Within Project Appleseed, we’ve developed over time the concept of the “ideal rifle” for our course of instruction, which typically takes place at 25 yards on multiple small targets, firing from standing, sitting, and prone positions.
As a general guideline we suggest a semi-automatic .22LR rifle with at least two 10-round magazines, military-style U.S. GI aperture sights, and an U.S. GI loop sling. The concept—dubbed the “liberty training rifle” or “liberty teaching rifle” (LTR) depending on the individual instructor—has been platform agnostic. In addition to semi-automatic magazine-fed rifles, we’ve seen variants such as tube-fed rifles like my Model 60 and even bolt-action LTRs. The only downside of the LTR is that it has required a series of modifications with aftermarket parts that the Appleseeder had to undertake him or herself, as there wasn’t a factory-made LTR.
There is now.
The Appleseed Project has been working with industry partners for over a year to bring a turn-key LTR to market with all the features we demand at a reasonable price point, and that has been a very hard sweet spot to hit.
We’re fortunate that Marlin really “gets” Appleseed as a mission and grasps the reasoning behind the rifle, and it didn’t hurt that one of the Marlin employees working on the Marlin 795-based rifle through the conceptual stages is himself an Appleseeder. I’m going to make the bold prediction that this rifle is going to be a best seller from the second it hits the market.
You can read more about the specs of the Marlin/Appleseed LTR, and then order once they start rolling off the production lines. I’m going to be picking up several for my family, and as loaners. It stands to be one of those rare firearms bought in multiples.
The coolest part? Through the 4th of July, 2013, these rifles come with a certificate for one to attend an Appleseed for free. To the best of my knowledge, no other rifle that includes a weekend of top-notch marksmanship training to go with it. Keep an eye on the Gallery of Guns listing, as they are going to go fast.