Target shooting is one of the most enjoyable activities within the Air Training Corps. All cadets undergo safe weapons handling training and assessment before being permitted to use any live ammunition on a shooting range. This all happens while under the close supervision of qualified team of range staff, who themselves have undergone rigorous training.
Cadets within the Air Training Corps will learn to fire a number of different rifles. As their proficiency in handling the rifles improves the cadets will progress on to more advanced rifles with increased complexity.
Note: Cadets will only fire rifles and not hand guns or pistols.
There are a variety of different Air Rifles used throughout the Air Training Corps and will normally be of .177in (45mm) calibre. Air Rifles will often be the first stepping stone a cadet has into target shooting. 200 Squadron makes use of Weihrauch HW35 and HW35K air rifles.
Weihrauch HW35 (.177in) Air Rifle
Lee Enfield No. 8 Mark I Rifle
Lee Enfield No. 8 (.22in) Rifle
For the majority of cadets this is the first rifle that they will learn to fire. It is a .22 inch calibre, single shot bolt action rifle. When target shooting this rifle will normally be used on ranges up to 25 metres.
Lee Enfield L98-A2 Cadet General Purpose Rifle
Cadets will learn to fire the L98-A2 rifle when they have reached First Class shot (a two inch grouping) on the No.8 Rifle, and have obtained leading classification. The L98-A2 is of 5.56mm calibre and is a variation of the SA80 used by HM Armed Forces. The main differences between this and the L85-A2 is that there is no change lever on the L98-A2 preventing cadets from switching to automatic fire.
L98-A2 Cadet GP Rifle
L81-A2 Cadet Target Rifle
Cadets will learn to fire this rifle after reaching Wing marksman standard on The No. 8 rifle. It is a single-shot rifle and fires the standard 7.62mm round. Cadets will generally fire on ranges of up to 300m due to its high level of accuracy.
L81-A2 Cadet Target Rifle
Principles of Marksmanship
With more practice the cadets will become more competent at achieving a consistently accurate shot. This comes down to much self discipline and mastering the four Principles of Marksmanship:
- Position and hold of the rifle must be firm enough to support the weapon.
- The weapon must be naturally pointing towards the target.
- Sight aim and picture must be correct.
- The shot must be fired and followed through without undue disturbance to the position of the rifle.
Cadets have the opportunity to put their shooting ability to the test in order to achieve marksmanship badge and certificates. There are four levels that can be achieved in five categories (disciplines), as follows:
- Trained Shot
- Advanced Marksman
- Competition Markman
The disciplines are as follows:
- Air Rifle (.177mm)
- Small Bore Rifle (.22in)
- Full Bore Service Rifle (5.56mm)
- Full Bore Target Rifle (7.62mm)
Each marksmanship test increases in difficulty and gives the cadets a progressive training programme to work their way up to the top level of shooting. Exceptional cadets may be selected to take part in inter-squadron shooting competitions even competing at a national level.
Cadet 100 Award
A cadet must attend the annual service (including Army and Sea cadets) shooting competition at Bisley and must achieve a score to place them within the top 100 scoring cadets. The badge awarded for this is shown below and is worn alongside the cadet's Marksman standard.
Page last updated 21 December 2017.