Author Topic: New Smyrna Beach, FL Oct. 6-7  (Read 771 times)

Offline 9mm4545

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New Smyrna Beach, FL Oct. 6-7
« on: October 09, 2012, 12:06:02 AM »
Appleseed came to New Smyrna Beach, Florida on October 6-7 and brought a dozen good Americans closer to expert marksmanship and an appreciation of their rich and unique heritage. The range was soggy from days of incessant rains but the spirit and enthusiasm of our students was not dampened in the slightest. As Saturday morning warmed up to the typical heat and humidity of early October in Florida, our students quickly began shrinking their groups as the lessons of sling use, solid position, six steps, and natural point of aim built a foundation to learn from. In just a few short hours, "minute of backstop" groups began looking like those of those men and women who "know very well what they are about". Our youngest shooter, Donovan, at only 7 years of age seemed to be having a blast while learning a life skill of rifle marksmanship. Due to his diminutive size he was allowed to shoot from a rest and Rambo Granny worked with him extensively--his best target was very good indeed. Shooting next to him and only a year older was Ray, a veteran of previous Appleseeds and already showing vast improvement in rifle skills. The afternoon raced on with new positions of sitting and standing along with transitions, reloads, and the ever present "time monkey". An additional concern was the growing storm clouds and distant lightning. By the time we ended for the day, we had beat the rain (mostly) and shown huge improvements in marksmanship. The story of April 19th, 1775 was told during lunch and during some well deserved breaks in the afternoon by 9mm4545 and FLawyer taking turns. The sacrifice of Isaac Davis, the brilliance of Gen. William Heath, and the skillful organization of the Patriot leaders were all part of the fabric of that fateful day and we tried our best to bring it to life. Although we had several shooters literally "knocking at the door", no new Riflemen were revealed on our first day.

Sunday morning was quite foggy and the range had a even soggier feel due to the Saturday night rains. But we could see the targets well enough and we were soon on the road to better shooting. By noontime, the AQT Grind was underway and before long our first Rifleman was revealed. David shot an outstanding 231 and took the lead. Good job, David! With the pace not slacking off one bit, scores continued to improve and before long we had another Rifleman in our group. Barely avoiding a soaking in the chilly waters of the North Bridge was Shawn with a 211. Way to go! Edging so very very close was Mike, who was continually shooting in the high 190's or low 200's but just couldn't quite get over the hump. The prescription is 10 minutes per day of PERFECT dry fire practice for the next 3 weeks and that problem will be cured. I know for a fact that Mike has grit and persistence and the Rifleman patch will be his; it is only a matter of time. I will give honorable mention to Gretchen, who on her first time out with a rifle, made it out of boot camp with a very respectable 144 on the AQT. Her new takedown Ruger is going to see some heavy use if my guess is right about Gretchen. This lady has exactly what it takes to master the rifle and I fully expect her to do it. Kevin, you are going to have to run pretty hard to keep up with Gretchen. It was a pleasure working with both of you. To Joel and Karl, you guys were fun and you are most welcome to join us again at any Appleseed. It is always good to see returning students at an Appleseed, especially folks like Neil and Mark. Come again when you can stay longer! And that goes for you too, Doug! To everyone, thanks for coming out and making a great weekend happen. If you have comments or photos, please share them lest someone say that if there aren't pictures, it didn't happen.  :)
The American Constitution is remarkable for its simplicity; but can only suffice a people habitually correct in their actions, and would be utterly inadequate to the wants of a different nation.  Change the domestic habits of the Americans, their religious devotion, and their high respect for morality, and it will not be necessary to change a single letter in the Constitution in order to vary the whole form of their government. - Francis Grund 1837

Offline rambo granny

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Re: New Smyrna Beach, FL Oct. 6-7
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 02:11:26 AM »
It never ceases to amaze me that the grit, determination, focus, and attention to detail of the shooters increases as the history stories connecting Americans to our forefathers and foremothers roll out during the day. Seems to happen at every shoot. It's one of my favorite parts to observe. ;)
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 07:37:47 AM by rambo granny »
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If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be
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Offline ToneDef

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Re: New Smyrna Beach, FL Oct. 6-7
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 09:53:51 AM »
What a fun shoot! I loved seeing all the shooters come out and persevere through soggy ground, fog so dense some of us drove right past the range entrance Sunday Morning, and rifle malfunctions. I was SO impressed with our young shooters, Ray and Donovan who were very safe and seemed to have a lot of fun shooting.


And now for the part you're all waiting for...the photos!

P.S. if anyone wants a full-size copy of the photo (these are compressed and terrible quality to fit) just PM me and I can email it to you.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 10:03:56 AM by ToneDeaf310 »
"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

"There's the country of America, which you have to defend, but there's also the IDEA of America. America is more than just a country, it's an idea. An idea that's supposed to be contagious." - Bono

Palatka ten twelve "Smoakin' IBC"

Offline dayid

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Re: New Smyrna Beach, FL Oct. 6-7
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2012, 01:00:23 PM »
While I'm unsure whether this is the right place to publish my first book about Appleseed or not, here goes the write-up I did for my own page. Sorry if I left anything too important out - this was primarily a "brain-dump" late Sunday night when everything was still fresh.

New Symrna Oct 6-7 2012

I attended my first RWVA Appleseed shoot in New Symrna, FL on Oct 6-7 2012. My brother-in-law, Douglas, and I both came prepared with our Marlin Model 60 rifles. We'd both zeroed in our rifles back on September 8th, 2012 at the Titusville Gun & Pistol Club at benchrest. When shooting from a benchrest at 25y, we'd both commented about how this "felt like cheating" and I doubted the challenge of the Appleseed course. Since we both normally fire our 22LR at 100y and are fairly consistent with our groups, I had to try hard to convince myself that shooting a "silly" 25y would be a learning experience.

Rifles
  • His: 2011 Marlin Model 60 with a 3-9x32 scope, unslung. Zeroed for 50 yards.
  • My spare: 2006 Marlin Model 60 with a 3-9x32 scope, slung. Zeroed for 25 yards.
  • Mine: 1987 Marlin Model 60 with Tech-Sights, slung. Zeroed for 25 yards.
Ammunition
  • Douglas brought Winchester bulk lead round-nose ammunition
  • I, Remington Golden-Bullet jacketed hollow-points

During the initial Red-Coat evaluation, Douglas's rifle persisted to fail-to-fire and fail-to-eject. Additionally, during the MOA squares to sight-in, it was not on paper at all. From our sighting-in back in September, he should have been not more than 2MOA high at 25y with his zeroed 50y and that ammunition's velocity/weight. Since his rifle had only first been fired at our prior sighting in and we were unsure of any potential issues with it, he swapped out to my spare rifle rather than wasting more time trying to sight his in again. New rifle in hands, Douglas was shooting sub-4MOA groups in the sighting period consistently. My zeroing with the Tech-Sights stayed true, only showing inconsistencies at my own fault.

Pleased with the initial sight-ins and aware of how each shooter was performing, the swarm of volunteer staff assaulted us with techniques from every angle. While my stubborn-ness and ingrained poor-habits from years of 'self-taught' rifle shooting were a strong defensive wall to attack, soon holes of light and logic began to flow through and I was learning. All of the staff had their particular strong points that highlighted different important factors of shooting.

  • IIT (instructor-in-training) Tony was the most vocal on us to maintain hydration through the day as well as reminding us to dry-fire often. Unfortunately it wasn't until day two that I heard him say (and went "Oh, DUH!") that we could continue to dry-fire if we completed a timed portion before the time was out and the range was still hot.
  • IIT Janet I believe gave me the last push that I needed to shoot Rifleman when she drilled me on my NPOA (natural point of aim) and especially my breathing. The difference between "breathe in, breathe out, shoot" and "breathe in, breathe out, PAUSE, FOCUS, HAVE A MOMENT OF ZEN, shoot" is astounding and my grouping attests to it.
  • Instructor Glenn's ever-present-eye on my left arm during the prone position finally forced it into the right place mid-day on day two. I'd forever shot prone with my arms both angled - a strong triangulation felt very comfortable; switching this to a more mono-pod-esque left-arm-under-action was probably the least-natural-feeling thing I did all weekend, but was completely worth it.
  • My other elbow-watcher, and frequent catcher of my habitually wood-dragging trigger-finger was Corey, who seemed to relish in catching me everytime those two old habits tried to creep back into my repertoire. Sometime on day two both he and Glenn could both say "Fix it" and I'd already know what problem they were referring to. Nearer the end of the day - they no longer could catch me as already the habits were being trained out.

From the initial safety-rules; Red-Coat evaluation; sight-in-MOA squares; then covering the 6-steps to firing; natural point of aim; prone, standing, and seated positions; sight-picture; MOA and what it means to a shooter; sling usage in a variety of forms; and the history lesson that covered more than most weeks in a history-class ever did - the first day flew. Until Douglas started having my rifle jam. My, how embarassing to be the only two tube-fed people in the class, and now we're already down 2 identical tube-fed Marlin Model 60s! Fortunately, Shoot Boss Bruce was kind enough to lend Douglas his modified Ruger 10/22. After a brief primer, Douglas was back to shooting. Me? I was busy stewing about how/why my gun was being such a pain in the ass. Not much more time went by before Douglas experienced a failure with Bruce's rifle. Three rifles failing in a row? Time to check the ammo! Douglas finished off the day shooting from my spare box of Remington and never had another failure.

At the end of the first day I'd scored a 188AQT. Not as good as I'd've hoped to do, but I was still pleased and my Red-Coat evaluation proved that I'd had much improvement through the course of the day. Never having been taught anything with regards to rifle, and having fired them primarily benchrest, this felt good. Still stewing over the failures in my Model 60 (even bad ammunition not firing should not have caused it to fail to extract also...) I took both my guns home and did a spot-clean that night - boresnaking the barrel and doing a simple cleaning of the chamber and faces.

Sunday the group was small. I believe on the first day there'd been a dozen or more shooters, and now we were down to - I believe - 5 or 6. I brought out both of my rifles again, feeling somewhat cheated by my iron-sights on the 4th stage of the AQT from the day prior (good grouping, but all *just below* the target). I blamed my improper impression of 6-o'clock hold for that. I started off with my "cheating" scoped '06 M60. We began the day again with Red-Coat evaluations. Failure-to-fire, failure-to-eject. UGH! Try again! Failure-to-fire, failure-to-eject. Not even a light strike - NO strike. I quickly swapped to my '87 M60 and managed to get off two shots at the first Red-Coat... then: failure-to-fire, failure-to-eject. Glenn and Bruce both watched and agreed that my rifles were going to give me a really long-day. Failure-to-fires I can deal with, but failures-to-eject on the M60 are a PITA to deal with, so I agreed. Rather than worrying about diagnosing the issues now, I bagged them both up.

I should note here that later Sunday night, while doing a full-detail cleaning of both of my Model 60s, a build-up of oil and junk was found on both bolt-faces before the extractors. This allowed the rifle to go into battery, but was spacing the bolt from the barrel, causing a gap before the rim of the round. This gap was the cause of the failures-to-fire, and since the bolt was not going into full battery, the extractors never had a chance to grab the round - causing the failures to eject. A good full-cleaning and brass-brushing of this surface resolved the issue with both rifles. So this should not be read as a bad strike against the Marlin Model 60 as much as a bad strike against how detailed I've maintained mine. I'm sure this was heresy among many rimfire owners who "never need to clean" theirs, but the build up was definitely present and causing major malfunctions.

Glenn was kind enough to loan me his modified Ruger 10/22, and after a quick-primer, I was back in action. (Sarcasm ahead!) This rifle felt weird!
  •     Thumbhole stock that makes your wrist sit funny: check
  •     Fancy scope with really fine reticles so you can see the target: check
  •     Crisp trigger (although a long reset): check
  •     Detachable box-magazine to get lost in your pocket instead of attached tube magazine: check
  •     Magazine release (I mean, who uses those when the magazine is attached?!): check
  •     Cheek-pad at proper height to align eye with scope without floating your head: check

All things that were foreign to me from my rifle experience. Oh, but I forgot the strangest one that threw me off the most: a proper length-of-pull for my reach! Suddenly I felt like I'd attended the first half of driver's education in my faithful 25-year old standard-pickup and was now taking the test in a Rolls Royce. Oh yeah, somewhere in there I'm sure I forgot to mention the barrel that was mirrored so bright you could probably discourage enemies simply by having it reflect in their direction! So I shot Glenn's rifle the rest of the day. Having the length-of-pull actually match my frame was the only thing about it that truly felt weird to me. I've no idea what the LOP as his stock was adjusted was, but it felt maybe 2-3" longer than that of my Marlin stock's. When it came time to turkey-neck up and shove that thing in my shoulder-pocket the extra LOP made it fit so much more nicely that now I'm out hunting new longer LOP stocks for my Marlins.

On our first AQT of day two I accomplished what I'd been after: I shot a 231AQT and qualified as Rifleman. I followed that one up with a 211 and confirmed my status. As mentioned earlier, my work with Janet on day two brought this over the hump, and while some were fatiguing, I was still tightening my groups and thinking less as the day went on. Wait, thinking less? Yep, at first, I had to untrain before I could train. Then, whilst training, the routines were still being forced upon my muscles by my brain. Just like how hard it is to think about every step you take whilst walking (vs having the muscle memory to do it automatically without thought) - thinking: "Action over elbow, align sights, move hips to bring NPOA on target, relax and confirm NPOA, breathe in, breathe out, pause, focus/zen, squeeze, fire, snapshot, follow-through, release trigger, breathe-in, repeat" had finally morphed into "position self, shoot, repeat" with muscles and habit taking most of the worry out and routine setting in.

Dealing with tube magazines
I'd heard horror stories and strong discouragement of bringing a tube-fed rifle to an Appleseed shoot. While to extents I do agree that the course of fires particularly of the rapid-fire AQT are more easily accomplished with a rifle that relies on box-magazines, it definitely isn't impossible to shoot Rifleman with a tube-fed rifle. While breaking position to reach the follower tube was heartbreaking at first when I was settling into positions - by the end of the first day the positions were beginning to come from muscle-memory and breaking out of position and getting back in wasn't nearly as much of a setback.

Tube magazines were treated as follows: During preparation time, when box magazine rifles had the box magazine loaded and chamber flag removed, tube magazines were loaded, but the chamber flag not yet removed. For transitional portions - like transitioning from standing to seated before firing:

    Box magazines:
   
  • Standing: Magazine prepared in pocket, safety on, chamber flag out
  • On-fire: Sit, place magazine in rifle, chamber round, safety off, fire

    Tube magazines:
  • Standing: Magazine prepared, safety on, chamber flag in
  • On-fire: Sit, remove chamber flag, chamber round, safety off, fire
What now?!

Well, now comes the second-most-important-part: I practice more of the good habits that I've acquired so they (a) don't get lost on me and (b) improve. If a group of volunteers can untrain and begin to retrain me in just two days, imagine what they can accomplish with a fresh slate!

Second most important part? What's the first?

Well, I'm glad you asked!

The most important part of this shoot is to invite you and anyone you know to attend one!
Heck, if you're in Florida, I'd even love for you to attend one that I'll be at! You can always reach me for more information directly about Appleseed events by e-mailing me at: appleseed@dayid.org; however, your best bet is to visit Appleseed Info.org and see everything the RWVA has to offer. I can guarantee you will learn something, improve your shooting, and have a great time. Oh, and I can also guarantee that you will never get better shooting instruction for a rifle over the same amount of time for such an amazing price. You'll be astounded when you learn just how budget-conscious an Appleseed shoot is!

You can also find me on the Appleseed Info.org Forums as "dayid".

Offline ToneDef

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Re: New Smyrna Beach, FL Oct. 6-7
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2012, 05:29:48 PM »
Dayid,

Great write up! I love the BIG LETTERS at the end! Keep up that 7th stepping, and we'll see you at the next shoot!
"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

"There's the country of America, which you have to defend, but there's also the IDEA of America. America is more than just a country, it's an idea. An idea that's supposed to be contagious." - Bono

Palatka ten twelve "Smoakin' IBC"

Offline FLawyer

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Re: New Smyrna Beach, FL Oct. 6-7
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2012, 07:30:00 PM »
Dayid,

Great write up!

It was a great pleasure to watch you analyze and work during the weekend. Hope to see you on the road at another shoot.  There is definitely an Orange Hat in your future..

FLawyer
(Glenn)
All men have been endowed by their Creator with the unalienable right to keep and bear arms.  All we have do is protect it.

Molon Labe!

Offline ToneDef

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Re: New Smyrna Beach, FL Oct. 6-7
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2012, 08:47:18 PM »
More photos available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28678720@N08/

Sorry for the dark shots. I'll try to play with them over time to see if I can improve them a bit.
"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

"There's the country of America, which you have to defend, but there's also the IDEA of America. America is more than just a country, it's an idea. An idea that's supposed to be contagious." - Bono

Palatka ten twelve "Smoakin' IBC"

Offline TomM1Thumb

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Re: New Smyrna Beach, FL Oct. 6-7
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 08:55:35 AM »
Another Great Appleseed weekend! Great Shooters, a Good Safe Shoot! 1 New Young Patriot age almost 7, one slighty older Young Patriot age 11, One Walk-on Lady seed Candidate Gretchen , and a whole slew of Adult male Shooters from 21 up to almost retirement age.

Good attitudes thru out both days! only grumblings were Equipment related, most minor, All were over come one way or another.

Smiles got Bigger as the Shot groups got smaller!!! Mike 6.5 MOA groups Sunday morning to 2.5-3.0 MOA groups Sunday Afternoon. Huzzah!! Keep Practicing and Dry Fire! You are O so close to Rifleman!!

Donavan, Wow I wish I could have shot a 48 out of 50 on the 100 yard target at My Appleseed. Huzzah!
Rambo Granny gives the Finest Instruction! I hope to see Donavan at another Event soon.

and to the Family group of 4 Who signed up But could not attend, We did Miss You, and We Hope All is well in Your Corner of this Big World! Maybe next time!

The more Appleseeds I attend, the Bigger My Circle of Friends and Family gets to Be!

Hope to See You All on the Appleseed Trail sometime soon.

Tom



“The Constitution shall never be construed…to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”  – Alexander Hamilton



" The Beauty of The Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it"
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