Gear I took, lessons learned
I started with the standard cheapest 10/22 I could get while in the USMC:
I made a bunch of changes before going to Appleseed so that I would have a bunch of challenges to overcome:
I don’t have much experience with a scope. I got a BSA sweet .22 from the little lady for my birthday so I put that on a new rail on top of the receiver with some guntite. I decided to make this into a little beater rifle that I don’t mind hauling around all over the place or throwing in the back of a truck. I put on a lightweight bull barrel that is about an inch shorter than my stock tapered barrel. It weighs just about nothing. Hogue plastic stock and a mag release. All of this stuff is really easy to pick it up.
So what I put in to this rifle:
$100 – rifle
$(99) – scope from GF
$100ish rings, sling mounts, sling, guntite, rail, mags, mag release
I put in $320ish on a 15ish year old $100 gun. That may sound bad, but I spent $350 on ammo for the weekend.
1500 rounds .22 long Aguila Golden Eagle match subsonic 40 grain
200 rounds .308win -Hornady Superformance 178gr boat tail hollow point match
I tend to disagree with the idea that you should use a crap rifle and crap ammo to practice while you are learning. You can’t use a crap rifle well until you know how to shoot.
Barrel – Magnum research .22LR MAGNUM LITE® Graphite Barrel
– This thing seemed to like Aguila match ammo. I took it out to the Pawnee Grasslands and tested with 14 types of ammo a few weeks before Appleseed. Got it out to about 160yards prone with a sling. Some ammo started to keyhole, most of the subsonic stuff seemed on.
From what I can tell the barrel is fine. I like the weight making up for the addition of the scope, I don’t know or particularly care if the barrel is a zillionth of an inch more accurate. I would be curious if this is actually any different than the stock tapered barrel. What is really better, and extra inch on the old or the shape of this one? Anyhow mission accomplished, it is light. Do not load cci stingers and other super high velocity .22 ammo in any barrel with a benz chamber. Don’t take high velocity ammo to appleseed.
Stock – Hogue overmolded – I don’t like this thing too well. It was cheap but it was too short for my cheek. I didn’t have a good cheek weld for the entire appleseed so I was usually looking at a scope that was half black. As long as I could guess where the crosshairs were I took the shots. Crazy fun and hard. I just ordered a Blackhawk Cheek pad that straps on with some velcro in 3 places. I’m guestimating I need about 1/4inch up after testing with some mouse pads when I got home from appleseed. Of course everyone will be different. I don’t know much about scopes still but I’m learning, if yall are like me and did all iron sights back in the day you needs to prep a little.
Buy a recoil pad in case the stock is too short, and also get a few sizes of this cheek pad kind of thing so you can raise your cheek. Having half of your scope blacked out is not very fun because your head can’t line up right. We didn’t have time to fix this between all of the stuff that was going on and the fact that I didn’t look like I needed help. Guessing is fun but I know some people would just quit at that point.
If you have money, buy a cheekpad that velcros on to the stock before you go. I didn’t know I needed one.
Sling – I got an ar15 standard gi sling from cheaperthandirt.com for about 10 bucks. Well actually I bought 5 and gave a few away at the shoot. Some important notes – you NEED 1.25 inch or bigger sling mounts. If your stock does not have sling mounts, you must go buy some. If you aren’t sure, order some because like 10 people at your appleseed shoot will need them. Mine were a pain in the ass to take off. I highly recommend finding some sort of sling mount that snaps on and off the front of your rifle really quick. That way you can leave your loops sling on your arm between stages. This will save you valuable prep time, let you relax and shoot well. If anyone finds the ideal sling mounts let me know.
Scope – BSA 3-9 sweet 22 – For a cheap chinese scope, this thing is super awesome. It has the idiot proof adjustment labeling for people who hate math. It might not be completely accurate but it will get you damn close. So a normal person would move 2 dials to reflect 100 yards instead of 25 yards where they just were. I instead will do the match and calculate the 1/4 MOA adjustments needed. This scope is cool because you can do either.
If you don’t own a scope before appleseed read the instructions, take it apart, figure it out, tighten the screws. Hell if you don’t remember how your iron sights work, build some flash cards and figure it out BEFORE you go. I felt bad for the people around me. There just isn’t enough time in 2 days to compare to a month of shooting in the middle of boot camp.
Mag release – I’ll try a different one. I couldnt get my mag to stay in until the bolt was cycled. This made the rapid fire portions difficult. This is a lot harder than swapping an M16A2 mag.
Magazines – Standard Ruger 10 round rotary –Do not take high cap magazines. The event requires a maximum of 10 rounds in one stage. If you monopod up on a high cap mag, your target will be disqualified. If you have money to burn, take 6 magazines. For each aqt, load 2*10, 2*2, 2*8. Label them with a silver sharpie if you want and remember alcohol takes sharpie off plastic just fine when you are done.
A trick I suppose I invented for myself on an M16A2- I shake the mags in weird ways to find the center of gravity and estimate rounds remaining. I was just remembering that to myself and gave a ruger mag a shake. That was a lucky break on Saturday morning. I figured out that a mag of 8 rounds rattles, a mag of 2 makes no noise at all. During your 55 second standing to sitting with 2 mag changes, that might be a helpful tidbit to someone.
Glasses – prescription Oakley sunglasses – $500 but well worth it, lots of coverage, first time I’ve shot at a real range with prescription glasses and it made a huge difference for me. Very comfy, had 3 backup pairs of shooting glasses. Which is good because one of my pals broke the first one I loaned her within minutes.
Boresnake Viper – This is the greatest invention for cleaning guns. I have one for .308, .22 (also .223) and 12ga. The only calibers I own. I took one of my old mesh laundry bags out from my boot camp supply box to wash these things in. you just toss them in the bag and put them in the washing machine. Hang them on a hanger in a doorway and they are done. Way quicker than running patches and a bore brush.