A most excellent day. The weather was a nice 80-85 and partly cloudy. I switched to my Marlin 81 for shooting today. Most other people used Ruger 10/22's in various setups. Seriously, about 3/4 of them were.
Instructor 'Templar223' ( they tend to use their Appleseed Forum handles for identification) showed me the proper way to use the model 1917 sling that I had. That worked very well for me and was much more comfortable than the military or hasty sling positions.
There was lots of one on one instruction especially for the number of youth that were present for both days.
Two methods they used were drills called "Ball or Dummy" and an NPOA drill.
In the 'Ball or Dummy' drill, an instructor loads your rifle for you while you have your eyes closed. It may be a live round or the chamber may be empty, you don't know. They then watch your reaction while firing and correct mistakes you may be making such as blinking, pulling, etc. They had some fun w/ me since faking loading a tube/bolt gun isn't easy. I'm a blinker.
The Natural Point of Aim drill (NPOA) has you determine where the point is that you naturally return to (which should be on the target each time after initial adjustments). They then cover your scope or sight during your breath then take it away when you finish exhaling. You then have three seconds to fire. Ideally you should still be on target.
We then went into some more in-depth instruction on Inches, Minutes, and Clicks. In other words, your grouping distance off target, what that meant in Minutes of Angle (MOA) and how to adjust your firearm for it.
For a change of pace, they demonstrated that .22's are useful well beyond 25m w/ some steel plate shooting at about 85m w/ a target about the size of a hubcap. I bored them by hitting it w/ all 10 rnds.
For some pomp and circumstance, they distributed patches to the number of youth who attended for the entire weekend and ceremoniously burned the cap of an instructor (BobaFett) who went up to being a 'Red Hat'.
We ran through the 'AQT' qualifying test several times. Targets are sized for 4moa at 100-400 meters in standing (100m), sitting (200m) and prone (300m & 400m). Realistically, it's optimal for a semi-auto magazine fed rifle w/ the timed events and positions but they make allowances for other types (like mine).
To tell you the quality of the instruction , I went from shooting 'shotgun' patterns yesterday morning (normal for me off of a benchrest) to not being to far off from qualifying w/ a tube-fed bolt action. One instructor even remarked on how fast I was cycling the bolt and firing during an event. It turned out to be my highest score of the day.
I'll get it next time. With the Marlin.
More information at Appleseedinfo.org and I'll post/link to more photos as I get them.
Update: More photos here
The AAR is available on the Appleseed forum w/ opinions and information from other attendees and instructors.