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SA80 Replacement on the distant horizon ?

ETA - looks like they have changed the Roupell shoot a bit since my day - either that or one or other of us has a faulty recollection of the shoot. I used to be able to remember the order of the exposures in Practice 4 (after the first one).
Practice 4: Firers adopt the standing alert position. On the appearance of the target, the firer is to adopt the standing, kneeling, or squatting position; targets will fall when hit. 100m exposure wsa 3 seconds; 200m might have been 3 or 5 seconds, can't be certain.

Either 100,200,100,100,200,200,100,200,200,100 or the inverse.

That's it, I'm going to see if I have a copy of Pam.20 in the attic. I'll be up there this afternoon rewiring a security light, might kill two birds with one stone...
 
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jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Try ARA Match 2, aka "The Roupell Cup", designed for use on an ETR; designed to test a series of skills used in contact (plenty other matches exist). Walk into any ETR or CGR, they'll have the shoots.
  • Phase 1: sprint from 100m behind firing point, four rounds? into the 100m target to your front (it's only up for 20 seconds, IIRC), rapid succession of targets follow. You're wearing a respirator throughout.
  • Phase 2: fire trench; rapid succession of pairs of targets; eight seconds to hit both.
  • Phase 3: 3m back from firing point; on exposure of snap target, advance to firing point, kneeling supported. Again, short expoures
  • Phase 4: standing alert, targets at 100m/200m, exposed for 3 or 5 seconds.
40 shots. If you were using Fig.12c/12/11 at 100/200/300m, it was challenging for the average infantry soldier (we used that for the Bn SAAM). For competition, it was Fig.14/12c/12 - a lot smaller. Now throw in all of the other shoots; moving target, gun, pistol, CQB match. They all exist, it's just that unimaginative units don't use them.
Bloody hell, I used to do those even as a hopeless case in a UOTC!
 
It's vanishingly rare.
But once you've done eight to ten hours of practice, it beds in nicely. Doing the OPTAG ranges in Lydd after that was fun; especially when the replay showed the 0.22 tracer hitting the running target centre mass as it crossed a three meter gap between "bus queue" and "cover"... (commentary went "showoff...")

Guess what? Running target only dropped out of the Olympic programme in 2004, and IIRC ARA Match 17? for the Whitaker Trophy is suspiciously similar to the old 50m course of fire... but yes, a six-lane MMTT with a knackered old motor and rattly target holders is a sod to fit into a training program for the Jocks. And not great for training when you get to Pirbright, and discover they've souped up their motor so it goes twice as fast (gits).
 
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Practice 4: Firers adopt the standing alert position. On the appearance of the target, the firer is to adopt the standing, kneeling, or squatting position; targets will fall when hit. 100m exposure wsa 3 seconds; 200m might have been 3 or 5 seconds, can't be certain.

Either 100,200,100,100,200,200,100,200,200,100 or the inverse.

That's it, I'm going to see if I have a copy of Pam.20 in the attic...
Actually Practice 4 exposures 3 and 4 were the same as were 7 and 8 - correct about the timings and inverse sequence.

Practice 1 was the run down with desperator - 3 snap shots at 100m (3 secs?) - 3 rounds in 10 secs at 200m then 4 snap shots at 300m IIRC.

Practice 2 was fire trench - 1 x 3 sec at 300m followed by 3 rushes of 3 exposures random (but never a 3-2-1) so you knew if the first was 300 the second would be at 100 - had to follow the order though otherwise you lost the last exposure.

Practice 3 was the kneeling supported starting 3m behind - 5 pairs of targets 8 sec exposures.

I ran enough of these in the ETR console pre-programmed days that it is indelibly imprinted in my mind (hence my user name!). I think you might have included a bit of the Roberts shoot in your original post.

I also remember the phenomenon of Roupell Leg after our first training weekend of the year on an ETR.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
A varnished and chromed No4 with a chromed bayonet and white sling would look so good. I'd hazard a guess that the MOD will keep some SA80 A1's for ceremonial use. Like you and I have said an A3 with all the rails and in a fashionable colour will look naff, on a parade.

Chromed? You heathen
 
But once you've done eight to ten hours of practice, it beds in nicely. Doing the OPTAG ranges in Lydd after that was fun; especially when the replay showed the 0.22 tracer hitting the running target centre mass as it crossed a three meter gap between "bus queue" and "cover"... (commentary went "showoff...")

Guess what? Running target only dropped out of the Olympic programme in 2004, and IIRC ARA Match 17? for the Whitaker Trophy is suspiciously similar to the old 50m course of fire... but yes, a six-lane MMTT with a knackered old motor and rattly target holders is a sod to fit into a training program for the Jocks. And not great for training when you get to Pirbright, and discover they've souped up their motor so it goes twice as fast (gits).
Motor speeds! I remember the shock we got when they installed the new auto-shoot running thingy but still had the old slow ETR motors (Ash ranges I think). A 3 sec exposure was the target going peek-a-boo for about 2 secs.! Cue a few thrown teddies!
 

4(T)

LE
...you are exactly describing the Pam.20 competition shoots, used to provide a level of challenge beyond that of the APWT. What's depressing is that you've ever seen them in use. In a way, it demonstrates that the Army has failed. You're an experienced Regular Teeth Arms officer, been in for a few years now, you've done time at Regimental Duty - and yet an entire, critical, part of the ecosystem for developing the battle shot has passed you by.

Try ARA Match 2, aka "The Roupell Cup", designed for use on an ETR; designed to test a series of skills used in contact (plenty other matches exist). Walk into any ETR or CGR, they'll have the shoots.
  • Phase 1: sprint from 100m behind firing point, four rounds? into the 100m target to your front (it's only up for 20 seconds, IIRC), rapid succession of targets follow. You're wearing a respirator throughout.
  • Phase 2: fire trench; rapid succession of pairs of targets; eight seconds to hit both.
  • Phase 3: 3m back from firing point; on exposure of snap target, advance to firing point, kneeling supported. Again, short expoures
  • Phase 4: standing alert, targets at 100m/200m, exposed for 3 or 5 seconds.
40 shots. If you were using Fig.12c/12/11 at 100/200/300m, it was challenging for the average infantry soldier (we used that for the Bn SAAM). For competition, it was Fig.14/12c/12 - a lot smaller. Now throw in all of the other shoots; moving target, gun, pistol, CQB match. They all exist, it's just that unimaginative units don't use them.

Back in the 1980s, Cold War, unit SAAMs were commonplace, and our DIVSAAM required teams from sub-units; real "field of the cloth of gold" stuff, but it meant that participation/competition was widespread. Bisley involved the top 450 competitors from the Regular Army, the top 200 or so from the TA; it was A Big Deal. You'd see a pile of COs and Bde Comds wandering around, occasionally even HM The Queen (although us STABs were kept well clear of her that day).

In the 1990s, this was seen as "too expensive"; DIVSAAM cuts back to unit teams, Bisley stops being a Bn task on the RAAT, everything starts being... cheaper.

AIUI by the 00s, the idea of the "Army 100" is "only send the top hundred firers to Bisley". It's a mysterious activity for the chosen few, done far away. Few have ever seen a proper competition, fewer still understand what a good shot is capable of.


IMHO its down to cost and the army living on a shoe-string budget though.

As mentioned in previous threads, units I served in usually had an annual SAA allocation that covered the established strength only for an APWT and a few sighters.

Through being understrength and dipping into some other allocations (Div, district, etc) this sometimes enabled the equivalent of an extra half APWT per man. This is how many army shooting teams were enabled.

My own experience is now very out of date, but back in the day most attempts to organise shooting beyond annual qualification normally met a nil return at the ammo bidding stage (the exception being the budgets for SF types).


p.s. no names no pack drill, but having recently come into contact with elements of the army's SAA hierarchy, I'm guessing that things have deteriorated even further outside of ops preparation packages.
 
This still leaves the issue of muscle learning. Without regular live shooting these skills fade. Position and hold, stoppage drills etc. need to become second nature to an infanteer so they can then concentrate on target location, tactics etc.. rather than having to think about making their rifle go bang.
Spot on.

Impossible without routine live firing throughout the course of a year, shooting at targets at realistic ranges, sometimes with moving targets, ideally with a decent ratio of experienced coaches to those under instruction on every occasion.

Lip service to any of this has been the hallmark of Brit infantry battalions (with a very few rare exceptions) for more than a generation, to the extent that it is accepted as the norm.

Give the infantry the finest small arm on earth without remedying this dire state of affairs, and you're throwing money away.
 
So was I - briefly - between leaving skule in 1973 and going Regular in 1974 :)

I got more range time in those 6 months than in any single year with a Regular infantry battalion thereafter :-(
There is a very active Queens/PWRR Association branch at Edgware of which I am a member.

Whilst in our battalion shooting team I reckoned I got all of my income tax back each year paid from my civvy job, just in rounds expended, never mind the lovely beer vouchers they gave me to do it. It was a slow weekend if we didn't fire 200-300 rounds each (more for Gun match practices).

Weapon cleaning was a pain though, SLR and SMG each and 4 GPMGs between a dozen or so of us.

I shall not mention the rounds we got through in the bar...
 
From my point of view, it’s never about money, nearly always about time and attitude.

My biggest concern - and I wonder if it’s the same in the non-teeth arms - is that shooting is viewed by many as a very quick way to be punished and/or face jail time. Therefore, it must be highly regimented and done minimally - ideally not at all. It is never about improving operational capability.
 
From my point of view, it’s never about money, nearly always about time and attitude.

My biggest concern - and I wonder if it’s the same in the non-teeth arms - is that shooting is viewed by many as a very quick way to be punished and/or face jail time. Therefore, it must be highly regimented and done minimally - ideally not at all. It is never about improving operational capability.
Sounds very much like the RAF in the 70s and 80s.
 
My old drill hall :thumleft:
I know ;) - next time the bar opens I'll look in the rogues gallery for some old/young photos of thee and me. All that stuff has been re-vamped and rehung during lockdown. There is also a good museum there. The Branch Secretary is an ARRSE member as well BTW. Loads of pictures on the Branch's FB page too (do not recall seeing any of you though).

You probably do not want to know how many of our contemporaries are no longer with us - it is a rather long list.
 

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