Monday, January 21, 2013

Project Appleseed

If you have never heard of Project Appleseed, you owe it to yourself and your fellow Americans to go check out

Project Appleseed is an activity of The Revolutionary War Veterans Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills.
It was two very intensive days, and I'm exhausted and sore as all get-out, but it was all well worth it.

Going into this, I had very little rifle experience (and not a lot of interest in them, either), and really no idea what to expect from this except that we'd be shooting rifles. I was eager to learn, but more than a little nervous, too.

What I got was two fast-paced days of top-notch instruction, history lessons (not the stuff from your school days text books, either - the REAL history) and a new appreciation for our country's rich history and perseverance in times of trouble and what it takes to reach the status of "Rifleman." 

While I didn't qualify as "Rifleman" this time, I did at least score "Marksman" and impress the hell out of myself with what I can do if I try. Mr. 2A, on the other hand, did qualify as "Rifleman." :)
What does that mean? Well, here's a breakdown of the qualification target.
Scaled down target, posted at 25 yards. Simulates shooting at 100 yds in Stage 1 (largest target), 200 yards in Stage 2 (second row), 300 yards in Stage 3 (third row) and 400 yards in Stage 4 (bottom row).
No big deal, right? Let's add in the time limits and various shooting positions and see what you think then!

Stage 1: 10 rounds, standing, 2 minutes
Stage 2: Start from standing, and on "Fire" command, drop to sitting or kneeling, fire 2 shots at the left target, re-load, fire 3 more at the left target and then fire 5 at the right target. In 50 seconds.
Stage 3: Start from standing with 2 rounds loaded. On "Fire" drop to prone, fire 2 rounds at left target, re-load, fire one more at left target, then fire 3 at center target, then fire 4 at the right target. In 60 seconds.
Stage 4: Starting from prone, on "Fire" command, fire two rounds at the first target (left) and two more at the second target, then 3 each at the last two targets. In 5 minutes. (Now that may not seem too bad, but remember, you're still in rush-rush-hurry-hurry mode from the last two stages. The important thing on this last stage is to calm and center yourself and take your time. Not an easy thing to do!)

We went through this SIX times, and they took our best target as our final score. I only shot four rounds before I dropped out.

My poor body took such a beating from all the up-down-standing-sitting-kneeling, and my neck will be sore for days. Throw in the mental stress with the time limits, and the mind games you play with yourself when checking your target after each stage......well, it's a beating!
But you know what? I'm going to do it again, and I'm going to earn that damn "Rifleman" patch. Only 3 people qualified yesterday (out of about 25) and I want to join those ranks!

So let's talk about the hubby qualifying. He actually qualified on a couple of rounds - round 3, and again on round 6. Round six was his highest score at 211 (you must score 210 or higher to make Rifleman), but I'm particularly impressed with his round 3.
During round 3, I fired 3 rounds into the last target, and when I went to take aim for the last shot, I realized something was wrong. My front sight post was missing. It had been there for all other shots in this stage, but suddenly it was gone.
During a 2-3 minute prep period between stages 3 & 4, my dear hubby ran down the hill to the car after an allen wrench, ran back up the hill and fixed my front sight post to get me squared away (by this time everyone else had begun stage 4 shooting), got back into his loop sling, plopped down into prone (panting from his sprint session) and managed to hit all 4 of his targets in stage 4.
His score was 210. 

I should also mention that he earned his Rifleman status on his three year tumor-versary.
The guy never ceases to amaze me with what he can do!