Very detailed response Steve, most of which sums up a number of the problems with delivering this core activity to a wider audience.
I had 48 cadets for firing the No.8 & L98A2 at the weekend, and it was a good day however we encountered the following issues, which seem to rear their head at all shoots;
High number of cadets not current.
Delays the start of firing as staff are completing tests, and not acting as Safety Supervisors
Due to Skill Fade following severe lack of exposure, some tests continue into the Afternoon
Cadets not expecting to fire both weapons if trained on both, once trained on the L98 exposure to No.8 severely reduced.
Lack of Qualified/Authorised Staff to support the range.
Staff are double hatting as SAAI/WI & RCO/FPSS reducing ability for WHTs to be concurrent activity. A single staff drop out can reduce the number of lanes that can be used due to being consistently lose to limits.
I had a 16 lane range, however was only using 9 lanes due to a combination of weapons being used for test and available staff. All cadets got 40 rounds with the No.8 and L98 trained cadets also got 60 rounds, however for the most parts the cadets are in down time.
However I am loathe to restrict numbers, when historically cadet numbers have been very poor (<15) the challenge is having the staff available to run a worthwhile concurrent activity and maintaining maximum activity for the cadets.
With the impending end of safety case for the No.8 and with VERY limited availability to Air Rifles and qualified staff, depending on the roll out period, we may find that the number of eligible cadets for the L98 severely drops and we will end back at a situation where the cadet numbers make organising range days not seem worthwhile.