Author Topic: ENFIELD, NH, DEC. 10-11, 2011, AAR  (Read 3639 times)

Offline Firewall99

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ENFIELD, NH, DEC. 10-11, 2011, AAR
« on: December 12, 2011, 12:03:31 PM »
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 ( 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.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 11:03:50 PM by Firewall99 »

Offline Firewall99

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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2011, 10:55:45 AM »
Thanks, Roger!

Click on attachments, below.

Thanks to everyone who made this one of our best shoots ever!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 11:35:46 AM by Firewall99 »

Offline Firewall99

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Re: ENFIELD, NH, DEC. 10-11, 2011, AAR
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2011, 02:01:48 PM »
Dan sent me this note, and gave permission to post it.

It is comments like this that keep us tired Appleseed volunteers going.

Keep them coming!


I just wanted to thank you again for this weekend. You guys all did us a terrific service.

I bet I had put 25,000 or more rounds through that Ruger10/22 before this weekend, and I had no idea how much I was missing. Appleseed really opened my eyes to Marksmanship, and though I study our Constitutional heritage and original intent, I learned a lot about the days surrounding April19th that I had not previously been told.

Thanks again,

Dan, Cassie, and Beth Russell


Thank you, Dan!

Offline NhLibertas

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Re: ENFIELD, NH, DEC. 10-11, 2011, AAR
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2011, 08:55:57 PM »
Wow, what a great write up!

I had an amazing weekend in Enfield, as did my friend Pete who came along. What a committed bunch of individuals! There was no griping whatsoever relative to the winter takes a hearty breed to enlist in a winter event, and the camaraderie that transpired among those who did galvanized us as a group. "A rifleman persists" would be the unvarnished truth of the actions exhibited by every individual on our range this past weekend, regardless of anyone's scores.

I genuinely appreciate the accolades given me in the write ups of the shoot, and am honored to be a humble servant of the Appleseed Project with the opportunity to pass the teachings on to those who follow, and to further develop myself in continuing the mission.

Special thanks to John and Roger, who have helped to unlock the Rifleman in guys are exceptional mentors and I am grateful for the gift of your passion in passing on the heritage. And to all the others, thank you for being such an inspiring group! This past weekend was one of the very best in recent memory, and I am honored to have shared it with you.

Behave, and be brave's yet a long road ahead.

« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 09:36:35 PM by nhlibertas »

Offline Firewall99

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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2011, 07:01:09 PM »
Beth sent me these thoughtful comments:
Once again, thank you SO MUCH! I'm about to start stitching my patch onto my jacket :) [Beth was awarded the red, white, and blue patch for best positive mental attitude.]  I've been crowing about Appleseed on my facebook for days now.

I had so much fun, and I learned an incredible amount about marksmanship, shooting in general, and most importantly, our history as Americans and the traditions we must keep up in order to maintain our hard-won freedoms.

I looked up when the next shoot is, and I think my dad and I (and maybe my mom too, if she doesn't decide she'd be better suited at a spring or fall shoot) will probably attend and give our best.



Offline Firewall99

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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2011, 09:13:04 AM »
Here's what Bill, one of our new Riflemen, had to say:
Hi John,
I wanted to write this quick note to you, Cindy, and Roger to thank you for all you did to make last weekend's shoot such a success.
I was incredibly impressed by the whole Appleseed Project approach, and that you could start with so many shooters, many of us completely new to marksmanship training, and get through the whole two days so successfully.  Plus, you both offered a unique, detailed and highly valuable perspective on the commitment made by our forbears during that pivotal week of 1775, one we will all keep foremost in our thoughts.
Our group was exemplary: no one complained despite the cold temperatures, bulky clothing or low sun angle this time of year, and every single shooter there showed significant improvement and excellent control at all times.  From my perspective of having spent a good amount time for 15 years as RSO on the line at IDPA matches, this past weekend's success is no small feat!
On a personal note, I bought my first firearm, a Ruger 10/22, slightly more than 40 years ago.  Although I have used it and introduced new shooters to shooting with it for many thousands of rounds, I had never, until this weekend, learned anything useful about shooting a rifle properly.
You changed all that as if by magic, and provided a delightful experience at the same time---to use an antiquated phrase, I had a blast!
Being a pistol shooter most of the time, I do know something about shooting in general, but almost nothing about marksmanship, rifles or slings.  Now I know enough to keep me focused and oriented towards becoming a better marksman for the rest of my life.  Thank you all for that!
Finally, I'd like to say thanks to my fellow shooters and historians---you made this a great weekend for me and, I hope, for our whole group.  I'll look forward to seeing each of you again at matches and will look forward to the opportunity to work together on any of the Appleseed Project shoots.
Best regards to all,
W.N. Fish Photography
35 Burns Avenue
Concord, NH 03301
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 09:46:50 AM by Firewall99 »

Offline Firewall99

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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2011, 09:46:17 AM »
One final note to this great shoot.
Although Cindy, Roger, and I would love to take complete credit for how smoothly this shoot went, we would be remiss to mention that these reactions are actually quite frequently heard by the Appleseed staff after shoots everywhere.  That is because Appleseed just plain works.
The Appleseed organization, founded by Fred, has grown into a mature, successful organization. This is not an accident. After every shoot Appleseed instructors get together themselves and with headquarters to conduct After Action Reviews, both external ones like this, and internal ones. In these reviews we ask not only the easy questions, "What went well and worked?", but also the hard questions, "What can be improved and how do we make it better?" We check our egos at the door and keep our minds and hearts on the mission.  This is a proven formula for success in any organization.
Thus, over the years since Appleseed's founding in 2006, we have continually improved and refined how we operate, so that for some time now it has been a well-run, well-thought-out process for turning average Americans into Riflemen and Rifle women--Americans who are knowledgable both as to the blessings of Marksmanship but also as to how we earned our Liberty from an oppressive, distant monarchy and, most importanly, how we have an obligation to preserve it.
So, in wrapping this up, we have to thank Fred and the guys and gals at Appleseed Central who have made all this happen for us.  Thank you all--we couldn't have done this without you!

Offline NhLibertas

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Re: ENFIELD, NH, DEC. 10-11, 2011, AAR
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2011, 10:51:51 PM »
For anyone who didn't see the article on the shoot yet (we got really positive press!), here is the text:

'Appleseed' Teaches|Rifle Skills, History


Photographs by James M. Patterson

Story by Sarah Brubeck

The eight shooters stretched out on their stomachs at the Enfield Outing Club, the cold seeping through the blankets beneath them. They propped themselves up on their elbows, raised their rifles and aimed at the "redcoat" -- a paper target sporting a head-and-shoulders shape about 50 yards away.

"Is the line ready?" yelled John Barnes, the "shoot boss."


"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.

Reida has been shooting since he was a boy, but last weekend was just his second "Project Appleseed," a two-day program sponsored by the Morehead, Ky.-based Revolutionary War Veterans Association -- hence the "redcoat" targets. The nationwide nonprofit organization teaches "colonial history and the American tradition of rifle marksmanship in a safe,

non-partisan environment," according to its website. The project gets its name from Johnny Appleseed, the frontiersman from Boston, whose real name was John Chapman and who became an American folk legend for planting thousands of apple trees in the Midwest before his death in 1845.

After signing up for his first Appleseed last month, Reida encouraged Eyre to come along. Throughout the gathering, Barnes encouraged the group to bring more friends and family the next time they attend an Appleseed. "If your friends say they don't have the time, tell them our forefathers didn't have the time," Barnes told the group.

The shooters had one goal: To earn their "rifleman" patch by scoring of 210 or higher on the AQT, or Army Qualification Test. During the New England version of the test, shooters are given four minutes to fire 40 rounds at four sets of targets sized to represent distances of 100, 200, 300 and 400 yards.

"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."

Barnes, the head instructor, who has been shooting with Project Appleseed since 2008, looked at the sheet in Ek's hand. "Wow, that's two from my best."

"Dude, if you get 250, we'll have to start covering your eyes," Eyre said.

Ek drove 380 miles from Maine with his wife to be at last weekend's Appleseed. He said he believes it's important for Americans to know how to use rifles because the country's founders had a connection with firearms.

"The reason we've been so effective in the many wars we've been in is that we're a nation of riflemen. Other countries were not," Ek said. "The reason why there were so many casualties in the Civil War is because both sides were riflemen."

Last weekend, the shooters were trying to earn their winter rifleman patch, which can be awarded only if there is snow on the ground.

Reida and Eyre said the cold didn't bother them too much. The key to staying warm: layers. Several shooters wore sneakers the first day, but switched to boots the next.

And the cold wasn't the only challenge.

"My shooting eye keeps getting fogged up," Reida said, grabbing a defogging wipe.

"There's nothing worse than a fogged-up eyeball," said Bill Fish of Concord, whose effective shooting range improved from 100 to 300 yards over the weekend.

Later, as the sun began to slip behind the hills, the group gathered in the clubhouse, welcoming the heat that came from the woodstove.

There, Fish and Reida were awarded their winter rifleman patches. So was Louise Pressler, of Merrimack, N.H. Pressler had been to eight or nine Appleseeds, but this was her first patch.

She pumped her fist as she received the award, a light blue rectangle with what looked like small icicles dripping from the bottom. As she shook Barnes' hand, Pressler smiled and mouthed, "Yes."

Then, as the group sat around Barnes near the stove, he tried to answer the question: "Why Appleseed?"

"Because the ship is sinking and the water is cold," he told the group.

The idea behind Appleseed, he said, is to encourage people to exercise their rights while they still have them. He encouraged his students to write letters to the editor, to attend Town Meeting, and to vote.

"The short of it is about our heritage," he said. "It's about the sacrifices people made for an uncertain future and our benefit."

Before dismissing the group, Barnes introduced Reida as his newest instructor-in-training.

"We don't give this to everyone," he said as he handed Reida an orange hat. When he becomes a certified instructor, he'll have earned the right to wear a red hat like Barnes.

As he put his new hat on his shaved head, Reida gave a sheepish smile.

Pressler shouted out, "You did it!"

*/Sarah Brubeck can be reached at 603-727-3223 or sbrubeck@*

Offline Firewall99

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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2011, 08:44:58 AM »
Great job posting the text of the Upper Valley News article, nhlibertas!  Nothing like old fashioned sweat and tears, copying it out by hand to get it out there.  I've been working on the fancy-shmancy approach of uploading scans of the article, but my first effort trashed this thread.  Thanks to Bill3 for restoring it!

There are three pages attached below.  Page 1 is from the front page of the paper, below the fold!  Page 2 is the whole lead page of the "Life & Leisure" section, while page 3 is on the back page of that section.

The article is positive, provides great coverage, and has some of the best pictures we've seen.  They even mentioned the history in the article's headline, even though Sarah didn't talk about it much.  Sarah couldn't come on Saturday when we did all the history, so she missed that all important aspect.  In retrospect, I should have made sure that Roger saved some for Sunday, but hindsight is 20-20.

Given the vagaries of news coverage and the differences in human perception, it really doesn't get much better than this.  Sure, there were some minor inaccuracies, like in the line command wording.  And I would have preferred that the photo caption under the picture of me bellowing the "fire" command had said something about promoting our unique heritage and what it means to the average American, instead of promoting the "gun culture."  And they got the wrong shirt!  Even after I had Beth read aloud the Appleseed shirt and got James to take a picture of it, too.  I guess Peter's shirt was more interesting to somebody.  Oh, well.  It was a nice shirt.

It would have been nicer if the theme of the article would have remained how much almost everyone had improved, as Sarah tentatively had indicated it would, but Beth's picture on the front page looking not-so-happy with one of her Redcoats (I sincerely doubt that it was her "final" one.) probably changed that.  Her expression was precious.  What a picture!  Awesome work, James.

All in all, though, and all niggling aside, this is a great article.  Thank you, James and Sarah.  You did a wonderful job.  You are both welcome to return and shoot for free, anytime.

Thanks again to everybody for making this such an awesome shoot.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 03:59:11 PM by Firewall99 »

Offline Mutti

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Re: ENFIELD, NH, DEC. 10-11, 2011, AAR
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2011, 03:14:12 PM »
as did my friend Pete who came along.

Found this Appleseed Rifle Shoot Instills Responsibility & Self-Reliance :

There are some photos and a scanned article.

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Herm Albright
(1876 - 1944)