Seems like a hundred miles down the road from Lone Pine Range I remembered promising targets to take home for practice before the Appleseed was over, but I had finished grading the fourth Appleseed Qualification target of the day and had shifted my natural point of aim to returning to my nest - HOME. On the way, after a hundred miles of travel to the East side of Washington State I had wondered if I had closed the garage door before I drove. Something to gnaw over in my mind... (I had!) Subtle messages of the time to come when I really will know knothing about anything. Yeah, I know how I spelled that MS makes squiggly red lines under my most creative efforts to move the language my way.
We get started with introduction to RWVA and the Appleseed mission, the crew, and roll right into the pre-history (before April 19, 1775) then safety then bring the rifles to the line. Safe the line, post first Redcoat and the day is well started. Lots of room for improvement. Six shooters and two instructors, one of which must be a line boss, which leads us to dropping too many words, and confusing with more information than prepared to handle. We only teach four safety rules, six steps to making a rifle safe, six steps to making every shot, three things to do to find NPOA, how to time a Rifleman's Cadence (one shot every respiratory pause) and then the steady hold factors for three sitting, one kneeling, one standing and prone position, and three basic sling configurations. Every other word added on is just slowing the training and the building of mind and muscle memory, like sticking honey on everything you want to eat up - the calories go astronomical. Keep it simple, repeat the same words over and over, we are changing your biologic software.
Now we do tell the History of April 19th, 1775 and Boston, Lexington and Concord. Just enough to make you want to know more, we hope. Establishing a connection between Liberty, marksmanship and firm resolve is important.
Day one has presented all training, fired two Redcoat targets for group evaluation, and two scored Appleseed Qualification targets. One AQT was used for training. Handed out t-shirts, homework study packet and lots and lots and lots of advice for the next day.
Second day, same old verse, a little bit louder and a little bit... so, review, refresh, and get to shooting better just because, we again have a full three man crew and change Line Boss and positions. Redcoat target to begin, sighting square target to adjust sights upon, Inches Minutes Clicks.
And two scored AQTs before lunch when we will hear the three dangerous Old Men stories. And the shoot boss brings out his Brown Bess for show and tell. No shooting it on this range but the bayonet means business. I scored two more AQTs after ball and dummy and carding the sights drill and then I give out my card, and get one back from one shooter and I start the drive back home, thirty-six hours after I started this trip. In five and one half hours I will be home safe and sound. And so tired, that I barely download my camera for sharing photos.
Had some great talks with Jack the range owner/manager, about being older more parts falling out of warranty and what is going on in his shooting world neck of the woods. He has always been a supporter of events, competitions and even dog trials. He and I thought about the big events that once were at this little range, and for some strange reason he has always worried that I wasn't sleeping comfortable, then we would exchange some military stories. Just lovely old men talking in the shade.