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Slack weapon drills

#1
I know instruction XYZ stated we must do ?? Weapon Handling Tests before going on a range, to ensure soldiers can correctly handle weapons but what about units, this weekend I witnessed an entire regt (not mine) performing very weak armoury drills (here take these etc) and no weapon handling skills were seen or enforced (but I bet everyone had passed the test).

Even more surprising/shocking was this was a regiment who lost a .............
 
#6
I was / am ...suprised / shocked at the poor weapon handling skills in my unit. The icing on the cake was !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ecocking the wpn ' We were told to do that with the Self Loading Rifle'.

Other highlights include the Range Officer calling out the wrong words of command on the range, and blokes arguing about the forward assiat
spstle weapon handing practice and this shows both on Or no more exercise and the field. Spend time on it with qualified instrctors and the blokes can get it. Or maybr notr !!!!!!!!!!

Well weapon handling isn' import
Ease s$prings !!!
 
#7
hogstable said:
I was / am ...suprised / shocked at the poor weapon handling skills in my unit. The icing on the cake was !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ecocking the wpn ' We were told to do that with the Self Loading Rifle'.

Other highlights include the Range Officer calling out the wrong words of command on the range, and blokes arguing about the forward assiat
spstle weapon handing practice and this shows both on Or no more exercise and the field. Spend time on it with qualified instrctors and the blokes can get it. Or maybr notr !!!!!!!!!!

Well weapon handling isn' import
Ease s$prings !!!
Eh? :?
 
#8
We were told that "forward assist" should never be used, the correct phrase is "tap forward on the cocking handle".

Typical Army though, everyone has their own standard way of doing things.
 
#9
hogstable said:
I was / am ...suprised / shocked at the poor weapon handling skills in my unit. The icing on the cake was !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ecocking the wpn ' We were told to do that with the Self Loading Rifle'.

Other highlights include the Range Officer calling out the wrong words of command on the range, and blokes arguing about the forward assiat
spstle weapon handing practice and this shows both on Or no more exercise and the field. Spend time on it with qualified instrctors and the blokes can get it. Or maybr notr !!!!!!!!!!

Well weapon handling isn' import
Ease s$prings !!!
yeah but no but yeah but?

Talking (or typing) about weapon handling when p1ssed is scary.
 
#11
At the end of the day, poor weapon drills will result in people getting killed or injured. It is the responsibility of the unit as well as the range staff to ensure that anyone not acting safely is removed and severely gripped. If they can't pass a WHT first time everytime then they should not be let anywhere near the range.
 
#12
Rockhopperst4

We were told that "forward assist" should never be used, the correct phrase is "tap forward on the cocking handle".

Typical Army though, everyone has their own standard way of doing things.

By your name I take it your are RAF?
The standard is the pamphlet, and there is no interpretation. Look at it and you will find "forward assist" doesn't exist
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
Rockhopperst4 said:
We were told that "forward assist" should never be used, the correct phrase is "tap forward on the cocking handle".

Typical Army though, everyone has their own standard way of doing things.
That's the exact phrase used in the Pam.
 
#14
Whilst I am absolutely clear that safe weapon handling is paramount, I do wonder sometimes about the way we design/teach/assess the current drills.

Having fired literally hundreds of different types of small arms over the years, I have to say that the current rifle drills are the most complicated, cack handed and illogical I have come across.

Much of this is down to the layout of the SA80 and the separate change lever and cross bolt safety (why?). I could never understand though why we teach people to cock the weapon with the left hand? I know this was the case for the SLR but why for the SA80?

Also the change of drills from A1 to A2 has not been taught particulary well. I have been through the process three times and each time it was different...

The thing that seems to confuse people and for which I have seen most fails is the "Functional Checks" which are awful...

In the Pam, the three stages of the check are described separately which is fine, and is quite logical. I don't have the pam in front of me, however it is basically, check that the safety catch is working, check that single shot is working, check that full auto is working. The description of each process is quite clear, but they are not written ad drills i.e. "Grasp the cocking handle and pull to the rear etc.."

The problem comes when the Weapon Training Nazies try to interpret these as a drill. They simply string the three descriptions together and teach/assess them as the word of god. When you do this, the drill makes little sense, and leaves too many opportunities for errors. Either the checks should be taught and tested as checks - i.e. "does the soldier understand and complete the requirement" which is how the pam is written or should it be described, taught and tested as a drill - i.e. "does the soldier carry out the actions in sequence..." (regardless of understanding).

I'm not that convinced that just continually testing soldiers in weapon handling is the solution to the problem. Most of the NDs I have dealt with (quite a few recently) have been down to brain stoppages caused by fatigue or terminal stupidity. For example:

Teaching weapon handling with live ammuniton.
Weapon cleaning without clearing the weapon first.

Much of this is simply because there is not enough training with weapons. IMHO peacetime fear of accidents has reduced the number of oppertunities soldiers have to live with weapons, and partiularly ammuniton in training. Just doing spot chacks every year does not build up familiarity. Perhaps any unit warned off for ops should carry weapons loaded with blank all the time for the preceding month before deploying...?

Having said this, simply the number of folk wandering around with loaded weapons will cause an increase in NDs - the statistics tells you so..

Sorry if this is a bit of a ramble, but I get a bit fed up with this "mandatory testing" as the panacea for what is a much deeper problem..
 
#15
That bit about wandering around with weapons loaded with blank.?

We used to do that when doing NI training, many moons ago.

Each soldier was issued with 5 rounds of blank and had to have a loaded weapon with him when ever he was outside, meant doing loading and unloading drills every time you went into a building/vehicle etc etc.

Worked as well. AFAIK not one of the guys who went through that type of training ever had an ND.

I suppose that now it wouldn't be allowed due to H&S of some sort.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
HE117 said:
The thing that seems to confuse people and for which I have seen most fails is the "Functional Checks" which are awful...

In the Pam, the three stages of the check are described separately which is fine, and is quite logical. I don't have the pam in front of me, however it is basically, check that the safety catch is working, check that single shot is working, check that full auto is working. The description of each process is quite clear, but they are not written ad drills i.e. "Grasp the cocking handle and pull to the rear etc.."

The problem comes when the Weapon Training Nazies try to interpret these as a drill. They simply string the three descriptions together and teach/assess them as the word of god. When you do this, the drill makes little sense, and leaves too many opportunities for errors. Either the checks should be taught and tested as checks - i.e. "does the soldier understand and complete the requirement" which is how the pam is written or should it be described, taught and tested as a drill - i.e. "does the soldier carry out the actions in sequence..." (regardless of understanding).
I'm glad you wrote that! The description of Functions Test for the L85 is indeed illogical. The June 07 Amendment doesn't seem to clarify much either.

To be honest, whenever I test anyone on Weapon Handling, all I'm really concerned about is safe handling and a competent approach. If you follow the lletter of the Pam, you'd technically have to award one minor error point for every time they didn't place their left foot forward as the first part of the load drill etc. Yet I have met a fair few anally retentive Skillies who would indeed mark down such infractions.
 
#17
DarkNinja said:
Rockhopperst4

We were told that "forward assist" should never be used, the correct phrase is "tap forward on the cocking handle".

Typical Army though, everyone has their own standard way of doing things.

By your name I take it your are RAF?
The standard is the pamphlet, and there is no interpretation. Look at it and you will find "forward assist" doesn't exist
No, I'm Royal Engineers.

At our last training session we were split up into four ten man sections, each section had an NCO instructor. Two of them taught forward assist, the other two taught tap forward on the cocking handle.

Mag filling is another example - every time we practiced it our group were allowed to have a handfull of rounds at the start of the test. Come the weapons handling test i was told that all the rounds should be on the ground.

On one of our blank firing demos the WO2 instructor was cocking his weapon with his right hand.
 
#18
Rockhopperst4 said:
DarkNinja said:
Rockhopperst4

We were told that "forward assist" should never be used, the correct phrase is "tap forward on the cocking handle".

Typical Army though, everyone has their own standard way of doing things.

By your name I take it your are RAF?
The standard is the pamphlet, and there is no interpretation. Look at it and you will find "forward assist" doesn't exist
No, I'm Royal Engineers.

At our last training session we were split up into four ten man sections, each section had an NCO instructor. Two of them taught forward assist, the other two taught tap forward on the cocking handle.

Mag filling is another example - every time we practiced it our group were allowed to have a handfull of rounds at the start of the test. Come the weapons handling test i was told that all the rounds should be on the ground.

On one of our blank firing demos the WO2 instructor was cocking his weapon with his right hand.

Maybe he was left handed?
 
#19
Being left handed is not the point though is it? the right hand keeps control of the weapon, the left does the catchy, selectory, sighty, cocky thingy AS TAUGHT!
 
#20
I remember seeing only 1 of the MT platoon of a regular battalion fail their APWT on OPTAG - the pass was TA. Not one of the regs stayed behind on the rear party
 

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