Appleseed Rifle Shoot Instills Responsibility & Self-Reliance

I finally made it to my first Appleseed shoot! A project of the the 501c3 non-profit Revolutionary War Veterans Association.

Over two days outside, in December, in the ‘shire, I became much more proficient with a rifle. I also became more knowledgeable about some of the inspirational individuals faced with tough decisions, who were responsible for some of the history-changing incidents in the 1770s.

I didn’t grow up around firearms. I am most-proficient with handguns (I visited Front Sight four years back) and have been open carrying for a while (here, here and here). My use of rifles is pretty much restricted to a solitary visit to an outdoor rifle range with a friend in MN and a week and a half at the range when I was an intern with St. Paul PD (for more read this essay). Yet, becoming better marksmen is definitely something for which I have an affinity.

It’s not that I derive pleasure in pulling the trigger per se, more that I view it as a skill that will necessitate me bettering my capabilities in several areas. Also, it brings with it many tangible benefits – many of which are applicable to other areas of my life, some that I may need to rely on someday as I strive to become more self-sufficient.

John Barnes, “shoot boss” at the event, definitely met RWVA’s stated objective of “teaching two things: rifle marksmanship and our early American heritage.” A few of my personal take-aways:

  • the rifleman’s cadence: get my sight picture, close my eyes, breathe in, exhale, open my eyes. Am I still on the target? If so I’m golden. From then on out, after every exhalation I’ll have a good shot. Breathe. Squeeze the trigger. Repeat for a good tight, group on target.
  • the importance of having bone, not muscles, supporting and splayed out in contact with the ground, bearing my weight and proper alignment of the rifle. Muscles fatigue. Rather than depending on my muscles to keep me on-target get my body set so it’s natural orientation is on-target.
  • ensure my trigger finger is not laid on the rifle itself but is curved, much like it’d look if I were playing the piano. If not done, when I squeezed the trigger my finger my finger would drag along the rifle and negatively impact my accuracy.

Present on both Saturday and Sunday was James P. Patterson, a photographer with the Valley News. He must have taken a couple thousand pictures. On Sunday writer Sarah Brubeck jotted down notes as we laid out and attempted to internalize and showcase our improved skills.

From her write-up:

“Ready to the right? Ready to the left? All ready on the fire line?”

Everyone remained still.

“Fire!” he bellowed.

Eight shots rang out in rapid succession. When the silence returned, the group got up and walked down range to see how they had done.

A little while later, Pete Eyre and Austin Reida, both of Keene, N.H., examined their targets.

“How’d you do?” Reida asked his friend.

“Well, I didn’t get four shots out because I had a stovepipe,” said Eyre, meaning an empty shell casing had jammed the weapon.

“Yeah, that stuff always slows you down,” Reida said. “How was your accuracy?”

“Pretty good, I think,” Eyre said.

“I shot a 243 on that last one,” Reida said excitedly after checking his score.

“Are you serious?” Eyre said.

“Yeah, it’s my best,” his friend said.

“That’s the best score I’ve ever seen,” said Roger Ek, another instructor, after tallying Reida’s score.

“Really?” Reida said. “Well, it’s due to your coaching.”

Everyone present shot .22’s – we each threw 800-900 rounds downfield. What cost 50FRNs in ammo would have been 1000+FRNs for a .308. Not to mention the impact on the shooters body. In addition to ammo costs, I paid 70FRNs to Appleseed plus 2.50FRNs for online convenience for the course, plus 10FRNs/day to the range. Also factor in gas and food costs.

I’m into lifting weights so I viewed it this way: get the form down then add the weight. Over the two days at the Appleseed shoot I learned and hammered-home the form. With a solid foundation I can perfect this skill. I’m looking forward to my next Appleseed shoot.

Big thanks to Austin for bringing me alone and to the folks associated with the Enfield Outing Club who not only hosted the event but made us feel welcome (thanks for the awesome chili!). Looking forward to seeing your club grow.

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11 Comments

  1. Wow! A 501c3, now you can apply for federal and state grants you know… Tax payer money you know?

  2. EnslaveKeene, every time I read a post here you have some shitty comment. Either you lead an empty life and wait with bated breath for a post to come out so you can comment or you have a hardon for Free Keene. Either way you seem like a loser with no life. No one cares. Get over it.

  3. MAC,

    matt is the same

  4. matt is the same

  5. Nobody likes a tattle tale Bob – pretty sure if Mac has seen enslaved keene's comments, he has seen mine. In any event – what is so friggen awesome Mac about your comment -it has nothing to do with Pete's article. You must REALLY have no life if you take the time to write this overdone "you're a loser" comment to every fiddle farting person you don't like. LOL.

    FreeKeene should be THANKING enslave keene and myself for our comments. Not sure why people are so afraid of a little dissent and debate who get easily asshurt when it isn't written like a love song. What do you want…?…people to just say "Yeah that's great Pete!" ?

    If you weren't so focused on winning a battle of wit, you would see that enslave keene makes a good point. You just didn't like his delivery. Too bad.

  6. "You must REALLY have no life if you take the time to write this overdone “you’re a loser” comment to every fiddle farting person you don’t like. LOL."

    That was the first time I've posted a comment here. I can already see that I've made a mistake by feeding the trolls.

  7. Made a mistake feeding the trolls, or made a mistake because you are one – because now we have a bunch of comments that don't mean shit – and since yours and bob's comments mean nothing and provide nothing except waste space and show the seething hatred you have inside towards others – you too, are trolls. "No one cares – get over it"….says the guy who decided to reply – not once, but now twice. LOL –

  8. matt on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 11:00 am

    Nobody likes a tattle tale Bob – pretty sure if Mac has seen enslaved keene’s comments, he has seen mine. In any event – what is so friggen awesome Mac about your comment -it has nothing to do with Pete’s article. You must REALLY have no life if you take the time to write this overdone “you’re a loser” comment to every fiddle farting person you don’t like. LOL.

    FreeKeene should be THANKING enslave keene and myself for our comments. Not sure why people are so afraid of a little dissent and debate who get easily asshurt when it isn’t written like a love song. What do you want…?…people to just say “Yeah that’s great Pete!” ?

    If you weren’t so focused on winning a battle of wit, you would see that enslave keene makes a good point. You just didn’t like his delivery. Too bad.

    There it is once more:

    The hateful crybaby troll who posted making fun of mentally handicapped, demands to be taken seriously again. His little pink panties, constantly twisted in a wad because he invades places where people post opposing views to his narrow and hateful credo, yet he dares to tell them to STFU.

    You must be satisfying some really weird masochistic urges to keep returning here and taking your lumps for your ethically bankrupt spews & goofy rants.

    It's not that you don't agree with the philosophy of freedom, it's just that you are so mean to the innocent about it.

    I'm sure that your next angry response will ignore that sad fact about your vile posts. Whatever helps you not have to deal with what you are, right Matt?

  9. What is this – the Pete and Repeat Show?

    Chaz Munro….let's see…..hmmm – excuse me for a moment Chaz, I'm looking to find a "non-troll" comment from you here. Still looking…..have patience……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Nope. Nothing. Same old crap. Let me see here, well, we got the pink panty line – check. Called me a troll – check. Complained that I offer nothing but spewing hatred….check. Ended his less than fulfilling comment with a question mark….indicating a response is desired (that he always ignores)….check. Whined about my making fun of mentally handicapped people, which – is ridiculous…..check.

    . Care to respond to Pete's insightful story Chaz, or are you just here to be a homophobic pink panty troll twister. Can't any of you fools see the hypocrisy in your writings?. LOL – for people who hate "trolls" so much, you sure LOVE to reply to them…..and when they don't even write anything, you actually TALK about them…(bob) and invite them. Can't make this shit up! LOL

    Still waiting to hear your thoughts on the founder of the free state project being a part of the murderous government Chaz. Can you think of anything besides your regurgitated bullshit you are infatuated in writing to me with?

  10. Troll-master matt…you're correct, matt…enslavekeene's first post, above, really had nothing to do with the story…too bad the other kids couldn't just ignore it…

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