Rifle enthusiasts young and old work on their marksmanship skills Saturday morning at the Roswell Gun Club during the Revolutionary War Veterans Association Appleseed Project, which commemorates American heritage. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Between firing rounds off a Ruger 10/22 rifle at drill targets, gun enthusiasts took out their bright orange ear plugs to listen to a history lesson on Saturday morning at the Roswell Gun Club.
The sharpshooters were participating in a two-day event called Project Appleseed, hosted by The Revolutionary War Veterans Association.
The clinic teaches fundamental rifle marksmanship and is part of a nationwide program that remembers â€œthe shot heard round the worldâ€ at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts Bay Colony, April 19, 1775.
â€œItâ€™s like a bunch of old buzzards sitting around the campfire talking about what led up to April, 19, 1775,â€ Orie Adcock, lead instructor, said. â€œWeâ€™re history buffs that happen to teach rifle marksmanship.â€
Adcock stressed that the project intended to transform ordinary rifle owners into true Riflemen and Riflewomen. Americans have changed courses of war and history by expert marksmanship since the inception of the nation, he added, pointing out Timothy Murphy, the sniper who helped the Americans win the Second Battle of Saratoga in 1777.
â€œWe want to keep this tradition (of honor) alive,â€ he said.
Roughly 10 new and experienced shooters learned correct firing positions (prone, sitting and standing), the proper use of the sling, and how to re-direct their natural point of aim, among other technical instruction.
â€œWe teach and then practice what we teach,â€ said Sam Damewood, state coordinator for the RWVA and a former gun instructor in the U.S. Air Force. â€œItâ€™s like building layers on a cake.â€
City Councilor Jason Perry brought his two young sons, Gideon, 10, and Jacob, 12, to learn how to shoot.
â€œI hope they do this for many years to come because I have seven sons,â€ Perry joked. â€œThis is really great …â€
â€œ… and fun!â€ Jacob finished for him.
Ellen Wedum, who was the Democrat candidate for Seat 59 in the state House of Representatives, came to learn a few more tricks.
â€œI think itâ€™s just excellent â€” their emphasis on safety and the historical perspective,â€ Wedum said. â€œIâ€™m doing a little better too.â€
Project Appleseed was founded in 2005 by Jack Dailey, a surplus-rifle-stock businessman. More than 25,000 people have participated in the project so far, and as many as 100 shoots occur each month nationwide.