I'd be interested to know the years in question.Early days APWT we trained on all infantry personal weapons and every promotion course weapons was high on the agenda and I was a mere reservist, even worse a mere survey engineer in a sponsored unit to start with and spent a lot of time with Browning and then Glock. Maybe I was lucky, maybe it was the REs
I'd also observe that in the 6 months of my T&AVR service as a Pte in 1973, I got more range time than I ever saw (between 1975 and 1991) in a year of Regular battalion duties, except (and only except) in those years when we had a NITAT (PDT) package.
As a junior staff officer with an overview of training across the SW of England, I saw how that played out as under-used ranges, and un-consumed ammo, with the latter leading to reduced buys, which in turn meant that Unit Annual Allocations were insufficient to meet the theoretical requirement to maintain the minimum skills required to pass annual shooting tests (oftentimes the only practices fired by any unit in a year!), yet ammo usage across the army declined year on year, leading to further reductions in the volume procured for successive years.
AND NOBODY - ABSOLUTELY NOT A FVCKING ONE - OF SENIOR OFFICER STATUS GAVE A FLYING FVCK!!
Apart from basic handling (load, unload, make safe, strip, clean assemble, shoot safely) such skills as I acquired with a pistol (10 years unbeaten in unit level matches) were acquired almost entirely without formal coaching, because nobody in any of my units knew how to shoot pistol accurately.
I left in 2003. Anybody who tries to tell me that the Army's attitude to SAA has improved in the time since needs to bring some serious evidence to bear.
The officer corps culture simply doesn't 'get it' where small arms skills are concerned. It's an ignorance and apathy handed down from one generation to the next, and (sadly) seems to have been un-dented even by TELIC and HERRICK.