Author Topic: Myakka City, FL Appleseed Feb 2-3, 2008  (Read 3737 times)

Offline DragonWood

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Myakka City, FL Appleseed Feb 2-3, 2008
« on: February 04, 2008, 10:08:34 PM »
After commuting home all day today, I finally have a moment to post:

Imagine a warm (say about 70 degrees), sunny (not a cloud in the sky) kind of day! Especially if you happened to be burried under 3 feet of snow and ice! (did I mention warm and sunny? 8)) Now picture yourself on the range instructing about 40 Appleseeders!  Starting to get the picture of what YOU missed? :o
Two beautiful days, 35 in attendance on day one with 100% return on day two along with 5 more people!! Obviously word got out it was Dragonwood's super A team of Dond, Atticus, and Hawkhavn instructing......who could resist that?!! ;)

Introductions, a brief history lesson of the first strike of the match, safety rules and range commands started the day. Then off to a Red Coat target. Had a couple of 400 yards shooters, a couple more at 200 and 300 yards and about half at 100 yards.

Shooters pulled their targets, marked their hits and saved their targets for later in the day. We did something a little different. At the end of the day we had the shooters repost their Red Coat targets to shoot again. Talk about seeing results! Much improvement from am to pm. In fact two shooters cleared the whole target!! Asked them how they did it...the answer was the same. Don't want to spoil the suprise for those who haven't attended an Appleseed but for those who were there, they know the answer!!
Lots of instruction and one inch squares all morning long. We broke for lunch which the club President, Vince, cooked up some grub. Pulled pork BBQ, baked beans and soda was on the menu and was gobbled up by hungry shooters and instructors! The only thing missing was some ice cream!!

After lunch we did some ball and dummy. Shooters learned a lot from coaching! Next we shot the CAQT's (you know the green ones!). Our target backers allowed for only three side by side. We had to adapt and improvise. We shot three standing groups, two sitting groups, and two prone rapid groups using the third and fourth rows. We could see improvement with some folks and fatigue was setting in quickly. We gathered up around 5pm to end day one.  Keep in mind we didn't have a chance to shoot a Q&DAQT so no riflemen yet. Just about everyone seemed pleased with the day, learned a lot and looked forward to day two. Left for the evening with 3 Huzzah's!!

Day two brought everyone back! We also added five more shooters to the line. I think this may be a first....100% return for day 2 and more shooters on Sunday than Saturday!! ;D
Strike two of the match was presented by Atticus. We left the story with a little suspense...explaining that the Regulars were retreating towards Boston and nothing happened for the first mile after North Bridge...but then...... (stay tuned for strike three!!).

The Red Coat target started the day and lots of improvement from the day before! A refresher of the six steps and NPOA followed. A warm up on 5 one inch squares with emphasis on cadence. Then we did our first Q&DAQT before lunch. And yes, we do have men amongst us who know very well what they are about!! Two riflemen!! One shooter decided that 208 was good enough! ;) (later to show us otherwise!)
Vince produced another fine lunch! More BBQ pulled pork. But still no ice cream?! :o
T-shirts were given out after the Dond presented the third strike of the match!

After lunch we started off with a fun shoot! It was the Red Coat One Minute challenge! This is the Red Coat target shot in all positions in a minute or less. The only hint given was to strategize! ;D No one cleared it, but it certainly got everyone out of the carb high from lunch.

Next was another Q&DAQT. No riflemen on this one, but scores were improving! Next we did two NPOA drills using the black star target. One was done with Atticus calling the cadence and another was done with shooters setting their own cadence. Emphasis was given on being honest with themselves, making sure they closed their eyes when they fired the shot. Shooters were very suprised at their results. One shooter had a four minute group, all 5 shots in the black star on the called cadence. Nailing his NPOA!

Another AQT. Still no riflemen but many more shooters were knocking on the door! It was just before 4pm and many folks needed to leave. Eight remained to try another AQT. And they were glad that they did, 2 more Riflemen!!!

Before everyone left we gathered togehter. Shooters were very pleased with what they learned. They all promised ( :o) to practice and dry fire. Maybe even some will try baking cookies too!! Many came up to shake our hands and thank us for eveything. We were told of initial scores being in the 50's and ending up 190's! Another shooter explained that he wasn't even on paper on day one and left with a score in the 190's! We had many shooters who want to return, possibly April 19th and 20th!
We all had a great time instructing and hope to see you back with a friend or two!!

Thanks to all who helped us on Sat morning with parking, setting up the targets and watching that everyone kept their rifles in the vehicles.Another thank you goes to Sarah (Dond's wife) who was a lifesaver in helping out with admin!

A very tired, Dragonwood :)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2008, 02:39:32 PM by RifleWoman »
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Offline funfaler

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Re: Myakka City, FL Appleseed
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 12:04:18 AM »
Thanks DW for the Post!

I know you are tired and I appreciate the info, very interested in seeing what happened, Thanks.

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Offline Son of Martha

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Re: Myakka City, FL Appleseed
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 08:44:40 AM »
A gain in attendance from Sat to Sunday?  I think that IS a first....did you promise cookies on Sunday?

I like the idea of re-shooting the RC--wish I had thought of it.  And the RC challenge is something to try next time at the range.  Good ways to keep things varied.

Always nice to find those Appleseeders who ace the NPOA target...and from what I have seen so far, it averages LESS THAN ONE person per event.  NPOA is important, but also something that most folks need to practice.  Every now and then though it "clicks" right off the bat...

BBQ....Mmmmm....

Sounds like a great time.  Americans meeting their friends and neighbors, including the ones they didn't know they had.  Learning about their history and tradition.  Exercising their rights.  Shooting and eating BBQ while getting a tan.  Is this a great country or what?

SoM
Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path more fair or flat
Lo, it is black already with blood some Son of Martha spilled for that
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But simple service, simply given, to his own kind in their common need.

Offline 2506jet

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Re: Myakka City, FL Appleseed
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 09:14:29 PM »
 Dragonwood, Dond, Atticus, and Hawkhavn  I want to thank you all again for a great event. Everyone I talked with there including the range officers from the club were impressed with the professionalism and organization. All the instructors worked their butts off giving each shooter help and often checked on their progress. Firearm safety was stressed and made clear throughout the program and was learned quickly by those that were in need of formal training. This was done on a personal level and I was glad to see your team spend much effort politley explaining the rules, especially with the younger shooters.

 This course went far beyond my expectations. Lots of trigger time and challenges set at a good pace kept everyone interested. After the first stage was shot using the redcoat target everyone was hooked and wanted to learn the proper way. Most, including myself have never had any formal training as there is not much offered in our area anymore. This course is laid out to benefit the novice as well as the more advanced.

 Atticus, I talked to my friend who is the club prez and he is very interested in the program. I will do what I can to spread the word and see if I can find a place to hold an event. The others I shoot with had no idea an Appleseed course was so in depth.
 Thanks again for a job well done and keep up the good work, Ron.

Offline hawkhavn

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Re: Myakka City, FL Appleseed
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008, 09:37:42 PM »
2506jet,

I think I speak for all of us, it was our pleasure!  This was not only my first out of state Appleseed it was the first one I've instructed at after my boot camp.  I've shot long enough that I'm familiar with the shooters in my area, even if I've never met them before. Same region, same background, same accent you know what I mean. 

So I go four states away and it's the same people!  Vince, Bob the RSO, Isaac, Ian, John, Bob, Trey, Doug, Soul and Mike, Stephen and Stephanie, the families that showed up and shot together, sorry I can't remember everyone's names.  Same bunch of folks, even though I've never set eyes on y'all before.  We're all Americans and we're all riflemen even if we're not all Riflemen(yet).

2506jet (and anyone else that chimes in) where were you on the line so I can put a face with your post?

Ed
aka Hawkhavn

Offline 2506jet

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Re: Myakka City, FL Appleseed
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2008, 12:25:40 AM »
Hawkhavn, I was way down on the left, #6. The guy limping around all day & was shooting a NM AR. I had a spotting scope too ;D
 Yep, no doubt y'all put on a good show! Hope to see everyone again. Ron

Offline atticus

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Re: Myakka City, FL Appleseed
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2008, 07:52:36 AM »
I want to thank all of the attendees.  It has already been said, but I will say it again, you were all a great bunch of dedicated citizens.  There is no point in having an Appleseed if no one shows up.  It warms my heart to see fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, uncles and friends learning the great heritage and traditions of their country.

I also want to thank you all for helping to keep the line safe.  I believe we have a good Appleseed when everyone goes home on Sunday evening in good health (that doesn't include sore muscles.) ;D  However, it becomes a GREAT Appleseed when instructors see fantastic progress in so many motivated shooters!

The only goal we (the instructors) did not achieve was 100% riflemen/women by Sunday afternoon.  But, we have a whole bunch of people knocking on the door with scores between 170 and 205.  Rest up for a couple of days.  Then, start dry firing in all positions.  Remember to follow the 6 steps.  FIND YOUR NPOA.  Head back to a range and you will achieve our goal of 100%.

Again, thanks for coming.  Don't forget to teach someone else to shoot, bring them along to the next Appleseed.  I look forward to seeing everyone on the Appleseed trail.

Russ
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Offline RickB

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Re: Myakka City, FL Appleseed
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 11:13:00 AM »
Dragonwood,

Thanks for a great Appleseed shoot (my first).  Many thanks to all of the instructors for giving us their time to make the event so successful.

For those who were there, my two teenage boys and I were right in the middle of the line.  Yes, I was the Ruger shooter with all the malfunctions.
In my defense, I heard about the Appleseed at the last minute from Trey (an RO at my home club) and one of my new 10-22s was problematic.

I'm afraid Dragonwood didn't do justice to the beauty of the weather and our surroundings.  The temperature was in the low 80s, with a moderate (for Florida) humidity around 75%.  We were shooting on the club's machinegun range; we had no shade while shooting and were surrounded by high berms (no breeze).  Once, for a minute, a cloud covered the sun and I could hear sighs of relief around me (we were loading mags).  The range had the redeeming quality that lying in damp sand (mixed with chunks of concrete) made for steady shooting positions.

The pace on Saturday was, for newbies at least, somewhat grueling.  It seemed that we were learning something new before we had a chance to absorb the previous lesson.  That is inevitable, I suppose, when trying to teach so much in such a short time.  Looking back, I honestly do not know if there is a better way to do it.  The format of an Appleseed weekend, though, really requires that each participant go home and practice what they learned.  If they do not, the skills they acquired will quickly disappear.

Now, for some personal thoughts.
My first impression was not good.  I walked up to the registration table and came face to face with a pretty blond woman wearing a shooting jacket.  Her jacket displayed both "Rifleman" and "Instructor" badges.  Now, I know women who are excellent high power shooters so that didn't bother me.  The problem was the nametag.  I'm afraid I stared at it for quite a while in hopes that I was mistaken.  "Dragon Wood"?  What do we have here, some new-age type who will advise us to shoot by "feeling our inner pixie"?  She introduced herself as the shoot boss.  Things were going downhill.
The program started and there wasn't one word mentioned about fairies or crystals; I settled down and got into it.  An hour or two later one of the instructors described a common shooting error. "Dragging wood" is allowing your trigger finger to rub on the stock.  Did I feel like an idiot?

By the end of the weekend I was convinced that Dragonwood was a superb shoot boss.  She had enough firmness to keep the participants from trying to run the show but, at the same time, she did not use a "Drill Sergeant" approach.  She didn't try to recreate Paris Island nor did she use bullying or embarrassment to "motivate" students.  Dragonwood treated us all as adults who were there to learn.  This was a major factor in having a bigger turnout on the second day.

In spite of malfunctions I managed to score 175 on the AQT (averaging 9 rounds fired per stage).  My older boy had a lot of problems getting the idea of using a sling to support the rifle.  Several instructors gave him some very valuable one-on-one time; by the end of the weekend he also scored 175!  He asked me to pass on his thanks for the help. He apologizes that he didn't act very grateful at the time.

Again, thanks to all!  We are looking forward to our next shoot.  I promise that I'll have all the rifles working correctly by then.
Rick

Offline atticus

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Re: Myakka City, FL Appleseed Feb 2-3, 2008
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2008, 06:13:22 PM »
Here are a few pictures, courtesy of PHenry.
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Offline PHenry

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Re: Myakka City, FL Appleseed Feb 2-3, 2008
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2008, 07:02:17 PM »
DonD looks dead sexy in that hat - don't he?!
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