Shooting the Appleseed event has left a taste for more of the same. I'll speak of the history lessons another time (I Promise), but for now I'll describe a minor quandary 'Ol Carteach is in.
The marksmanship course is shot at 25 meters, and I can hear you thinking.... "25 meters?? You have to be kidding me! I can spit that far and make bulls-eyes!"
Think again. The 5 point score area of the target is just four MOA.... or one inch at 25 meters. Shooting a .22, that means your target is only four times as wide as the bullet itself. Now.... do that for forty rounds straight. THAT puts it in perspective! Max score is 250 points, and it takes 210 to make Rifleman.
Funny thing is... with Appleseed basic marksmanship training, that is entirely do-able.
Today found me on the back patio of Castle Carteach, putting rounds down range at my state of the art shooting facility (The wood pile out back). The target above demonstrates my quandary.....
An Appleseed means shooting... and lots of it. I burned 400 rounds this past weekend, and that's with sitting out a few AQT's to rest my old bones. The round count pretty much shoots down the idea of doing it with centerfire, for me. I've blown the dust out of my cash box.... and all I got for the effort is a coughing fit.
So.... a .22 rimfire. I own two now that are somewhat appropriate, although both have flaws. One, the M&P 15-22 I qualified with, is very short, very light, very fun, very accurate, and somewhat difficult to operate at that level. It absolutely DESPISES being fired with a sling, and mine will string the shots unmercifully with sling pressure applied. Also, the short sight radius of the fun little rifle turns out to be an extreme challenge for my aging bifocaled eyes. I qualified rifleman with that weapon, but did so with an Eotech holographic sight mounted on it, and no sling.
Rifle #2 is a CZ452 trainer bolt action, with a loooong barrel, excellent open sights, and a respectably good trigger. It's downsides.... magazines cost over $30 each, and of all the slings I own.... not a single one fits the CZ. I will have to order a 3/4" shooting sling. The bolt action is slow for the timed rapid fire, but I am comfortable with operating it under such conditions.
Looking towards an Appleseed 'level' of marksmanship in a .22 rimfire rifle, I guess I have three choices..... *Make do with the M&P's limitations, and just man up to deal with them.... *Buy a new sling and a few CZ magazines made from compressed unicorn tears and unobtanium... *Build a whole new rifle for myself, perhaps on the Ruger 10-22 platform.
My goal is to better that 210 score, and do so consistently. I'm at peace with doing it with an optics mounted rifle, but I'd be happier of I can make it with irons.