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.
Types of shooting
After you've familiarised yourself with your weapon and passed the WHT, the goal is to hit your target accurately and consistently. Sounds easy doesn't it? Try it for yourself and you'll understand why practice makes perfect. As a cadet shooter you'll be typically firing in one of four types of practice:
Grouping - You select a single point on the target and fire a number of rounds at it. The aim is for all rounds to form the smallest group possible. This is excellent for concentrating and perfecting your technique. There's no limit to how long you can take when firing.
Deliberate Fire - Firing at a target with marked scoring rings, your score is marked depending on how near to the centre of the target you manage to get. For this, you use either a large, single target or a card with 5 or 10 separate targets marked on it. When firing at a card with multiple targets, you aim to place one or two rounds on each of them. Take as long as you need - the goal is accuracy.
Rapid Fire - Just like it sounds, speed is the thing here. Get the round within the target area, but within a time limit. For instance, you may need to fire 10 rounds in 40 seconds with a No.8 rifle – not too easy when you have to reload manually after each shot.
Snap Fire - Now it gets more challenging. For this, you have to get all rounds to fall within a target area. But, the targets only appear for a short time before vanishing again. You must hit it before it disappears. By the end of the practice, the target may have appeared - for perhaps 5 seconds - and disappeared up to 5 times. Just to make it even more difficult, it'll sometimes appear at random time intervals - so you can't anticipate it!
Do well on all of these and you may find you have a talent for marksmanship. Starting to feel competitive? Why not enter one of our shooting competitions?