Author Topic: Laramie Rifle Range Winterseed, Feb 8-9 2020  (Read 47 times)

Offline sleepy

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Laramie Rifle Range Winterseed, Feb 8-9 2020
« on: February 15, 2020, 12:36:26 AM »
It was a dark and stormy night (sampled from Snoopy) which we woke up from waaaayyyy too early on Saturday morning. Still snowing outside, there had been about an inch or three of accumulation, drifts considered.

While I went off and shoveled for myself and the little old lady next door, Spinnaker was breaking trail for less capable vehicles so they could access the Laramie Rifle Range, opening the gate at seven. I arrived shortly after, followed by Rasputin and Ridge Walker. We moved tables and shooting props out of the way and measured out 25m, driving stakes with cones into the frozen ground.

Our sole pre-registered shooter, Ryan, arrived; followed by two walk-ons Ridge Walker press gan...I mean recruited; Paul and John. All were early and kindly offered to help. Spinnaker headed off at this point; he had other work to do. His help in setting up was much appreciated.

After the paperwork was done, I showed all assembled where the first aid gear was at the table, and we rallied ‘round the flag for the pledge of allegiance, followed by the safety brief. Although it had only been September since I had Shoot-Bossed, it was obvious I was rusty. Lucky for all assembled, both Rasputin and Ridge Walker were sharp as tacks.

One of our first orders of business was awarding Ridge Walker his Wyoming cadre patch, for his stepping up to drive in from Colorado DESPITE advise not to from his wimpy shoot boss. Weather and road closures are a constant threat in Wyoming winters.

The redcoats showed nothing special, but shooting squares demonstrated that our three shooters were experienced marksmen.    I’ll single out Ryan for a little extra notice, having accepted the challenge knowing his bolt-action rifle would work against him in timed fire.

All shooters, while experienced, laid aside that experience for a beginner’s mind, and groups shrank accordingly.

Rasputin provided the lion’s share of instruction on Saturday, with Ridge Walker contributing as a model. They switched off some, with Ridge Walker demonstrating ample experience. They both took turns running the line, too. Regular guy was in and out a few times, helping with logistics.

Saturday ended with us firing transition targets; the short daylight hours and start of snow squalls had us finishing around 5.

Sunday started cool, with temps reaching a high of 10F. Cool as it was, the bright sun and light winds made it a delight to shoot. Hats, gloves, and coats were coming off around noon and stayed off until about 2.

Paul, John, and Ryan showed up again, gluttons for punishment. Ridge Walker and regular guy also showed, and were great help. Ridge Walker mostly taught and ran the line while regular guy again assisted with logistics and shot some.

We started inside, doing classroom tasks, and then came out to shoot. We shot six AQTs, one of them being a four-minute AQT. None of the shooters had enough magazines to do a four minute AQT without doing some extra magazine prep, but got the gist of it and appreciated the time-savings potential.

As for the AQT scores, most impressive! Around 4, we tore down the range and went back inside the clubhouse for more classes, scoring, and benediction.

Scoring targets was a real heartbreaker, with some being scored three times because they were sooooo close.

John scored a 221 on his first AQT, and was awarded a Winterseed patch. This despite considerable neck discomfort.

Regular guy’s scores were another heartbreaker, all easily qualifying but just barely falling short of Distinguished. He received his third or fourth re-award of his Winterseed patch.

Ryan, he of the CZ bolt-gun, scored a 209. Despite numerous reviews of his score, it didn’t change. He’ll be back for April 19th.

Paul also missed his Winterseed patch by just a few points, scoring a 207. This with a rifle he had only had a chance to use same day, his first day’s rifle being sidelined due to extraction issues. He’ll also be back for April 19th.

No sunshine patriots in this bunch. These men know what they are about.

We followed up with the benediction, and called it a weekend.

Four things, marksmanship aside, really stood out for me this last weekend.

First was the drive of our shooters. All faced challenges due to distance, rifles, pain, and weather. Yet all three where there from beginning to end. Nothing of the new “me generation” to be seen in this crew.

The second was the dedication of our Rocky Mountain area cadre. I received many calls from cadre who I discouraged from coming due to distance. And some of those local who were unable to stay for the whole weekend came and did what they could; thanks Spinnaker, regular guy, and Rasputin. And one hard-charging IIT from Colorado who despite being warned off due to threatening weather, Ridge Walker, came anyway.

The third was the truly incredible range that Laramie Rifle Range is. Not only do we have a superb range with breathtaking views, but we have an incredibly supportive board when it comes to anything Appleseed. Even the backers were specially made for us, low to the ground, and safely stored for our future use.

The fourth is the need we (or at least me) have to review our material. For most of us, our last shoot was back in the summer; more than six months by April. Keeping on top of things was like pulling teeth, and only accomplished with anything resembling grace due to the presence of other good cadre. The idea that everyone should attend an IBC before April 19th is really smart.

The fifth was the foresight that someone on the program who came before me had in instituting the Winterseed patch. This patch is the carrot that lures out shooters up for the challenge mid-winter. This patch gives us the opportunity to discuss those Americans who bravely faced hardship and death in places like Valley Forge, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Chosin Resevoir.

Keep warm out there. I’ll look forward to sharing the lines with you all in April!