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
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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
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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
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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
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Sources