Guest Post: Do You Know About the AppleSeed Project?

Jack Billington

I really hate to mention it here in this realm of derring-do and expertise in all things martial.

But I’m a lousy rifle shot.

Picture it: I’m a guerrilla fighter. My comrades are counting on my sniping skills to take out a key enemy position. I aim, breathe, squeeze the trigger — and take out a cow in a barn 12 degrees to the left, alerting the enemy, losing the battle, and depriving my fellow fighters of milk they need for survival.
Fortunately, no one is likely ever to be dumb enough to rely on my sniping skills.

Still, one recent Saturday I found myself, rifle in hand, at a nearby farm in the company of 20 women and girls.

We were there to attend a LadySeed, the women-only version of an Appleseed marksmanship clinic. Project Appleseed, as you may know, is an effort to turn Americans back into expert shooters “one rifleman at a time.” Its events are put on by the wonderfully named Revolutionary War Veterans Association and are staffed entirely by volunteers.

It’s not just about shooting. Each Appleseed also features an extended history lesson focused on April 19, 1775.

But mostly it’s shooting.
A blog post is too short to cover much about the events. The quickest and best thing to say is this is valuable training for anyone — man, woman, or child — who wants to buff up on rifle skills and do it with excellent help and in good company. And if there’s an Appleseed near me in the uber-boonies, there’ll probably be one near you at some time or another. Schedules are listed on the organization’s site.

Appleseed is not ideal for someone who has never fired a gun. Still, the woman next to me on the firing line was a newbie. She began the day unable to hit the paper. By the time we dragged our tired selves home, she was punching impressive holes.

The friend who came with me and I quickly realized we had handicapped ourselves by not bringing proper equipment. She had a bolt action with a single five-round magazine, and I had a tube-fed Savage that was my brother’s Cub Scout gun back when dinosaurs ruled the earth.
A semiauto .22 with two or more mags and a sling is really a must to get the most out of an Appleseed.

Turns out there’s a good equipment list linked right from the front page of the Project Appleseed website. But since we came to the class sign-up via a different route, we never saw it and couldn’t find one. It was our fault for not digging deeper. But it would have been nice had the organizers ensured that every attendee had such a list.

That’s a nit-pick. There are many, many more positive things to say. For the sake of brevity, I’ll focus on one: the excellent volunteer staff. The instructors in our case were all women — and could easily have been professional trainers.

Appleseed got started just five years ago with roughly two dozen clinics. This year, according to our instructors, it’s putting on close to 1,000. Even the New York Times took notice — although predictably the writer put the scariest possible slant on things.

Did my friend and I emerge as better shooters? Hard to say. Most people in the class did — and that was just on the first day. For a variety of reasons, we decided to skip the Sunday session. Both of us felt we’d have made more progress had we brought semi-autos.

But there’s always another Appleseed. And maybe someday “I’ll be good enough not to pot that cow.”

 

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Alex Tham – Reports From The Frontlines

Greetings from California to all you Black Man With A Gun faithfuls. It’s no secret that the state of California is not friendly to the 2nd Amendment (nor any civil rights apart from those that are dear to left wing politicos). However, this past week, the CA legislature, dominated by the Democrats, has openly declared war on all law abiding gun owners in our state. It would take an essay or a novelette to document the entire slew of proposed legislation that we face, so for brevity’s sake, I’ll link a call to action from one of our newest 2nd Amendment advocacy groups in CA so you can see what we’re facing:

Firearms Policy Coalition – Call To Action

FPCI’m sure none of you are surprised by what you’ve seen here and you’re wondering why state the obvious. It is my hope that with the help of Gunmovement and other grass roots, gun rights activity, we can educate and inform all Californians as well as those fortunate enough to live in free America, just what these politicians purport to be doing in our name. Far too many of our citizens, gun owners and non gun owners alike, have very little knowledge of the activity that takes place in our state capital. Others don’t consider the long term ramifications of apathy or an every man for himself attitude.

I know many will just advise that we abandon ship and move to a place that actually respects the Bill of Rights. I find that piece of advice unacceptable. First, I love this state that I live in despite the twisted and corrupt politics. I lived here long before these would be rulers infected us with their insanity, so I’m not inclined to just hand them my home on a silver platter. Second, we are not completely lost. Many gun owners are waking up and many new groups have risen up to the challenge of defending our 2nd Amendment heritage.

So why tell you all this when it’s clear we’re facing an uphill battle? To let you know that we’re on the frontlines of this cultural, ideological and political war and the like any good fighting force, we’re only as strong as the support we receive back home. It is my hope that you’d support us in spirit, morale and, for those of you so inclined, financially by lending your support to the organizations that are fighting for us, and in the long term, for all of you as well. I’d like to introduce you to two organizations which have been working diligently against these civil rights crushing efforts:

The Firearms Policy Coalition

The Coalition For Civil Liberties

The NRA-ILA has also made the commitment to keep all funds donated by Californians in California, to fight the never ending onslaught of our would-be rulers.

While all appears bleak, we are hardly finished or done in California and I hope that, rather than being depressed by our seemingly desperate plight, you are encouraged to be more involved so that your home state will never become infected by this disease hopolophobic fascism. Remember, once a plague of locusts has finished ravaging an area it moves on. We’ll do our best here to stop them, but I don’t think anyone has the luxury of sitting back and watching from the sidelines.

Alex Tham

Director

American Marksman Training Group, LLC

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atham@amtraininggroup.com

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The Right Fit

My experience in concealed carrying firearms has taught me that not one gun fits all. Just as we all don’t wear the same shoes, what I might like or carry might not be right for you. Below I provide tips on how to find the right firearm for concealed firearm for you.

 

1. Feel. One of the best ways to find a firearm for concealed carry is to actually handle the gun. Remember this will be the gun you train with and learn how to become a proficient marksman. How does it feel in your hand? Can you operate the controls such as the safety and rack the slide back? How does the trigger pull feel? I recommend visiting your local firearm store and ask to handle various firearms to get a feel for what you like.

 

2. Research. Start reading some trusted firearm magazine articles, search the Internet for gun reviews, and ask people about particular first hand experiences with firearms for concealed carry.

 

3.Holster. A great holster and belt will make it more comfortable to carry a firearm on your waist. Are holsters easily available for the particular firearm you are interested in? What type of holster do you plan on wearing (inside the pants, ankle holster, shoulder holster, etc.?)

 

4. Dress. Your dress will affect how you carry your firearm. You might have to redo or make alterations to your wardrobe in order to carry properly. Tighter clothes are harder to conceal and carry a firearm. Evaluate your wardrobe; there are multiple companies that manufacture lines of clothing for conceal carry.

From my personal experience and opinion, when considering what to buy — consider a compact or subcompact pistol that feels comfortable in your hand and you feel comfortable manipulating the functions. I would recommend some type of safety features. Ensure that you are easily able to dissemble and reassemble. I have fired and carried multiple handguns from a variety of manufacturers and many of them have great options for concealed carry.

For those of you that are concealed carry veterans I would love to know what your first firearm you purchased was and for any new comers feel free to ask any questions.

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Rule 2 + Rule 4 = Rule 6?

From contributing blogger – JJ Pewers

http://jjpewers.blogspot.com

Rule Two – the obvious rule

When discussing the firearm safety rules, one of the most basic principles that we as gun owners follow is to:

2. Never point a firearm at something you don’t intend to kill or destroy.

This is only common sense. This is probably the first rule that we teach a new shooter. While we need all of the rules to be completely safe, not pointing a firearm at someone is the foundation of all others. It’s the difference between a safe trip to plink tin cans and an unfortunate trip to the hospital.

Rule Four – where does that bullet go?

Rule Four can be a bit more ambiguous:

4. Know your target and what’s beyond it (and what’s around you)

This is much less a hard-and-fast rule, as it is a judgement call. We try to create the safest environment possible to enjoy the shooting sports. We have firing lines to keep people behind our 180º focus. We shoot into a hill and not over a ridge when out plinking. Shooting ranges have angled walls created from high tech bullet-catching material. We try to create a setting where everything we don’t care about stays down-range, and everything we do care about stays up-range.

That brings me to something I discovered not long ago. I was breaking either Rule Two, or I was breaking Rule Four, or perhaps it was some combination of both!

Rule Six = Rule 2 + Rule 4

6. When you are not at the range, add Rules 2 and 4 together!

At night, I unlock my firearm and place it on the dresser. I don’t have small children to be concerned with micro-humans accessing the gun while we sleep. The problem I realized is that if I something does go bump in the night, and my wife or I were to grab for the firearm, it is pointed right at the family we are intending to protect! Depending on the angle, down-range could include parts of three rooms and the landing where I expect my children to be.

We moved the firearm to be pointed across the stairway, where it never enters any of our living spaces, and has to travel through at least six sheets of drywall or more to exit our house.

Another violation of Rule Six I noticed one night when I sat down to dinner, after bringing in a flank steak off of the charcoal grill and placing it on the table. I will pocket carry in the summer from time to time. I have cargo-style shorts and I have dressier shorts with smaller pockets. When I sat down at the table in the dress shorts, I was pointing my firearm directly at my son’s abdomen! I hadn’t consciously realized that in the cargo shorts, I always slide the gun and holster down the side of my leg to point at the ground when I sit. At that moment, I excused myself from the table, and stored my carry piece away in a safe place.

Rule Six and YOU!

How do you find that Rule Six applies to you and your home? Are there people down-range from your storage location? When you reload your firearm and rack that first round in, are there people directly downstairs from you? Does your holster carry method flag your friends and family?
 
Stay safe, and have fun shooting, Young Americans!
JJ Pewers
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That New Gun Smell

There’s nothing like buying your very first handgun for conceal carry. A close friend and I were just reminiscing about when we first became proud concealed carry owners. We didn’t know how involved the purchasing process was because there were so many different products on the market. And today there are even more options than when I purchased my first handgun. I’m not going to endorse any particular firearm manufacturer but there are a few things you should look for before buying that shiny 357 pistol or plan on pocket carrying an AR pistol.

1. No cheap shots. Remember your buying a firearm that when you use it you want it to work. Don’t opt for the cheapest handgun. I would also venture to say not to consider the most expensive either. Have in mind a price range. Then look for firearms in that range. I highly recommend used firearms. There is nothing wrong with used guns, just inspect them carefully. Over the years I have found some real gems in used guns.

2. Research. Research. And research some more. Just like in school, research is important. Start buying some subscription magazines, search the Internet for gun reviews, and ask people about particular experiences with firearms for concealed carry.
3. This is not your dream gun. My first handgun was a revolver and not particularly my dream gun. Just like when you brought your first car or home, you know you weren’t buying what you always wanted. Remember training is essential. Get accustomed to going out to the range and practicing with your new handgun to become a proficient marksman.

From my personal experience and opinion, when considering what to buy for your first handgun I would suggest it to be chambered in either 9mm, 38. special, and 380ACP. It would be a compact or subcompact pistol that feels comfortable in your hand and you feel comfortable manipulating the functions. I would recommend some type of safety features. Ensure that you are easily able to dissemble and reassemble. I have fired and carried multiple handguns from a variety of manufacturers and many of them have great options for concealed carry. For those of you that are concealed carry veterans I would love to know what your first firearm you purchased was and for any new comers feel free to ask any questions.

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