Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Appleseed.

Breda has a three-part review of the Appleseed event she attended this past weekend. PDB says "Allow me to retort."

Appleseed will be the topic of discussion on Gun Nuts: TNG next Tuesday night, too.

11 comments:

Earl said...

And for some reason I couldn't leave my comments on PDB's post, so I nail it here:

Blogging is wonder full, everyone has an opinion. I am a Life Member of the NRA, a vet of many years and spent three years on the trail as a Drill Sergeant, I think Appleseed and its long hard day of shooting is so much better than the competition shooters with high speed equipment and attitudes of fastest gun and tightest groups and double taps. But they are all shooting!

I have been with Kim du Toit and his Nation of Riflemen, and celebrated with him when someone brings a new shooter along. When the Federal Government tossed the firearms out of the schools in its stupidity - the place where in the Junior High Rifle Club I was introduced and formed my best shooting technique - single shot .22 on tiny targets, with shooting jackets and slings on target rifles. All taught by the History teacher, WWII era generation, who was also the coach of the High School Rifle team.

My point is, modern Mall-bred America, needs the multiple sources of learning how to shoot safely, and then allow the participants to choose their particular type of shooting. And then raise your ugly voices about which race is better, political party with the most for me, the killer guns and latest techniques to destroy human life in saving your own skin and soul.

I don't have many years left, and I couldn't even get the Pastor to join me in shooting some targets so I am a failure - but I do know that all I know about firearms and shooting: for targets, for combat survival and victory and the spreading of the love of the gun will never match the instructor of Machine Guns, M60, in Ft Lewis in 1967, he put such an appreciation of that weapon in my mind that I spent the next many years using and teaching it, and spreading it correctly. And I don't know his name, if he had fun, or won any trophies - but I do know he saved many a firebase and fighting group with what I could do and teach and spread.

We keep the Appleseed (now that is a non-frightening silly name, isn't it?) and add all you two gun specialists with body counts in bowling pins (which sounds like fun, but to me seems wasteful - but then I am so old) and we nurture the shooting sports but supporting all of them in the production of new shooters.

global village idiot said...

PDB's "retort" seems shortsighted. I've used Fred's target sets to help many of my Soldiers improve their marksmanship; every Soldier from my unit who's gone to the range with me has improved his qualification scores, whether on a paper or popup range.

One of the things you notice, if you go to any military training (I just came back from three weeks' worth) is that the instructors now make a point of starting their classes with the phrase "What I'm about to teach you is A way, not THE way." Lessons learned from Iraq and A-stan are coming back and filtering through at an amazing pace. It's not like before; nowadays, information on what works and what doesn't is being shared almost instantaneously.

And guess what? We're still teaching the use of the hasty sling, if informally. It's not the thing for CQB or in the assault element of an infantry squad, but it's fine indeed if you're part of the support element. And in the civilian world, where I don't own an M4 (I don't even have one in my unit's Arms Room; we're still using M16A2s), a sling is a great help in shooting my Garand or SKS offhand.

I think your fellow blogger is guilty of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I will agree wholeheartedly, however, that Fred's customer service sucks. It took me more than two months to get an order from him. He's spread too thin running a shop and Appleseed shoots as well. Trouble is, it's not my problem, but it IS my money.

gvi

Tam said...

I'm pretty agnostic on the topic myself.

I'm of the opinion that trigger time is good and training is good.

I do think that the way Appleseed is structured and packaged makes it better for "preaching to the choir" rather than gaining converts, but that's more an argument of form rather than substance...

Freddyboomboom said...

At the one Appleseed event I attended, there were several new shooters.

From the immigrant ad his son next to me, to the single mom and her son at the next bay.

I learned a lot about proper hold of my rifle, and since I didn't have a sling for it, didn't get to practice using a sling.

They taught standing offhand position, several kneeling methods ("use which one is comfortable for you, or any other that is comfortable and provides a stable platform"), and the prone position.

They taught malfunction clearing.

Sight picture.

Breathing and trigger control.

They had us practice each piece after they taught it, then put it all together.

The instructors volunteered to come from the next state to the East, on their own time, to help educate folks.

Were they perfect instructors? No. They were ordinary folks who volunteered to do it.

OPINION:Until you've gone through the course, I don't believe you have a right to disparage the methods used.

DirtCrashr said...

I'm not sure a sling is even necessary with a 10/22 at 30 yards - it might even be uncomfortably destabilizing. It's just not how we teach and introduce our new, young shooters; boys and girls (and moms).
We go through all that stuff too, and we have to - it's in our CMP charter. We also train to shoot dominant-eye for the percentage of cross dominant kids - they get it real fast. After sighting-in they get it real quick - IMO our biggest problem is to not destroy their enthusiasm by browbeating them or pushing them.
IMO it's more fun for the kids if you don't yell and whale and whomp on 'em with a lot of adult rhetoric either - they're already motivated, they can shoot X's, and between sport-teams and academics kids around here have enough stress already pushed-on by parents and grownups.

DirtCrashr said...

Oh yeh, it's every second Saturday of the month, and there's always a turnout - here in Silicon Valley, in freakazoid California.

Ross said...

Tam, thanks for mentioning Breda's report. I'll be posting links to both on www.appleseedinfo.org, our working forum.

I don't want to get into a flame war over pdb's comments, so I'll just content myself with one point. I've owned rifles for 27 years. Until I went to an Appleseed Shoot, I had no idea how to really shoot them. Boy, did I learn - and fast. I'd tried going to a Garand shoot, but the instruction just didn't seem to take for some reason. My fault, I'm sure, not the instructors'.

I have to admit, I've "drunk the kool-aid" - I've got my scores up to the Rifleman standard, and I am now learning to be an instructor. Fred has made me a Believer, and I'm on a mission.

Anyway, thanks for the mention.

Ross,
Appleseed Instructor In Training
Assistant Northeast Regional Coordinator for Project Appleseed.

Tam said...

Like I said, I'm pretty agnostic on the topic. I agree with the basic Appleseed mission. I also see where PDB is coming from (you have to peel away his sardonic style and realize we're all on the same team.)

Is assigning a guy who is basically a novice with an iron-sighted M1A to take out an HVT nearly as good a solution as using a skilled varmint hunter with a scoped PSS? Is slinging up and using irons of as much value against sub-200yd targets better than using modern CQB/MOUT tactics with red-dot sighted carbines against fast-moving semi-concealed targets that don't want to get shot? Is going heavy on the RWVA rhetoric the best way to knock someone off the fence so they land on our side during Fred's "Soft War"? Reply hazy. Ask again later.

As for my background, I'm no CMP shooter, although I shot 3-position smallbore in college and have shot expert using irons on a KD range. That was decades ago, but I still know which end of a rifle the bullets come out of, as folks who saw me shoot recently can verify.

Remember, we're all on the same team. Let's not damage unit cohesion with too much talk of riflemen and cooks...

Thanks for your reply!

alath said...

"I'm of the opinion that trigger time is good and training is good."

Agree.

There are a lot of different potential shooters out there with different takes and different tastes. The more different kinds of opportunities there are for folks to get into shooting, the better.

Cowboy Action Shooting, for example, is something I would never be particularly interested in. But if CAS serves as a "hook" to get a few more folks shooting, a few more NRA members, a few more pro-RKBA voters, I am all for it.

Hawkhavn said...

Tam,

Missed you at the 1500, knew you were having more fun on the coast. :)

Thank you for keeping an open mind on the Appleseed Project. We had the fortune of having Oleg at the Puryear, TN shoot earlier this year and he seemed to see value in the program and had a good time.

We are having a shoot this weekend in Terre Haute (Riley C.C.) and another in Wabash in mid-October. Should you ever want to attend please let me know. BTW, ladies shoot free nationwide for the balance of 2008. Under 21 and current .mil are always free.

Is the program perfect? Nope.
Are we working to improve it-always.
There were 3 shoots in Indiana last year, 6 this year and an instructor's weekend. Next year we're scheduling 12-14. Something is working with that kind of growth. And it is national not just here in Indiana.

Sincerely,
Ed
RWVA Instructor and
IN state coordinator
hawkhavn@ix.netcom.com

Ross said...

Tam, to take up a few of your points:

Sling - yes, we teach the loop sling. We also teach the use of the "Hasty" sling and the "hasty-hasty" sling. Personally, I find it much faster to get slung up in the "Hasty" sling. But we teach 'em all. It's up to you as to what you use.

Red dots vs. iron sights: Do you teach folks to drive with a stick first, or an automatic? Sights are the lowest common denominator. If you can make hits with iron sights, you can make hits with a scope. We prefer to teach the iron sights for these reasons. However, if, like me, your older eyes aren't the best, and a scope works for you - do it. The target doesn't lie, and even with a scope, you can't shoot a rapid-fire AQT without doing the basics - the Six Steps, NPOA, etc.

RWVA rhetoric - that's what hooked me in! Seriously, most history teachers should be sentenced to have to listen to their own drivel... and stay awake through it. Most history teachers (certainly almost every one that I had!) are AWFUL. They drone on and on about dates and suck the life out of the story - these are REAL PEOPLE we're talking about here, and they don't seem to get that.

Well, we tell the story about April 19th, 1775, and we try to put you right into it. Sure, some of our instructors are better than others at it... which is why we do AARs, study our history, practice, and also do instructor evaluations. We're not just trying to teach marksmanship (although that IS an important part), we're trying to wake up Americans to their heritage.

As for cooks and riflemen... Hey, what do you think spurred me to spend so much money putting ammo downrange? For a patch that probably cost $1 to buy? Answer: to get my skill with a rifle to where I could say "No, I'm not a cook - I'm a Rifleman".

Ross,
Appleseed Instructor In Training
Assistant Northeast Regional Coordinator for Project Appleseed.