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Old 02-03-2020, 08:18 PM
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Which Appleseed targets do you hate/love?



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What is your favorite AS target and your least favorite, and why?

Is it a particular stage of the AQT or KD course, the 1” squares, a Redcoat silhouette, or that pesky Morgan’s Shingle? Your fav and least fav - how do you approach these two polar opposites? And what is your usual result with them?

For me (a newbie) I don’t expend an ounce of sweat on the 100 and 200 yd Redcoat targets. Why should I? The targets seem HUGE, and in prone I am as stable as I’ll ever be. So, my shot groups are tight, and the targets are great warmups for what follows. Likewise, on the AQT Stage 1 (again, a familiar, MASSIVE target) my sights ease gently onto the silhouette, my scores are very satisfying, and the shot process is oh so comfortable.

Then there are stages 2 and 3 of the AQT. Which one of you do I despise more? Actually, that's easy. It’s you, Stage 3! At that point the drop in target size seems more significant than the previous stages. There’s three targets, a mag change, acquiring and reacquiring NPOA once each, then two NPOA shifts, and all in RAPID FIRE. My first few AQTs, man, what a humbling experience!

What have I done in the last few months to improve? For one thing, after a Redcoat warmup, I shoot several iterations of Stage 4, and pretty swiftly, too. After all those 400 yd targets and NPOA shifts, the Stage 3 targets aren’t as intimidating. I also shoot several Redcoats in one range session. At this point the 300 yd target goes down almost as smoothly as the 100 and 200. Lastly, there is the tiresome but necessary task of getting into prone smoothly and efficiently over and over again.

OK, what say you - your fav and least fav, and why? Then, what do you do to turn a weakness into a strength?
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilSurplus View Post
What is your favorite AS target and your least favorite, and why?

Likewise, on the AQT Stage 1 (again, a familiar, MASSIVE target) my sights ease gently onto the silhouette, my scores are very satisfying, and the shot process is oh so comfortable.
LOL, had to laugh at your standing comparison. If only it were that easy without a sling.

To your topic....

I cannot stand the targets AS uses. For a few reasons

1. The silhouettes are archaic. Had recommended in the past, that they swap to circle targets, of which would make for a more accurate representation of marksmanship and scoring.

2. The colors....they are awful. White with a green 4/5 ring, that is not a good color combination for shooting. If I had to choose between the 25M AQT target and the Redcoat, the redcoat would win hands down because of the colors. Red on white is a lot easier to hold on.

3. My FAVORITE target?

To this day...and it has been 8-9 years since I first earned the Rifleman patch, I still use the SQUARES targets.

That is the best thing AS has to offer in my opinion.

It is easy to score/measure and the colors are perfect.

4 MOA is a bit large when using a scope, so we scale ours down even further with the use of a Sharpie pen....and only color 2 squares in, 2 MOA is what we aim at when shooting squares.

I also use the squares target to mount my scopes and boresight at the house. I have a squares target leveled on the wall in my garage in line with my vice, and I have my 200 yard zero marked on the squares target. It gets me "close enough"/"on paper" at 200 yards.

AS professes that "we are not a militia", however, those silhouettes somewhat contradict that statement.

R/
Chris
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:38 AM
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Then, what do you do to turn a weakness into a strength?
Well....that is an easy answer. Practice more of what you suck at. LOL....it is that simple. The cliche "A Rifleman Persists" is apropos here.

To the Redcoat, although I hate the AQT colors...I do kind of enjoy the Redcoats.

My advice to many on this target......

There is no "order" in which this target has to be fired in.

I have showed up to events with a scope that needed a zero. In that case, I would start with a center of mass hold on the 100 yard silhouette.

If I have a zero'd rifle and it is the first redcoat of the morning....meaning my eyes and body are not wore out.....

I start on the 400 yard, then move to Morgans Shingle, then 300 and then finish 200 and 100, the easier ones on top.

At the end of the day I may start on the 300, then the shingle, and then finish 400, 200, 100.

The Redcoat is a good measure of a person's personal hold/skill. It has NPA changes, but mostly for elevation.

If one is doing well on the Redcoats but still not scoring Rifleman.....it is indicative of an NPA issue.

Lastly.....on Irons or the Scopes.....if those 200 and 100 groups are LARGER than the 300/400 groups.....your eyes shifted from the front sight, or scope reticle.....to the Target. It is a GREAT target to reinforce "front sight/reticle focus".

R/
Chris
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2020, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navybowhunter View Post
LOL, had to laugh at your standing comparison. If only it were that easy without a sling.

To your topic....

I cannot stand the targets AS uses. For a few reasons

1. The silhouettes are archaic. Had recommended in the past, that they swap to circle targets, of which would make for a more accurate representation of marksmanship and scoring.

2. The colors....they are awful. White with a green 4/5 ring, that is not a good color combination for shooting. If I had to choose between the 25M AQT target and the Redcoat, the redcoat would win hands down because of the colors. Red on white is a lot easier to hold on.
Yes, Chris, I've recently begun to train to fire offhand without a sling, for activities/competitions outside of Project Appleseed. My goodness, what an eye opener. In any case, it's also a matter of perspective, isn't it? In shooting Hi Power you (I mean you personally) are shooting a centerfire at much longer distances with wind, etc. I know that in your Appleseed shoots you are gunning for a 250 every time. I, on the other hand, am putting more of an effort in the other stages of the AQT, so I'll take a score of 42-46 in Stage 1. No problem there.

I certainly agree with you about the Redcoats. Great targets, the color contrast being one of many reasons.

To your other post in this thread, I gauge how I'm shooting at the beginning of my range session based on my shot groups on the 100 and 200 yd RC targets. Is my POA on my POI? How close together is my shot group? From that I will make minor adjustments before engaging the 300 yd targets, then Morgan's Shingle, and finally the 400 yd target. I shoot Morgan's Shingle after the 300 yd target because I'm already at that elevation anyways. That's an easy NPOA shift.

As to your preference for circular targets, I can see your point. But I'm a purist at heart. I like how the AQT hearkens back to traditional military targets. But I guess even that's a myth, because the U.S. Army traditionally shot circular targets through most of the first half of the 20th century. I'm talking the 1903 Springfield era.
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:57 AM
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"What do you do to turn a weakness into a strength?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by navybowhunter View Post
Well....that is an easy answer. Practice more of what you suck at. LOL....it is that simple. The cliche "A Rifleman Persists" is apropos here.
Somewhere out in the world, Allen Iverson, former guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, is saying, "Practice? PRACTICE?!!? We talkin' 'bout PRACTICE??!!!??"

Yes, Mr. Iverson, of course we are talking about practice. But, oh, were it that simple. All of us -whether we've been down the Appleseed road once, twice, or twenty times - know that every AQT stage, every aspect of an AS clinic is multifaceted. There are steady hold factors, six steps to firing a shot, mag changes, NPOA shifts, getting into position from a standing start point, etc.

So, the basic question of your favorite and least favorite targets is not about preference, it's about performance. We probably don't like certain targets because we struggle with them. Maybe so, maybe not. In any case, do you pay attention to that? Do you see an opportunity in those targets that irk you so? And then, how have you tackled those opportunities? It's not just practice, it's smart practice. It's breaking down the fundamentals yet further into their essential pieces. At least it is for me.

Other than dry fire and range time, one thing that has helped me tremendously have been places like this - the RFC - but before that the Appleseed Newsletter and the Skill Sets of Shooting in the AS forum. My approach was to start with both of those forum sections as far back as the earliest post. I have found some gems on EVERYTHING related to the mechanics of shooting. Some of it seems to have gotten lost over time, but I've found great value in it. There's other stuff to learn from, like scrutinizing photos of AARs for tips on steady hold factors, shooting positions, etc. But I won't expound on that here.

Anyway, more food for thought. This AS journey is really a wonderful thing. As I've said in other places, it's really about being honest with yourself and effecting self-improvement. And it's been fun to hear from others via posts and PMs.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilSurplus View Post
Somewhere out in the world, Allen Iverson, former guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, is saying, "Practice? PRACTICE?!!? We talkin' 'bout PRACTICE??!!!??"



Yes, Mr. Iverson, of course we are talking about practice. But, oh, were it that simple. All of us -whether we've been down the Appleseed road once, twice, or twenty times - know that every AQT stage, every aspect of an AS clinic is multifaceted. There are steady hold factors, six steps to firing a shot, mag changes, NPOA shifts, getting into position from a standing start point, etc.



So, the basic question of your favorite and least favorite targets is not about preference, it's about performance. We probably don't like certain targets because we struggle with them. Maybe so, maybe not. In any case, do you pay attention to that? Do you see an opportunity in those targets that irk you so? And then, how have you tackled those opportunities? It's not just practice, it's smart practice. It's breaking down the fundamentals yet further into their essential pieces. At least it is for me.



Other than dry fire and range time, one thing that has helped me tremendously have been places like this - the RFC - but before that the Appleseed Newsletter and the Skill Sets of Shooting in the AS forum. My approach was to start with both of those forum sections as far back as the earliest post. I have found some gems on EVERYTHING related to the mechanics of shooting. Some of it seems to have gotten lost over time, but I've found great value in it. There's other stuff to learn from, like scrutinizing photos of AARs for tips on steady hold factors, shooting positions, etc. But I won't expound on that here.



Anyway, more food for thought. This AS journey is really a wonderful thing. As I've said in other places, it's really about being honest with yourself and effecting self-improvement. And it's been fun to hear from others via posts and PMs.
Agree with what you have written.

I'll add this.....

Forums, Facebook, social media is great, but.....it can also steer someone in a wrong direction.

I often joke that I wish in these shooting related forums, there was a rank structure, so we could all know just how accomplished the writer is, or is not.

That's the big flaw with social media, knowing who the "armchair quarterbacks" are vice those who actually practice what they preach.

Knowing "who's who in the zoo" truly helps lend credibility to the advice that is being given.

Takes time to learn "who's who in the zoo".

R/
Chris

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Old 02-05-2020, 01:51 PM
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Navybowhunter, knows what he is speaking of, only thing I can offer is to practice, practice, practice. I've always been big on hard work and practice. Shoot a lot, work on positions, etc.

I keep my AQT's, I have a stack of them, kind of like keeping a log. I always write down the date, rifle and ammo used.

For a challenge, I'm starting back on shooting bolt actions again, it's going rather well. Probably won't be too many 240's shot with my CZ's, only limitation is my stiff hands.

Anything worth doing, is worth doing right, which takes practice.
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MacGhillemohr View Post
I keep my AQT's, I have a stack of them, kind of like keeping a log. I always write down the date, rifle and ammo used.

For a challenge, I'm starting back on shooting bolt actions again, it's going rather well. Probably won't be too many 240's shot with my CZ's, only limitation is my stiff hands.
Wow! You keep ALL your AQTs, even the one you shoot at your home range?!!? If so, you must have a warehouse of ‘em, ‘cause I know you shoot A LOT!

I regularly take pics of my targets at the range. That way I can do a little self analysis afterwards. Check out shot groups, POIs vs. POA, if I can see degradation or improvement across a long range session...that sort of thing. Once the lessons sink in I might toss the pics.

I’m just curious, McG, just for the sake of conversation here. What is the toughest AQT stage for you? I mean, you’ve maxed them all out, but I’m guessing they are not all equal.

And lastly, you must keep us up to date on your progress with your bolt action. Sounds like a heck of a challenge, and a fun one, too!
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:26 PM
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Wow! You keep ALL your AQTs, even the one you shoot at your home range?!!? If so, you must have a warehouse of ‘em, ‘cause I know you shoot A LOT!

I regularly take pics of my targets at the range. That way I can do a little self analysis afterwards. Check out shot groups, POIs vs. POA, if I can see degradation or improvement across a long range session...that sort of thing. Once the lessons sink in I might toss the pics.

I’m just curious, McG, just for the sake of conversation here. What is the toughest AQT stage for you? I mean, you’ve maxed them all out, but I’m guessing they are not all equal.

And lastly, you must keep us up to date on your progress with your bolt action. Sounds like a heck of a challenge, and a fun one, too!
Yes, I keep em! I have them on a shelf in my shop. I keep the AQT's shot at an event as well.

My hardest stage is always the 100. Though I shoot quite a few 50's, it's more often 46-48.

I used to always shoot a CZ 452 bolt action with Brno Sport sights, scores usually in the 230's. You have to work that bolt fast,and have good NPOA, no dawdling! When my eyesight started fading, I knew it was time for scopes, but went to a semi-automatic rifles then. Now, that I have accomplished what I wanted with a semi-auto, I'm going back to bolt actions with scopes. More of a challenge. On the home range, I've been shooting in the 230's with one 240 fired.

A word about bolt actions, no problem on the 100 and 400, plenty of time to fire. On the 200 and 300, one must, of course, work that bolt for every round fired, meaning taking the finger off of the trigger, work the bolt, etc. NPOA and Riflemans cadence a must. Much more involved, but worth it!

Last edited by MacGhillemohr; 02-05-2020 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:51 PM
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I also find the 5 square drill targets very useful, not to mention cheap. I use them all the time for zeroing various rifles and testing ammunition for group sizes.

I like the redcoats as well. I find the contrast of the bright red silhouettes helpful. I guess I also like them because I can clean the most of the time shooting prone, and better than 75% of the time shooting sitting. And they are also inexpensive.

The 100 yard scaled targets for 22 LR KD are good for practicing Stage 1 of the AQT without burning up the more expensive AQT targets.

The actual AQT targets are far and away my least favorite. Part of that is due to the poor contrast the silhouettes offer. But I also dislike the very "pinched" contour of the 5 point scoring zone.

The standard AS events that I attend and help with are all shot at 25 meters. One MOA subtends .287" at 25 meters. But if you center your aim on the "V" circle of the Stage 4 silhouettes, you can miss the 5 zone if you are off by so much as 3/8" (.375"). And that is only 1.3 MOA at 25 meters, which means that you can shoot to a much higher standard of accuracy than the 4 MOA that talks about, and still drop a considerable number of points on Stage 4 which can easily happen with fliers which are not at all uncommon with 22 LR ammo.

I agree that circular targets would provide for a much better standard of accuracy than the AQT silhouettes.
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:13 PM
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The only time I shoot squares is to zero rifles, sometimes to warm up a bit before shooting AQT's.

I don't find the 400 stage to be particularly hard. If I shoot less than a 100, I consider it almost a failure and just throwing away points.
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGhillemohr View Post

I used to always shoot a CZ 452 bolt action with Brno Sport sights, scores usually in the 230's. You have to work that bolt fast,and have good NPOA, no dawdling! When my eyesight started fading, I knew it was time for scopes, but went to a semi-automatic rifles then. Now, that I have accomplished what I wanted with a semi-auto, I'm going back to bolt actions with scopes. More of a challenge. On the home range, I've been shooting in the 230's with one 240 fired.

A word about bolt actions, no problem on the 100 and 400, plenty of time to fire. On the 200 and 300, one must, of course, work that bolt for every round fired, meaning taking the finger off of the trigger, work the bolt, etc. NPOA and Riflemans cadence a must. Much more involved, but worth it!
Just thinking about shooting an AQT with a bolt gun makes my head feel as if I’d eaten too much ice cream too fast...BRAIN FREEZE!!!

Now, the fact that you used to and currently shoot a bolt gun in the 230s (with one 240) is remarkable. I bet that bolt is a blur on stages 2 and 3. Quite a challenge indeed.
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:42 PM
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Just thinking about shooting an AQT with a bolt gun makes my head feel as if Id eaten too much ice cream too fast...BRAIN FREEZE!!!

Now, the fact that you used to and currently shoot a bolt gun in the 230s (with one 240) is remarkable. I bet that bolt is a blur on stages 2 and 3. Quite a challenge indeed.
Once you practice with it a bit, no wasted movement, it's very doable! Just takes practice, if I can do it, anyone can.

Sometimes, I use a Howa Mini bolt in .223, it's actually easier to use than my CZ 452 rimfires!
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:12 AM
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I like the redcoat the best. I too find the squares target a little too big. If you really want to test NPOA or rifle accuracy, draw a series of 1 MOA dots around the paper. If I miss by more than 1 MOA, I almost always did something wrong (there are occasional flyers that have no apparrent reason, though). I like the AQT target fine and it does come in red (I have no preference, though). The stage I need the most improvement is standing (stage 1).
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