I had a truly kick-ass time at my first Appleseed at the Ancient City Shooting Range in St. Augustine, FL. It was my first event and I decided to dress in Revolutionary War period clothing which got me in for free. (Thanks Rick!) I also found out that I was the first re-enactor our shoot boss had seen since he had started. That made me feel cool, even though it was 96°F outside for most of the day.
We had started the day shooting at Redcoat targets to get a baseline effective range. Then I spent the majority of the day receiving superb shooting instruction ranging from proper aiming, breathing techniques, shot groups, and positions. Each instructional module was followed by a shooting drill to reinforce those skills. We spent a lot of time firing from the prone position. It easy to see why it such an effective firing base once you have spent six hours lying in the Florida sun shooting at paper.
The instructors were extremely diligent about fluid intake as well, providing coolers of icy cold water and packets of Sqwincher to keep everyone hydrated. Lunch was available for $5 and was catered by either Woody's BBQ or Bono's I wasn't sure. (Side note: Bono's uses https for access, interesting.) I ate my gas station roast beef on onion roll sandwich which was actually good and fresh, though melty at that point in the day. My trail mix had mostly melted, generic M&M's are just not the same. My peanut butter and honey Captain's Wafers were a great late afternoon snack. I must have drank at least a gallon of water in addition to 64 ounces of Gatorade.
In addition to the shooting aspect, the Appleseed Event focused on American heritage. Throughout the day, we would take breaks from shooting to hear stories about the very beginnings of what became the American Revolution. The date of April 19, 1775 is one of, if not the most important date in American history. It was interesting hearing the stories, especially those of Paul Revere and Isaac Davis.
If you came up through the U.S. school system, you have heard of Paul Revere but most likely not Isaac Davis. I would argue that Isaac Davis is just as important to U.S. history as Revere and encourage you to read the linked article about him. I always enjoyed history when I was younger but as I have grown older I think I have gained a deeper appreciation for U.S. history. If we want to change our future it is important to understand our past.
Beginning and expert shooters can benefit from an Appleseed Event. If you want to gain a better understanding of our history these events are a great place to start. Check their website for an event near you.
I was firing a Mossberg Plinkster 702 and was overall unhappy with the gun. Friday night I scoured the Mossberg website for the manual and pound a non-working PDF link. I also checked the local sporting goods mega-store as well as one of the independent shooting stores in town trying to find some additional magazines. Naturally, I was unable to find some additional magazines in town which I found to be odd. I am planning on parting with the Mossberg and getting a Ruger 10/22 or a Henry Repeating Rifle. The Ruger is more practical, but the Henry carries generations of tradition.
Below I have linked the pictures of my targets from yesterday: