Appleseed Project

Project Appleseed Illinois event at Sparta, IL on 19 April 2014.  At 3 PM there was a volley by all shooters to honor those American Patriots who died on April 19, 1775, the day the American Revolution began.  Find out more about Project Appleseed by clicking this link.


Had a great time last week at Red Brush Range east of Evansville IN, shooting with the Project Appleseed folks at a KD.  KD stands for Known Distance, where we shoot at 100, 200, 300 and 400 yards using the old army qualification test of standing, standing to sitting, standing to prone, and prone.  You fire 10 rounds at each target and have 2 minutes, 55 seconds, 65 seconds and 5 minutes respectively to get your rounds on the target.

Here I am in prone taking my sighters at 200 yards.  This photo was taken off a video camera that had a program to age it so that is why it looks the way it does.

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Those Army silhouette D targets look small at 200 yards and even smaller at 400!

We also got to take sighters at 500 yards but with the wind that picked up just before that course of fire I am not sure I learned much other than my come ups from 400 to 500 yards.  I was shooting 69 gr Sierra BTHP bullets in a 1 in 9 twist barrel.  My final score for the shoot was a respectable 28/40.  Not at all bad for my very first KD.  32/40 is a Rifleman’s score.


Here is my scoring target from 400 yards. The guys in the pit take down your target and then mark or score your shooting on a green coat target like this one.  Here I got a score of 5/10.  I had one flyer and had four shots low in the 3, that doesn’t count at a KD.

I am really looking forward to the next KD.  If you love shooting and would love to learn how shoot better and learn some history of the American Rifleman, then Project Appleseed is for you!  For you southern Illinois folks, we have a shoot coming up in April at Marion  You can look here to see about signing up!

Love this clip from the Andy Griffith show.  I never liked the color episodes for some reason.  Barney is a bigger kid than Opie and his gang………

Happy 4th of July!

April 19 1775. 237 years ago today ordinary citizens decided to stand their ground and resist the oppression of the British Crown. Before the day was over men on both sides would die but the birth of a nation had began. Our Freedoms and Liberties began today with the blood of men who stood their ground and has been taken away ever since by the words and deeds of politicians who have trampled on that ground.

Men like Isaac Davis, Paul Revere, Samuel Prescott, Samuel Whittemore, Hezekiah Wymann, John Parker and Joseph Warren to name a few made history by standing up to the worlds strongest army.  Dont let their work, their lives and their sacrifice go unrecognized today.  Read about your history and where your freedoms came from.

Get off the couch folks and continue to fight to keep your freedoms that these brave men gave you.  If your not voting, if your not engaged in the political process, if your not speaking out against the injustices that our politicians bring on us then your not keeping up the fight for freedom those brave men started 237 years ago today.


Just returned from the Illinois Project Appleseed IBC.  IBC stands for Instructor Boot Camp.  The IBC is a training event to help mentor IIT’s (instructors in training) or Orange Hats to become qualified instructors or Red Hats.  There are five stages of IIT from IIT0 to IIT4.  I am currently an IIT2, so I have two more IIT progressions before I go for my Red Hat!

The weekend consist of reviewing and teaching the history and events of April 19, 1775 as well as polishing up on the marksmanship skills necessary to teach the shooting portion of an Appleseed weekend.  To become an IIT you first have to have attended at least two Appleseed weekend shoots and shoot Rifleman, a minimum score of 210 on the AQT (Army Qualification Test) that has a maximum score of 250.  Shooting Rifleman is not an easy task as a lot of experienced shooters think it might be.  It took me three Appleseeds and a lot of practice in between them to master the skills necessary to score above a 210.

Instruction was done by Dond, Master Shoot Boss and State Coordinator for Illinois.  Dond has a very unique way of approaching a COF (course of fire) for an Appleseed weekend that results in very high scores for the shooters by the end of the day.  Small group sessions were done by Red Hats or instructors and shoot bosses to help polish up the things that were taught by Dond.

I had the privilege to be in small groups with Red Hats Wurstmacher, Castle Mountain, Shooter 30-06 and Tornado.  These are not there real names but their “forum” names that they go by at the shoots.  All of these folks are very passionate about the history and shooting that goes into a Appleseed weekend.

Castle Mountain reviews some of the history and teaches how to deliver the important points during a breakout session


Shooter 30-06 goes over the retreat of the British Regulars from Concord or the “Third Strike” using his “battle road map” during small group time.

Woodl practices explaining the AQT and how each stage of the AQT is to be shot during a breakout session.

It was a great time, made a lot of new friends and learned a lot to help me be a better IIT and one day a Red Hat!

Persistence:  To continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action or the like, especially in spite of opposition remonstrance, etc..

I am trying to persist.

Its not easy it seems anymore.

Took the weekend off and went to Evansville to the Appleseed shoot at Red Brush range and had a very enjoyable time despite the 40 mph winds that played havoc with our targets both days.  20+ Americans persisted over the weekend on the line to improve our shooting skills and learn our heritage.  It wasn’t easy or fun a time or two when the wind kept messing us up, but we persisted and shooters improved and learned and never quit.  And we had fun despite the wind.  

On the way over in the New Haven bottoms we saw lots of combines, auger wagons and trucks trying to get the harvest out in that area.  They were persisting.  It didn’t look like it was fun in places with the soil conditions but they were making a dent in it before it rained.  Having said that, the crops looked good from the road.  That however doesn’t mean much this year as a lot of fields that looked good from the road haven’t been good at all.

I got started with fall tillage yesterday but got rained out.  I will persist at getting it done when the ground dries out again.

I have been trying to get back in the swing some how to keep this blog more updated and relevant but I cant seem to get it done.  That being said I will persist at getting back on track………..

Headed down to see what I can do to help with the radio problems at the Region HQ for the Earthquake Exercise today.  A lot of people have persisted in getting this program set up for RACES/ARES to help and we continue to persist at making sure it will work if and when we need it to work.

The “to do list” gets longer every day but we persist at working on what we can when we can and getting it done.

So in honor of persistence, this blog will be labeled as “to be continued“……..


Wow what a long week and it ain’t over yet!  This weekend is the fall version of the Knob Creek machine gun shoot and I am having withdrawals because farm activities have a priority over seeing things shot and blown up.   There is always YouTube but until they invent the scratch and sniff YouTube, its not the same!

Last Friday I finished up planting wheat.  I wanted to no till the wheat into the corn stalks but it was just too tough to do so.  Ended up disking the stalks once and then rolling them with the crumbler before drilling.  Worked pretty good and I can row the wheat out the window of the house this morning.  It was dusty, not as bad as last year but dusty, and that is a good sign to plant wheat into.

Corn harvest resumed and I hit some of the June replant corn and as I suspected it sucked.  The replant corn is making about 70 bu less an acre than the May planted corn.  My average is taking a big hit right now but we will see where we end up.  50 acres of corn left, not enough bin space to hold it all and I still have a few contracts to fill so it will be a balancing act between hauling it and filling the bins.

Over the weekend we went to the Marion Appleseed shoot and Matthew and Lori greatly improved their scores.  Matthew came from double digits to well into the triple digits while Lori is knocking on the Rifleman score.  She shot into the 200’s several times just missing Rifleman by a few points each time.  I need to do some tuning to her rifle, she is getting a bunch of stovepipe jams that I feel kept her from making Rifleman.  Then we will practice for the November shoot and see what she can do then!

As far as repairs go, the Cat is up on blocks and one track is off along with all the other hardware and I am ready to go back together with it.  Need to get this done ASAP as I have dirt work that needs to be done in preparation for a new shed to be built.  We got the grain bin fan back from Sander Electric and it needs to be re-installed so we can pump some air through some of this corn.  Aeration is important!

And in case I didn’t say it somewhere else in this post:  I AM MISSING KNOB CREEK  (crying and gnashing of teeth)

Some photo credits to Mudcat

Spent two days, OK one solid day and one off-and-on day in the rain at Carmi Gun Club for an Project Appleseed shoot put on by the RWVA.  (I have have numerous posts about Appleseed and they can be viewed here.)   Carmi Gun Club is a great host to say the least, and they proved it again this year by going to town in the pouring rain to pick up lunch orders for the participants.  They have a very nice range that is very clean and very user friendly.  (Two thumbs up again Carmi for hosting a great event!!!)

Again, it was just a great two days, even if it rained. A day shooting is a good day no matter what the weather!  We were able to shoot from under one of the small shelters. We were out of the pouring rain for the most part but still got wet (this was Saturday before the rain hit).


Once again Mudcat and XDman put on great instruction. And again, the kids were treated so well and instructed with an emphasis on not only improving their shooting, but in teaching the history of April 19, 1775.  To me the attention that the kids get and the historical perspective are what make this event so enjoyable for me.

Saturday was mostly instruction in the shooting positions and a lot of history of 1775.  The comment from Mudcat was that we were being fed with a fire hose and that seemed to be true, at least from the ones that rode over from Benton with me.  But everyone commented on the ride home how good the instruction was and how much they learned.

Sunday in the pouring rain there were 3 Riflemen made before lunch.  I shot Rilfleman on the second AQT (Army Qualification Target) of the day and shortly there after we had two more guys shoot Rifleman as well.  Here I am on my way back with my target I scored Rifleman with, hoping it didn’t fall apart in the rain before it was scored.

Then as the day ended we had one of the two women on the line shot Rifleman as well.  Here she is being presented her Rifleman patch in the pouring rain.


The biggest thing is that all the scores improved throughout the day with even the smallest of shooters getting better with each round.  Great instruction, great history, a great host in Carmi Gun Club and 4 Rifleman patches were awarded. I would say that is a pretty good day on the range!

A rare Sunday update from your humble blogger today. It looks like we could shell some corn by end of next week if we can get everyone in the right place and the equipment ready by then. That being said I think it will be next Monday before we really go to the field. But stranger things have happened.

I competed the trigger job on my wife’s 10/22 in preparation for the upcoming Appleseed shoot at Carmi. While I was at it I dropped in an extended mag release and an auto bolt release to aid in reloading. Need to do a bit of stock trimming so it fits her better then she will be ready to go. Really looking forward to shooting at Carmi and also Marion

More later when not on the Android keyboard. BTW I have issues with mobile edition……..

Two years ago, quite by accident, I found the Project Appleseed run by a group who call themselves the Revolutionary War Veterans Association or RWVA.  You can read my write-up on that experience here as a blog entry and here on the main page where I have promoted the Appleseed shoots.  I must say again that Matthew and I had one of the best times shooting at the Carmi event.  It was so professionaly run and executed and, as I have said many times over, the kids were treated with such respect and coached so well it was incredible.

A fire was lit in me for more Appleseed and I even had an interest in putting in the time to get a “hat” or be in instructor/shoot boss because I felt so highly of the program, but there is/were/are a few problems that I encountered.  First was that here in Southern Illinois there are few Appleseed shoots.  Most all are several hours north of here which for us is a problem.  Second was that the shoots close by in neighboring states were on bad weekends for us.  So I kept close tabs and monitored until in 2010 there was a shoot just down the road in Marion (my blog report here).  Problem was that I could only go for one day…again schedule conflicts.  OK, we will start 2011 afresh and make an effort to go.  Well, if your a regular follower of this site, you know what 2011 has been like for the Robertson Family.  I did attempt to get to a shoot in Boaz, KY but those dates fell through for me when I had family come in during that weekend.

OK that gets us up to today or to the last several days.  Time is now on my side so to speak and so is opportunity.  After being out of touch with Appleseed for the better part of a year I was set to get to one and take the whole family.  As luck would have it, there is a shoot in Carmi and one in Marion in the next two months.  On to the Appleseed board to get some more info, look around at discussion topics and to sign us up.  But what did I see when I got there?  I hardly know how to describe it.  Apparently there has been problems in Illinois Appleseed.  Its hard to say what, whom, why or how based on message board and social media comments from those involved and not involved.  There are two sides to every story, in reality four or five sides and somewhere in between it all is the truth.

The problem with public organizations and their public problems that air their dirty laundry, or more accurately try not to air their laundry, is that the public never really knows what the problem is or is not and is always left wondering.  Folks have strong feelings for or against the other “side” and then there are the fence sitters who try to phrase everything in such a way not to offend or come down on one side or the other.  All the while in this public age of message boards, Facebook and Twitter the public can read and wonder……..and never know what is fact from fiction, truth or half truth and if the problems is a hiccup or a heart attack for the organization.  The sides communicate with themselves and against themselves in a public forum all the while oblivious as to the message or lack of a message they are communicating to the viewing public who is not engaged in the debate.

I have read what I would call heart felt comments and wonder what happened that was so bad to cause so much hurt?   I have read comments filled with bitter feelings and finger pointing and wonder what happened to make people so mad and distrustful?  I have read a couple of rambling thesis on the not-so-specific problems, really talking all around them, that quite frankly make me think they came from a very bad Batman script for the Joker or the Riddler (meaning I am not sure what they said or how they even fit into the plot).   I read the leadership talk between the lines to those who would be “in the know” and wonder what it all said and what it all means to me as someone who wants to participate?

Well that is where I am, wondering. Wondering if I should sign my family up for Carmi and Marion?  Wondering if things are really that bad in Illinois.  Wondering if the program is really on its last legs.  Wondering if I send in my money whats it going for?  Wondering if I really want to devote the time and energy to now be involved at a “hat” level?  Wondering if I should look outside Illinois for Appleseeds to participate in?  Or wondering if I just should run my own range instruction for my family following their format minus the history and say the heck with it.

I don’t have a dog in this hunt or any skin in this game.  I am on my side in this fight, the side of the average family who wants to participate in marksmanship programs at an affordable level with quality instruction.  That being said I think making an objective opinion and decision about the health and future of a program such as this can only be done by observing the participants, not the leadership or the sides, and to do so one must attend one more event to see if its a hiccup or a heart attack.

Its a shame that it appears that an organization that has been so good in my experience at teaching marksmanship and firearms safety has gone and shot itself in the foot.

Credit Photos to Larry Morse, Heartland Training Team.

I spent Saturday at the Egyptian Rifle and Pistol Club outside of Marion, IL at an Appleseed Shoot.  You may recall that Matthew and I went to an Appleseed at Carmi last year (link here).  Once again, I had an absolute blast learning basic rifleman skills.  There were about 23-25 shooters on the line at Marion on Saturday with a wide range of ages, guns and experience.  We were instructed by three RWVA Appleseed instructors: Wurstmacher, Missouri Brigade and NoFoMoHo.  Those are their call signs, handles, or board names form the Appleseed Forum, a discussion board for all things Appleseed.

Once again, I can’t say enough good things about the instruction given by the Appleseed volunteers.  These folks come and give of their time and experience to help all shooters learn and grow as riflemen and also share the history of the Rifleman from April 19, 1775.  The history is just as important as the shooting in my opinion.  Being my second shoot, I figured I would hear the same stories, and to my surprise I didn’t.  They were just as interesting and just as informative as the history I heard at the first shoot.  I ordered a couple of the books that Wurstmacher referenced in his speaking when I got home so that I could read more in depth the history behind the shoot.

As good as the history is, the instruction on the shooting is top of the line.  As related to us by Larry Morse with the Heartland Training Team, and I believe our host at the range, the level of instruction on shooting provided by Appleseed would cost one hundreds if not thousands of dollars at some of the big shooting schools.  I would go just a bit further and say that it is better instruction than most of the big shooting schools.  For two reasons if no others:  1) the kids, the next generation, are treated as equals and as important as any shooter on the line and 2) there is no “requirement” for a high dollar gun or scope or what ever, come as you are with what you got.  You get the same attention to detail no matter how you’re equipped, that attention to the details of BASIC Rifleman Techniques, the 6 steps to firing a shot, is all that makes the difference.  No gimmicks, no special equipment, no sales pitch for the latest and greatest whatever:  just pay attention to the details of the 6 steps and you to can shoot like a Rifleman.

I improved greatly from my first shoot to this one and shot a 208 on the AQT, missing Rifleman by 2 pts.  I have no doubt that I would have got it on Sunday but church activities prohibited me from being there.  If farming allows, maybe I can sneak off to Evansville later in October and try it again.  We will see…..

If you have never been to an Appleseed, want to teach your kids or learn basic shooting techniques, or have a great day as a family shooting and doing something outdoors, find an Appleseed and attend.  Women, children under 21, and active military and guard shoot free.  You can’t beat that price anywhere.  Not for the FUN, HISTORY and SKILLS that will be given to you at the end of the day…………

Special thanks to Wurstmacher, NoFoMoHo and Missouri Brigade for the instruction, Larry Morse for being a great host and to the Egyptian Rifle and Pistol Club for the facility!  You all did a great job!

See you on the line!

Not that I have time right now for this, but I have to stand up and make my voice heard.  The liberal left media that tries to run this country from our TV sets and newspapers, has gone and attacked The Appleseed Project. 

For those who don’t know, and haven’t read my tab, and take on The Appleseed Project, here is a brief overview of it from my participation.  Appleseed combines rifle shooting instruction with a historical review of the Revolutionary War.  They teach shooting based on the Army Marksmanship Technique using Army Qualification Targets in the standing, sitting and prone positions.  Between instruction and shooting you get to hear, in my opinion, the real events and accurate accounts of what happened at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.  This history review is the non politically correct and watered down version taught in our liberal feel-good public school system.  So don’t be surprised if you learn a few things that you didn’t learn in grade or high school history class. 

Anyway, the liberal left is trying to paint this as a militia training recruiting ground, and a TEA Party rally.  Wow! How they could get that is beyond me. What happened at the Carmi, Illinois event that my son and I attended is quite the contrary:  The first thing that was said by Mudcat, the lead instructor or line boss, was that this was NOT a militia meeting or training and he didn’t want to hear about militias from any of the participants.  We also didn’t discuss any political views other than that in the re-accounting of the history of the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

Yea, I know, Fox News isn’t exactly middle of the road.  They, in my opinion, lean right.  But they present both sides and report down the middle.  Fox did a report on Appleseed.  I think it is a fair assessment of what it is and what it is not.  Read it or give this a view if your interested in the truth. 

Better yet, visit the Appleseed website and then ATTEND a shoot near you and find out what it really is all about.  If you like to shoot and you like history, then Appleseed is for you. 

Don’t let the liberal left destroy the truth.

Spent all day Saturday at an Appleseed Shoot with Matthew. What is an Appleseed Shoot, well check out the Revolutionary War Veterans Association and also this Appleseed Website for more details and the whole story.

My story is this: It was the best time I have had shooting in a long time. The Appleseed Project is to teach shooting. Key word is teach, and teach they did. The entire line staff were “Riflemen” having been through the training and having shot a score of at least 210 on an Army Qualification Target as well as done training to be a range master and line “boss”.

To say I learn a lot would be an understatement. To say that Matthew didn’t walk away with whole pot load of knowledge to practice with, this being his first ever kind of shoot or instruction would be an understatement as well.

It was not just shooting, it was also a history lesson on the Revolutionary War and specifically April 19, 1775.

How much fun was it for Matthew? Well he told me he wrote an essay at school today on what he did this weekend: Appleseed Shoot. Hopefully he wont get expelled for writing about guns and shooting!!!

This was the best run and most thought through instruction I have seen or been to. That says a lot!!!!

And if you think shooting with iron sights at 25 meters is easy, think again!!!! Having done a bit of shooting long range with a scoped rifle for quite a while off a bench most of the time, it was indeed a big challenge to shoot at those little targets at 25mtrs. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I had a lot of bad habits that I need to correct to make me a better shooter.

But the thing the impressed me the most was that over half the shooters were under the age of 16. And the staff did work their tails off to teach the kids proper safety, gun handling and shooting technique. I was impressed.

I was so impressed that at the end of the day, I joined the RWVA as an associate member and am going to put their website on my site here to help promote the Appleseed Project.

And I will be practicing so that I can shoot “Rifleman” at the next Appleseed Shoot in the area and I will be taking the whole family next time.

Good Job to all the RWVA/Appleseed range people at the Carmi Gun Club Appleseed Shoot!!!

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