Now that was a good day.
Courtesy of Project Appleseed and a couple devoted local hosts who got the ball rolling up here in the Last Frontier, I got a chance to see what all the fuss was about. And it was awesome.
I splurged and went in my trekking clothes, and spent the first fifteen minutes geeking out with a reenactor from Yankee country. Soon though we get started. After orientation and safety lectures we settle into lessons - starting with prone shooting, then sight adjustment - then
seated and offhand rapid fire.
I was told beforehand that the .22 CZ I had wasn't really suited to the course, and once we got into it I saw how true that was - I might have pulled it off okay if I'd been serious and already purchased 10-round magazines for it, but with the one factory 5-round magazine it just wasn't going to happen. So thanks again to the kindness of
Next - I want to say the instruction was VERY good. For one thing, the instructors had a great sense of learning psych - little things like being asked to repeat the safety rules out loud were a telling touch. More importantly, they all knew the body mechanics of what they were asking for, and could explain how to get the results wanted.
That is, you wouldn't typically be told "you're doing X, stop it" but rather "this is happening because this bone is resting here and that muscle is unsupported, move this here and that there and..."
After each course of fire, there was lots of "gather round the targets" time, going over the causes of this or that error pattern.
Very very very good teachers.
And frankly, good students. I really didn't see anyone pulling the "I already know what I'm doing" self-puffery that could get in the way of learning.
Finally - the history session. When we broke for lunch, there was a three-part lecture on the events of Patriot's Day. And um... they had it down. After reading fairly extensively on the era and the engagements - and touring Battle Road itself this year - I wasn't expecting to hear much new.
I am not ashamed to say I'd underestimated the amount of historical context they'd have on what's - less be honest - a fairly romanticized part of our history. But among the lecturers were people who could rattle off things about 18th c. trade policy, church politics, even comparatively minor participant biographies -- all from memory.
I was really impressed.
So yeah - highly recommended if you get the chance. They do give gals (or people in period attire!) a discount yes - but it's definately very good instruction for anyone. The class ranged from a pro-level guy banging it down with a battle rifle to whole families with mom and kids on the line.
Afterwards, we broke up and chatted a bit while getting things ready to go home. Looking around the crowd as we were getting ready to leave, one of the instructors who'd come up from Southern California said - "you meet the best people at a rifle range."
And you know? I think he was right. That was an awesome bunch of folks to meet.
... but I still ain't cookin. :)