Saturday, February 2, 2008

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.