I departed about an hour too late on Saturday for Stevenson, Washington. Learned of my mistake as I set my GPS and tore on down the road, about three hours of travel, luckily it was early in the morning, I had light, and light traffic.
I was only a bit player in a very small Appleseed event, only three or four shooters, one first time Shoot Boss (whom I have worked with before) and one missing due to illness IIT Janer (do hope she recovers well, since I was just getting off my constant cough).
I had my M1 Garand with me for zeroing before I went to bed, Thursday I will be attending the Known Distance Shoot at Douglas Ridge and only verification of zeroes and three full distance AQTs will be shot, about a hundred and fifty rounds. Need some more dry practice, and to borrow some young paratrooper's body - this one doesn't stretch as well any more.
Met the Shoot Boss KenJo and his four shooters, two father daughter pairs. The young ladies would have to stretch to catch up with their father's marksmanship - but mechanical and ancient bones and unfamiliar positions would take their toll on the men, and then we made everyone fear the time monkey - only fifty-five seconds? All the idle assurances of their future ability to meet the standards were always slowed by how tense they became as they pushed to slide the magazine in quickly. Relax! make it happen, breath in breath out, focus, squeeze and the follow thru, now again... rhythm, Rifleman's cadence. It will work, believe.
Check your natural point of aim, RELAX! I shout like a Drill Instructor (that will make them remember, as they lie there quivering). We taught it all, and shot through a teaching AQT, I told a whole hour of how Americans decided they could go it alone, then finished with the First Strike. I should cut a lot more words away. Just stimulate their interest, allow them to research and study, it won't stick unless they do. We did one AQT for score and then the other strikes of the match, and a final Red Coat target for the day. It had gotten very hot in the afternoon, we had pushed watering the body and they stayed on pace on that. The shoot boss gave them the benediction and seventh stepping and we sent them home to rest and recover. Hoping they would return by eight thirty in the morning. Then I sat sipping water and discussing the after action of the day, what we would try to accomplish in the next. Great idea for KD to 100 meters.
I put a target up to zero upon and fired two rounds, measured and adjusted my sights - Inches, Minute of Angle and Clicks work! Fired four more then eight on stage four of an AQT. Hmm, best get to practicing what I preach - more dry practice, more mental repetitions of an excellent shot... more positions.
Clean up, pack up, make my bed and I lay upon it, under a poncho liner, listening to the hum of the mosquitoes, the even ones don't hurt and can't keep me awake I will have lost a lot of blood by morning by the Pacemaker will keep what is left moving at more than fifty bpm.
Day two, roll up the bedroll. shake the scorpions out of the boots (nah, just teasing you) and take a walk after making breakfast out to see the damage from the shotgunning hooligans of the last evening. Saw some interesting animal tracks, but nothing I was going to be concerned over. There was an eight inch slug trying to make it to shade before the Sun dried him... looks like a long time survivor.
The Shoot Boss shows and we finish setting up, talking and wait upon our shooters. Only two takers today. But we roll right on after finding lapses of memory on four Safety Rules, Six steps of making a rifle safe, and six steps of the shot. Review, rinse, repeat... they will one day own all those words. The young lady adds compliance to the safety rule four... ugh. I can't spell compliance. Review, rinse, repeat...
A lot would be learned about the rifles and the ammunition and the change in groups for fifty, seventy-five and one hundred yards. New Target then shoot Stage Four, mark, score and move to 75. shoot Stage Three. time monkey distraction, mark, score, move to fifty, Shoot Stage Two, time monkey beats them again, mark, score, move to 25, shoot Stage one of the AQT, no time monkey, distance is very normal, target size perfect ten rounds but only some on target, sigh. Good exercise bring the targets in talk targets, challenges and results. Lots of good stuff learned. Move safely back to other range for one last AQT and Rec Coat and wrap of Appleseed for this weekend.