Today I went up the range to help the Training Officer with the trainees.
I got there at 1pm, the trainees started to arrive soon afterwards. The training sessions start at 2pm but Les (the Training Officer) likes them there by 1.30pm to get them all kitted out and organised.
My gun club runs the training courses continually with participants able to start at any time. The course is nominally twelve weeks. Therefore, in any class you have a range of skills and experience. Today we had two newbies and two guys who will be doing their "safety test" in a couple of weeks. There were 11 trainees in total (one of whom was female).
I basically stood around and helped patch targets, told trainees to keep their finger off the trigger, or tuck in the their t-shirts or similar.
The two guys who will be doing their safety course in a couple of weeks were learning range commands today and doing the RO work. So apart from ROing one of them I didn't even have to do that. Basically, I was just a backup for them and Les.
We work with the trainees on one of the back ranges for most of the time and then once the "normal" squads finish shooting the courses of fire we take the trainees out there and run them through a stage or two.
The first stage we went to was quite a complex one - with two disappearing targets. I was surprised by the number of trainees who managed to get hits on both targets. There were a few "fingers on triggers" and barrel direction issues, but nothing too serious.
The second stage we shot was in a small range and with lots of walls. It was quite tight in places and they had built some of the rooms with roofs - which didn't suit the taller guys at all (one banged their head when trying to patch a target - much to everyones' amusement), he managed to shoot the course without injuring himself further. We did have one trainee turn completely up-range while doing a reload. The RO and Les were onto him pretty quickly.
At the end the guys shot off the rest of their ammo (in a line) and one of the guys (a newbie) got a hot case down his top ... I had to grab the gun as he was more concerned about getting the brass out than controlling his barrel direction.
Unfortunately, I can't help next weekend, but I'll be back the weekend after as I really enjoyed myself today.