Project Mapleseed is an apolitical rifle marksmanship training program that focuses on teaching traditional rifle marksmanship from standing, sitting/kneeling, and prone positions in a one day shooting clinic termed a "Mapleseed". We are a non-profit, all volunteer run organization commited to helping Canadians develop fundamental marksmanship skills and in the safe handling of firearms
Project Mapleseed is challenging, educational, engaging and fun! We want to share our proud history and build a solid foundation for growth. Project Mapleseed’s goal is to introduce current and future firearm enthusiasts to essential safety and marksmanship skills along with sharing the important role of firearms in Canadian history. In sharing this history, we hope to encourage these individuals to help preserve our firearms heritage and freedoms in Canada.
Project Mapleseed is open to shooters of all ages. The minimum you need is a .22 rifle, 400 rounds of ammunition and a teachable attitude. Mapleseed is open to all calibers and sight types including scopes. The .22LR semi-automatic, magazine-fed rifles are the most commonly seen for their ease of use during the mandatory magazine changes and low ammo cost. Bring what you have, the shooting fundamentals taught apply to the shooter not their rifle. The goal is to learn and have fun.
Subscribe today to find out more about Project Mapleseed and the upcoming training events near you and how you can get involved.
A Mapleseed event is designed to provide structured and safe rifle fundamentals to hunters and shooters of all ages and provides a solid framework of basic rifleman skills that benefits new and experienced shooters alike. For the new shooter we can teach you to use your rifle safely and also be able to hit your target. For the seasoned shooter we can teach you to shoot more accurately - even out to 500 yards.
The emphasis on teaching traditional rifle marksmanship within Project Mapleseed centers around traditional rifle marksmanship techniques using a rifle sling coupled with a concept termed "natural point of aim" (NPOA). Project Mapleseed uses reduced size scaled silhouette targets that enable a shooter to assess their effective range with their rifle using a reduced length shooting range only 25 meters (82 feet) long, while simulating firing at full size targets at ranges up to 400 yards.
The ultimate goal of a "Mapleseed" is to teach students to maintain a 4 minutes of angle (MOA) precision and accuracy, This translates into being able to put all shots into a 20 inch target at 500 yards. Qualification targets are shot to evaluate progress and for score. The goal is to score 210 points or better on a 40-shot course that has 250 possible points. This earns the coveted Rifleman’s Patch and is roughly equivalent to scoring Marksman (85%) as member of the infantry in the Canadian Armed Forces.
You don't have to be a member to participate in a Project Mapleseed event, but our annual membership campaign provides critical funding in support of delivering Project Mapleseed training events to Canadian marksmen across the country.
The fundraising effort will also allow us to create a strong youth development program that will offer youths subsidized registration fees, loaner rimfire rifles and whenever possible, free ammunition for the events.
The cost of an Annual Membership is $35 and includes the following benefits:
• a Project Mapleseed Member morale patch,
• a Project Mapleseed Membership card, and,
• a $5 discount on all Project Mapleseed event registrations throughout the membership period.
Aperture or “peep” sights: Just center the top of the front sight “post” in the ring of the rear sight. The top of the post should be centered horizontally, (same amount of daylight on either side), as well as vertically, (top of post half way up the circle).
Open sights: Center the front sight “post” in the notch of the rear sight. The post should have equal amounts of daylight on either side of it, and the top of the post should be the same height as the left and right sides of the notch.
Scope users would verify a centered field of view with even distortion or shading if present.
While maintaining the sight alignment, bring the sights onto the target and place the bottom of the target on top of the post. Now you should have all three parts in alignment: the top of the front sight post centered in the rear sight, and the target sitting centered on top of the post. This is called the “6 o’clock” hold.
Scope users would use a "Center of Target" or Point of Aim=Point of Impact hold by placing the crosshair on the desired point of impact.
Respiratory pause is the point in your breathing cycle between the point you have fully exhaled and before you begin to inhale. This is the point when your body is free from the movement caused the the rise and fall of your lungs. Watch your front site as you inhale and exhale, notice that it falls while inhaling and rises while exhaling. To achieve respiratory pause, begin your normal exhale cycle, letting your breathe out slowly while watching the front sight. Make positional adjustments as needed to your position to achieve a 6 o'clock hold when in bottom of your exhale cycle.
When you are ready to take the shot, pause your breathing at the end of your exhale and your front sight should be at the 6 o’clock hold position. You are now in the ideal respiratory pause for accurate and consistent shot placement.
Don’t rush the shot. If you’ve been holding more than about 5 seconds, take another breath and start over.
Focus your eye on the front sight.
Your eye cannot focus at more than one distance. Hundreds of years of shooting by thousands of true riflemen have proven that the best way to sight your rifle is to focus on the front sight. The target will be fuzzy in the distance, perched on the front sight post like a pumpkin on a fencepost. The rear sight will be fuzzy in your periphery. Focus your MIND on keeping that front sight PRECISELY where it belongs on the fuzzy target.
Squeeze the trigger straight to the rear using a steadily increasing pressure, much the same as pushing the plunger on a ball point pen. You can stop at any moment. If the target is slightly off line, don’t release the trigger, just hold the pressure you have already. As the sights come back into place, continue squeezing. Repeat until the rifle fires.
HOLD THE TRIGGER BACK, and TAKE A MENTAL “SNAPSHOT”. You must hold the trigger back, (momentarily), to allow the bullet to clear the barrel before moving your finger again. Try to hold it to the rear until you have the sights aligned on the target again, and then release the trigger just enough to re-engage the sear. You can usually feel as well as hear an audible “click” when this happens.
Mapleseed participants are free to use whatever rifle they have or can borrow. The most common rifle is a magazine-fed, semi-automatic .22 rimfire with a scope. This provides new shooters with a low-cost, low-recoil training platform that allows them focus on fundaments. Magazine-fed rifles are usually recommended as there are mandatory mag changes during the qualification course of fire and is less complicated for new shooters. The action is typically less important than the magazine type and capacity.
Sighting mechanism are also up to the shooter. You are free to use whatever you prefer. We will cover sight alignment using the commonly seen types.
Bottom line? Bring the rifle you have, the shooting fundamentals taught focus on the shooter not the rifle. The goal is to learn and have fun.
Note: Some events may be held on private land and as such will be limited to non-restricted rifles. Events with such limitations will be clearly identified.
A Mapleseed is a full-day of rifle marksmanship instruction that breaks down the fundamentals into its constituent parts. The day begins with registration, introductions and safety briefing.
Once the safety protocols are made clear, rifles may be brought to the line and a baseline marksmanship target is shot to record the shooters current proficiency.
From there we cover the six key shooting fundamentals in preparation for shooting in the first position - prone. The goal is to instruct the shooter in the most stable shooting position and learn how body positioning affects performance. Instructors will be on hand monitoring progress and helping students understand their target patterns to identify common issues and how to address them. Scope and sight adjustment will also be taught as this part also covers how to sight in a rifle and to translate what you see on a target to the adjustments you make to hit your point-of-aim (POA).
The remaining two shooting positions - Sitting/Kneeling and Standing will be covered in the afternoon along with accuracy drill and transition practices in preparation for the Timed Qualification Target sessions.
The remainder of the day will be spent on running Qualification Target sessions and personal instruction to help coach shooters to hopefully award Mapleseed Rifleman.
One of the final activities of the day is to shoot a final baseline marksmanship target to compare the difference in performance from the beginning of the day to the end.
Mapleseed's goal is to help participants understand the human factors that build accurate rifle marksmanship. Given our stated objective, we do not allow any support or aids other than a sling when shooting a Mapleseed event. The program also discourages the use of the magazine as a shooting support ("shooting off the mag"), in the case of some centerfire rifles. We know that some have been trained to use the magazine and prefer to use it. There are many ways to achieve accurate rifle marksmanship. Our goal is to expose shooters to a method that has worked and to let them build on that solid foundation. We hope that by helping students understand how their body position and behaviour affects the point of impact, they will be much more accurate shooters when they are able to use a bipod, bag or rest. This also allows a shooter to truly understand how accurate they are without mechanical aids and bring them closer to firing the perfect shot, under pressure and on demand.
Mapleseeds are typically shot outdoors in all weather conditions so plan accordingly.
The main items to bring would be:
1) A proven, reliable rifle - preferably sighted in and one that the shooter is familiar with.
2) 2 - 10 round magazines (4 is better in case we run fast qualification sessions) or equivalent loading devices. Some tube-fed magazine shooters have made quick load tubes from arrow shafts to speed up reloads.
3) Eye and Ear protection - there may be centerfire rifles on the range alongside you so ensure you have good ear protection.
4) A shooting mat, carpet, heavy blanket, tarp or ground cover. You will be spending a significant portion of the time on the ground - choose wisely. Some padding is always welcome.
5) A sling - Mapleseed incorporates a sling as part of instruction and a stability aid. A sling with a detachable rear connector and adjustable length is highly recommended. The most commonly seen sling is the US M14/M1 Garand sling adapted with detachable swivels.
6) Ammunition - Approximately 400 rounds of ammunition may be required to complete the day depending on the number of Qualification sessions performed.
The rest is up to you and your comfort/convenience needs and weather dependent. This includes pen, paper, black markers, chairs, lunch, snacks and drinks.
One thing to note and dress for is the significant amount of hot brass casings traveling from your shooting partner to your comfy and stationary shooting location. Brimmed hats, long sleeve shirts and multiple layers of clothing go a long way to preventing contact burns from hot brass "Mapleseed Tattoos" and the exciting and unplanned dance that goes with it as you try to remove the offending casing.
Mapleseed is for everyone. Young, old, new or experienced we feel that everyone can take something of value from the course. As long as the individual is able to understand and follow the safety commands and instruction, physically able to safely perform the course of fire they are able to attend.
Adapted course of fires are available for those with limited mobility.
A teachable attitude is probably one of the largest contributors to learning anything new. There are many ways to achieve the same goal and many methods to teach them. Mapleseed is not being presented as the best way, the fastest way or the perfect way. It is just one way. We ask participants to approach it with an open mind and try to absorb the "why" vs the "how". We hope that everyone finds that everyone take something away with them that helps them be more accurate, consistent and confident shooters.
Project Mapleseed can help transform you from a man with a rifle into a Rifleman. A Rifleman is more than a man (or woman) with a rifle. A Rifleman understands that owning and mastering a rifle is part of their Canadian heritage.