Author Topic: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago  (Read 11407 times)

Offline jmdavis

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2016, 09:37:18 AM »

The next question has to do with the ammo allowed to be used at an Appleseed event.  I have hand loaded my own 3.08 rounds using a .224 bullet in a Remington Accelerator.  These sabot rounds have a muzzle velocity in excess of 4,000 fps using a slow burning powder.  You should not use this ammo in a semi-auto firearm to to possible feed problems that bolt actions are not susceptible to.  Would I be allowed by the rules to use these rounds in a bolt action?

You do not want to use this load if shooting steel. For paper punching I keep my loads below 3000 gps and generally around 2700.

I have shot KD aqt with a Steyr Scout, in a scout configuration. It works well, but it was through that use that I discovered that the pencil barrel moves the poi up 2 MOA and left 1/2 MOA when shooting sling with the barrel hot as in the aqt. It still produced a rifleman scores and it's done it's job on deer as well. The a Ruger barrel is heavier and it's design makes it easier to use a 10 rnds mag. Let us know how it works for you.

One additional bit of advice. Practice your transitions and bolt operation in dryfire before you get to the event. You can do this at home and even on a blank wall. Without a target for distraction you will be better able to focus on position, trigger control, sight alignment and the other key aspects of successful shooting. Good luck.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 01:15:50 PM by jmdavis »
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Offline TOMINCT

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2016, 02:26:35 PM »
R700's
What are the load and transition procedures for Stages 2& 3 with a fixed-mag rifle like that?

My pea-brain assumes you would handle it like a tube-fed rifle (fill the magazine when prep ends and leave the chamber flag in for transitions, etc) but I can't find anything specific in the manual.
Some Rem 700's are box mag fed. so swapping mags would be one way. The other is via stripper clip loading.

 Rem 700 series has been modified for use in NRA match rifle across the course firing for decades. The standard BDL series, fixed mag with hinge floorplate may be altered to take 5 rounds via clip loading. Typically the mag follower has some material removed from the bottom of it and the floorplate is shimmed down to allow the 5th round to be loaded into the magazine.

 On short action models, the rear receiver ring is milled for accepting stripper clips. I've a 223 varmint model that has been modified this way. Accepts M16 stripper clips or Clemul 5 round types as used in hi power shooting. 308/243 et al will be the same but take Springfield clips, not M14 style.

 On long action receivers with S/A cartridges an add on stripper clip guide is fastened to the rear receiver bridge, to allow the rounds to be loaded directly in front of the retracted bolt. If you have a chance to go to a hi power event and folks are running 'older' match rifles you will see what I'm describing here.
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Offline Kennebago

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2016, 03:33:59 PM »
I guess more specifically I am trying to figure out what my dryfire regimen should be with a hinged floorplate to prepare for a KD.

Scope rail will block top loading from any kind of clip and I do not have money left to spend on new bottom metal (I would be going with AICS) as I prioritized nicer glass over mags.

I am guessing I would be looking at loading the mag to capacity (5) when prep ends, leaving the chamber flag in, and then transitioning like a Marlin 60 would. After my first five rounds I would be single loading from stock pouch loops.

Understand this would be a very challenging way to earn a KD tab, which is why I want to try it.
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Offline Caliper

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2016, 03:50:29 PM »
I would PM whoever is running the KD event and ask them. Also, are you planning to use a side-saddle ammo carrier for the second 5 rounds or have them on the ground?  Something else to consider and straighten out beforehand.

You might try seeing if you can palm 2 or 3 rounds at once and quickly load them instead of single loading each of the five rounds individually. It would make for fewer times moving your hand out of your workspace to get ammo.

Offline Kennebago

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2016, 04:08:00 PM »
Scope is backordered and I won't have it for months, unfortunately. Not signed up anywhere yet or yeah I'd be bothering event personnel.

Rifle is wearing a stock pack with external cartridge loops (holds eight), so I have been messing around with that using snap caps.

Definitely want to have technique prepared before shooting for points.
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Offline jmdavis

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2016, 04:47:41 PM »
It will likely be faster to single load the last five in prone than to charge the magazine and then fire. Sitting will be tough. But you could shoot sitting from kneeling and take the loss of a few points vs. the additional time to get a good sitting position. The last time I saw anyone shoot the KD AQT with a 700  was when we had different rules. He single loaded for sitting and failed to get off two rounds. I want to say that his score was a 199.
"If a man does his best, what else is there?"  - General George S. Patton Jr

  ...We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
  For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
  Shall be my brother...-Shakespeare, Henry V
 

"There's a great deal of talk about loyalty from the bottom to the top. Loyalty from the top down is even more necessary and is much less prevalent. One of the most frequently noted characteristics of great men who have remained great is loyalty to their subordinates."
- General George S. Patton, Jr

"Your body can't go where your mind hasn't been."
- Alex Arrieta 1995 NTI Winner

Offline Rocket Man

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2016, 12:29:37 AM »
I am guessing I would be looking at loading the mag to capacity (5) when prep ends, leaving the chamber flag in, and then transitioning like a Marlin 60 would. After my first five rounds I would be single loading from stock pouch loops.

Sounds OK to me.  But at this point I might observe that I have seen folks make the score with single-shot rifles...

I haven't done that one yet.  Next chance I get I'm going to try with my CZ 452 and a SLED...  I have shot KD with an M1917 using stripper clips, and time was not a factor.  (Sights, on the other hand, were a factor.)  :shootself:

--

Something else I thought of with the Accelerator sabots:  Are those going to impact paper at 25 meters, like a shot cup?  That might pose a problem in our class, if they do.  Don't think they do.

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Offline MandyMonstar

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #37 on: June 22, 2016, 04:28:43 PM »
MandyMonstar,

Love your blog!

Thanks! :)

Offline confederate rifle

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2016, 09:00:32 PM »
very interesting read
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Offline Nashville Stage

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2017, 02:02:07 AM »
In case anyone reading this is interested, I actually have a filmed run through of the AQT with my bolt.  I get a lot of good information from watching recordings of my shooting, so maybe it would help someone else too.

Link!

Mandy, thanks for showing your videos; I've been thinking about doing something similar to review my range time.

You have an interesting technique for operating the bolt; I'll have to try that out. It seems less jerky than what I've been doing on my CZ. :)
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Offline glocker21

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2018, 01:02:38 PM »
Editor's note:
This thread was submitted to the newsletter by a 3rd party and has been published here with the author's permission. Should you run across a thread that you think should be included in the newsletter, send Roswell or FiremanBob a PM.


Earlier this week I wrote up everything that helped me as a bolt-action shooter at my first two Appleseeds, figuring I might as well pay it forward just in case there were any other people out there getting ready to shoot their first event with something other than a semiautomatic. Goodness knows there were plenty of people who shared information on forums that ended up helping me at mine.

I posted this yesterday on Rimfire Central's Appleseed subforum (mostly to see what the responses would be, if there were any) and people seem to think there are a few useful things in it, so I figured it might be worth sharing at the mothership.

Text and images are below.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

One of my favorite things about Appleseed is the unshakeable “run what ya brung” attitude that runs down into the marrow of the program.

My favorite rifle is a 452 Varmint, so that’s what I’ve been bringing.

I finished up my second Appleseed this past weekend (requalified), and I thought it might help some other people who are preparing for their first or second event with a bolt-action rifle if I shared some of my observations. Some of it probably isn’t news to AQT veterans, many of which are far better informed than me, and to be honest most of this was probably absorbed from them in a few dozen threads scattered across the forum (and across a few years), but at least it is in one place here. And some of it would go for any rifle, not just a bolt – most of my AQT runs have been made with a bolt-action, so if I'm saying obvious things, I apologize.

I don’t consider myself a good shooter, and I am really far from an expert. But these are my thoughts. If I'm wrong about anything please say so - one thing I still keep on-hand is my teachable attitude!

Bolt vs semi

Currently, my best semiautomatic run is all of two points better than my best bolt gun run. I’m just not seeing a disadvantage that can’t be overcome (this might change with experience). If you’re shooting a bolt gun, it just takes a little bit of preparation and some persistence.

I had some Internet Anxiety leading to the event over that, and it was completely unwarranted. If you've got a bolt gun, grab that thing and roll tide.

Keep your head locked on the rifle and work through each breath

This isn’t a secret – to successfully qualify as a Rifleman you will need to be able to assertively work the bolt without breaking cheek weld, and to breathe as you cycle the action.

As a bolt gunner, this is probably the single most important thing I worked on ahead of the event weekend. Shooting in a reasonably brisk rifleman’s cadence, my goal was working the bolt fast enough to be back on the rifle starting my trigger press at the same point in the breathing cycle where I would be just starting to press a semiauto trigger after letting out to reset.

Starting out, this sounded far more complicated than it was in practice. All you will need to do is lift the bolt while you start to inhale, begin to exhale as you push the rifle back into battery, and then be ready to begin your trigger press as you finish exhaling and approach the respiratory pause. Observe the front sight or reticle as it tracks upward back onto your target and let ‘er rip.

It sounds odd when written out, but a few minutes of dryfire is all it takes to get a good rhythm.  Shooting in rifleman’s cadence this way is smooth and natural - during the AQT grind this past weekend, all I noticed was my reticle floating back up on target after running the bolt for each shot.

Magazines, and keeping them loaded

I shot a personal bolt-gun-best 230 this past weekend with my CZ, using three 5-round magazines. This required changing mags once on Stage 1 and Stage 4, and changing mags twice on the transitional stages. It was a bear, and was made harder by an outstanding (relentless) Line Boss. If I wasn’t getting slung up, shooting, or getting unslung, I was over at my station prepping magazines as fast as I could.

I was also in the best frickin’ Rifleman’s Bubble of my life (so far), which didn’t hurt.  But what really helped me get through that run was that every spare second I had was spent on loading magazines. That gave me just enough time to take a few cleansing breaths and get my heart rate in check before prep began.

My very first Rifleman score (220) was shot with CZ’s 10-rounders at my very first event back in September, and while being forced to make more mag changes this time definitely took working more efficiently, it was not anything I felt unprepared to do.

Practice magazine changes while you are down there on your living room floor before the event, and without any question  5-rounders can carry you all the way through the AQT. I used three magazines to preserve the “shoot two, reload, shoot eight” rhythm on Stages 2 and 3, but if two 5-rounders is what you’ve got, it’ll work (talk to the instructors). That would probably be easier than what I did (which was shoot two, reload, shoot three, reload, shoot five).

Don’t panic on Stage 2

The first time I shot Stage 2, I fell apart. I think I got off five rounds – I wasn’t shooting in rifleman’s cadence, I fumbled my reload because I was back on my heels, and I took forever to build a good cross-legged seated position. Rookie mistakes with a semiauto, and real killers with a bolt gun.

To hit this stage successfully, I think shooters need to figure out which kneeling/sitting position is the correct balance of fast enough to get into and stable enough to land hits in the black. For me, this was crossed ankle (which is theoretically not my first choice for stability). I practiced dropping into my chosen position a couple of nights before the event, which helped. I’d guess this is where people make the most improvement between their first and second Appleseed, because outside of Appleseed I’d never been asked to get into a seated shooting position before.

Focus on getting your hits. My approach was that a shot in the black here is all you need. To hit 210 / Rifleman, my math says it’s okay to shoot 4s and 5s on this stage and run over the time limit with one (or even two) rounds unfired. Remember that throwing rounds outside of the 3-zone in a rush to finish will score the same as a round you didn’t fire, and you should resist the urge to dump your last few rounds for the sake of getting all 10 shots off. I tried to work methodically, get hits, and really focus on running the bolt as I breathed.

Get your scope right (if applicable)

This won’t apply to iron sight shooters, but I’m assuming most bolt-action shooters in the United States are using scopes.

This one obviously isn’t unique to bolt guns, but most of the scopes I see out and about in the world are set up too far to the rear for shooting prone. If you have to make a conscious effort to scrunch your head backwards in prone to get rid of scope shadow, you are going to be sore at the end of the day and you will probably have consistency issues. I knew I would probably have issues with this being a first-timer over the summer and wouldn’t you know, I had to push my scope forward quite a bit more than I thought I would need.

Even at that, I had to adjust it further Sunday night after the shoot and I felt cramped for eye relief all through the AQT grind. In the end, what I had to do was ignore some neck pain and figure out which tooth I was pressing into the stock through my cheek when I had an acceptable sight picture. I then focused on pressing that same tooth into the stock for the entire grind.

It worked that day and I earned my patch, but there isn’t a reason in the world to shoot like that. I had to lift my head and re-settle it several times through each AQT, and on a few stages I had to do it more than once. For a semiauto shooter, that’s inefficient and means speeding up your cadence. For someone who has to manually cycle the action, wasting that time means the difference between getting all of your hits in Stage 2 and running over the time limit with a bunch of rounds still in the magazine (or worse, getting sloppy and throwing shots in a rush to beat the clock).

Play around on your living room floor and have tools available to make adjustments during prep periods. Far better to sort your scope out on Day 1 shooting squares than it is to fiddle with it during AQTs.

Get your cheek weld right

Running a bolt gun means breaking NPOA to at least some degree for every single shot. Keeping your cheek welded to the stock through all four stages is critical to keep unnecessary variables out of rebuilding NPOA as the rifle goes back into battery, and having a comb that is too low relative to your sights will make consistency here much more difficult than it has to be.

If your stock, rings, and ocular / rear sight all work well with your facial geometry, awesome. My general impression is that scope shooters who are used to shooting off a bench will occasionally be willing to accept something closer to jaw weld or chin weld than cheek weld, which is a problem that a bench will cover up and the AQT will quickly expose (and that working a bolt gun will compound due to breaking NPOA each shot).

Some new stocks make this easy to address, like Magpul’s X-22 or Ruger’s anniversary package. Shooting a CZ, I didn’t have this option, and I wasn’t willing to modify my stock for a riser kit.

In the end, I added a stock pouch before attending my first event and I was really glad I did. It does a great job, and I store hex keys or whatever else I need that day in it. With consistent cheek weld, I was able to focus on Neckpain Tooth Index or whatever else it happened to be at the moment rather than where the rifle was on my Y-axis.



Number your magazines

This one seems really obvious to me, but I never see it at my local ranges and I haven’t seen it at the Appleseeds I’ve attended, either. It’s a little ugly, but this is a dead-reliable way to never mix up your 2’s and 8’s, or whatever combination you are using. I carried this practice over from handguns, where mags / mag springs can be a weak point in the system and being able to quickly identify which mag is faulty helps solve feedway stoppages. So I guess the same benefits would apply, but I've never seen a rimfire magazine go bad like I've seen centerfire handgun mags go bad.



Paint pens work great for this. I mark my CZ magazines on the spine, starting with an X or a V depending on whether they’re 10-rounders or 5-rounders. I haven’t marked my only steel magazine yet, because I am kind of attached to it. This past weekend while using 5-rounders in the transitional stages, I set my nest up with Mag 1 (two rounds) and Mag 2 (three rounds) and separated from the unmarked mag (five rounds) with a chamber flag. This ended up working pretty well, since I could easily tell which magazine was which when it came time to reload.

It looked something like this:



For 10/22 magazines, which are (irritatingly) little cubes, I mark the side of each magazine near the front. I’m admittedly new to 10/22s, but marking magazines that way helped several times on Saturday while making reloads in prone as I was able to glance down and make sure I was oriented correctly before driving each magazine into the magwell.



Rapid-fire AQTs

These are uncommon, but if you are given the option and you are shooting a bolt gun, don’t be intimidated because a rapid-fire AQT will work to your advantage. It sounds counterintuitive (how could a faster test help a slower gun?!) but in effect, what this does is let you take your time on Stage 2 (which is where a bolt-action’s speed disadvantage is greatest) by trading off time from stages where a bolt gunner should have more time than they really need.

That, and they’re FUN!

That's all I've got. Nothing profound (I'm not much of a philosopher), but I hope that assembling the stuff that helped me will in turn help somebody else getting ready to attend their first Appleseed, so they can focus on more important things than shooting issues.

Those guys in red and orange hats do like to talk about this one day in April from a bunch of years ago...might be worth paying attention to.  ;)

Good luck, and persist!

Well said Kennebago!
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Offline CarrollMS

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2019, 12:22:19 PM »
Thanks for great coaching. Scored 235 at Ramseur Bootcamp first day with the CZ American 455
Mark Sutherd Carroll, Lee County, KY
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Offline Kennebago

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2019, 05:39:01 PM »
Thanks for great coaching. Scored 235 at Ramseur Bootcamp first day with the CZ American 455

Yeah buddy! Bolt action crew strikes again!
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Offline Gus

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #43 on: March 30, 2019, 02:38:46 AM »
Great post, love the bolt action.  My son Christian used my Anschutz Achiever in Alaska's March Appleseed and qualified distinguished with iron sights.  I used as Ruger 10/22 and did well, but he beat me pretty good.  This particular Achiever is set up with a peep rear and globe front.

I think in April, I'm going to run the Anschutz and see how it goes.

I better start practicing!

Gus
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Offline Quinncannon

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #44 on: March 30, 2019, 09:39:17 AM »
Good information, Kennebago! I've shot a CZ 452UL equipped with Brno Sport sights for years, then had to start using a scope on it, still shot good scores. Also started using a Mini Howa, in .223, I found that this rifle is excellent for reduced and KD.

To be clear, I mainly shoot semi-auto's now, but still occasionally pick up one of the bolt actions.

Would be nice if there was a special patch for bolt gunners!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 10:15:35 AM by Quinncannon »
"This we"ll defend"

Rifleman patch, first Appleseed, N. Little Rock, April 2009.
KD qualified, Talledega, July 2016
KD qualified, Manchester, Sept 2016
Distinguished, Bald Knob, Jan 2018
Distinguished, Bald Knob, June 2018
Infernoseed, Bald Knob, June 2018
250 Perfect score, Bald Knob, 17 June, 2018
Distinguished, Bald Knob, Jan 2019
Distinguished, Hot Springs, April 2019

Offline TrapperPete

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #45 on: March 31, 2019, 09:46:24 PM »
it would be fun if there was a patch for Bolt action qualification , although I shot my first RM patch with a bolt action 22.

but still would be cool if there was a patch. who doesn't like a good patch?


Offline Mark Davis

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2019, 11:44:03 PM »
Yeah how about a special bolt patch for Mosin-Nagant.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 11:46:42 PM by Mark Davis »

Offline Kennebago

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Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2019, 02:22:57 PM »
it would be fun if there was a patch for Bolt action qualification , although I shot my first RM patch with a bolt action 22.

but still would be cool if there was a patch. who doesn't like a good patch?

Running a custom "unauthorized" bolt gun patch has been kicked around by more than one of us here, including me. My limitation has always been software - working in GIMP is painful and I don't have access to Photoshop anymore. Getting patches printed isn't necessarily hard, but the design work is agonizing without decent software.

You'll find not everybody is supportive, either, which sort of leads to a DIY route anyway. Embroidery can be a hot-button topic!

(I can see both sides, for whatever that's worth.)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 02:37:04 PM by Kennebago »
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