One Appleseed in Washington was canceled so I got to go to Oregon to shoot at an Appleseed there this weekend, at the Douglas Ridge range - which is having some land use problems because of the discovery of wetlands! Everything in the west of the Great Northwest is wetlands, flood plain or tidal waters - water, watter everywhere and then it rains! Wetlands indeed!
Anyway, as I drove the three hours down to the range in Oregon, I thought about how the movement of shooting has crested - partly from the cost of shooting stuff, and partly from the cost of living and gasoline. But mostly because handling of firearms safely and proficiently and learning about the Heritage of 19 April, 1775 will get you bombed up by Cheicken Terrorist without a cause, or even have some government agency notice your activity and send the IRS or the FBI SWAG to your doorstep. What was Nathaniel Harrington doing on the green in Lexington on 19 April 1775? Well, maybe the terrorists will only attack the large crowds watching the runners and not families on a rifle range in the middles of somewhere... Well, everyone get back on the streets and announce the opportunity to learn marksmanship to 4MOA and the Heritage and tell them to visit RWVA forum for more information.
Well, I arrived (early) I was noticed and greeted and became a good thing to talk about the good old days. Not only all the instructors but the returning shooters from Appleseeds years ago. It was good, and I even made some new buddies. Other old men from long ago wars, and younger men working for a Rifleman patch.
Including me, twenty shooters, just enough to make the words flow and the shooting slow down. So, no matter what Fred has said about fewer words and quicker training, it can get away from our best efforts and good intentions. They did one AQT by the end of the day, they had the two Redcoat targets, all positions, transitions and marksmanship and safety were taught, just not as much practice. Since we had an AQT and some good shooters returning from other Appleseeds, there were two that earned a Rifleman patch. No pictures since they may have declined - many did, and they NSA and Homeland Security will have to look for satellite coverage to find out who got the patch.
I never got to the AQT except to staple one up on my target backer. Seems that I am healthy, after having troubles last year - but that doesn't mean I am fit to fight. Or do the transitions from standing to seated or prone quickly with the muzzle in a safe direction. I need many more dry practice getting up and down with a rifle without making everyone in the general area afraid. I also see a need for speed - even giving up two shots will still need a faster surrender to gravity and the ground.
Anyway, I supported a black powder shooter mounting a scope on his rifle - I talked he worked. I also got lots of sunshine and sunburn (yes. I had sunscreen, but one must apply it). So, looking at my targets (bad enough that I didn't take pictures for sharing, but did take the paper to shred in a controlled environment - home!) It was great to shoot the M1 Garand (always) and I did improve - someone should buy me a bunch of ammunition or reloading components and I can continue to improve. Still, without the live ammunition - the dry practice, including the transitions from standing to seated and prone, are what I must improve and can afford to do. The difference between healthy and fit is HUGE!