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  1. #1

    Project Appleseed in Waco (China Spring): After Action Report

    I attended an Appleseed event yesterday at Central Texas Rifle and Pistol Club in China Spring, near Waco. My thoughts:

    Facilities: Hands-down the most comfortable and nicest outdoor venue I have been to for an Appleseed. The shooting line has a solid wall to the rear and is covered by a huge overhanging porch-like roof. The roof is corrugated steel, and the underside has a thick layer of spray-on acoustic foam. The result is a shooting line that is completely shaded, relatively cool, and pretty darn quiet. They use this bay for high-power competitions, so there are also about 30 concrete bench-rest stations just behind the shooting line, where you can store your gear and fill magazines. There is a small office area connected to the shooting bay, with a fridge with plenty of water and room to store some food if needed. The floor is concrete, so shooting mats or other padding are definitely nice to have. Though the concrete is hard, it is also dry. If you've ever shot prone all day in the rain, you'll recognize the benefits of this setup over laying in a puddle.

    Cost: Importantly, there are ZERO range fees at this facility. Just pay the Appleseed entry fee and you are good to go. Most ranges in the DFW area are looking to collect $30 per shooter per day on top of the Appleseed event fee, so this is a pretty big savings, especially if people are bringing spouses/kids. There is also FREE camping/RV space available at the range. Again, a great way to save a few bucks. (Just work it out with the shoot boss in advance.) There are also relatively inexpensive hotels near the Waco Mammoth Site area. More info on the facility: Welcome to Central Texas Rifle & Pistol Club | Central Texas Rifle and Pistol Club

    Instructors: This is a very knowledgeable and passionate group of instructors. One of them has been a highpower coach for many years and has tons of experience in working with school-age children and young adults/teens. The others are excellent as well and have been doing Appleseed events for several years. I would highly encourage anybody who is looking to get their kids/grandkids some rifle marksmanship training to give this a serious look. The Revolutionary War history presentation at lunchtime was well-done and engaging. Everybody will learn something new. The instructors also have their personal rifles available to loan if somebody needs one. If you are bringing a couple of kids out to an event, it is nice not to have to buy each one a rifle up front. I would definitely work with the coordinator and shoot-boss in advance to make sure there is one available for you, as they don't have an unlimited number of these.

    Event: The overall event went really well. There were probably about a dozen shooters, mostly using 22lr. There were a few ARs and an M1 as well, so they had those participants all the way down on one end of the line. There was plenty of room to spread out, so you didn't have to be a foot away from the next guy's muzzle. The weather was hot and steamy, with on and off light rain, but we stayed nice and dry under the roof. Several folks shot Expert (210 or better), including one who was new to Appleseed. I did it a few times with my Marlin 795 with Tech Sights, but was unable to get close enough to even threaten my wife's personal best. Stage 2 is the one I tend to struggle with the most, but I shot in the high 40's on that every time. Stages 3 and 4 are usually my strongest, but I was having trouble staying consistent and was giving away too many points. Toward the end, one of the instructors noticed that I might not have my support elbow far enough under the rifle in the prone position. I will need to sort that out for next time.

    Given the advantages this range has in terms of comfort and cost, I highly recommend heading there for an Appleseed. They seem to have them every month or so. Hope to see some of you there soon!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dawico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Lampasas, Texas
    Very good review. Sounds like fun.
    When it is time to bury them it is time to dig them up.

  3. #3
    Member Couyon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    NW of Austin
    Thanks for the review. I enjoy Appleseed events and will try to get to Waco for one in the near future.

  4. #4
    Dawico -- the shoot boss for this event lives in Lampasas as well. Great guy. He goes by "scuzzy" on the appleseed boards.

    Also, one of the instructors set up a Texas-specific Appleseed page. Pretty interesting. Appleseed Texas

    In speaking with him, one thing he said really made an impression: If you can see well enough to drive, you should be able to grab any rack-grade rifle with iron sights, shoot one round for sighting, then consistently hit a torso-sized target at 500 yards using surplus ammo.

    I'm not ready for a test like that just yet, but hope to keep attending events until this is automatic. In the meantime, it does put things in perspective.

  5. #5
    Just an update on this: I was down here again this past weekend for an Appleseed instructor training clinic. (I began volunteering as an instructor recently.) This facility just keeps getting better. Really worth the drive.

    The biggest limitation of Central Texas Rifle and Pistol is that their bays only go out to 200 yards. For a full-distance / Known Distance Appleseed AQT, it is ideal to be able to shoot out to 400, so that we can run the full course of fire at full distance (rather than using reduced-size targets at closer ranges). The usual 2-day Appleseed format is to shoot at 25 meters on Day 1 and then take shooters who are qualifying as Expert out to full distance on Day 2. There, you shoot at 100, 200, 300 and 400. Standing, Kneeling/Sitting, Prone, Prone.

    The manager of the Central Texas Rifle and Pistol has established a relationship with another range about 15 min away, which does have a 400 yard bay. There is no additional cost to this. The plan is to move to 2-day Appleseed events starting early 2016, so participants can take a crack at earning the coveted Known Distance patch at full distance on Day 2. You an bet that I'll be down on the line, as I really want one of these!

    Hope to see some of you there!

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