So I signed up, prepared my vehicle and packed out and on the road north at 5 AM, it is dark and cold. Filled up at the Safeway and drove, and drove and drove and at 7:25 rolled into the parking lot at the Custer Sportsman range... been here before always interesting.
Ben and Matt are on site, Ralph rolls up and we begin to set up. I have check in and t-shirt issue. Ten shooters to work on marksmanship and their heritage from our history presentations about April 19, 1775. I like to pretend anyone reading that date would automatically, if an American, know what happened and why on that date. But most Americans have no idea, they could google it or find it on Wikipedia, if they thought it important.
Introductions, history lessons, safety and expectations of the two days are presented. There is a plan, a course of instruction that guides the instructors, and the shooters all have their personal expectations. Some of the shooters are back for improving what they learned on another Appleseed some times ago. Family and friends gathered to learn, practice and test their skills in a common, American heritage, marksmanship with a rifle. Something my American History teacher showed me in ninth grade Junior High Rifle Club, in the high school gym on Thursday afternoons.
So, we start, building on little stuff, adding more, repeating the words, pointing out what we see, helping adjust the shooter, the sling and the rifle to the target with our techniques. I am sure they have much better ones in high power, competition and Olympic match levels. But we can bring you into 4 MOA at five hundred yards with our twenty-five meter targets... if the shooter pays attention and corrects one flaw at a time. And lots of dry practice, lots of dry practice.
Gus joined us on day two, while we waited on Alec to return from border crossing adventures. In the end several cleaned Redcoats and three new Riflemen made. The future Riflemen were all around but darkness comes early in the wintery Great NorthWest, and my hands were chilling.