Six a.m. came early on Saturday. I rolled out of bed, showered, dressed and threw the gear in the car that I kept inside overnight: my lunch and the rifles. After programming the Gardnerville DAR (dedicated Appleseed range) into my phone and reviewing the directions, I was all set to go! I was a bit nervous to be driving such a long drive. I tend to stay close to home, but for Appleseed… I’ll do it! The drive went smoothly because there were hardly any other cars on the road and it was a scenic drive.
I barely arrived before the end of the 8-8:30 AM morning registration period. I bellied up to the table, signed in and made my duct tape name badges. Then, I pondered my outfit. Before the morning safety briefing, I scuttled off to put on some long john’s under my clothes and add a jacket. Brrr. It was cold. 40 degrees maybe? Plus this evil wind that passed through even layers of clothes to bite the delicate skin underneath. After the safety briefing, we 19 shooters began the long day of instruction, history and shooting under the tutelage of Chris_H and Arashi. We moved through the material pretty slowly as we had a lot of new shooters on the line, some shooters with physical limitations and because it was just so darn cold that we were frozen into slow-motion mode.
Arashi speaking during the safety briefing.
Chris_H and Arashi explaining the Redcoat target.
We also had a couple of troublesome rifles on the line. One young lady was shooting a bolt action rifle that wouldn’t extract. I’d shoot my shots quick and in a hurry and then duck over to her mat to extract for her. She was having a hard time working the bolt at all, so I told her to really manhandle it and that she couldn’t break it by using it how it was designed to be used. It went a little more smoothly after that for her, but not much, so Chris_H switched her over to his Ruger 10/22 LTR. Another new female shooter on the line had rifle problems too, but hers was with the sights on the stock Ruger 10/22. Her friend had another rifle in the car and once she switched to using that one, her groups improved significantly.
At this Appleseed, we had a couple of reasons to celebrate. First, this shoot was the inaugural Northern and Southern Nevada simultaneous shoot. Some might argue this is a reason NOT to celebrate as it meant that our shoot had only 2 instructors, but even with only 2 of them, we all made it through the shoot happy, safe and full of new information to integrate into our shooting. The second cause for celebration is that we had three generations of shooters on the line. I shot in the midst of Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and Dad and three Grandkids. All were relatively new to shooting. This was Mom’s first time using a rifle and Grandma and Grandpa haven’t been active in the shooting community for very long. Grandma just passed her CCW course and had been shooting for less than a year. Good job Grandma and Grandpa leading your posterity to responsible gun ownership and to our Appleseed shoot!
We were able to shoot one AQT before Saturday finished, and I don’t think we received any Rifleman’s scores as a result of it. I ducked out at 4 p.m. to head back to Reno to shower, change and instruct small children in the proper shooting of zombies at my church’s Trunk or Treat festival, so I missed hearing the telling of the third strike of the match. I also missed getting my Appleseed T-shirt. 🙁 The past two Appleseeds I haven’t gotten one. ::tear::
The drive home.