Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Mr Happy, Jun 14, 2007.

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  1. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    This thread is started after the above statement hit a few nails on the head here: http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/p=1333423.html#1333423

    What I meant when I said we needed more investment in ranges and [shooting] training breaks down as follows:

    1. UK ranges are still either in meters or yards, which is why firing at 600 yards with a sight system configured for meters (e.g. SUSAT) your rounds fly over the top of the target. This kind of lack of investment produces doubts in soldiers as to their ability and the weapon's ability.

    2. Gallery ranges are good for application of fire, a necessary and pre-requisite for accurate shooting but training should use both "gallery" and "live-fire" ranges, its no good having gallery ranges in Colchester if the nearest live-fire ranges are 200miles away. Range complexes should be co-located.

    3. IBSR ranges are not used properly or enough. IBSR should be set up at every gallery range and all 'shoots' should use the facilities.

    4. Night shooting is practised rarely but happens far more commonly,

    5a. The APWT needs re-working to make it more reflective of actual shooting, e.g. more snap engagements of close targets and less of 300m long shots. The emphasis needs changing.
    5b. TA Bounty should not depend on APWT passes, this promotes units falsifying reports for key personel and this leads to the same thing happening on BFT's etc.

    6. Units should ensure that the marksman badge is properly distributed as a motivator.

    7. Remedial training for poor shots should be mandatory.

    8. Shooting instruction should cover more theory (fall of the round of distance, angles of shot, effects of heat and cold, wind effects etc) so that soldiers can employ the aiming-off practise more.

    9. The shooting pam (20?) needs re-writing to more accurately reflect the needs of infantry vs, say the RLC. The minimum laid down allows teeth units that should practice shooting more not to.

    10. Shoots in the the handbook need to loosen up on the positions, "the left knee here, the right arm supported etc" is fine for competitions, but don't reflect the battlefield (unless the enemy is attacking Middlewick).

    11. All units should ensure that have WTWO's at least.

    12. CO's should be made accountable for their units shooting standards to encourage the use of the ranges and the training.

    13. More live-firing and gallery ranges need to be built and designed to incorporate platoons support weapons so soldiers can fire 5.56 with 50cal and 7.62 at the same time. Too many live-firing ranges are ammunition specific.

    14. Range wardens? I can't think of a problem with them but I mention it here in case you can!

    15. Officers and Seniors need to shoot more, too often they're running ranges or using the range time to write reports. By example means on the range as well Sir!

    16. More live firing ranges need to be constructed to reflect the battlefields of today. This includes sand

    17. Simulators need major investment to the SATS to make them 'real', it will allow them to be expanded and create more of an environment. Last time I used SATS it was full of blokes in russian winter gear running around a wood.

    18. Patrol lanes are excellent for individual marksmanship and REEF - the number of these should be expanded and could be created almost on anywhere.

    19. Most ranges, by default are rural, more urban live fire ranges need to be created.

    Just some initial thoughts, anyone else?
  2. fcuk me. thats excellant
  3. I like the 'cut of your jib' (or something like that) fella.

    Unfortuatly that blank MoD cheque book of mine appears missing.

    Make it more what?

    Dosen't stuff like this:

    Make stuff like this less likely?

    I agree, but some people are just shit and/or dangerous. Leave them to handing out the horror bags and save on the ammunition costs.

    Now you're just being silly. :)
  4. I think training should be more fluid. IE Teach the person how to shoot, rather than leavrn the principles of a marksman verbatum. Knowing and applying properly are two different things.

    each person is different and can get better results through small trail and experimentation which the army is officially against.

    standard ranges are a must, however making a standard rang like current battlefields is a bit of a waste of time. Use the standard range for teaching and improving shooting technique, but then have specialist battlefield ranges to address shooting application. Almost a CQB range type thing but is used to cover applying skills in the environment!
  5. More flexibility is required. I don't think the army taught me anything about shooting, I learned far more with an air rifle in my back garden as a kid. Too often it's a case of
    " Down test and adjust, load, ready, 10 rounds at the targets to your front, has anybody not finished? Get on with it then. Unload, show clear, right, double away, NEXT!" (Or has that approach changed?) ;)

    It takes time and ammunition to get good at shooting. One of the best ways to encourage an interest in marksmanship is the use of reactive targets. These ought to be smaller than those usually used to encourage precise aiming and shot placement. With a 4x scope most people ought to expect to hit a figure 14 out to 300m but the standard is to hit a fig11.

    Resting the forearm on cover when shooting in the prone position ought to get a good deal of instruction as this massively improves performance.

    On range closures, how long before Whittington is a housing estate?
  6. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Thanks mate.

    5a. The APWT needs re-working to make it more reflective of actual shooting, e.g. more snap engagements of close targets and less of 300m long shots. The emphasis needs changing.

    (sorry for leaving it blank, original post edited)

    7. Handing out horror bags isn't a requirement in a fire fight in afghanistan and orbats don't allow slack-shot-soldiers to be left behind before a patrol.

    12. CO's and accountability are a seperate topic but you are right.
  7. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Excellent. thats one of my core points but put better. Learn application on the gallery but critique the live-firing in just the same way. Less emphasis on fire and movement (seperate stage) and more on dropping down, bringing the weapon into the aim and firing accurately. Too often shots on a live firing range are done knackered without the build up of the posn that you (should) see on the gallery range.
  8. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Its the same - or it was when I left. I could weep at the waste of time and ammo. This attitude has to be changed.

    My last unit was one that spent all its time on its specific role training and none on shooting, the logic being if they do their job properly they'll not need to shoot. When deployed to Iraq they weren't in their traditional role and needed their shooting skills a damn site more than their role-specific skills. Flexibility in this modern army see's artillerymen on patrol and signallers on the gate. Shooting skills need to be at the fore-front.
  9. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I completely agree and I experienced an excellent COP package run internally at Wainwright whilst the rest of the BN played at BAOR Reinforcement rather than RURAL NI our next posting, wasted opportunities.
  10. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    Fair point, but i always thought this was to allow the shooting novice to get the basics. As more shots go down the ranges, the individual learns what does and does not work. THe manual in this case provides a framework for the soldier to build on.
  11. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    As someone who enjoyed small and fullbore target shooting and air rifle hunting before the army I was always amazed how most range days could be turned from what should be an enjoyable day, into something dreaded by most.
    Typical problems were mostly exacerbated by too many toms for one range/day:
    - Ridiculously early starts to draw weapons and travel in convoy for miles to get to a range.
    - Endless hanging about without shooting.
    - Even worse, military ideas and attempts to prevent hanging about without shooting.
    - No attempt at coaching/improving guys ability.
    - Limited rounds, limited time, lots of shouting.
    - No attempt to make anything interesting - most officers/seniors knew nothing other than APWT, and then usually read from the PAM.
    - Lunch packs.........
    - Picking up brass.
    - Travel in convoy for miles to get back to camp from a range.
    - Weapon cleaning for hours into the evening until every last gat had passed inspection, of course one usually did not, so another hour etc.

    Luckily this rarely happened to me except in the first few years as I became a well known shot, but I always felt this was an inhibitor to many potentially excellent marksman. I was lucky enough to spend a season attached to the QGS shooting team, there I saw how it could be done.

    It would have been very easy to reduce the BS without comprising safety, create a good learning atmosphere and then finish off with some form of competition. But it seemed most officers/seniors had no interest in the sport or competitive side, and saw it like the annual trip to the gas chamber. In fact now I think about it they combined the 2 on more than 1 occasion - "guys with running eyes and noses down, test and adjust".
  12. I think all UK ranges should follow the template provided by the ranges at Lydd (practical considerations not taken into account). They give the ability to train the firer in all aspects of shooting, from the technical side to the practical side - For example, taking up realistic firing positions, firing with distractions, firing at moving & pop-up targets, firing from inside buildings and firing whilst breathing out of your arrse.

    We seem to spend a lot of time working on the marksmanship principles and APWT scores, with not as much consideration for practical firing.
  13. How about losing the Fig 11 tgt after the man has passed recruit trg, and introduce more shooting in which :

    a. Tgts are hard to locate (inc and especially on FF ranges - anybody ever seen a Talib or Iraqi shooter stand around on a sky line demanding to have fire returned at them?)

    b Firers have to judge distance ( . . no 300m mrkers in AFG) and

    c. Tgt indication and fire control orders are practiced.

    I may have a look at MR1909 now, to see what they used to recommend.

    But don't hold yr breath.
  14. To follow up on a post I made on the related thread: how much of UK range capacity currently goes unused each year, and does the Army still struggle to consume significant percentage of the annual training ammo allocation?

    I ask because it struck me for a long time that it was stupid to allocate as much ammo to a bn on 18mths/2yr ops tours in NI as to one spending 6 mths in FI.

    I would argue that unit ammo allocations should cover only the bare minimum needed to pass basic annual tests, and all other ammo should be allocated to range training packages: i.e. you don't book a range, you book a package, the package includes the ammo.
  15. A lot of the IPSC "practical" rifle shooting I have done as a civvy has been much more "realistic" and much less stylised than the sorts of practices I ever did on military range practices and competitions.
    Okay, so it still remains stylised (it is a sport after all), and there is no use of cover, but no distances are marked and engagement can be on almost 180° arc if range conditions permit, distances to target from 2 m to 300+ m, some of the targets being rather small.

    Example video: http://www.toiminta-ampujat.fi/picture_library/videot/TFrifle.wmv

    Please excuse the old-style un-PC metric targets and Scandawegian death metal soundtrack.

    If you were to incorporate somehow compulsory firing from behind cover, could a discipline like this be adapted to teach military shooting?

    I heard a story from an old pre-88 practical rifle shooter that they used to shoot this on certain military ranges until the camp CO went to have a look and saw the civilian shooters shooting to a far higher standard than the military shooters with almost identical rifles, at which point he prohibited it to stop them putting the servicemen to shame... (old Adam, did I hear this from you?)