As a instructor now 13 months into the Appleseed program I’m very impressed with what we teach, both from the perspective of heritage (which you simply can’t get this good anywhere else) and the basic marksmanship fundamentals that forms the backbone of any good shooting.
As good as Appleseed is as a shooting program, however, we never profess to teach anything other than basic rifle marksmanship. Most shoot bosses state point-blank at the very beginning of the first day that we don’t teach tactical shooting or small unit tactics, and if that is what you want, you’re in the wrong place.
We will teach you the skills necessary to take a service rifle (anything from the 1903-A3 to the AR-15) off the rack, zero it, and make hits on stationary “D” targets out to 500 meters with the supplied aperture sights. We’re not saying that you will make the shot at first, but if you master the basics we teach you and practice, you will get there.
The techniques we teach are readily transferable to NRA and CMP service rifle shooting competitions, and are easily adapted to any sort of rifle hunting. What these skills will not do, however, is easily translate to tactical shooting, where your target may be shooting back at you. That is a completely different type of shooting that I am not remotely qualified to address, nor is it in Appleseed’s interest as a program.
Luckily, there are experts out there with years of training and real-world combat experience, and some of those are kind enough to share their experience and their wisdom. One of these gentlemen, a veteran of the U.S Army Special Forces, goes by the handle of “John Mosby” (a tribute to the legendary guerrilla cavalry officer ), and has written a brilliant Introduction to Combat Riflecraft.
It’s quite different from the paper-punching we teach at Appleseed, but, I do feel edified that the basics we teach are solid fundamentals and still apply. Mosby’s Introduction confirms what I’ve heard from combat-experienced Marines, soldiers, and operators that have been through Appleseed and view what we teach as a good foundational course. That allowed, I’d like to scratch together the money at some point to attend one of Mosby’s classes and learn a bit more about tactical shooting. Just like mixed martial artists develop a much stronger overall game by learning different disciplines, learning different kinds of shooting makes you a better practitioner at the range.