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GUNS Magazine July 2010 - Page 8

Based on military rifle qualification, the entry-level event is dominated by the Ruger 10/22. had been hearing a lot about the Appleseed Project, which runs I weekend courses around the country providing history lectures and rifle marksmanship training, and finally got the chance to take one. This particular shoot was at the Hernando Sportsman’s Club in central Florida. Inclement weather cut attendance to a couple dozen, about half of the usual turnout. The course of fire focuses on a 40shot Army Qualification Test (AQT), done at 25 meters with reduced-size targets intended to duplicate Army bobbers at 100, 200, 300 and 400 yards. Rifles on the line included the AR15, M1 Garand, M1A, Kalashnikov, Simonov and even Mosin-Nagant—but, by far, the most common choice was the humble .22 Long Rifle. Appleseed wants to bring its message to all of American society, including kids, new shooters and the physically challenged. For all those demographics, the mild recoil and report of the .22 Long Rifle make the experience less intimidating, and allow the student to focus on the fundamental marksmanship principles emphasized at Appleseed. In a time when ammunition is both hard to find and more expensive than ever, the 400-round requirement for an Appleseed weekend is easier and more affordable to meet with a brick of .22 LR. Though the AQT has its roots in a time when the bolt-action Springfield ’03 was still in common use, and THE .22 LONG RIFLES OF APPLESEED Why 10/22? Appleseed lore is the record score on the course, which was set by a septuagenarian Master competitor in NRA Smallbore using an iron sight, bolt-action .22, the simple fact is the semiautomatic gives the shooter more time to concentrate on trigger squeeze. When you have less than a minute to drop from standing into the designated shooting position, load, fire two and reload eight (an homage to the honored M1 Garand and its 8-round en bloc clip), and do it all in less than a minute, a “time and motion study” favors the autoloader. Starting with action open, and no great rush to eject the last casing, the bolt gunner will have to perform some 36 movements of the bolt, where the auto shooter requires only two. Counting the reload, the auto shooter needs to remove his finger from the trigger only twice, while the bolt action user will need 10 separate acquisitions of the trigger. The Ruger 10/22 dominates this type of shooting, and not just because it’s so hugely popular. The Marlin Model 60 actually has been produced in millions more than the 10/22, and its trigger and Therifleman’sPatchisthegrailofAppleseed shooters,earnedontheArmyQualificationTest. inherent accuracy are perfectly sufficient. It is generally encountered though, with a tubular magazine much slower to reload under time constraints than the 10-round rotary box magazine of the 10/22. This is why at Appleseeds, the most popular Marlin, is actually the Model 795, due to its box magazine. However, the good little 795 is still a distant second to the 10/22 in popularity. One reason for the 10/22’s dominance is its famous reliability reduces distracting, time-devouring malfunctions. Another is the 10/22 lends itself to modular reconfiguration: more accessories are available for it than for any other .22 rifle. This includes various shorter stocks for smaller shooters and Sights Acoach-and-pupil,ball-and-dummydrillatAppleseed.rifleisruger10/22.TheeventtookplaceattheHernandoSportsman’sClubinFloridalastFebruary. 8 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • JULY 2010

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