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.