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Whatever level you are as a cadet, you'll have the opportunity to try your hand at military skills and drills including shooting.

Marksmanship goes a long way back in the history of Air Cadets and is one of our most popular activities. Think you can concentrate on distant targets and fire with consistent accuracy? It's not easy. It requires focus, concentration and a very steady hand.

We’ll teach you to handle a variety of weapons safely. Basic firing is always done lying on your stomach (the prone position) at static targets. Progress through the syllabus and you'll experience different types of weapons, firing positions and could even take part in shooting competitions if you really prove your skills.

Ranges come in different shapes and sizes but all are in controlled conditions with full training on any weapon that you handle - safety is our top priority. To start with you'll be firing at targets that are fairly close - around 25m away. As you advance through weapons and your skill builds, you will fire at targets 100m or more away.


The Air Cadet Organisation has a very strict code in relation to weapons training and ensures that it is carried out by qualified instructors in controlled environments. All cadets will initially carry out a series of lessons and assessment tests to enable them to shoot a rifle. These are known as the weapons handling tests and cadets will need to ensure that they are tested at least every 6 months to be able to shoot. Weapons handling tests will need to be carried out on each of the cadet rifles prior to them being permitted to shoot that rifle. Initial training is carried out on the No 8 .22 inch rifle, which is used for initial marksman qualifications.

Another rifle available to cadets is the L98A2. This rifle is based on the current service rifle the L85A2 from the SA80 family of rifles. This rifle is semi-automatic and fires a larger 5.56mm cartridge. With this weapon cadets are taught advanced shooting techniques and can achieve the highest grades of Air Cadet marksmanship award. Cadets must have shooting experience on the No 8 rifle before progressing on to the L98.

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