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Report by AWO Mike Hoole

In the Air Training Corps, cadets are trained to fire a variety of weapons. All cadets start by learning to fire the No 8 rifle. This is a basic, single shot, bolt action rifle which takes .22 inch, rimfire rounds. After dry training (which takes no more than a couple of hours to learn), cadets are qualified to fire the weapon and can begin shooting.

The No 8 Rifle
ATC and RAF marksman badges
The ATC (left) and RAF (right) Marksman badges
After a few practice shoots, most cadets are ready to start trying for their ATC Marksman; obtained by getting two seperate groupings of five rounds in a 2.5 centimetre diameter circle.
When a cadet has done this once (called a "first class shot"), they can go on a course to learn to fire the L98A1: a variant of the Enfield SA80 5.56mm rifle without the semi-automatic firing capability. Once trained to fire this weapon, cadets can try to qualify for RAF Marksman by performing two first class shoots with the L98A1. Soon cadets will also be able to fire the new L81A2 7.62mm rifle when they come into service towards the end of 1999.
At Chivenor, rifle shooting has seen an increase in regularity in the last year or two. We now have two qualified Range Conducting Officers, and tend to visit the range at least once every couple of months. This increase in shooting has proved rewarding for the cadets, with a large increase in the number of cadets qualifying for ATC Marksman (usually one or two per shoot).

Chivenor's Shooting Range