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kilogulf59 01-11-2011 01:23 PM

What is This Thing Called “Appleseed”?
What is This Thing Called “Appleseed”?

Before I begin yammering away, let me state that I am (now) a multiple Appleseed attendee, nothing more. My uncle isn’t the instructor there nor am I getting a free lunch out of this. Personally, I wanted to see if I could tell my story so others might not be so shy and/or skeptical and try attending an event. Here’s my story…(why do I hear the Dragnet theme playing in my head?)

What is this thing called “Appleseed”? I wondered the same thing myself several years ago when I stumbled upon their website entitled Welcome to the Appleseed Project. From their mission statement I learned that, and I quote the first paragraph here, “Through Project Appleseed, the Revolutionary War Veterans Association is committed to teaching two things: rifle marksmanship and our early American heritage. We do this for one simple reason, the skill and knowledge of what our founding fathers left to us is eroding in modern America and without deliberate action, they will be lost to ignorance and apathy.” I highly suggest you go there and read this statement in it’s entirety along with the report entitled The American Revolution. Who Cares? which is available via a link. The test and report are the work of an outfit independent of the RWVA (that’s the Revolutionary War Veterans Association by the way), the American Revolution Center (ARC), a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization. The results are utterly shocking; no wonder we’re in the shape we are as a nation and a people.

The RWVA Appleseed Project’s motto is (or at least I believe it is) “April 19th 1775 When Marksmanship Met History and the Heritage Began”. That sounds great, even better if you know the importance of April the 19th 1775, do you? I do, well; at least I do now thanks to these folks.

Okay, I will put my flag down for a minute, get off my soapbox, and tell you the real reason I initially attended an event. An event is what they call a shoot or gathering (it is NOT a match as you only compete with yourself). I went because they claimed to be able to greatly improve my rifle marksmanship skills in just two days on the firing line and at a pittance to boot. First, I am a pretty darned good shot but who can’t use a tune-up and second, I am pretty low on funds so this sounded good to me, and I even got my oldest daughter to come along as well.

What they teach is real rifle marksmanship (the best I’ve seen) and safety (big-time on the safety). Not to get into minute detail, however, we learned how to use the GI sling the right way (it’s not just for carrying the gun with!) and how to shoot properly while standing, kneeling/sitting, and prone.
On the line...this separates the riflemen from the cooks.

The best part, or one of them, was the instructors always made certain you had help and weren’t hung-up on a particular issue. Believe me, they assisted me well (I wasn’t quite the Daniel Boone I thought I was), I have some health issues and they were able to work around those with me. While I didn’t make Rifleman I significantly improved my shooting and so did my daughter (no slouch behind a trigger herself).
Gina, my daughter, receiving personal instructions.

kilogulf59 01-11-2011 01:24 PM

The people who attended were quite a cross-section of Midwest America, old, young, male, female, novice shooters, and old hats as well…you name it. Everyone got along great and it was a fun time. During the shooting/instructional breaks, one of the Appleseed staff talked a bit of American history, Paul Revere, Concord & Lexington, the “Shot Heard Round the World” and such. I like history and by the time we were done, it appeared most others did as well. I heard quite a few comments like “I didn’t know that?” and “Why don’t they teach more of this in school?”. Oh and there’s nothing taught or discussed that doesn’t pertain to the shooting or the early American history which is very cool. For a comparison of Appleseed instructors (and therefore instruction) to other organizations see the How Our Instructors Compare section on the website.
The Betsy Ross Flag my partner and I won.
(I'm the good looking one on the left in a "for fun" shoot)

I cannot recommend these people enough let me tell you. My health allowing, I hope to attend several events this year because I have a helluva good time and I’d like to make Rifleman (score 210 on the Army Qualification Test). My son went with me last year and made Rifleman his first time out. Now I have to buy Mr. Smarty-pants a CMP M1 Garand because I told him that if he made it his first time I’d get him a M1…hey I should’ve known better, I taught the kid how to shoot. Luckily attending an event satisfies the CMP’s requirements for direct purchase. All I need to do is pick a few bucks off the ole money tree outback.
Matt, my son, making Rifleman. We are soooo proud of him!

Believe me, I have never heard a bad thing regarding the people from the RWVA Appleseed Project and anyone I’ve talked to that has gone agrees with me, the best training (and American history) that very little money can buy AND it’s fun for the entire family. By the way, that’s no kidding, on the end on the line on my first shoot, the first five positions were Mom, Dad and their three youngin’s.

For more information, please stop in at their website…just click on the banner below.

JTJ 01-11-2011 02:04 PM

Very interesting post. There are some shoots in Kingman AZ coming up. I will talk to the local range people and see if we can tie in. I will see if I can attend one in Kingman.
Can you bring a 22lr for the short range and a CF for the long range?

c3shooter 01-11-2011 03:39 PM

Great program. If you have never done this, go learn about the "Rifleman's half mile" My range sponsors these throughout the year.

dog2000tj 01-11-2011 03:56 PM

Thanks for the info and congrats. :) I looked up their schedule and see they have more than a few events within driving distance of me. This might just give me enough incentive to go out and shoot this winter.

DocWard 01-11-2011 03:56 PM

I have heard a lot about these, and I am seriously considering attending one. I would love for my oldest daughter (and my youngest if I could convince her) to attend. Sounds like the first thing to do is get an appropriate rifle, along with extra magazines.

CA357 01-11-2011 04:33 PM

Thanks for the great thread.

I'm a member of the RWVA, but I've never attended a shoot. I hope to correct that in the future.

7point62 01-11-2011 07:21 PM

Anytime you get to go shootin it's a good thing. Thanks for the post & pics.

kilogulf59 01-12-2011 02:05 PM

Thanks for liking what they are doing and for allowing me to tell some about my experiences with them.

As to the rifle queries...What to bring to an Appleseed Event

Rifle specific preparations
- Rifle preferably zeroed for 25 meters- 400+ rounds of the same type and brand of ammo
- Sight adjustment tools
- GI style web Sling (as seen here at the The Appleseed Store)
- Two mags. 10 rds. each. Bring extra mags. if you have them. 20rds works well if State law allows
- Gun cleaning supplies and lube
- Instructions for your rifle (if you have them)
- Know your rifle
- Something to cover your rifle to keep blowing sand or rain off it.
- Staple gun
- Staples
- Know the laws of the State you are going to and only bring that which is within the law
- Back-up rifle (if you have one)
The best/easiest rifles are either Ruger 10/22's or Marlin 795's. IMO the 795 is the way to go as you can add the sling and go. The experienced AS shooters wind up adding "stuff" to the 10/22's, the 795 don't need squat.

This is what works best and it doesn't cost much to do either...Ruger Liberty Training Rifle and Liberty Training Rifle - A Definition and Explanation of Purpose

Here's the cat's arse IMO, Marlin 795 Liberty Training Rifle (LTR) We have one setup like this and two stock for now. BTW, I didn't replace the trigger guard nor add weight as both are fine.

For shooters with less than perfect eyesight scopes are OK to use. A fixed 4X is perfect. I will be adding on to my 795, probably a Weaver Classic Rimfire Rifle Scope 4x 28mm Dual-X Reticle.
The course of fire is set at 25 meters (82 feet) and the targets are appropriately reduced in size relative to their "distances".

When ever available they try to do known-distance shoots but 500+ yard ranges are hard to come by in certain locals. These shoots are usually for those who made Rifleman on the standard course and all things are relative except there's more tweaking for windage and elevation aka sight doping. Of course, you're not shooting these distances with a .22 LR...LOL

Mema 02-04-2011 04:28 PM

This was a very informative post. I looked up the site and while they are not very close to me they are near enough that I can plan a weekend to go and check it out with the hubby.

I think what they are trying to do is great and it makes sense. Much of our history is being "changed" in our history books so our children and grandchildren are not being taught what we were.

Thanks for the info

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