finally broke through and made Rifleman with a 222 (out of 250 possible). To my pleasant surprise, that also turned out to be the high score for the weekend.
As my Appleseed Event happened to be the third weekend in April, it was close to the actual anniversary of the battle at Lexington and Concord (April 19, 1775), and there were something like 30 other Events that same weekend. The organization scheduled a pause in ALL the events across the country, so at the very same minute, regardless of time zone, every Appleseed participant launched a 10-round volley downrange at a red target to commemorate the "shots heard 'round the world." THAT put a chill up my spine!
The two-day event takes about 300 rounds. Unfortunately I found out the hard way about how it takes a couple of dozen rounds to "condition" the barrel to different ammo if you have to change. I had to change ammo mid-morning on Day Two, and spent the next hour on re-zeroing elevation AND windage, only to eventually wind up just a click or two off from where I'd started... frustrating! The lesson here is to bring enough of one type of ammo so you don't suffer the same tail-chasing I did.
I can't say enough good things about the Appleseed Project. It encourages family involvement, it's educational, and if you have a lick of patriotism, it's inspirational. My next goal is to make Rifleman with a service rifle, either an AR or the Garand, and periodically I bring some AQT targets to the range just to help remember the lessons. To learn more, look on the Appleseed web site to find where there's an event scheduled near you.
Here's a little historical tidbit from the "history lessons" -
Lieutenant-General Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland, an officer in the British army who participated in the Battle of Lexington and Concord, later wrote about the colonial militia:
"...the rebels attacked us in a very scattered, irregular manner, but with perseverance and resolution, nor did they ever dare to form into a regular body. Indeed they knew too well what was proper, to do so. Whoever looks upon them as an irregular mob, will find himself very much mistaken. They have men amongst them who know very well what they are about..."
And skill at arms was "what they are about"!
NRA Endowment Member
February 22nd, 2013 03:51 PM
I watched it too and after the show, I thought "man I would love to do that". I am looking up for the next class nearest to me.
No trees were harmed in the construction of this post. However a large number of electrons were indiscriminately aroused.
February 23rd, 2013 02:54 AM
My friend did this last year with his M1A. He did it for one day as that's all he had time for. He and I have been good shooters all of our life, however he missed Rifleman by one shot. The instructor told him (because he noticed it) was he missed Rifleman because of a flinch he developed from shooting the M1A the whole time. My friend told me (I can see safety but I still don't like it) was that the rifles had to remain on the line whether firing or not. The part I don't like is they couldn't even touch them to give them a quick cleaning or a drop or two of oil or in my friends case to get it out of the sun. He also told me he went there with his mags all loaded and ready to go only to be told to empty them. He said they don't use mags loaded to full capacity and are only loaded to 10 do to course of fire.
Overall he liked it and wants to do it again. He said when I do it use a 10/22. He said if he was using a 22 he would have made Rifleman. he had a good time and wants to go back again.
February 23rd, 2013 01:29 PM
Just do it!! Most fun weekend shooting I have ever had!!!!
"A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack" - Master Yoda
Member of NRA, GOA, SAF, NAGR, CCDL
February 23rd, 2013 02:32 PM
I'm a shoot boss with the program. I would highly recommend it for anyone, even more experienced shooters. It's a lot of fun, I've met some great people at the shoots, and I've yet to see anyone who did not leave a better shot than when they arrived.
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