View Full Version : Appleseed

04-23-2009, 07:16 PM
I'd suddenly found myself transported back to the town of Concord, Massachusetts on April 19th, 1775.
600 British Redcoats were marching on the town to confiscate the citizens assault weapons, supplies and cannon, and they were getting close.
The good news was that I had brought along my trusty SKS rifle. Better yet, I had fifty-odd "riflemen" at my side.
I have to put "riflemen" in quotations because our firing line contained a sprinkling of women and even children.
To my left was a girl of perhaps 15 cuddling some evil looking AR carbine; To my right was my wife with a scope sighted bolt action rifle.
We were all getting ready in a prone firing position.
Rifle sling tight on the left bicep, left elbow under the rifle making a stable monopod of my left forearm.
Left hand open, just cradling the rifle.
The sling pulls the rifle into the pocket of my right shoulder and holds the rifle steady. All my left hand has to do is squeeze the trigger and reload.

The order is given to load. Fifty magazines are snapped in and fifty bolts fly home.
I stripped seven rounds into the magazine of my SKS.
Due to "weight limitations", each of us could only take with us 13 rounds of ammunition, so we would have to make every shot count!

The order was given to FIRE!
Rifle fire erupted up and down the line. The muzzle blast of the little girls AR pounded against me. Her carbine was equipped with a diabolical muzzle brake seemingly designed with the sole intent of making life difficult for all nearby shooters.
At least the cartridge casings ejected from her rifle were landing in a neat pile between my wife and I. Of course, I wasn't going to get off that easy. The hot spent casings from her fathers M1A were landing squarely on my back and occasionally bouncing off my rifle.
The muzzle blast of fifty-odd rifles fired mere inches above the dusty ground kicked up enough dust to partially obscure the targets. Smoke drifted across the range - Was someone shooting some of that lousy Indian .308?

Time to focus on what I was supposed to be doing. Like all Militiamen, we were to shoot the officers first.
The "officer" or "headshot" was a one inch square on the target stapled up some 25 meters away.
Also on this Redcoat target is a 400 meter, 300 meter, 200 meter and 100 meter "head and shoulders" silhouette, all bright red.
The officers target was the highest priority, but we were told to save at least one round for the 100 yard silhouette. If we failed to shoot that target we were said to have been bayoneted by the advancing Redcoats.

I could barely make out the tiny red blur of the "officer". I placed my front sight below it and went through the numbers as I had been taught that weekend:
1) Sight alignment. line up the front and rear sights.
2) Sight picture. Keeping the sights lined up, bring them onto target.
3) Respiratory pause. take a deep breath. The front sight will dip. Let your breath out, watching the front sight rise until barely touches the bottom of the target - Now hold your breath.
4A) Focus your eye on the front sight.
4B) Focus your mind on the target.
5) Take up any slack and squeeze the trigger straight back...BANG!
6) Follow through. Keep your eyes open. Hold the trigger back. try to call the shot.

Ride the recoil through. The rifle should come to rest right back on target if you've found your Natural Point Of Aim ( NPOA ).
Let your trigger finger move forward just enough to reset the sear and take another breath. still on target?
Follow through. Breath. Still on target? BANG!

I felt pretty confident I'd just ventilated the officer three times, so I moved to the other targets. I shot twice at the 400 meter and 300 meter silhouettes, and the bolt locked back on my SKS.
I'd loaded seven rounds. My last six were on a stripper clip at my side. As I reloaded I noticed my wife working the bolt on her rifle but did not have a magazine in place. Oh no! Was she trying to clear a jam?
No time to help her. I got back to work and ventilated the 200 meter target twice. I put three rounds into the 100 meter target. No way I was gonna get bayoneted!
I was running out of time and knew cease fire would be given any second. What to do with my last round?
The Militiaman in me instinctively went for the highest priority target again, the Officer.
I lined up my sights; focus, breath, squeeze...BANG! - CEASE FIRE!

My wife had continued to work the bolt on her rifle the whole time. An instructor hurried over to ask if her rifle was jammed. As it turned out she had efficiently expended her ammunition and was quietly enjoying some dry firing practice until cease fire was called.

How did I do? My first three shots made a nice tight group - Right over the officers head. But my last round had nailed it square. All my other shots went just where I wanted 'em to go. Perhaps half the company had nailed all the targets as I had, but two or three people on the firing line did get bayoneted.

Interested? http://www.appleseedinfo.org/

04-23-2009, 11:15 PM
I've been interested for a couple months. Im down the road from their range in Ramseur, and i'll go as soon as i can get enough money to buy enough ammo.

04-24-2009, 05:03 PM
You don't need to spend allot of coin on ammo -

A semiauto .22LR that feeds from detachable magazines, outfitted with a Garand sling and a nice set of peep sights is just about ideal for learning the basics.

This might sound like allot of money to set up,
and can be if you go with a fancy decked out Ruger 10/22.
But you'd probably do just fine with a $110 Mossberg "Plinkster" from Walmart.

Or just bring what you have!
My wife started with her scoped Marlin 60 tube feed .22.

You can bring along your high powerd rifle for long range work on the second day if you wish.

04-26-2009, 10:54 AM
I have never been to one of the events, but there is one a couple of hours away the last weekend in May. I am going to try to go to it.

04-26-2009, 08:18 PM
Thanks for the post on the apple seed project!! I too was at a shoot on the 18&19th of April! I was on the back side of the line instructing to a group of shooters at steel city range in Birmingham AL. For the money it is the best training you will get! Women and children up to age 21 shoot free! Active duty military shot free also.
Try to make it to one and it will change your life, it will give you hope for the future and introduce you to a great bunch of Americans.

05-03-2009, 01:01 PM
Hi All,

I haven't posted here in a long time. I can't say enough good things about Appleseed!!!

Please try to get to one this summer it is money well spent. These are the skills that made our country great and can keep it great. not to mention some good Founding Fathers History. We owe them everything we have.

If you have any questions about Appleseed visit our web site APPLESEED (http://appleseedinfo.org) or E-mail me VA@applseedinfo.org

I can help find you an Appleseed near you.



05-05-2009, 09:12 PM
My greatest training need right now is in how to effectively shoot a right handed bolt action rifle left handed. I'm right handed but left eyed. ammo for my rifle is just under $0.90 per round. it adds up.

05-06-2009, 12:28 AM
I'm a lefty and have had to shoot righty bolts my whole life. Or I should say that by the time I could consider buying a lefty bolt, I felt to ingrained to the righty to efficiently change. My method is simple but has one largish drawback, losing the sight picture during the cycling of the bolt for the next shot. On the plus side, I can very rapidly regain the sight picture which makes any initial sight picture acquisition very fast.

After firing a round, I roll the rifle to the left about 45 degrees, while simultaneously disengaging my finger from the trigger guard, then reaching over the action and operating the bolt with my left hand, rotating the rifle back into position as the bolt slams home, transferring my trigger finger pack into position just as the rifle settles into position on my shoulder. The whole time concentrating on the target or game so that the rifle comes nearly perfectly up into the sight picture.

I perfected this style with my first rifle, a JC Higgins 22 single shot (that I still have...) with the added feature of inserting a fresh cartridge into the chamber at the appropriate point in the process. I would fill up my left breast pocket with rounds and quick as a blink, could perform the maneuver and reload, pull the cocking plunger back, and fire amazingly fast.

It is certainly not perfect, but with three righties in the family and thin on cash, a lefty rifle just wasn't in the cards... "Mother is the necessity of invention." as my father used to parody...

05-06-2009, 01:29 PM
I'm left handed and shot RH bolt guns for many years... Then one day i decided to give a LH bolt gun a fair chance. I bought a NEW Rem. 700 LH rifle, and started shooting boxes of cheapo reloaded ammo i bought from a guy.

It didn't take me long to see what i had been missing! You couldn't pay me enough to go back to a RH bolt gun these days!

I was hunting a lot of DG at the time, and i could easily see how much improved my shooting was with a LH bolt gun...


05-06-2009, 07:18 PM
Hmmm... Worth a thought. I just haven't really had the opportunity to even try a LH bolt. They have opened an indoor range here in Albuquerque that they not only rent space but weapons as well, I'll have to see if the have anything I could try out.

I only hope it is more successful than my LH scissors experiment. Purchased a pair and couldn't work them. After so many years of putting bias pressure to make RH scissors work LH, all I did was spread the blades apart while my brain was "bringing them together"... Not the same coconut, I know, but the never ending struggle of being LH in a RH world.

I do have an inkling of the improvement it might make to try a LH bolt though, lever action rifles. We have two Henry 22's and I am even faster and more accurate not losing the sight picture.

Tim Horton
05-06-2009, 09:26 PM
Having worked with left hand kids and adults in Firearms Safety Classes for a lot of year, I do know this.

Most left handed people have a left strong eye.
Actually, I have never run across a lefty with a strong right eye.

Lefty's usually take about 10 seconds to get the hang and fall in love with a left handed 22 bolt action. Also many right handed, left strong eyed people find they can learn to shoot the same left handed 22 bolt action single shot in a very short while. And they admit themselves they are a LOT more accurate shots that way......

My advise is, you can find "budget" level left hand bolt, pump, and maybe semi-autos out there. Try one, and if you find you like that better, then spend some $ on something that will last you a life time.

Good luck

10-06-2009, 12:36 AM
I shot my at my first Appleseed in September and shot rifleman the second day! What a great time but you'll learn so much your head will spin! I highly recommend it and am building up my ammo and money for a second one this year.

You can bring any rifle you want but a magazine fed, semiautomatic .22LR (as recommended above) is the way to go for learning without breaking the bank. I went with a Marlin 795 and have almost nothing but good to say about it. It shot pretty good out of the box but I relieved the fore stock to free float the barrel and added a set of Tech Sites (the stock sites are horrible and the rear one actually fell off during the weekend). The synthetic stock is a bit flexible and the gun is a little bit light, but those are my only complaints after the mods. I had no reliability problems for the whole weekend.

If you go, make sure to get the inch and a quarter USGI sling for your rifle. A lot (most?) of the training involves the sling and if you buy a carry strap, you miss a lot. Also, wear loose fitting pants so you can easily pull that leg up in the prone position, and long sleeves to keep the strap off your arm. Last thing I'll recommend is a ground pad or shooters mat. We shot off of cement and I would have been good and bloody without it. Make sure you have a way to secure it to the ground in case of wind (duct tape, string and tent stakes, whatever...). I saw lots of guns get flipped over during our weekend due to mats blowing over.

After shooting rifleman I got to go over and shoot a few rounds from an M1 Garand at the six hundred yard range that our club has. What I learned on the .22 at twenty-five yard definitely carried over to the bigger gun at the longer range. So I don't think I lost much bringing the .22 except a big ammo bill :D

Have fun, keep a good attitude even if the brain dump and pace seem to be overwhelming, and learn, learn, learn so you can pass on some American heritage!