The best and worst ranges?

#1
Where are they and why are they sometimes designed to make every range day a trial by ordeal. I'll go first.

Best:

Sennelager. They're flat, modern (well, up to date) have decentish shelters for when not firing or in the butts and NAFFI\Brattie wagons make regular stops.

Worst:

Tregantle Fort. Not counting the altitude difference between 300m and the butts, the sheer effort and drudgery of climbing up and down that hill for a week solid is soul destroying, not to mention doing my first range package there in training in '87 and my last on in '99 I still have nightamres about being made to trench hop up and down that bloody range. On my last range package there we tried to do a shoot in a gale with the wind and rain coming in off the Atlantic horizontal so fierce that it swamped our iron sights and blinded us. Whan laying on the point you have to angle your weapon down at 45 degrees to line up with the targets (not forgetting the extra sharp stones used to cover the firing points) it was especially fun with the old LMG.
Can there be any worse?
 
#2
Speedy said:
Worst:

Tregantle Fort. Not counting the altitude difference between 300m and the butts, the sheer effort and drudgery of climbing up and down that hill for a week solid is soul destroying, not to mention doing my first range package there in training in '87 and my last on in '99 I still have nightamres about being made to trench hop up and down that bloody range. On my last range package there we tried to do a shoot in a gale with the wind and rain coming in off the Atlantic horizontal so fierce that it swamped our iron sights and blinded us. Whan laying on the point you have to angle your weapon down at 45 degrees to line up with the targets (not forgetting the extra sharp stones used to cover the firing points) it was especially fun with the old LMG.
Can there be any worse?
You think being on the range there is shit, try being told by your Sqn that you're going as a medic for the range, then spending 8 hours a day for 5 days sat in the sangar on top of the fort or at the end of the cliff making sure civvies don't wander past a gimpie range.
 
#4
jimmys_best_mate said:
Speedy said:
Worst:

Tregantle Fort. Not counting the altitude difference between 300m and the butts, the sheer effort and drudgery of climbing up and down that hill for a week solid is soul destroying, not to mention doing my first range package there in training in '87 and my last on in '99 I still have nightamres about being made to trench hop up and down that bloody range. On my last range package there we tried to do a shoot in a gale with the wind and rain coming in off the Atlantic horizontal so fierce that it swamped our iron sights and blinded us. Whan laying on the point you have to angle your weapon down at 45 degrees to line up with the targets (not forgetting the extra sharp stones used to cover the firing points) it was especially fun with the old LMG.
Can there be any worse?
You think being on the range there is s***, try being told by your Sqn that you're going as a medic for the range, then spending 8 hours a day for 5 days sat in the sangar on top of the fort or at the end of the cliff making sure civvies don't wander past a gimpie range.
I think I'd rather have been on the swan as a range sentry than running up and down those soddin' ranges with an incline of almost 1 in 1. F**k my legs hurt after the first couple of runs. Who in their right mind puts a rage on a slope like that?
 
#6
The ITR range at ASH has not only the electric targets but also a padded firing point sheer bliss. What idiot decided that sharp stone would be the best surface from which to dig your elbows in?
 
#7
Tregantle fort is a silly range .Only enjoyment i ever got on the range was watching the snipers sink some fishermans lobster pot after the 3rd time he had sailed in to the danger zone .For sheer annoynce factor must be designed by a mover :lol: .
 
#9
best - warcop as long as you want to practice in the wet

worst, agree Whitburn is bad, especially having to stop for boats, but Nescliffe is also pretty bad if its still there
 
#11
Best---- Altcar in Liverpoooool!

Worst---- Castle law in Edinburgh, try taking the range flags out there and you had better get your mountain climbing gear on.
 
#12
I think the nicest range I have been to is Mere in Wiltshire - or is it Somerset? Beautiful setting in a natural bowl in the downs and nicely kept in its day. Of course it has been demolished now, since the lease ran out.

There was a time when I wore two hats, one TA and one ACF. Wearing my ACF hat I took some little urchins there to shoot one weekend. One of them spotted that four square feet of the Range Warden's car was visible at the side of the mantlet and promptly put two rounds through the rear window.

Cue red flag waving in the butts and a speaking part at an inquiry. Nothing more was said when it was found that there were two different sets of range orders in existence - quite took the heat off me.
 
#13
Oracle said:
I think I'd rather have been on the swan as a range sentry than running up and down those soddin' ranges with an incline of almost 1 in 1. F**k my legs hurt after the first couple of runs. Who in their right mind puts a rage on a slope like that?
It is an awful range - have you seen the hill you have to walk up to get to the sangar on the far right as you look towards the sea? Must be about a f*cking 15:1 slope.

Not that I had to do it since I was a full screw and the other two sentries were Siggies :wink:
 
#14
Anyone use the CGR at Beckingham? Not much to it but trully the most manicured range I've ever been on in 20 yrs plus. I'm sure I can remember the Grass being striped. The range warden at the time couldn't do enough for you.

Barry's a great range complex too, for those thank its wet & windy in the summer its warm enough to swim in the sea.

Anyone here used Dreghorn??
 
#15
Fond memories of a falling plate range at Otterburn. I almost did quite well with live rounds and bayonet proudly fixed! Well, that is quite well for me.

Not so fond memories of the falling plate range at Sennybridge near (West of?) the stone cottage. Live firing attack, humping 51mm mortar (I don't know what I did that day) and very knackered! However, the low flying jets added a certain ambience - well done to the Trg Maj for arranging those! ;) !

Castlelaw bites the big one - the flag is indeed an onerous duty. There is worse. We ended up in the middle of nowhere on a range in the Scottish borders, perhaps to the south of Galashiels (anyone know where?). Yours truly was made one of (many) range sentries with the vital task of "securing" the (large and porous) perimeter as the range was inconveniently crossed with many hill-walking tracks. 6 hours of boredom were interrupted with an argument with an obstructive hillwalker who decided - against my polite and firm advice to take his chances and walk towards the loud bangs. I felt like a right kn0b having to radio in this occurence (iaw SOPs) rather than physically defending the Queen's Range at the risk of injury to life and limb, although at least I managed to get the radio to work.

I recall that the role of range sentry was much in demand of those with over-large hangovers who had not had enough sleep or who felt too incapacitated to fire and wished to make use of the combination of sleeping bag and sentry box. I will proudly state that I was never among those, although there were perhaps one or two occasions when I had to fight through the haze and probably could have cleaned the rifle by breathing down the barrel instead of using the pullthrough and flannelette.
 
#16
I was at Beckingham a couple of years back and the range warden (i think it was dave) was as deaf as a post and reminded us all of chip cobb (the deaf stuntman) out of the fast show. The phone conversation from the console building went something like this:
console: dave, are we okay to commence firing?
dave: half past 4.
<confused looks around the console>
console: no, can we start shooting now? (said loud and clear with pauses).
dave: what? yeah, the targets are fine!
<fits of laughter in console>
console: can...we....start...shooting?
dave: oh, yeah, crack on...

This was compunded later when we drove down to hand the keys in. We get the usual tales (only at a louder volume) and we chew the fat for a while but try and make our excuses and leave...poor old dave is oviously lonely so follows us out of the door to the land rover. He keeps chatting away to me as the guys jump int he front and i lob myself over the tailgate and he's even continuing the conversation as we drive off...the guys in the front are in stiches as i try and shout the conversation back to him!

<fast show mode on>
what? you want me to throw myself of the mantlet? right you are....
<fast show mode off>

it really made the ranges fun that week though and we still laugh about it now :lol:
 
#17
MrPVRd said:
Castlelaw bites the big one - the flag is indeed an onerous duty.
Well, they used to take a Landrover up to the top flag, but one Sunday back in the 1980s (before I joined the unit), the driver got a bit, err, confused. Still, at least everyone got out before the Rover hit the butts. Vertically.

Castlelaw is a bit prone to mist in the mornings; you put the flags out through the mist, so as not to lose twenty minutes after it clears. We had one loser (Fat Sammy, to those who know) walk back down onto the range to say that he'd rolled the Rover. The recovery party came back 45 minutes later to say that they couldn't find the rover to right it. We had to wait until the mist lifted to see the damn' thing on its side all of two hundred yards away.....

MrPVRd said:
There is worse. We ended up in the middle of nowhere on a range in the Scottish borders, perhaps to the south of Galashiels (anyone know where?).
Melrose.....since shut down, I think. Another problem was that unlike Barry Buddon, the golf course ran across the range, not alongside it, and you'd get the punters in the loud clothes crossing somewhere near the 300m point.

A TA Rifle Company with its own rifle range (on private land - thankyou, the Duke of Buccleuch), jammy sods, no wonder they always cleaned up at Bn SAM.
 
#18
Good range - The Molotov cocktail range at Vogelsang. Nothing particularly special about it just bloody good fun. Oh and the moving target range over the lake was good for a laugh especially doing the night shoot.

Bad range - Can't for the life of me remember the name of it but it was in Northumberland somewhere on the coast, point was always covered in sheep shit and the targets covered with mist/rain/snow.
 
#19
The range near Cambridge is called Barton Road.
Beckingham is imaculate. Soul destroying though, whe you do your cadre there, run past the ranges hanging out and remember that the last time you were there you were on the p155 and having a great time.
The worst range has got to be one near Okehampton. You loose so much time because of all the fog coming in you never get to shoot.
 
#20
A range we ran for the RGBW on Pond Jump West some years ago.

The task was to devise a night shoot ambush scenario. Obviously the SOP is to move in at last light, set and make ready and wait until the fig 11s pop up and cabby away in the general direction before extracting. Dull Dull Dull.

So to make it interesting we do recce a good spot by the a river (the Bow I think) so we can set the fig 11s on the far bank and get some splash going on. This morphs into could we get a boat? So we have the Bn Chippies to make us some boats and get the sappers to rig a pulley system. The boat will come through the killing zone and initiate the ambush!

So the blokes turn up on the choppers, recce and occupy the ambush, set trips etc and settle in for the long haul. Some time later through comes the boat with dummies, off go the (masked) flares to illum the target and it all kicks off. All those rounds splashing around the water looks really cool! It was ace.

and the best bit was no-one got shot whilst my name was on the trace!
 

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