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Appleseed Prep/Sighting My Rifle

4371 Views 21 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  ALLEN-AK
Hi all,

I haven't shot a gun since I was 10. I'm in my mid 20's now, and obviously I've grown a lot. I find myself in the unique position of not knowing anything beyond the four rules of firearm safety. I thought I'd take full advantage of this opportunity by going to Appleseed and learning to do everything right the first time. :2ar15smil

My 10/22 LVT and tech sights are on their way now. Tech sights do not naturally fit on the LVT's tapered bull barrel, so I will have a gunsmith mill a dovetail by the muzzle. I have no idea whether the rifle will be sighted in when I get the gun back.

Will firing and sighting the gun for the first time be appropriate at my first appleseed? Am I better off having another shooter/RFC member in my area sight my rifle for me? Since I don't know how to shoot, whats the best way to determine what ammo my rifle likes? Should I just bring a bunch of CCI SV ammo (since everyone seems to love it) and not worry about that part yet?

I don't want to muck my blank slate up, as any bad habits I develop now will just make my life harder later.

-Barbour
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Hi all,

I haven't shot a gun since I was 10. I'm in my mid 20's now, and obviously I've grown a lot. I find myself in the unique position of not knowing anything beyond the four rules of firearm safety. I thought I'd take full advantage of this opportunity by going to Appleseed and learning to do everything right the first time. :2ar15smil

My 10/22 LVT and tech sights are on their way now. Tech sights do not naturally fit on the LVT's tapered bull barrel, so I will have a gunsmith mill a...
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I would try to zero your sights before the event, if possible. If you have not done this before, it can be a bit time consuming. I would certainly not assume that your sights will be zeroed when you get the rifle unless your smith has a bore sighter and you ask to have this done.

The Tech Sights utilize an AR15/M16 type front sight post which is adjustable for elevation. The front sight post screws down into the sight body and is spring loaded. To adjust the post up and down, you need to depress a small detent at the rear of the post and turn it. Some sight posts adjust by quarter turns and some by 1/5th turns. I believe all the Tech Sight fronts use the 5 notch posts instead of the 4 notch posts. Although you can use something small to push down on the detent while you rotate the post, it helps to have the front sight adjustment tool which fits into the notches on the front sight post, depresses the detent, and allows you to rotate it. If you did not buy this with the sights, you can find this type of tools pretty cheap on ebay or Amazon. Some tools are set up for the 4 notch sight posts on one end, and 5 notch posts on the other end.

The Tech Sight rear sights are either a dual aperture flip up style with two different aperture holes, or a single aperture style. The TS 100 dual aperture sight is adjustable for windage, but not elevation. With the TS 100 elevation adjustments are done at the front sight. The TS 200 is adjustable for elevation. Both are adjustable for windage (left or right adjustment). Again, it helps to have the special Tech Sight tool for adjustments.

Since the Appleseed rimfire events are typically shot at 25 meters, you would like to zero your sights for that distance. Try to find a range with sufficient distance where you can shoot from rest, with your rifle stabilized on bags or rests of some type. Use a big target to begin with so that you can spot your initial hits if your sights are way off. Shoot an initial group of 3-5 rounds trying to maintain exactly the same point of aim for each shot. Measure the center of this group and determine how many inches above or below, and how many inches left or right of the aiming point the group fell.

When adjusting sights, the term "minute of angle" or "minute of arc" (MOA) is typically used. An angle of arc is divided into 60 minutes. If you vary the angle of the bore of your rifle by 1/60th of a degree in any direction, you will move the point of impact on your target by one MOA. This happens to be very close to a 1 inch change in where you hit a target at 100 yards. Conversely, if you adjust your sights by one MOA, this will transpose to a movement of one inch in your group at 100 yards. But if you are shooting at 25 yards, an adjustment of one MOA will move the group only one quarter inch.

Tech Sights claims that for a Ruger 10/22 each click adjustment will result in a transposition of 7/8 MOA for a 18 1/2" barrel. It might be slightly less for a 20" barrel. This means that if you are shooting at 25 meters each click of sight adjustment will move your groups by roughly 1/4". So if your groups were 2 1/2" off the center of the bull, you would need to adjust your sight(s) by roughly 10 clicks. The windage can only be adjusted at the rear sight (unless you wanted to drift the front sight in its dovetail). The elevation can be adjusted at either the front sight, the rear sight, or a combination of both.

The important thing to remember is that you move the rear sight in the direction you want your group to move on the target. So if you are hitting right and low you want to adjust your rear sight upward and to the left. Conversely, the front sight moves in the opposite direction to where you want your groups to go. So if you are hitting low, you adjust the front sight down by screwing the front sight post down into the sight body (clockwise) and if you are hitting high you adjust the front post up by unscrewing it (counter-clockwise) from the front sight body.

Once you have zeroed the front sight by shooting from rest, you might need to make some further fine adjustments. Appleseed emphasizes the use of a sling to stabilize the rifle. The use of a tight sling will often result in your point of impact moving down a bit, so you may need to compensate. 22 caliber long rifle projectiles are pretty easily affected by crosswinds, so if there is a crosswind at your event, you may need to make a windage adjustment.
 

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At my first Appleseed we were offered no time to adjust sights. Things moved very fast. It was frustrating for those that were not prepared to shoot when they arrived. I would suggest purchasing at least half a dozen types of 22lr and go to the range to sight in and see which type/velocity your rifle likes then bring that. Have everything sorted before you arrive proper sling, proper ammo, sighted in, elbow pads and cheek rest for sight alignment. Things will come easier if you aren’t playing catch up.
 

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I would try to zero your sights before the event, if possible. If you have not done this before, it can be a bit time consuming. I would certainly not assume that your sights will be zeroed when you get the rifle unless your smith has a bore sighter and you ask to have this done.

The Tech Sights utilize an AR15/M16 type front sight post which is adjustable for elevation. The front sight post screws down into the sight body and is spring loaded. To adjust the post up and down, you need to depress a small detent at the rear of the post and turn it. Some sight posts adjust by quarter turns and some by 1/5th turns. I believe all the Tech Sight fronts use the 5 notch posts instead of the 4 notch posts. Although you can use something small to push down on the detent while you rotate the post, it helps to have the front sight adjustment tool which fits into the notches on the front sight post, depresses the detent, and allows you to rotate it. If you did not buy this with the sights, you can find this type of tools pretty cheap on ebay or Amazon. Some tools are set up for the 4 notch sight posts on one end, and 5 notch posts on the other end.

The Tech Sight rear sights are either a dual aperture flip up style with two different aperture holes, or a single aperture style. The TS 100 dual aperture sight is adjustable for windage, but not elevation. With the TS 100 elevation adjustments are done at the front sight. The TS 200 is adjustable for elevation. Both are adjustable for windage (left or right adjustment). Again, it helps to have the special Tech Sight tool for adjustments.

Since the Appleseed rimfire events are typically shot at 25 meters, you would like to zero your sights for that distance. Try to find a range with sufficient distance where you can shoot from rest, with your rifle stabilized on bags or rests of some type. Use a big target to begin with so that you can spot your initial hits if your sights are way off. Shoot an initial group of 3-5 rounds trying to maintain exactly the same point of aim for each shot. Measure the center of this group and determine how many inches above or below, and how many inches left or right of the aiming point the group fell.

When adjusting sights, the term "minute of angle" or "minute of arc" (MOA) is typically used. An angle of arc is divided into 60 minutes. If you vary the angle of the bore of your rifle by 1/60th of a degree in any direction, you will move the point of impact on your target by one MOA. This happens to be very close to a 1 inch change in where you hit a target at 100 yards. Conversely, if you adjust your sights by one MOA, this will transpose to a movement of one inch in your group at 100 yards. But if you are shooting at 25 yards, an adjustment of one MOA will move the group only one quarter inch.

Tech Sights claims that for a Ruger 10/22 each click adjustment will result in a transposition of 7/8 MOA for a 18 1/2" barrel. It might be slightly less for a 20" barrel. This means that if you are shooting at 25 meters each click of sight adjustment will move your groups by roughly 1/4". So if your groups were 2 1/2" off the center of the bull, you would need to adjust your sight(s) by roughly 10 clicks. The windage can only be adjusted at the rear sight (unless you wanted to drift the front sight in its dovetail). The elevation can be adjusted at either the front sight, the rear sight, or a combination of both.

The important thing to remember is that you move the rear sight in the direction you want your group to move on the target. So if you are hitting right and low you want to adjust your rear sight upward and to the left. Conversely, the front sight moves in the opposite direction to where you want your groups to go. So if you are hitting low, you adjust the front sight down by screwing the front sight post down into the sight body (clockwise) and if you are hitting high you adjust the front post up by unscrewing it (counter-clockwise) from the front sight body.

Once you have zeroed the front sight by shooting from rest, you might need to make some further fine adjustments. Appleseed emphasizes the use of a sling to stabilize the rifle. The use of a tight sling will often result in your point of impact moving down a bit, so you may need to compensate. 22 caliber long rifle projectiles are pretty easily affected by crosswinds, so if there is a crosswind at your event, you may need to make a windage adjustment.
At my first Appleseed we were offered no time to adjust sights. Things moved very fast. It was frustrating for those that were not prepared to shoot when they arrived. I would suggest purchasing at least half a dozen types of 22lr and go to the range to sight in and see which type/velocity your rifle likes then bring that. Have everything sorted before you arrive proper sling, proper ammo, sighted in, elbow pads and cheek rest for sight alignment. Things will come easier if you aren't playing catch up.
+1 for both of these posts. That is almost exactly what I did with my new-to-me 10/22 DSP. I added the TSR200 Tech Sights before my first Appleseed, didn't feel I needed the dual aperture of the TSR100. I didn't have enough time to try a lot of ammos though, only 3. Fortunately the Federal Champion #510 stuff worked well enough to get Rifleman. ;)

I bottomed out the rear sight elevation (as low as I could go and not block the aperture at least) and then started adjusting the front sight to zero it in. Fortunately it took very little windage adjustment and just a bit more front elevation to get it pretty spot on. The 25-yard, indoor range I went to let me borrow their Lead Sled Solo, which helped a lot. Apparently they don't do that normally as people tend to break their stuff.

Well worth the time it took and was actually fun too.
 

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Don't worry if you haven't zeroed your sights before the event. At every Appleseed I teach we reserve a section of Saturday morning for instruction in sight adjustment, and the following couple of 5-round stages for refinement/confirmation that your sights are on target.

Most of Saturday's shooting is done "for group" rather than for score. If you can shoot a tight group in the 5-round instructional stages, you will easily adjust your sights during the zeroing stage to put that group dead-on. But if you're shooting fist-size groups, the sights are not your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Save yourself the gunsmith bill and buy this for fifteen bucks:

http://www.tech-sights.com/product/920-barrel-dovetail-adaptor/
Unfortunately that will not work. Its a .920" barrel at the receiver and tapers something like .720" at the muzzle. I emailed tech sights specifically asking if I could get a custom version of this piece. They said they did not offer one and to have a gunsmith make a dovetail.

Thank you for the suggestion though!
 

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Don't worry if you haven't zeroed your sights before the event. At every Appleseed I teach we reserve a section of Saturday morning for instruction in sight adjustment, and the following couple of 5-round stages for refinement/confirmation that your sights are on target.

Most of Saturday's shooting is done "for group" rather than for score. If you can shoot a tight group in the 5-round instructional stages, you will easily adjust your sights during the zeroing stage to put that group dead-on. But if you're shooting fist-size groups, the sights are not your problem.
If at all possible, arrive with the gun READY TO GO... If you have a friend that can help you sight it in beforehand, by all means, take advantage.

As for sighting in at the event... Don't count on it. There is no bench to sight the gun in on. The firing line will be laid out in front of the benches, and you will not be allowed to fire from behind it. You will have to sight your gun in from the prone position, and with your complete lack of experience there, your efforts will be futile. Most decent shots can shoot maybe 2" groups from prone at 25 yards, and you're just a beginner.

I'd try to get as familiar with the gun as possible BEFORE you go. Find a friend, and hit the range for a day. Figure out how to sight it in, and make SURE the gun is functioning properly! Once you get to the event, you'll want to be ready to go. Having to deal with a gun that is not sighted in, or is having functioning problems is a PITA.

If you have no friends available who are really good with guns, maybe even go to a local range, and see if someone is there who can help you out. Sometimes and older, quiet guy with some quality firearms is the best to ask. Guys like this are often willing to help people who are respectful and want to learn.

Good Luck!
 

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Apart from sighting in your rifle and testing ammo, there are a few other considerations.

As for ammo, I have found my two 10/22 rifles to be pretty tolerant thus far. I have had good luck with any variety of CCI 22lr ammo I have tried. Aguila Super Extra high velocity 40 grain ammunition also seems to be very reliable with pretty consistent accuracy for me.

Be aware that the bulk ammunition that comes loose in a box of 330-550 is likely to be less reliable and less accurate whether it comes from Winchester, Federal, Remington or other makers. I have had fair results with Federal AutoMatch 40 grain with an occasional jam and reasonable accuracy. The soft lead projectiles of ammunition loose in a box tend to get dinged up which will affect accuracy. Bulk ammo is almost certain to have a higher percentage of duds that do not ignite on the first attempt and sometimes not at all.

It helps to try out all of your magazines before the event. You should have at least three 10 round rotary magazines for the event. You will need two separate magazines for the timed fire sequences and you should have at least one more as a backup. Inserting magazines quickly into a 10/22 can be a little tricky. They seem to go in more smoothly if you press them in at the front end first. Also, new mags are sometimes a little tight, and inserting and dropping them a few dozen times will smooth out any rough spots. You would like to become proficient with inserting and removing magazines before the event, and you can practice this with unloaded magazines. You do want to test your magazines in live fire before the event for reliability.

I see that the Ruger LVT comes with sling swivels but I don't know if the swivels are for 1" or 1 1/4" wide slings. Most people at Appleseed events seem to favor the USGI cotton or nylon webbing slings. These are sold at the Appleseed store and can also be purchased online from Amazon and other vendors. I prefer those sold by AmmoGarand slightly to those sold by Appleseed. These slings come with hardware that requires a 1 1/4" sling swivel. If the swivels on your rifle are for 1" slings, you can easily replace them with a wider set of quick release swivels.

You are going to need a shooting mat or pad. You can easily shell out over $100 for a really nice one. Or you can go to Harbor Freight and buy a couple of packs of their "anti-stress foam mat" that comes in packages of four 2'x2' panels that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Six panels makes a nice 4'x6' mat. This sells for less than $10 for four panels and seems to be on sale for about half that every other week or so.
 

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You are going to need a shooting mat or pad. You can easily shell out over $100 for a really nice one. Or you can go to Harbor Freight and buy a couple of packs of their "anti-stress foam mat" that comes in packages of four 2'x2' panels that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Six panels makes a nice 4'x6' mat. This sells for less than $10 for four panels and seems to be on sale for about half that every other week or so.
Ingenious idea using the anti-fatigue mats for a shooting mat! Any concern for a more stout shooter separating the panels when moving excessively (dropping to prone quickly, etc.) ?

Although you can get a nice shooting mat for less than $100. MidwayUSA has their pro gen 2 on sale for $70 in coyote brown and Cabelas has their shooting mat on sale for $60. There are many more out there, but those are the two I have had experience with and both worked very well. You could almost fall asleep on the Cabelas one. ;)

If you are going to be on concrete all day at your particular Appleseed range, you definitely want some sort of padding though!
 

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The Harbor Freight foam panels fit together pretty securely. I have not had them come apart when using them for shooting.

I also use them inside my tent when camping. My wife and I sleep on them and crawl over them and have never had any problem with them separating.

For additional knee paddling, rather than using a slip over or strap on type of knee pad, I prefer wearing a pair of "tactical pants" such as those made by 5.11, Propper, or Galls, that have double fabric at the knees and an internal rectangular pocket. I cut rectangles of 1/4" thick closed cell foam to put in the pockets. They provide good padding without the possibility of becoming dislodged or cutting off the circulation.
 

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This is an EXCELLENT, padded shooting mat. I bought these to go to Appleseed, and they are comparable to any of the expensive ones! Also available in different colors/camos/patterns. $31.98 at Amazon!

Plus, don't cheap out on ammo. Do NOT get the cheapest bulk ammo money can buy. Step up to something like CCI Standard Velocity. Much more reliable, and less likely to jam. Be sure to test several mags with it in your gun before going.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A3NC2CC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1



 

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Hi all,

My 10/22 LVT and tech sights are on their way now. Tech sights do not naturally fit on the LVT's tapered bull barrel, so I will have a gunsmith mill a dovetail by the muzzle. I have no idea whether the rifle will be sighted in when I get the gun back.
This may be a really dumb question, but why don't you just slap a scope on your rifle instead of going through the trouble and expense of having it milled?

As another way to go, factory 10/22 barrels are taken off and sold basically new all the time as people do fancypants builds and offload their OEM stuff. There are two standard barrels on gunbroker right now for like $60 each. That has to be easier than getting a gunsmith involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This may be a really dumb question,
The only dumb question is the one you don't ask.

but why don't you just slap a scope on your rifle instead of going through the trouble and expense of having it milled?
Tech sights are $60, milling the barrel is $40. From what I understand that is cheaper than a decent scope + rings for a 10/22. More importantly, I want to learn to shoot well with iron sights. I have nothing against scopes, I will probably get one in the future, but its just not want I wanted to start.

As another way to go, factory 10/22 barrels are taken off and sold basically new all the time as people do fancypants builds and offload their OEM stuff. There are two standard barrels on gunbroker right now for like $60 each. That has to be easier than getting a gunsmith involved.
A fair question. I chose the LVT because it was supposed to have superior out of the box accuracy than the carbine, and it is well regarded in a lot of RFC posts I've seen. Plus it came with swivels for a sling and I liked the stock better. It was basically the same price as the deluxe sporter. I also wanted a stainless barrel for better corrosion resistance. Ultimately I decided what I wanted was the LVT with tech sights and not the carbine with tech sights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Also I just want to say "Thanks" to everyone for chiming in on this thread. Its been informative and helpful.

Sounds like there may or may not be an opportunity to sight in before hand. This probably varies by event and is best checked by emailing the instructor well ahead of time. That being said, I will try to get my gun zero'd and 100% ready to go ahead of time.

n2oMike, thanks for the shooting pad recommendation. Its ordered. I saw the recommendation for foam squares and thought it was economical, but I honestly would prefer something I that can just roll up and go.

I don't think 22 ammo is an extravagance, and I'd like to try a bunch of different ones. Guess I'll just have to shoot a lot :AR15firin. I kind of have my heart set on CCI SV since its made in the US and everyone likes it. However I recognize that all rifles are different, and you really need to try a lot to see what will work best. I'll try to get a friend to the range, but I might post in the local meetups forum and see if anyone in my area would be willing to help.

I'm still checking this thread for new suggestions and ideas. If you have more keep them coming!
 

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I kind of have my heart set on CCI SV since its made in the US and everyone likes it. However I recognize that all rifles are different, and you really need to try a lot to see what will work best. I'll try to get a friend to the range, but I might post in the local meetups forum and see if anyone in my area would be willing to help.
Appleseed is 25 yards, so you don't need expensive ammo. Mid grade is just fine, and RELIABILITY is king. Stay away from bulk Federal, Winchester and Remington. CCI is top notch when it comes to not jamming, and CCI Standard Velocity is an excellent choice for this event. I have found it to be very reliable. I've also found TAC-22 to be very reliable. It's just greasy, and can be kind of slippery to load into Ruger magazines. I have no problem, but my 12 year old likes the less slippery CCI better. lol You'll need at least two mags. You can buy 3-paks off ebay for just over $30.

Be sure to take elbow pads, eye protection, a cap, ear plugs, and a brick of good ammo. You'll be in close quarters with other shooters right beside you. Hot shell casings will be raining down on you. I ended up with burns on my elbows where they would settle. For that reason, I highly recommend a long sleeve shirt, and tuck it in! This will keep your elbows and belly from getting burnt from ejected casings! If it's hot, long sleeves are more important than long pants. Oh, definitely bring a lawn chair!

Take a bore snake with you to clean out the chamber/barrel... and bring a spray cleaner and toothbrush/cloth/Q-tips to clean the action in case it starts to build up with lube/crud and starts jamming.

Good Luck, and have fun!
 

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Pretty much what she said....
CCI standard velocity ammo will shoot fine
Zero your rifle before hand
Become familiar with your weapon
Do lots and lots of dry firing
This was the advice I got for dry firing "by the numbers" for Appleseed:

Dry firing "by the numbers" is basically getting into position, establishing your NPOA (natural point of aim), and consciously and methodically going through all six steps of firing the shot:

  1. Sight Alignment
  2. Sight Picture
  3. Respiratory Pause (at the bottom of your natural breath, not "halfway")
  4. Focus
    • Focus your eye on the front sight
    • Focus your mind on keeping the sights aligned with the target
  5. Squeeze the Trigger
  6. Follow through
    • Hold the trigger to the rear (and when you release, only move your finger far enough forward to reset the trigger)
    • Call the shot (where were the sights when the shot broke?)

It's a mental exercise to start doing all those things subconsciously to make it a natural part of how you shoot.
 
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