Shooting within the RAF Air Cadets is overseen by the Small Arms School Corps (SASC) who oversee all UK Armed Forces and the “Safe System of Training” with weapons systems is followed. There is a set syllabus and approved Cadet purpose weapons. The aim of shooting within the Air Cadets is to develop marksmanship principals with an emphasis on safety with weapons systems.
Normally Cadets will start with the smallest calibre weapon system and progress with experience and age to the next. The following weapons systems are used within the RAFAC:
- .177″ BSA Scorpion Cadet Air Rifle
- .22″ L144 A1 Cadet Small Bore Service Rifle
- 5.56mm L98 A2 Cadet General Purpose Rifle
- 7.62mm Parker Hale L81 A2 Cadet Target Rifle
- Clay Target Shotguns
All weapons come with a comprehensive training package, delivered by qualified staff, with weapons handing tests (WHTs) that are renewed every 6 months.
All ranges used by Cadets are approved MoD facilities which are inspected and maintained by the defence infrastructure organisation. Most ranges are on RAF or Army stations or are purpose built facilities but some are located on Army Reserve or Cadet centres. The common ranges used by Cadets are:
- Indoor Air Rifle Range (5-10m)
- Indoor .177″ and .22″ Rimfire Range (5-25m)
- Outdoor .22″ and 5.56mm Barrack Range (25m)
- Outdoor 5.56mm and 7.62mm Gallery Range (100m+)
- Dismounted Close Combat Trainer (Simulated 25-100m+)
- Clay Target Ranges
The aim of weapons training is to develop the skill of marksmanship and improving accuracy. As a result Cadets are trained in the marksmanship principals and are coached to improve skills.
The Cadets can gain marksmanship awards for attaining a certain skill level on the weapon and range they are using and can continue to become marksmanship coaches themselves. The different types of fire the Cadets conduct include:
- Deliberate (Trying to get all the rounds in the centre)
- Grouping (Trying to get all the rounds as close together as possible)
- Snap (Firing a round at a designated interval)
- Rapid (Firing a number of rounds accurately within a time period)
Cadets can compete at many levels against other Air Cadets and other Cadet forces. You can represent your Squadron, Wing, Region and even the RAFAC in annual competitions in .22″, 5.56mm and 7.62mm calibres.
The top shooters can compete at the Inter-Service Cadet Rifle Meeting (ISCRM) witht the top 100 and top 50 shots across all the Cadet forces being awarded the NRA Cadet Hundred and NRA Cadet 50 awards respectively.