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Appleseed review – more about guns and not about tech.

I had the best clipboard, also the only clipboard.

Appleseed 10/15-10/16/2011 Byers, Colorado

I’m just getting started on a writeup, photos and video. For now I’ll just say the event exceeded my expectations. Click the links below as I get them done for more specific info:

Gear I took, lessons learned


Course of fire




Happy byers range, my spot on the right.

Appleseed was a great time for me. The instructors were good and the ratio was awesome, I think about 6 for around 30 of us. Volunteers were also there from the Colorado Rifle club. I was happy to hear them say that we were not allowed to talk politics while there.

The mission of the RMVA instructors is to teach us some history from the American Revolutionary War and encourage us to get involved in politics no matter what our independent views. They are good at the oral storytelling deal, they were pretty interesting and passionate about what they do.

That was it, no weird gimmick, no amway sales, no secret organization developing a force to fight blue helmets or government zombies. I was prepared to walk away if it was full of nut jobs. Most of the people I met were cool. Some were very odd. On the left was a mom, dad, son and on the right a father and daughter. Two of my friends went along for the ride as well. Most people had a Ruger 10/22 and most were not prepared with a full list of gear suggested on the Appleseed page. That was fine. The Appleseed instructors work with everyone as best as they can with whatever they have.

The goal is to get everyone to be able to consistently shoot a 210/250 point score with a rack grade rifle and GI ball ammo. I like the novelty of doing it with my standard plain AR15 but decided the hard game for me would be some silly scoped rifle so I had a small handicap. I still don’t understand all of what I am doing wrong with a scope as I learned to shoot iron sights.

Now that my eyes are starting to change, I’m pretty happy with the idea of optics despite being a little old school. I need to figure out how to make my stock the right size because I see black way too often and have to estimate where the crosshairs are from the lines I can see. Proper bone support etc helps too because you only need to aim once if you are doing it right. They told me I would need to adjust my stock during the course, there just isn’t time.

There are some things I can suggest you should do to save yourself time.

  • A good sling mount that will let you detach your loop sling from the front end of your rifle. You want to be able to walk away from the firing line  and leave the sling on your arm.
  • Put some qtips in one pocket and pull one out after finishing a firing stage and clean a little of your chamber. (if you are done firing early, can’t move the rifle from the firing line the entire day and you cant walk up to it when you want.)
  • Plan which pockets have what in them before you go. chamber flag goes in X pocket, pens, paper towels, food to munch on etc. I do north face zip off pants. Tons of pockets, turn into shorts if it gets hot.
  • Clean your barrel Saturday night. If you know the weapon, break it down all the way Sat. It is going to be dirty.
  • People who brag and say their rifle doesn’t get dirty are stupid. Clean your rifle.
  • Make sure your sight is dead on before you show up. Find out if your range is 25 yards or 25 meters. This will give you time to keep an open, relaxed mind and work on positions.
  • Keep a bottle of eyedrops in your bag. Someone will need them if you don’t.
  • Pack food, a chair, a cooler, sunscreen, spare glasses, spare ears, spare inksticks, clipboard, redundant sharpies (they will get stolen) staple gun, rubber band for wind and your clipboard.
  • Sunscreen in the parking lot, then at lunch. You won’t remember any other time.
  • quarter inch graph paper would have been nice
  • print aqt size tgts maybe 9 to a page in a light color or outline. EVERY time you check a target, write down your shots. Sometimes they will staple a target over the top while you are busy learning and you won’t have any useful data except in your notes.
  • TAKE NOTES! study them saturday night. Go over the reasons you are making mistakes, go over the math for adjusting sights.
  • On your very first target, draw something on it. A giant smiley face was my favorite. Once I did that, nobody shot my target. In the scoring stage if someone shoots your target, you lose points for their misses. They throw out the highest points that land on your target, so say 6 rounds hit yours, 3 are bulls 3 are misses… you get misses.
  • Next time I will draw giant lines across my target and SAT/SUN and time. I kept every target and studied each next to a schedule from the weekend.
  • Be creative with your positions and figure out what works for you now. I tried everything they said before I went back to the USMC positions I liked. I actually kept the sitting position RMVA taught me because I couldnt see through my scope sitting like normal.
  • screwdriver set -check my gear list page I take a wiha security bit set
  • Pay attention, even if you know it, go over it in your mind. If you are drifting off, start practicing what they are doing. Sit when they are sitting. Pretend you have a sling on. I was the only one practicing, mimicing etc, I don’t care if it looked funny nobody there (including instructors) is in their comfort zone but me. I soak everything I can up like a sponge, try new ideas, practice. Rebuild your muscle memory in free time. That is why I shoot ok.


byers range, 25, 100, 200, 300 yards are visible. 500 was off to the right behind a berm, i couldn't see it from my pos. Click the pic for full size you cant see past 100 here.







Comment from Bill
Time: January 1, 2015, 9:29 pm

I like the comments. I went to two Appleseed shoots in ’10. Came close but didn’t shoot Rifleman.

I found your blog searching info on simplisafe and appreciated your insight and commentary.


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