What makes an Appleseed rifle? The "spirit" of Appleseed would call for a semi-auto, 2 magazines, iron sights, and a sling. This is just due to the fact that the course of fire for the Army Qualification test used was written during the era of the M1 Garand. But by no means are any of those a "requirement". What is required is an open mind that's ready to soak up a lot of information and a teachable attitude. The goal of Appleseed is to teach you to "Dance with the one you brung", just as the colonial militias and minutemen did at Lexington and Concord.
If you master the fine points of rifle marksmanship that they teach at Appleseed, you'll be amazed what you can do with iron sights. If you don't pay attention to the details and get things right, that scope isn't going to cover for you.
I will mention that if you have eye trouble, the scope will help out a little there. I have bi-focals that make aiming with iron sights tougher, but I was able to qualify using them. Since then, I find that I can shoot slightly higher scores with a scope.
And don't get too hung up on rifle type. A couple weeks ago in North Dakota there were 5 guys that shot "Rifleman" out of 15 shooters. 2 were using semi-autos (1 with no sling), 2 were using bolts, and one used a Marlin 39A lever action with no sling. It's all about learning the technique and then applying it to whatever equipment you happen to have. I would suggest trying to get a GI type sling (not a fancy padded carry strap) rigged up on whatever you plan to use. It really helps tighten your groups.