Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Appleseed FAQ

What is Project Appleseed? It's a program designed to train people in basic rifle marksmanship using rack grade rifles and surplus ball ammo; as well as a program to revitalize the tradition of the Rifleman. Once you become a Rifleman, you'll be able to, with an iron-sighted rack-grade rifle, make head shots at 250 yards, and body hits at 500 yards — all as a result of the marksmanship training you'll receive at an Appleseed shoot.

Why "Appleseed?" "Appleseed" comes from Johnny Appleseed, the American folk hero who toured the country, planting appleseeds so that future generations would benefit.

Why the "Nationwide Tour?" Likewise, we travel America planting the seeds of basic rifle marksmanship so future generations will benefit.

What's your real agenda? We seek to do three things: teach marksmanship & respect for the tradition of the American rifleman, and preserve the knowledge of our Revolutionary War history. That's all we're about, plain and simple. We believe if we teach it, it'll wake our fellow Americans...and an awake America is an America that cannot be defeated. We want freedom to ring strong. We want Lady Liberty to be safe. Marksmanship means more than accurate shooting. It means a love of liberty, a respect for our forefathers, and an acknowledgment of the debt of honor we owe to them. We believe this debt can never fully be paid, but by keeping the faith and passing on the heritage, we will repay what we can.

What kind of rifle do I need? What kind of sights are allowed? In regards to sights: you can use any. Because learning to use iron sights is like learning to drive with a stick shift, we suggest you bring an iron-sighted rifle. But scopes are OK, if that’s all you have.

Rifles? Well, you can use any safe firearm which can be accurately shot from the shoulder, from a .22 to a .32 (8mm).We're semi-auto and boltgun friendly. The important thing is that before you come to a shoot make sure you clean it, break it in (if need be), and lube it properly in preparation.

What caliber is best? In a nutshell: they all are. Appleseed is not caliber specific. It doesn't matter to us if you use .22 rimfire, .308, 30-06, .223, 7.62x39, 8mm, .303 — they're all fine. Marksmanship and caliber are independent of each other. If you're a good marksman, you'll be able to hit with any caliber. So, if you have an AR-15 or SKS, please feel free to join us. More and more people are bringing .22 rimfires for the 25m portion. And when you bring your kids (up to age 20 shoots free) .22 rimfire is great!

Why military rifles? Because they're fast and easy to reload. But if you have a hunting rifle, that's great too. Just be sure to practice loading it fast!

Do I need a sling? Yes. The best is an inexpensive cotton web GI Garand sling, available for less than 10 bucks.

Can I use a bipod? No.We teach a basic driving class, so we want you to learn to drive stick shift — that means with a sling, not a bipod. We also encourage you to use iron sights, but optics are okay.

Do I need a shooting jacket? No. We do, however, encourage you to invest in a cheap cloth shooting jacket, like the USMC-type found at shooting mall. Com or, so you have elbow pads, plus a pad on the upper sling arm to dampen heartbeat. It is not required, but we believe it's certainly worth the investment — especially when if you order from Fred’s you also get his “Guide to Becoming a Rifleman” and AQT targets, just like the ones used at Appleseed. You can also purchase regular elbow pads (stay away from those with a hard plastic ‘ball’ - the soft ones are much better). Or you can bring a soft towel to fold up for your elbows.

Do you have a checklist of things to do in preparation? Yes. Must have: A teachable attitude (important); elbow pads or shooting jacket / foldable soft towel - elbow protection is a musthave; weather-proof ground cover (carpet works well); lotsa water (stay hydrated); aspirin/ Ibuprofen; clothing for any kind of weather; ear protection - muffs AND plugs; eye protection; light lunch Should have: A hat; small notebook; pen; snacks; wet wipes; bug spray Nice to have: Folding chair; sun screen; Fred’s Guide to Becoming a Rifleman (if you have it) Gun related stuff, Must have: 500 rds ammo; sight adjust tools; GI-style web sling; 2 Mags at least; cleaning supplies/ lube; staple gun/staples Should have: Rifle zeroed 1/2” high at 25 meters; instructions for your rifle (if you have them); something to cover your rifle to keep blowing sand or rain off it; backup rifle (if you have one) We encourage you to show up prepared: rifle cleaned and lubed, fully broken in (a few hundred rounds having been fired with it). And, not least, know the laws of the State you are going to and only bring that which is within the law.

I've got a friend who's not on the Internet...can they still sign up? Of course! Simply mail a check with a long SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) for $45 (1-day) or $70 (both days) to:

PO Box 756
Ramseur, NC 27316

To encourage you to pre-reg, that’s a $5/day discount from the $50 and $80 ‘at the door’...

Is that all it's about? Learning to shoot? Our purpose is to teach you to shoot a rifle like your forebears. But more than that, the veterans of the Revolutionary War want you to understand the necessity of teaching others to shoot. We want you to be able to go back home and get others shooting "for God and Country," as they say. And we want you to do it stimulated, encouraged and inspired because of your attendance at one of our shoots.

Did you say "basic" class? Yes, we did. But our definition of "basic" supersedes others' definition of the same word. If you persist in practice, you will be able to make head shots at 250 yards, and body hits at 500 yards — a basic feat for our forefathers. And you'll be able to do it using iron sights and a rack-grade rifle!

Does coming to an Appleseed shoot qualify as the marksmanship activity I need in order to obtain a CMP M1 Garand or 1903A3 rifle? Yes. If you'd like a real piece of history, while learning to shoot, sign up for an Appleseed shoot. Sign up for a $20 associate RWVA membership to support Appleseed (and meet CMP’s club membership requirement).

Should I practice before I come? It would definitely be a good idea to zero your rifle 3" high at 100 yards, then clean and lubricate it before your Appleseed. It would also be a good idea to get in the prone position at home, and dry-fire 10 "shots" 3 times a week to stretch your body out. That'd be one less thing to worry about on the day of the shoot.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sight Picture

Click on full screen in the upper right hand corner of the document.

Read this doc on Scribd: USAMU SIGHT PICTURE

Best Rifle for an Appleseed?

Best Rifle for an Appleseed? - Fred

Since you come to an Appleseed to learn to shoot, and since most people do not find it easy, at least at first, herewith some suggestions about which rifles make it harder, and which make it easier, to learn to shoot.

If you want to learn to drive, you don't start with a race car. Nor do you start with a car difficult to drive. No sir. Best if you have a car that's easy to drive, to master the difficult (to the new student) art of driving.

OK, here's what to avoid, if you can:

Short sight radius: Means you have to work a lot harder on "Sight Alignment" - Step 2 of "Firing the Shot". If you have two rifles, and one has a longer sight radius than the other, and all other things being equal, bring the one with the longer sight radius - it's easier to master.

Rifles with short sight radius: about any modern rifle with open rear sights (some of the older military bolt-actions have pretty decent sight radius even with open rear sights); AKs generally; any short-barreled rifle with the sight at the front end of the barrel;

Rifles with long sight radius generally but not always have peep rear sights, like the Garand, ARs, M1As, Cetme/HKs, and FALs - and any peep-sighted .22 rimfire.

Rifles with open rear sights, if you are over 40-50 and have trouble seeing the rear sight while focused on the front sight. If you have good vision, you can use them just fine. Fred used to clean up with an SKS, but that was back when he could half see the rear sight... You get to that age, and you make your learning task a lot harder trying to use sights you have trouble lining up because of vision problems.

For people with older vision, peep sights are the first choice (and actually will be easier for people of all ages, which is the point here), followed by a scope if vision is really bad. The problem with a scope is a tendency of the newbie to 'overfuss' the shot, and the magnification of any tremors (and there will be plenty, you bet) which leads to loss of confidence in the ability to fire a good shot. Plus scopes seem to have an unerring love to loosen up - rings, mounts, whatever - and only after they ruin some of your shooting do you discover it. Angry I've seen a 10/22 with the rear mount entirely slipped off the rear of the receiver before the shooter noticed it... With iron sights, you don't see any of that - or much less.

Short-barreled rifles, in general. Why? They are extremely LOUD, for one thing, along with severe muzzle blast. Being next to one on the line is not a plus - you could be hurting the chances of the guys to either side learning to shoot. Of course everyone has ear plugs AND ear muffs on, but the blast will raise a lot of dust which in rapid fire can hinder your sight picture. And if the wind is blowing toward you, you'll be kicking up a shower of dust and grit that will coat you and your rifle each time you fire a shot...not good. Likewise, if you have the choice, leave the rifle with the muzzle brake at home. We'll show you how you don't need it. Grin

Bolt Actions and tube-fed .22s - the bolties are fun to shoot, but not necessarily easy to use for marksmanship training, compared to a semi-auto, which takes the work out of it for you. Of course, you can practice with your bolt action prior to coming to the Appleseed - there's no question you can shoot 'rifleman' with it just as good as a semiauto - but you'll work harder at it, particularly as a newbie - and that's the point of this set of guidance suggestions - to make the process easier, not harder for you. If you do bring it, make sure you bring at least a couple of stripper clips for it, assuming it offers that option. Tube-fed .22s are OK - except when the "LOAD!" command is given, and then you're quickly fumble-fingering the rounds into the tube. Not a major problem, maybe - but again, if you have a clip-fed one, that's the one to bring to an Appleseed.

Poor Triggers: This one is touchy because your rifle may have a good trigger, one you're used to and like, even if every other rifle in its class has a poor one. You want, ideally, a two-stage military trigger, with the second stage being about 4-6 pounds and with a crisp 'break'. You can do fine with other triggers, but - again - you'll have to work harder at it.

Rifles with generally poor triggers (your experience can differ from Fred's): AKs (single pull, long travel); Cetme/HKs

Rifles with generally (not always) good triggers: Most older bolt-action military rifles; any US military rifle (M1s, M1As, ARs); SKSs; FALs

Difficult-to-adjust sights: If you need a hammer to adjust windage, better get the windage adjusted just like you want it before you come to an Appleseed. Things are moving too fast to do a lot of hammering on your front sight (tho I've seen people do it). Rifles with this prob are any of the old bolt-action militaries, AKs, SKSs. Some rifles, like HK/Cetmes, require a special tool for sight adjustment - see if you can bring one with you - and others, like the ARs, are much easier to adjust with an after-market sight adjustment tool (pretty cheap they are, too!). Open-sighted .22s are usually a bear to adjust for both windage and elevation. Try to show up with the rifle sighted in for 1/2" high at 82 ft if you can, to save time and aggravation.

Extendable/folding stocks: Usually, they make it harder to get a good cheek/stock weld, and in cold weather if metal can be brutal on the cheek (and in hot weather, uncomfortable). Again, if you have the option, go for a rifle easier to learn to shoot.

Thirty-round magazines: On a lot of rifles, like ARs and AKs, and some .22s, they interfere with acquisition of a good prone position - and that's a position you definitely want to master quickly, because you can shoot like a house afire when you do. Bring 20-rd mags whenever possible.

Sling swivels and sling: definitely pick the rifle out of the rack with the swivels and a sling (preferably a GI green cotten web one); you're not gonna believe how much a good sling will improve your shooting.

Other suggestions to make life easier for you:

It goes without saying that a clean and properly-lubed rifle will shoot better than a dirty non-lubed one. When you show up, have your bore already wiped clean and dry, as well as the chamber.

If windy and dusty conditions are anticipated, I'd degrease the rifle entirely and use some dry graphite-type lube on it, sparingly, and keep it protected as much as possible on the line from blowing grit (bring a rag to wrap around the action after it's been cleared by the RSO). (You find out quick at an Appleseed what kills your rifle's reliability, and blowing grit is at the top of the list.)

If extremely cold conditions are anticipated, use artic-type lube if you have it - or no lube at all - altho ordinary lube usually will work down to nearly zero degrees - and it'd have to be a cold Appleseed to get that frozen. But Fred was at an Appleseed where we found out ice/snow packed in the mag well and action of an M1A didn't slow the rifle down at all. Roll Eyes

Gas tubes should always be clean and dry, as well as gas pistons.

And before you leave home, I would go over sight adjustment screws, scope mounts, and the like, tightening them up as needed to avoid sights going loose on you, to your frustration, until an instructor IDs the problem for you. "An ounce of prevention", right?

Now, please note that the above are suggestions - simply suggestions to make your job as a student of learning marksmanship skills easier, not harder.

Suggestions, not requirements. Bring any of the above rifles you want, so long as you are prepared to work harder at marksmanship. We'll work with you to help you master it. Just bring a little extra determination and grit along with an understanding that you'll have to work harder than someone who brings an easier rifle to master.

Bring what you got is fine with us, even if unsighted in. Even if brand new and unfired. We don't recommend it, but I've seen plenty of people do it, and overcome any problems therefrom, and learn to shoot.

Overcoming adversity makes a better person of you, as well as a better shooter. Grin

Appleseed: It will make a believer of you. Grin Grin

The Liberty Training Rifle

Participating in an Appleseed event does not require an expensive Military Style Battle Rifle or an investment in expensive ammunition. Over time the search for a cheaper-shooting alternative to the traditional centerfire rifle, has lead to the development of what has come to be known as the “Liberty Training Rifle”. Here is a summary of the basic components you will need to build this tool.

The Ruger 10/22 rifle has become the foundation of this project because of it's low price, accuracy and many available after market parts. Either the 'carbine' or 'rifle' length barrels are suitable for building a Liberty Training Rifle. The addition of a US GI style sling, adjustable sights and a quick magazine release will provide the shooter with improved controls to support the development of new skills.

The USGI Military nylon/cotton web sling, is adjustable which makes it easy to used in the hasty and loop sling positions to significantly increase the accuracy of any shooter. Many shooters are amazed at the difference it makes. Starting with a wooden stock begin by installing Uncle Mike's Swivel Stud 115 B Set. Install the studs one inch from the forend and buttstock. Drilling a pilot hole will make for easier installation. Using Red Loctite will create a solid connection before adding Uncle Mike's Quick-Detachable (QD) 1¼ “ swivels.

Installing a set of Tech Sights ( provide a longer sighting radius, improved sight picture and increased adjustably. to dial in your shots as your skills improve. They mount directly to the 10/22 using existing holes requiring no additional hardware. These sights will provide easy windage and elevation adjustments and the sight picture is similar to the M1 Garand, Springfield M1A and the AR-15 rifles. Tech-Sight also offers an inexpensive adjustment tool for their sights and it is well worth the investment.

Because of the rapid tempo of some Appleseed Training exercises, and the magazine changes required during some courses of fire, the stock magazine release is replaced by most shooters. Prices range from $5.00 for a functional polymer release to what ever you want to invest in a custom model. What ever you choose, get one that extends at least 1/2” longer than stock for best function.

The Ruger factory magazines have been found to be very reliable. Plan on bringing 3-5 magazines to an Appleseed event. There is no need to invest in high capacity after market magazines that will interfere with prone postion shooting. Most shooters are pleased to discover that inexpensive rim fire ammo works adequately in most Liberty Training Rifles. Buy some 50 rd sample packs to discover your rifles preference before buying in bulk quantity. Picking up a .22 cal bore snake and some cleaning supplies will complete your training toolkit.

These simple updates will provide you with an accurate functional rifle that can used to improve your marksmanship skills.

AQT Targets

Get yours HERE