Home -> Machine Gunner Training -> Range Taker

Machine Gunner Training

Range Taker Training

Range-taker

Soldiers identified from Machine Gun units as suitable to become a range-taker were trained machine gunners, or mortarmen, that were selected for specialist training. They were identified as requiring:

  • Good and normal eyesight; and,
  • An elementary knowledge of mathematics.

    Although it was noted that they may still not become good rangetakers.

    Training took place over either a three- or four-week period, covering four stages of training as shown below. It is based on periods of approximately 45-minutes each.

    Suggested machine gun battalion range-taking course (98 periods).
    Subject Periods
    1st Stage. About four days.
    General description: Packing and unpacking (Lesson 1 to 3) 2
    Elementary theory - Lecture (Lesson 2) 1
    Care and cleaning (Lesson 4) 1
    Setting up and focussing (Lesson 5) 1
    Coincidence and scale reading (Lesson 6) 2
    Halving adjustment (Lesson 7) 1
    Accuracy calculation (Lesson 8) - Lecture and Practical 3
    CA scale adjustment (Lesson 9) 1
    Accuracy charts (Lesson 14) - Lecture 1
    Consistency (Lesson 10) - Lecture and practical 2
    Range-cards (Lesson 16) - Lecture and practical 4
    Revision and charting progress 4
    Range-taking in 1st stage 5
    28
    2nd Stage. About three days.
    Difficult targets and conditions (Lesson 17). 3
    Range-takers note-book (Lesson 15) - Lecture and practical 1
    Known range-adjustment (Lesson 11) - Lecture and practical 2
    Natural infinity adjustment (Lesson 12) - Lecture and practical 3 (1 by day; 2 by night)
    Artificial infinity (Lesson 13) - Lecture and practical 2
    Revision and charting progress 4
    Range-taking in 2nd stage 6
    21
    3rd Stage. About three days
    Field duties (Lesson 19) - Lecture and practice 4
    Concealment and camouflage with field duties 2
    Observation of fire - Lecture and practice 3
    Instrument tests (Appendix A) 3
    Test of elementary training (Section 3) 3
    Range-taking in 3rd stage 6
    21
    4th Stage. About four days
    Field duties (Lesson 19) - Further practice 2
    Range-takers classification test - Practice (Section 3) 3
    Taking ranges - Moving targets 2
    Natural and artifical infinity - Further practice 4 (2 by night)
    Range-takers classification test (Section 3) 3
    Use of cover and positions 2
    Taking ranges to complete 4th stage 10
    Examination and test of instrument (Appendix B) 2
    28


    Sources

  • War Office, 1949b
    This page is published by the Vickers MG Collection & Research Association, a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee, registered in England, Company Registration Number 07855202 - www.vickersmachinegun.org.uk