Many new shooters are uncomfortable simply going to a range and beginning to shoot. Sadly, not all new shooters have a person to guide them in the basics of shooting. An organization of history buffs with shooting skills has taken the time to start a nationwide program to help these people in developing their skills with simple training as a way to begin shooting. Appleseed is an organization formed by the Revolutionary War Veterans Association designed to teach basic rifle marksmanship to new and experienced shooters. If a person goes in understanding that this organization is a basic marksmanship program, the person will be very satisfied. There will be several Appleseed events in and around Atlanta in the upcoming months, and shooters should look into attending them.
How It Works
New shooters pay a nominal fee and bring a rifle, ammunition, and a sack lunch (as well as other shooting tools listed on the Appleseed website) to an Appleseed Meet. The shooter will be instructed in safety and marksmanship skills before going to the firing range. At the range, the shooter will practice with several basic shooting positions and will shoot at targets made to simulate longer ranges than are readily available. While these simulated distances are not quite as good for long-range shooting practice as actual long range shooting, it is a good primer. After practicing for most of the day, the shooter will shoot a scored course of fire and will be scored. A high score will mark the shooter as a “Rifleman” in the Appleseed scoring system. Shooters who need to practice further will be scored as “Cooks.” Many people find these designations overly simplistic, and there is some weight to these claims. They trace their lineage back to the organization’s view on what makes a skilled shooter.
Criticism and History
The aforementioned differentiation traces back to the Revolutionary War, where skilled shooters were riflemen and other people were cooks or support personnel. The organization is criticized as being elitist for making this differentiation. It is historically valid, however. New shooters need not worry- many new shooters score “Rifleman” at their first meet. Those who do not still have a reference point for future practice. The organization places twenty-minute “history lessons” at several points in the day. The content of these is another point of criticism, as it seems to paint a very harsh picture of Loyalist soldiers during the Revolutionary War. If a person does not want to be at these lessons, the person does not have to. The discussion of modern politics by instructors is banned, however.
Overall, a Good Idea
Even bearing in mind the criticisms and shortcomings of the training, this program can be beneficial to new shooters. It is worth note that women, people under 21 years of age, and some other people may attend the courses without paying the range fee. This makes Appleseed an exceptionally good way to learn shooting for many people. Shooters can use .22 rifles, which are cheap to shoot, and will have a chance to practice firearms safety.