Field telephones

I need a pair of field telephones for use on civvy rifle ranges.

Can anyone indicate what the merits of the PTC 405 telephone (the one in it's own box)

are compared with the PTC 404 (the one in a satchel)

Both seem to be similar money on ebay.


Save some money, when your in the Butts and wish to attract the attention of people on the fire points, stick your head over the parapet and wave....... LOL


War Hero
The key difference between them was length of line (cable) they could work over, no doubt a liney on here will be able to find out what the exact distances are. Unless you're doing some really long distance sniper shooting either will fit your needs. Other than that one's in a box the other is in a satchel.

Hope that helps.



Used with the Field Exchange you can get up to 15k`s out of them on D10.

The difference is features and usage. The 405 is mechanical unlike the 404 and lacks features like whisper and a silenced ringer with light which the 404 has.

If your in a hut then get the 405 as it will sit nicely on the desk and is easier to use. The 404 has a b1tch of a ringer button which is tricky to operate especially in the cold. However if your in a ditch or wet enviroment then get the 404.

Hope that sheds some light on it.


War Hero
One other thing possibly worth considering. The 404s are made of plastic and break easily.

I remember the linies complaining when they replaced the previous metal ones that they couldn't chuck them about as much.
Get a 250. Proper phone.


Have to agree with the above, the 250 is a good sturdy phone with all that you need for the range. and possibly as an older model it may even be cheaper
I've sorted the immediate problem with some hired radios but further contributions are still welcome.

What is the advantage of the 250? Is it nothing more than the tough case?


The 250 is a museum piece. It has a quaint ringer handle setup like the old Meggars :thumright: Again it is a mechanical phone like the 405 but it is a full telephone with dial, this was replaced by the 450 (same as the 405 but with dial and CB/LB select. I think I still have one knocking around somewhere!

Now then,
reading between the lines here (no pun intended) am I right in thinking that the 405 (in a plastic box) is a mechanical phone like the older 205 and works without batteries but the 404 (in a satchel) needs a power supply - D-cells from memory?

If it's a bone question forgive me, it's not my speciality.


Sorry when I said mechanical I meant a magneto phone with working parts. However both the 404 and 405 are solid state phone using integrated circuits, I keep thinking its the 450!

The 250 had a winder to provide power. The 404 and 405 use 6 batteries to provide the power for speech and the ringer circuit.

The 405 is easier to fix if broken (if you have spares) the 404 gets thrown in the bin!!

Sorry for the confusion


Frankly I have given up with using phones on gallery ranges...

The bl**dy wires are aways broken and you have to keep someone sitting by the 'dam things....

When you can buy a couple of civvy PRC radios from Maplin for £20 why bother with phones? The all now come with a ring feature so the RCO and Butts officer can keep them in their pockets...

If you are shooting on a large range complex and need to talk to range control, then the range staff produce the phones.
roadster280 said:
HE177 - Rather you than me if the wheels come off, and you have a safety accident on the range. I'd hate to be justifying to the BoI why the RCO was out of comms with the butts because the batteries on my 20 quid civvy radio had failed.

Talking of batteries, the CB/LB selector on the 450 select Local versus Central battery. In other words, if using a point to point setup (eg firing point to butts), use LB, or if using a ULS switchboard, use CB and take the power from the vehicle with the ULS in. In any event, the batteries lasted for a v long time in my recollection.
I've seen a lot of failures with cheap radios, we came close to packing up and going home once on one civvy range I used to use. It's not just batteries - some only seem to work line of sight, not helpful in the buts. The big motorola ones are more reliable but are far from cheap.

800m of D10 can be had for £40-50, It's not necessary to rely on pre-wired points.

Appreciate all the comments though.


Well, I can only report what I know.

I always had more trouble with phones than radios, mostly down to the pi** poor maintenance by the range staff.

I have had a set of cheap PRC's for the past four years and never had a problem. I use them every month and they seem to work fine out to 600m from under the mantlet.

I have even used them at 1000m at Glen Tilt...

You just need to check them and change the batteries regularly.

The requirement in most range orders is to have comms. It is your responsibilty as RCO to check them regularly and stop if you lose contact, regardless of the means. By carrying a radio around with you, you are likely to know sooner that you have a problem than with a phone.

I would be happy to defend myself in these circumstances. Direct communication between the RCO and the OIC Butts must always be better practice than indirect comms (providing the systems are reliable)
I think the key element is that whatever you use it must work. Equipment maintained by the individual or a civvy club is likely to get less hammer and be in a better condition than kit shared by all range users. I've seen range telephones permanently installed on a civvy range that are working happily after four years with the phones living outside in little wooden booths.
Equally, there are plenty of knackered radios out there. Either should do the job really.

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