Sunday, July 25, 2010

Appleseed Day 2

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 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.

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Earl said...

Very nice coverage of the Appleseed, thanks for all the pictures and your words of what was going on around you. I am sure that practice will get you to that Rifleman patch, you already understand why it is important.

I hope you link the public AAR to your site somewhere, and I hope that the RWVA links to your three posts. I need to find a way to link to a multiple photo spread like you used.

Thirdpower said...


I'll be linking the AAR and stealing photos from it as soon as it goes up on the forum. The photo spread I linked to was from another attendee who gave me permission to use/link his photos. I also have most of them up on my FaceBook page.

Overload in Colorado said...

I've been to two Appleseeds. If I go again, I'm going to take a setup that can help me earn the badge.

I'm confused with Appleseed's approach to shooting. They want you to use iron sights, but want you to have a magazine fed rifle and reload. They want you to use a sling, but not a bi-pod. I'm sure part of this has to do with Fred's (of Fred's M14 stocks)involvement with the founding of Appleseed.

Earl said...

Appleseed shooting is based on the marksmanship training of the Marines and Army pre-WWI, and what lasted into the High Power competition arena. Mostly, the shooter is one with the rifle. The sling helps support the support arm holding the rifle, elbow under the rifle, only in the prone position would a bipod be helpful, then the entire effort is moving the shooter around that pivot point with two legs. Once you really start using Natural Point of Aim, you will wonder why you thought a bipod was more than a device to keep your muzzle out of the dirt, and to weigh the rifle down. since many competition rifles are very heavy, the weight isn't a real issue, but it does get in the way of excellent shooting.

Templar223 said...

Glad you had a great time and I'm glad I could share the proper use of the 1917 sling with you.

You know, it's really sad that the knowledge of how to use that versatile sling has been forgotten by Americans -- the same people who carried that sling into battle less than a hundred years ago.

We're teaching folks one person at a time... waking them up and making them better Americans.

Hope to see you next year, maybe even in an orange hat!


Matthew H. (alcade) said...

Cool site. Thanks for the business card with your blogs address.

Nice pictures from the AS. May I use some of them myself? My brother and I were next to you on the firing line with our evil black rifles. Let me know: mhavens [at] alcade [dot] net