You really don't need to worry about making modifications to the rifle......but if I were you, I'd be shopping for a different scope. The Viridian may work, but it's not exactly the best quality. A friend of mine has the same package, and his scope fogged up really bad at his first Appleseed. Your Leupold and Nikon scopes both have a fixed parallax (factory set at 100 yards) so those may have some issues getting a clear sight picture at 25m.
Check the Appleseed package deals
for some of the best prices you'll find. Or head over to the nearest sporting goods store and get a look through a few to see what you like. You want to look for either rimfire specific models, or scopes that have adjustable parallax down to 10 yards. (I'm a big fan of the Vortex brand) You don't need high magnification at 25m, but having clear glass and a precise aiming point is much more important than being able to zoom in.
At my first Appleseed, I used my old basic 10/22 carbine--the only mods were adding the sling and a cheap $79 3 MOA red dot. I managed to score a 211 on the last AQT of the first day. Second day, I shot 6 AQTs that went between a low of 219 and a high of 232.
A year (and a few more clinics later) I ran my home-built-expensive-as-hell-custom-tackdriver 10/22--this one is in a KRG Bravo stock with a VQ carbon fiber barrel. I have a USO 3-12 scope on this rifle and a Timney trigger.....with all that expensive stuff, my scores only improved from my very first Appleseed by 9 points. I probably could have done that with my old, original basic 10/22 if I had used a more precise optic. (3 MOA nearly covers the silhouettes on stage 4, and completely obscures Morgan's shingle.)
*I need an optic because my eyes are so bad. I tried Tech Sights and failed. Without my glasses, I can see the target clearly, but I can't see the front sight post. With my glasses on, I can see the sight post clearly, but the target is invisible--not just the individual silhouettes.....the whole
target is just an off-white blur.
I've done 4 Appleseeds now, and my #1 recommendation is to get some BX15 magazines.
- They're easy to grip which makes them much easier to insert/remove than the factory flush fit mags, and they don't get in the way in prone like the BX25s do.
- I also like to attach 2 ounce fishing weights with black electrical tape so they drop free when I hit the mag release.
- I use blue painter's tape on the mag I load with 2 rounds. (Blue = 2)
The only other mod I'd recommend doesn't have anything to do with the shooting, but it makes clearing the rifle much easier.
Get yourself a big pile of ammo that your rifle likes. The only way to find out what works best is to try several different brands. Once you've found some ammo that runs well in your rifle, get out and practice! You can practice slinging up, getting into position, finding your natural point of aim, and manipulating the rifle without firing a shot. But the only way to get really accustomed to your rifle is to go out and shoot it.
Bring a 'Teachable Attitude', listen to your instructors, ask questions if something isn't clear, and above all else......HAVE FUN!