Skip to comments.Johnny Appleseed Takes Manhattan. Pt. 1
Posted on 08/18/2011 5:28:51 AM PDT by marktwain
Project Appleseed is a rifle training course combining marksmanship with a civics lesson. Good shooting requires learning positive traits such as patience, determination, focus, attention to detail, and persistence, their website declares. Since these skills are likewise key elements of mature participation in civic activities, we urge our students to take what they have learned about themselves as marksmen and apply it to their participation in their communities and in the wider American society in accordance with their own choices about how Americans should govern themselves. When I heard that Appleseed was dropping in the Big Apple, I had to attend . . .
Could there be a venue further away from the core of Appleseed Project than the city that gave rise to the original Mayor Against Illegal Guns? The City that reserves the right to carry a gun for the Mayors friends, celebrities and anyone else who has the juice to jump the queue of law-abiding citizens seeking to defend their life and property through force of arms (including your humble correspondent)?
Call me a damn Yankee, but I thought a range down the road from a Cracker Barrel and fireworks stand was the logical venue for Project Appleseed. In this case, I journeyed to the Westside Rifle & Pistol Range. The what? I lived round these parts my whole life; I never heard of no range in the borough of Manhattan. Now I really had to go
The range is in the basement of an office building between a Lillian Vernon furniture store and the VIP high-end strip club. A guard guides you to the basement steps where you walk down a long corridor to a counter with a spartan pro shop. Everything looks like it did in 1962. Because thats when the range was constructed.
In todays Manhattan today, receiving planning permission for a gun range in an office building is about as likely as finding a nuclear particle physicist among the half-dozen hostesses in the aforementioned venue (no disrespect intended). Shooting ranges are like gasoline refineriesthey arent building any new ones. So we have to rely on our pre-Bloombergian legacy.
But I was still enthralled by the place. The operator was a short guy who looked liked Salacious B. Crumb sleeved in tattoos. He was joined by a group of Asian range officers, each one in better shape than the next. They looked as if they were in spec-ops with the Blackhawk and Eotac gear aplenty. I love New York.
The Appleseed Project was scheduled from six to 10pm over two consecutive evenings; day one was classroom instruction, day two live-fire. A dozen excited individuals, some of whom never fired anything, were in da house.
We started with some firearms safety basics, ballistics, and slingwork. Appleseed is designed to maximize shooting accuracy with a rifle at distance, using iron sights. Our trainer was phenomenal: passionate, patient, informed, entertaining, focused and friendly. I give it up to Dan the man. He fabricates containers for expensive artwork in Brooklyn during the week and hits the great outdoor ranges on the weekends.
Our other trainer, Rich, was a Vietnam Veteran. Hes had real world experience behind the trigger of a military rifle, and wants to spread the word.
Appleseed continued with a lecture on marksmanship, viewed through the prism of American military history. As youd expect from an program run by The Revolutionary War Veterans Association, Americas struggle for independence from the British was the instructors main focus. For those who forgot the minutia in the Boorstin-Kelley tome from high school, it was an eye-opening insight.
Bottom line: shooting accuracy played a key part on how we defeated the most powerful military of the day. The Appleseed program is designed to help bring back that lost art.
We took a quick break at the only open eatery on the block (a pizza joint). Sitting in front of me: Dee Snider with his kid. Mr. Twisted Sister wanted to know if the group would dress in period clothing for a film he was making. Dan said it could be arranged. Again, only in NYC.
We then did drills on prone position, breathing, sightwork, and more sling work with dry firing. The rifles used for our event was 10-22s supplied to us because of the nightmare of transporting guns in NYC. Rifles in city limits have to be neutered to the letter of the law; stock 10-22s must have 10 round magazines. (All other rifles can only have five-round magazines.)
Unfortunately, I could not attend night two because of my sister-in-laws birthday dinner party. I seriously contemplated going the second night, however, I am fond of the remaining testicles I have, and did not want my wife to remove them after leaving her high-and-dry on Friday evening.
So so far so good. Im ready for the second night; Ill report back ASAP. Meanwhile, I was left wondering why New York City high schools couldnt host the first part of the course. But then I remembered where I am. And where Ive come from. And how far we need to go. Still, a seeds been planted. As planned.
Good suggestion. I may just look ‘em up.
I suck at rifle anyway.
To save you the looking up trouble here is the URL make sure you take your teenagers they go for free
“I should attend an Appleseed project. Everyone should.”
Going to this fall, outside Annapolis.
Come to think of it, think I’ll drill the holes for my sling swivels today. Picked up an old Marlin a couple weeks ago which I intend to use for the event. Can’t wait.
Rifle is my weapon of choice, 22ga preferred. Bigger, however, is always better. I opt for a sawed off shotgun rather than a pistol.
My 14 yo daughter and I just made Rifleman after 3 attempts. We’ll be attending another this fall. Great price, great training and using the .22 saves money on the ammo. (we go through 800 - 1000 rounds per Appleseed)
It may just have been a fluke, but I attended one about a year ago and was duly unimpressed.
I think they meant well, and the attempt at rifle and patriotic instruction seemed like it should have been a nice combo, but the planning and execution of the event was informal to the point of being haphazard.
The lack of formality was also disturbing in the very low-key approach to, and the almost nonexistent emphasis on, safety instruction. They seemed to be trying to avoid the drill instructor atmosphere at all costs, but I certainly prefer a tightly (ie safely) run range, and this one was not.
The entire “message” of the weekend came out garbled. Even the Tee shirt - which looks nice at first glance - carries a mishmash message that borders on incoherence to anyone who is not familiar with the (semi-incoherent) program.
Not a complete waste, but far from what I was hoping for. My experience was, to be honest, plagued by a faulty extractor that worsened as the first day went on, and yet, although I had a back-up rifle back up the hill in the car, the whole thing didn’t make the effort worth getting it, and I didn’t even return for the second day.
At an appleseed, we start with a target to baseline everyone’s skill. 40 pct aren’t effective beyond 100yds. 40pct aren’t even that good. This includes military and LEO that show up. I doubt the folks on this forum are different. Bottom line, get thee to an Appleseed. Remember, a pistol is what you use to get to your rifle. Dart67eb, AS shoot boss
I’ve heard that it depends on what State as to the formality. I was impressed for our locations (3 different), but YMMV.
I’d say “try it again” - then again I have the shooting bug so I’m not objective enough.
When I was a kid long ago they had to force us to learn Civics and American History..
I HATED it... but OH! were they right to do it...
Probably its the only way to provide a good base for good citizens..
FORCE THEM TO LEaRN IT!!..
Sorry to hear that. Why don’t you try another one with a different shoot boss? Remember, the instructors are volunteers and there is variation in personal style. Please post your thoughts on the after action report for your shoot and the problem will be fixed. You are also welcome to earn your rifleman patch and join the instructor cadre. We need all Americans to help us bail out this sinking ship.
Thanks for the encouragement, guys. I may do as you suggest and give it another try. It certainly seems like others have a much different experience than I did.
Let me know how it works out. Why do I take a vacation day (I work Saturdays) to run a shoot? Well, if I had something better to do to help this country, I’d be doing it. Until then, teaching rifle marksmanship and history will have to do.