Awesome shooters, awesome Winterseed.
Out of 8 shooters on the line, three made Rifleman, for a rate of 37.5%, somewhat above the Appleseed average of 20% -- despite the weather, which was bitterly cold.
During the week leading up to this shoot, we were a little concerned that we might not get "winter conditions." I think some of us prayed to God--I know I did--and He looked kindly upon us, delivering snow, ice, and harsh conditions both days. Even the few times it got above freezing when the sun came out, our fingers and toes were telling us otherwise. On Sunday, it was even colder. It was so cold that three kinds of ammo failed to fire multiple times with solid hits on the primers.
But the shooters rose to the challenge in true Appleseed fashion. Austin scored first on Saturday, and by Sunday had turned in an amazing 246! He continued to do so even with a crappy, broken, Simmons scope. Not only that, he is now NH's newest Orange Hat. Great job, Austin!
Bill, our IDPA shooter who was new to rifles, was determined to shoot with iron sights, even though the afternoon sun was causing his Tech Sight rear peep to flare and glint. We put a piece of black masking tape over it, and, with a little help from the Happy Finger Drill, bam! -- another Rifleman. We had offered him a scope, but, nope, he was going to make it work. He figured that doing it with a scope would be good enough, but doing it with iron sights would be a kicker. He was right. In true Rifleman tradition, he persisted, adapted, and overcame.
And last, but not least, Louise! Louise has almost as many Appleseeds -- and Winterseeds -- under her belt as the famous Cindy ("IN HIS TIME"). Talk about true Rifleman tradition! Wow, what persistence. When she finally started holding back, bingo!, she did it! The emotion was palpable--hugs and jumping for joy. Her buoyant attitude was a blessing for all and was a pleasure to behold. She intends to continue her journey, and it will be a boon to anyone at a future Appleseed with her there.
Cindy was there, too, only now for the first time in her capacity as an Orange Hat. Cindy served as a Range Safety Officer and as the Line Boss, and did a great job at both. Way to go, Cindy!
Roger, The Old Guide, did an outstanding job telling the history of April 19, 1775. His ability to weave the story that many of us Appleseeders have heard so often into a new fabric every time is refreshing.
We should also mention the Russel family, Dan, Cassie, and their daughter Beth. It is so nice to see the whole family shooting together. Beth especially had a great attitude the whole shoot despite being stuck with a, ah, less than optimal rifle. On Saturday morning when I caught her shooting with her rear sight flipped down, everybody laughed, but Beth maintained her cheerful, positive mental attitude and took it with imperturbable self-possession, poise, and assurance.
She will definitely make Rifleman if she keeps at it.
Pete and Lou were knocking on the door by the end of the shoot. Pete will get there next time, I'm sure, and so will Lou. Lou, who already shot Rifleman two years ago, learned, much to his chagrin, that Rifleman skills are perishable. If you don't get out to the range on a regular basis, they will wither and die. In 1775 the Acton militia, led by Isaac Davis, practiced every Sunday morning before services. The outcome at the North Bridge, and the birth of our nation, were largely due to their skilled marksmanship. That was the moment that "Marksmanship met History, and the Heritage began."
Pat, Roger's lovely wife and a member of our AppleCore staff, shot both days from her wheelchair. What persistence! Now comes the adapt and overcome part. If Roger ever gets her a decent stock so she can establish a cheek weld, we expect that she will improve tremendously. Those metal fold-out stocks may be "tacti-cool," but they are no good for aiming.
Thanks also to Buckskin and North Country Lady for a superb job of shoot administration and for keeping the clubhouse stove stoked with wood.
We would like to thank the Valley News for sending a great duo to cover our shoot. All of this happened under the watchful eye of news photographer James Patterson, who was there both days. He took a LOT of pictures, the best of which should be on the Valley News web site (http://www.vnews.com/
) this coming Sunday, Dec. 18th, along with what tentatively promises to be a glowing article by Sarah Brubeck on the levels of improvement shown by the shooters. We gave them the best we have. After the NYT betrayal, we shall see.
Finally, hearty thanks Dave Stewart, Tim Sample, and the Enfield Outing Club for their wonderful job in providing us with tasty, hot bowls of chile and wood for a toasty clubhouse in which to warm our bones.
Pictures by Roger are now posted. Stay tuned, and feel free to post your comments.