Weapons Training within the ATC
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 an air rifle, which is used for initial marksman qualifications.
Trained Shot Blue Badge
The Trained Shot qualification is the initial award available to cadets. To receive this badge and qualification, cadets must have completed the Weapon Lessons, Weapon Handling Tests and Live Fire Lesson 1 Grouping.
Marksman Blue Badge
The Marksman blue badge folows on from the trained shot award. This encourages cadets to participate in shooting to a recognised intermediate standard of marksmanship. It should be noted that there are different colour badges for air rifle, small bore, full bore and Target shooting.
Advanced Marksman Blue Badge
The Advanced Marksman blue badge folows on from the Marksman award. This encourages cadets to participate in shooting to a recognised advanced standard of marksmanship.
Competition Marksman Blue Badge
This provides a further challenge to cadets through participation in National shooting competitions. Cadets are to have completed Live Fire Lesson 4 - Elementary Application Kneeling (optional) with the Live Fire Lesson 5 - Advanced Application as an optional requirement. Cadets must also compete in a National shooting competition.
Other rifles available to cadets are the .22 single shot and the L98A2 semi-automatic rifle. The L98A2 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. There may also be oppoortunities for cadets to participate in Archery, Laser and Clay pidgeon shooting.