All posts by Mike

Even better news from the NRA !

18:21, 01/03/2022

Dear Club Secretary
  Removal of Covid restrictions on Mod ranges in Wales
Following the announcement by Welsh Government, I am pleased to confirm that MoD has removed Covid restrictions applicable to NRA clubs shooting on ranges in Wales. 
NRA licenced Clubs are no longer required to limit bookings to 30 people and maintain 2m social distancing. The changes will allow Clubs to resume supervised training of probationary members on MoD ranges and conduct Home Office Approved Guest Days.
Club officials and RCO’s are encouraged to conduct a range recce, familiarise themselves with the range licence and up to date range orders. In some cases, RCO’s will be required to attend a briefing prior to any booking.
Covid restrictions are still applicable in Scotland and Northern Ireland and we wait for announcements from each of the Devolved Administrations.  

Going to shoot at Diggle? You must read this.

Range Safety Brief – Diggle Rifle Range

Aim

The aim of this brief is to ensure that the competition / practice detail is carried out safely and efficiently as possible in accordance with Diggle Range Orders and keeping associated risks as low as reasonable practicable for all.

Staffing

The following are nominated to to fill the appointments as follows:

RCO

First Aider

Butts Duty IC (If Applicable)

Butts Team (If Applicable)

Safety Supervisors (If Applicable)

Scoring / Admin (If Applicable)

Admin

Vehicles / Parking / Signing In (Inc visitors and fees and verify FAC) / Range Fees / Facilities

Course of Fire

Course of Fire – inc range / sighting in / scoring / ammunition requirements / specific words of command / timings

Firearms / Ammunition Permitted to be Used

It is the shooters responsibility to comply with the ranges safety certification limits – Max calibre 0.577in / Max Muzzle Energy 6000ft/lb / Max Muzzle Velocity 4000fps. HME weapons (4500 joules) should be pre-zeroed. HME shooters should advise the RCO prior to the commencement of the shoot and the local HME requirements discussed. Tracer and S5 firearms may only be used with permission of the PSSA Committee.

Range Layout (as required)

Firing Point / Butts Loc inc routes to and from / Concurrent ranges in use and restrictions / Range in use flag / Danger Area (inc visibility) / Stop Board or red butts flag / Range restrictions eg usage of the plate box / Admin area / No fumble zones / Shot Marker IP 192.168.100.1 (if used)

Range Procedure

At all times the directions / instructions of the RCO are to be followed by all participants. If the RCO leaves the firing point due to unforeseen circumstances no shooting may take place.

Each shooter has a personal responsibility to ensure that their conduct, actions and drills maximise the safety of themselves and others whilst minimising risk. Shooters must be fully familiar with the weapon and its function that they are using on the range. Shooters must ensure that their weapon and ammunition are fully serviceable prior to firing. The following points are to promote a safe range environment for all:

            1. No weapons are to be taken onto the firing point until instructed.

            2. No bolts are to be placed into rifles until instructed and no one is to aim a rifle or insert a bolt unless on the firing point. ***Shotguns? / Semi Auto .22 specific details***

            3. Load and fire only on the instructions of the RCO.

            4. Weapons to be pointed down range in the direction of the butts at all times. Cross lane firing is not permitted.

            5. Weapons must not be handled when the red marker board or red stop butt flag is                   shown. If the board or flag are raised during firing then shout STOP STOP STOP.

            6. Weapons must not be handled when anyone is forward of the firing point.

            7. Misfires – Observe for 30s / keep pointing down range / inform RCO. Defective ammunition should not be re-fired

            8. ND’s – To be reported immediately to the RCO

            9. Hard Extractions / Stoppages – 2 hard extractions or stoppages maximum before                dismissal from the detail for that particular weapon. Defective ammunition should not be   re-fired.

            10. Hearing protection is mandatory and is to be worn at all times when the range is ‘live’ by all persons on the range. Hearing loss due to noise exposure is permanent. Eye protection is optional but strongly advised. All persons must ensure that their eye and ear protection is serviceable.

            11. Only shooters are allowed onto the firing point other persons are to stand well back.

            12. Remove all brass / casings at the end of the detail as well as any litter.

            13. Alcohol must not be consumed before or during shooting. Smoking is not permitted in the covered firing points.

            14. Range vehicles are used at each individuals personal risk and operators and passengers are to ensure they are familiar with the vehicles use.

            15. Shooters are advised to ensure that they have adequate personal and 3rd party accident   insurance for the activity in the event of any claim or injury prior to shooting (BASC / NRA / CPSA)

            16. Report any damages / breakages / injuries to the RCO for recording prior to leaving the range.

Weapon Clearance – The RCO is responsible for ensuring that all weapons are inspected and cleared before they are taken from the firing point, however it is the individual shooters responsibility to ensure that the weapon is presented for inspection and cleared before leaving the firing point.

STOP STOP STOP Procedure – Everyone involved in the practice should be mindful of human incursions into the RDA, if there is any livestock incursion into or close to the line of fire, an unsafe practice observed, accident has or is about to occur or you see the red stop board or butt flag raised during firing then you must shout STOP STOP STOP loudly. Anyone may give this command, however only the RCO may authorise firing too recommence.

If the RCO requires firing to STOP then the command STOP STOP STOP will be given. Similarly this may be given by another RCO via the radio system.

Actions on STOP STOP STOP – Shooters will immediately stop shooting, lay down their weapons and step back from the firing point. Weapons will be cleared once the immediate danger has been alleviated.

Medical / Accident Procedure

Actions on Medical / Casualty (IA) – STOP STOP STOP to be declared and firing to cease. The RCO or nominated staff will move to the scene to assess the casualty. Immediate first aid will be administered and Range House and other ranges informed as required. There is a first aid kit in the range house (state any other loc). All participants should be prepared to undertake tasking as directed by the RCO.

Actions on Medical / Casualty (Minor Casualty) – After the IA has been carried out specific first aid will be carried out either at the range house or on the range as appropriate with the casualty being moved on foot or by vehicle as needed with follow on care at the nearest hospital / medical facility as required.

Actions on Medical / Casualty (Major Casualty) – After the IA has been carried out the RCO will direct that a call for an ambulance using the 999 system is made. The location is Diggle Rifle Range, Diggle, Oldham, OL3 5LB. approx 1 mile east of Diggle Village. Range House Grid Ref: SE022083 / What3Words: nylon.pets.prompts. State the type of incident, casualty numbers and nature of injuries along with any other identified hazards. The RCO will deploy 1 x person to the main gate to act as a guide for  arriving emergency services. All participants should be prepared to support the RCO in preserving life and maximising safety of the casualty and others. No one should leave the range complex until instructed.

The nearest hospital is Tameside General Hospital, Darton Road, Ashton-under-Lyne 0161 330 8373.

Injuries to livestock must be reported to the RCO who will then complete the relevant reporting.

After the casualty has been dealt with the RCO will complete the relevant accident reporting as required.

Dynamic Risk Assessment

All shooters and visitors should be mindful of slips, trips and falls as well as manual handling when on the range complex. All persons should conduct their own dynamic risk assessment in line with their own physical abilities as required in line with the activities being undertaken prior to and whilst participating in the practice to ensure their own personal safety and that of others.

COVID

Detail any COVID-19 restrictions / regs / PPE requirements in force.

Questions? If in doubt ask.

Range Staff Tasking

Safety Supervisors – The Safety Supervisors are responsible for the safe conduct of firing as directed by the RCO and in particular they are to:

            1. Ensure the safe handling of weapons on the firing point at all times.

            2. Ensure that correct targets are engaged.

            3. Intervene if a breach of safety is about to occur.

            4. Stay alert at all times.

Butts Duty IC – The Butts IC is responsible for the operation of the targets as directed including where applicable shot marking / scoring as tasked by the RCO in particular they are to:

            1. Listen via radio or other means for signals from the RCO during the practice and present targets and signal flags / boards as instructed by the RCO.

            2. The Butts IC is to brief the butts party and is to ensure that the safety rules are explained and  understood as well as the scoring / marking requirements.

            3. The Butts IC must ensure that all butts party understand that no one may leave the butt without permission of the Butts IC.

            4. The Butts IC must not give permission until told to do so by the RCO. The butt flag / stop board  must be raised before any movement to or from the butts.

            5. In the event of loss of communications to the firing point or other emergency (including RDA  incursions observed) the Butts IC will instruct the butts flag / stop board to be raised and await contact from the firing point.

            6. Ensure that the butts party remains under ballistic cover during the practice.

Prior to Firing the Butts IC is to:

            1. Test communications to the RCO as well as any alternative / back up system

            2. Brief the butts party as required and remind to stay under ballistic cover. NB if .22 is being used over 100yards then butts party to remain in cover at the designated location as per range orders.

            3. Detail butts team to target frames and test the frames that are to be used and install targets.

            4. Test the marking system to be used as required / patch out any old shot holes.

            5. Install wind flags as required.

            6. Advise butts party about the requirement for hearing and eye protection as required.

            7. Ensure that first aid pack is taken to the butts as required.

Key Locations

Diggle Access Road – Grid SE019081

Diggle Range House – Grid SE022083 / What3Words: nylon.pets.prompts.

RVP Main Gate – What3Words: everybody.limiting.harder

Clay Range – What3Words: flushed.spine.conforms

A Range 100 yard Covered firing point – What3Words: modem.juicy.ordering

B Range 300 yard Covered firing point – What3Words: went.licks.crucially

B Range Butts Entry – What3Words: condition.audio.contrived

C Range 600 yard Covered firing point – What3Words: dolls.asks.advice

C Range 1000 yard Covered firing point – What3Words: shunning.transit.flask

C Range Butts Entry – What3Words: challenge.unites.losing

D Range Covered firing point – What3Words: rocker.greyhound.flame

Deactivated Firearms Guidance

The latest (last!?) EU legislation on deactivated firearms is complex and confusing, but the Deactivated Weapons Association (DWA) has put together a guide to what should be notified and when – see the tables at the bottom of this page.)

We may be officially “out” of the EU, but we’re still in the transition period sat the moment (18/2/20) and this particular law was enacted before we left.

You’ll note that the “who” to notify hasn’t been included, but now that’s been made (nearly) clear at – Deactivatedfirearmsnotifications@homeoffice.gov.uk

You should use the forms provided at – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/circular-0102019-firearms-regulations-2019-and-the-firearms-amendment-no2-rules-2019

What possible way this can enhance public safety is – to say the least – questionable, but it prevents the UK having to pay a massive fine to the EU if they haven’t “done something” to comply.
This is the very least they could do to comply with the legislation and still avoid that fine.

Possession
Type of Deactivation? Notify? When to Notify?
UK legacy specifications deactivated prior to 7th April 2016 No N/A
2010 UK Specification (for firearms outside the scope of the EU Regulation – mortars, flare pistols, launchers, etc.) deactivated from 8th April 2016 No N/A
EU Regulation 2015/2403 (EU Spec 1) deactivated from 8th April 2016 to 27th June 2018 Yes BUT Not before March 14th 2021
EU Regulation 2018/337 (EU Spec 2) deactivated from 28th June 2018 to 13th September 2018 Yes March 14th 2021 if taken into your possession by 13/09/18 or from now if taken into your possession on or after 14/09/18
EU Regulation 2018/337 (EU Spec 2) deactivated from 14th September 2018 Yes Now
Transfer (for more than 14 days)
Type of Deactivation? Notify? When to Notify?
UK legacy specifications deactivated prior to 7th April 2016 No N/A
2010 UK Specification (for firearms outside the scope of the EU Regulation – mortars, flare pistols, launchers, etc.) deactivated from 8th April 2016 No N/A
EU Regulation 2015/2403 (EU Spec 1) deactivated from 8th April 2016 to 27th June 2018 No N/A
EU Regulation 2018/337 (EU Spec 2) deactivated from 28th June 2018 to 13th September 2018 Yes From now upon sale/transfer
EU Regulation 2018/337 (EU Spec 2) deactivated from 14th September 2018 Yes From now upon sale/transfer

Salute to Ron Stoll

On Saturday 18th January we stopped all activity at Sealand in order to fire a five-volley salute to our (sadly missed) friend Ron Stoll.

Quite a number of members turned up specifically to pay their respects to Ron, but as we were limited to firing numbers by MoD rules, we had a squad of five – selected by lottery.

Ron, our friend

You can view the video below –

What was all that about?

We have received this today from the NRA.

[The MoD] have just confirmed that as long as the civilian firearm does not exceed the ME limit for the range , which for Sealand is 4500J, and that restrictions in range orders are followed ( no firing beyond the 300M Firing Point )  calibres like .303 are permitted. The onus is on the RCO to make sure that no one is using a firearm and ammunition that exceeds 4500J on the range.

We are still waiting for confirmation that the restriction on Black Powder has been lifted….

Since we have not been able to use High Muzzle Energy (HME) firearms at Sealand for over 20 years, it makes little or no difference to us now. The Muzzle-Loading bit is probably because they don’t know if any of them can exceed the HME limit……

As for ” no firing beyond the 300M Firing Point ” that’s interesting; the MoD have just spent (wasted?) a fair bit of time, energy and money to provide a 400 Metre firing point on B range, as well as re-writing range orders and installing barriers and extra safety procedures to allow this. Well, if this firing point is now to be abandoned, at least we had a chance to use it once.

AntiSocial media

Can we once again make a plea to any member who posts on social media? PLEASE – DO NOT POST ANYTHING RELATING TO YOUR SHOOTING ACTIVITIES WITH THE CLUB. If you bring a guest along – please acquaint them with this.

It’s not that people who post such stuff act maliciously, it’s just that the police, criminals and those opposed to our sport can use your information in ways that wasn’t intended by the poster.

Light-hearted comments meant as a joke are often seen differently from the original intent: Just try telling an airport security officer that you have bombs in both shoes and that you’re employed by Al-Qaeda. You may not see the funny side when the rubber gloves are being pulled on…..

The Police DO monitor Facebook, Whatsapp, Youtube etc, and use that information when looking at the grant, renewal or variation of YOUR firearm and/or shotgun certificates.

AND….. it’s not just what you post: a BASC member had his certificates revoked because of “criminal associates.” These turned out to be Facebook “friends” – of whom he had hundreds, and he had no idea that among them were criminals. (BASC got his certs back later)

Think about that a moment.

Your Facebook pages, for example:
Showing you shooting
Showing you drinking in different pubs and clubs
Showing you out of the country on holiday
Showing your latest car/motorbike
Showing you outside your home
Hearing that you are depressed about your football team’s performance
Seeing you tagged with others who you don’t know

….. and that’s just criminals looking. The Police can see this as well, and have greater powers and technology to dig even deeper. They can – and do – use such posts as supporting evidence for prosecutions and certificate revocations.

At Phoenix we keep rules and regulations to the absolute minimum – enough to cover the law, safety , sportsmanship and good manners.
It is coming to the point where we may have to say in the future that NO photographs can be taken at our shoots.

PLEASE – THINK about the above before you post anything on social media.