• Switzerland's news in English

Holidaymakers get gun training at secret Swiss military facility

25 Jul 2011, 10:36

Published: 25 Jul 2011 11:06 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Jul 2011 10:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A new summer holiday programme for burned-out managers in the UK is taking participants to a secret military facility in Switzerland where they learn to shoot and handle dangerous weapons.


The “Smell the Cordite” website – equipped with loud gun shots and videos of shootings – is also aimed at boosting corporate team-building, while participants learn how to manage pistols and assault rifles weapons under the supervision of military officials.

Initially reported by the Financial Times, the two-day course costs £650 (£1,060), not including flights and accommodation.

“Live fire is illegal in the UK… but not in Switzerland. Let us take you there!” says the programme’s homepage. Former UK Special Forces instructors train beginners to use Glock semi-automatic pistols and Sig-Saurer automatic rifles, while “learning instinctive shooting.”

No details on the shooting location are given, but a first-person account of the camp published on Business Day says participants are flown to Zurich and the government-owned shooting facility is “off a slip-road near a service station, in a glade and surrounded by mountains.”

The article also says the shooting range is one of the few places in the world where civilians can train alongside police and army units.

According to the report, the first day is spent “doing drills, entering and releasing the magazine, learning shooting postures and gun-handling etiquette,” before shooting at the cardboard cut-out of a human being. Day two brings on rapid-reaction exercises and firing at close range, before moving on to semi-automatic rifles, said the report.

Army spokesman Christoph Brunner told Le Matin newspaper he doesn’t necessarily believe these shooting ranges really exist. However, Max Chopard-Acklin, a Member of the Swiss National Council and vice-president of the commission for security policies, said it is necessary to confirm the reports and look into this: "This is definitely not the kind of tourism we want in Switzerland," he was quoted as saying by the 20 Minuten newspaper.

Despite not having taken part in a war in recent history, Switzerland has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world, with around 2.4 million weapons estimated to circulate throughout the country. A national vote on an initiative to ban individuals from owning dangerous guns and keep army weapons in military barracks was recently rejected.


Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Protect Swiss waterways or lose our fish': WWF
Photo: Richi Stadelmann/WWF

Eighty-five percent of fish species in Switzerland are under threat, according to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

SBB pilots new annual pass – costing 12,200 francs
The 'door-to-door' pass includes use of an electric car. Photo: SBB

Swiss federal railways (SBB) is looking for 100 people willing to pilot a new annual transport pass that includes use of an electric car.

Immigration to Switzerland falls as emigration rises
File photo: The Local

Immigration in Switzerland has fallen considerably this year, according to official figures.

Wawrinka aces his way into Basel quarterfinals
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The home favourite returns to the quarterfinals of the Swiss Indoors for the first time in five years.

Illegal immigrant dies after setting himself on fire
The victim was treated at University Hospital Zurich. Photo: University Hospital Zurich

The 45-year-old Tunisian was threatened with deportation.

Swiss government rejects call for second immigration vote
Photo: Justus Blumer/Christophe G

The Swiss government has rejected a popular initiative calling for a revote on plans to limit immigration.

Bern: companies should report salary inequality by law
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The Swiss government wants to force small companies to examine their rates of pay every four years.

Husband in custody after Orbe body identified
File photo: Bas Leenders

The deceased is a 55-year-old woman who lived in the house with her husband.

Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available