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What to expect

Discussion in 'Project Appleseed' started by Kimber Custom, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. Kimber Custom

    Kimber Custom Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    You will want to get to the range by 8:30. You should be greeted by someone in a RWVA hat who will welcome you, tell you where to park, give you a liability waiver and point you to the registration table. They will also ask you to leave all firearms in the car but you can bring your mat, ammo, chairs and other gear to the line.

    Typically there will be target backers set at 25 meters, some sort of rope or paint to designate the firing line and another rope or painted line designating the equipment line. You can put your shooting mat out on the firing line but please keep the rest of your chairs, ammo, mags and snacks back behind the equipment line.

    At the registration table they will ask for your name, offer you a t-shirt, a chamber flag and possibly some hand outs. Each shoot boss is a little different. Some do t-shirts on Sunday, some e-mail the hand outs in advance and sometimes chamber flags are handed out during the safety briefing. The only universal aspect of registration is making sure that we get a signed copy of your liability waiver.

    Typically you will be offered some duct tape to make a name tag with. Usually there are at least 2 colors so we can ID people who do not wish to have their picture taken. Please put your name tag on your upper back or behind your leg - we want to be able to call you by name when you are laying on the ground.

    The safety brief will start at 9a sharp. We will introduce ourselves, who the RWVA is and cover some logistics of the event. Sometimes there will be a brief history presentation at this time. After everyone understands the 6 steps to making a rifle safe and the 4 safety rules - we bring rifles to the line.

    Once your rifle is on the firing line, please make your rifle safe and step back to the equipment line and start preparing magazines. The first course of fire is typically the redcoat. It's taller than it is wide and has 4 D silhouettes and a square. The D targets are scaled representations of what a 24" target would look like at 100, 200, 300 and 400 yards. The square represents a 9" 'shingle' at 250 yards. You will need 13 rounds to engage the redcoat with. 3 rounds for each silhouette and 1 round for the square. If you only have 10 round magazines you can do 10/3 or 9/4 or whatever.

    There will be a review of the line commands, posting of targets (if not already posted) and an explanation of how to shoot the redcoat.

    The redcoats purpose is to gauge your current effective range. We shoot 3 rounds because the first round may be luck. The 2nd round may be coincidence. At 3 holes in the D silhouette - we call that a measure of skill. The shingle has some historic references but I won't spoil the story here.

    After the redcoat we get into teaching. There are '3 legs of the stool' to fundamental rifle marksmanship: 6 steps of firing the shot, Steady Hold Factors for prone (along with how to use a sling) and Natural Point Of Aim. How these are taught and in what order varies by shoot boss. Typically there is a huddle where one of the concepts is taught, with an instructor as a demo and then you will go back to the line for practice. Huddle for the next instruction point and go back to the line for practice.

    By the end of the day we will have covered:
    * 6 steps of firing a shot
    * Analyzing your shot group - talking targets
    * How to use a loop, hasty and hasty/hasty sling
    * SHF for prone, sitting/kneeling/standing positions
    * How to find and use your Natural Point Of Aim
    * How to zero your rifle using Inches, Minutes & Clicks
    * How to shoot in cadence or Rifleman's rapid fire
    * Transitioning from standing into a field shooting position

    We will introduce stages where there are time limits and mandatory reloads. There will be some drills to help you with establishing your NPOA and correct bad habits like bucking or flinching.

    If we've done our job right, you will be exhausted, a touch overwhelmed and a better shot than you started the day.

    Appleseed isn't just about marksmanship. Don't get us wrong - we love to shoot and coach people into better marksman but the heart of Appleseed is found in the heritage and history. On April 19, 1775 nearly 15,000 men, women, farmers, bakers, school teachers and everyday people like you and I took a stand against King George and British Parliament and said you can't have our powder. We will tell you the story of that day. We will tell you about 1765-1775 that built up to war (read the Bill of Rights to get an idea of what was happening at the time). Then we break down the day into 3 strikes of the match. Boston - Lexington, Concord and the North Bridge, the march back to Boston. The first day of the American Revolutionary War.

    Bring a sack lunch - you won't want to miss the stories during lunch.

    Typically we will shoot about 150 rounds on Saturday. Sunday we review everything that we taught on Saturday, but at a much faster pace. We will shoot about 250 rounds Sunday.

    In addition, we will spend some time Sunday talking about how what you learn at 25m directly applies to any distance you are shooting.
    * Target ID
    * Range estimation
    * Compensating for wind & gravity
    * Battle Sight Zero

    Everything you need to know to be able to engage a 20" target out to 500 yards.

    All of the skills taught are put to the test on what we call the Quick and Dirty Army Qualifying Test (AQT). The AQT is shot in 4, timed stages.

    Stage 1 - 10 rounds from the standing position at a single target. 2 minutes
    Stage 2 - 10 rounds from the seated position w/transition. 2 targets, mags are prepped 2/8 (mandatory reload). 55 seconds
    Stage 3 - 10 rounds from the prone position w/transition. 3 targets, mags are prepped 2/8 (mandatory reload). 65 seconds
    Stage 4 - 10 rounds from the prone position. 4 targets. 4 or 5 minutes (although nobody uses more than 3); points are doubled.

    There are a possible 250 points. 210 or better gets you a rifleman's patch. Typically about 10% of participants make this goal and most of them are repeat attendees. You can expect 1 or 2 AQT's on Saturday and 6 or 7 on Sunday.

    Appleseed can be taxing on the mind, body and equipment. There are some things you can do to help you prepare.

    1. Spend some time stretching. You can get on our forum and look for After Action Reports and look at some of the pictures. Try to get into those positions. 10-15 minutes of stretching a few times a week for 2 or 3 weeks before your event will go a long way.

    2. Pre-hydrate. Starting Thursday before your event, drink an extra quart or two of water. Bring enough water to stay hydrated during the event. The first thing to go is your judgement, next your eye sight and then your muscle control - those might be beneficial on the firing line :)

    3. Bring high-protein snacks. Almonds, jerky, trail mix, power bars. Keep your body fed while we do 'Appleseed calisthenics'

    4. Pop an ibuprofen before the event to pre-load.

    5. Pick up a GI Web sling. $15-$20 and it will cut your groups in half. A sling provides maximum stability for the rifle. It's a key element of what we teach. http://store.rwvaappleseed.com/page13.html

    6. It's abysmal the stock sights that come on most rifles these days. Look up tech-sights and see if they make a set for your rifle.

    7. Properly fit your rifle - If you have a scope, the rear of the scope needs to be far enough forward that you can see a full field of vision (no shadows) from the prone position. A good rule of thumb is the back of the scope in line with the back of your trigger guard. Most scopes are mounted way too far back for proper eye relief.

    You also need the correct Length Of Pull. To measure your LOP put the butt of your rifle in the crux of your elbow. Your trigger finger should naturally land on the trigger. If your LOP is too short, build it up with some blocks. If it's too long, consider and adjustable stock or hack off the but stock to get a proper fit.

    Finally, you must have proper sight alignment. Get into a prone position. Close your eyes. Put your chin on the comb of the rifle. Slide your head straight down, firmly. There should be a cheek roll going over the top of the comb. Keep the rifle welded to your face and RELAX your body. Open your eyes.

    If you have a scope, there should be no shadows. You should be looking STRAIGHT through the scope.
    If you have peep sights, the front sight should be centered in the rear peep.
    If you have notch and post sights, there should be equal amounts of light on both sides of your front post and the top of the front post should be in line with your rear notch.

    This is proper sight alignment. You need to adjust your stock (pipe insulation and vet wrap works in a pinch) until you get proper sight alignment when you open your eyes. http://www.amazon.com/Adjustable-Ch...F8&qid=1425516591&sr=8-5&keywords=cheek+riser

    Some things you will not find at Appleseed:
    * Modern politics - Our goal is to open the eyes of American's to what it took to get us the liberties and freedoms that we have today. All politics is relegated to Tories & Wigs and King George III
    * Militia recruitment - Captain Parker and Captain Davis were proud leaders of their militias. We do not discuss modern militias.
    * Judgement - we are not equipment snobs or drill instructors. Appleseed is very adaptable to you and your needs. If you can't do transitions - no problem. If you have a tube fed rifle - no problem. If you don't want to shoot another AQT - no problem. We want everyone to have a good experience, learn something about marksmanship and our heritage as American's.

    We do get asked, from time to time, how old you have to be to participate. Really, that's up to you as the parent. As long as the child can manipulate the bolt, prepare their own magazines and be mature enough to be on the firing line - they are welcome. Younger shooters may be asked to stay in prone the whole day or not do transitions. Somewhere around 10-13 they get to a point where they can really apply the lessons being taught. My daughter got her rifleman's patch at age 12.

    Mrs. Virginia was on my line last year at age 90. Appleseed is very welcoming. Law enforcement, elected officials and active duty military (and disabled vets) all shoot for free. Adults pay $60 and youth pay $20. Some ranges also require a range fee from $5-$15. Some ranges are .22 rimfire only. Look on the event information page for details about your specific event.
    Koda and John Gault like this.
  2. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Excellent Post! BZ.

  3. Don H

    Don H Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Finally have some time and just registered for June 6th-7th, can't wait!
    Kimber Custom likes this.
  4. bluesurf

    bluesurf Portland Active Member

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    That sounds really fun!:)
    Kimber Custom likes this.
  5. Ironbar

    Ironbar Tigard, OR Well-Known Member

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    Although sighting in the rifle is covered during Appleseed training, I would say that one the biggest factors in you having a successful weekend is to make sure that your rifle is absolutely dead-nuts accurate at 25 meters BEFORE coming!

    If you have your rifle 100% sighted in prior to attending Appleseed, then you know if you're not hitting the targets it's YOU and not your rifle. Too many times have I seen people bring their rifles that have not been sighted in. They have a more difficult time of it.