You can’t write the story of America without including several chapters about the skill and bravery of our forefathers. On April 19, 1775, at Lexington and Concord, American colonists stood with muskets in hand and faced down the British forces that were trying to seize their arms. The colonists did it with grit, determination, and superior marksmanship. They were real marksmen: nobly and ably putting their skills on the line in pursuit of liberty. We are the descendants of those fearless men and women who earned our freedom on the battlefield. We honor their pursuit of liberty by passing along the skills and knowledge that aided them in securing it.
Appleseed is a rifle marksmanship program. Dedicated to teaching traditional rifle marksmanship shooting. This done in the standing, kneeling/sitting and prone positions. Founded in 2006. The understanding is the revolutionary war was won by rifle marksmanship. Appleseed founders feel that our heritage and history needs to be keep alive in all modern day riflemen.
Project Appleseed is run solely by volunteers. The instructors have all qualified atleast once in an AQT. Most of them can repeatedly do it with multiple rifles and without a whole day of practice. These instructors aren’t just people who went to a shot and can tell you what they learned they can show you it perfectly.
To become an instructor they must go through at least two Appleseed shots. While at the shoots they must pass the AQT (Army Qualification Test). Then if they have the right temperament they earn an orange hat. This makes an instructor in training.
Orange hats then go to instructor boot camp. Where they learn how to teach the fundamentals. However unlike other volunteer instructors one class is just the beginning they still have to do more.
Instructors Must Also
- Pass a series of five written, oral and hands-on tests.
- Mastery of RWVA Instructor Manual and other training materials.
- Understudy other instructors at a minimum of five Appleseeds.
- Perform selected teaching duties under the supervision of a full instructor including telling the three-part history of the events of April 19, 1775.
- Mastery of Appleseed’s safety protocols including running a safe line.
- Demonstrating an exact knowledge of Appleseed’s instructional method, including the proper positions, steady hold factors, natural point of aim, rifleman’s cadence, and the six steps of firing a shot.
First Day of Shooting
The first thing you’ll do is get an in depth safety briefing. If you’ve ever had concerns about being around strangers with guns, this will put your mind at ease. Since 2006 Appleseed has never had anyone leave with extra holes.
After the safety brief you’ll get a chance to show how good you already are. With scaled targets equaling the equivalent of shooting at 100, 200, 250, 300, 400 yards. If you’ve been shooting for awhile this may give confidence that this course will be easy for you. Don’t be. After this first target they start teaching you the fundamentals.
Appleseed will teach you how to improve your marksmanship skills. They do with teaching you how to use a rifle sling. Most people use a sling to carry their rifle. During an Appleseed you learn to use the sling to turn your body into to a complete rifle mount.
Beyond using a sling you’ll also learn trigger control, natural point of aim, and the shooters bubble. All of the fundamentals are easy concepts to grasp. However they take a lot to perfect. With the whole first day spent on shooting with fundamentals from the prone, sitting, and standing positions. You get enough practice to attempt an AQT.
Second Day of Shooting
Most of the second day of shooting is spent in the attempt to qualify for Rifleman. This is done by getting a score of 210 on the AQT. This test consists of shooting 4 strings of fire. At 25 meters away. Targets are man shaped.
The first in the standing position. The target is scaled to represent shooting at 100 yards. Ten rounds. With a 2 minute time limit.
The second string is scaled for 200 yards. This one is a little tougher. It starts standing but all firing is done in the sitting position. You have 55 seconds to shot 10 rounds from 2 magazines. One with 2 rounds, and the others with 8.
Next is the standing to prone. With the targets scaled to 300 yards. 3 targets 3 rounds in the first two that 4 in the last one. Magazines are loaded 2 & 8 again this time you get 65 seconds. For the slower Iowans you get 1 minute and 5 seconds.
The last string seems like it would be easy. With a time limit of 5 minutes you have all the time in the world. The targets are scaled to 400 yards or about thumb sized. Starting in the prone position. With 10 rounds loaded in one magazine, helps. This is still the hardest to shot, and with points being doubled the easiest to make or break your score.
Things You Learn
Over two days you are constantly learning. More than just the skills shoot with a sling. There is the understanding of Minute Of Angle. MOA is a one inch circle at 100 yards. As the distance changes the size in inches changes. Thus 1 MOA is 2″ at 200 yards. Alone with MOA you gain the knowledge of sighting in a rifle, using MOA adjustments. Appleseed isn’t just about shooting.
Appleseed also teaches the history of April 19th 1775. This done through telling stories. This is not your typical high school history. The stories are of individuals and tactics. They tell the true story of what Paul Revere did. Stories of how an 80 year old man made the Red Coats think they where being attacked by a whole militia. The history you learn is not only interesting it gives you a new respect for what our fore fathers went through for their freedom from Britain. The best part is finding out how a well timed trip to the pub scared the British army.
How to sign up
Anyone can participate in an Appleseed shoot. As long as they are old enough to handle and be responsible with a rifle. Whether you are a new shooter, or been shooting for years you’ll learn something. To sign up go over to Project Appleseed, pick you state and find the closest shoot to where you live. It’s that simple. The cost is currently $60. This is less money they you would spend to shoot for 8 hours at most ranges. So not matter what you are getting a great deal.
Appleseed is fun. There is no doubt you will have a great weekend of shooting and learning. Where else can you spend a whole learning, getting sun burnt, brass burns, and sore muscles? Yet, get up the next day and be happy to go back again. By the end of the two days you will know the skills it’s takes to be a rifle marksmen. Although you may not perfect your marksmanship in two days you will have the skills to practice and become the sharp shooter you’ve all ways wanted to be.