198 Hinckley Squadron, Royal Air Force Air Cadets, took four of their cadets to RAF Cosford to attend a Shooting. Cadet Corporals Mark Timson and David Shreeve, Cadets Marcus Masters and Bradley Sheffield, attended the day to experience and practice the No.8 Bolt Action Rifle and the L98A2 Semi Automatic Rifle, along with Adult Flight Sergeant Nick Raske, who volunteered his time to handle the No.8 rifle shooting for the day. The aim of the day was to improve cadet shooting standards up to marksman level with practice and coaching from the many members of staff that turned up to help run this event that ran smoothly all day, and they must be thanked for their efforts.
Both ranges of the 25 metre outdoor shooting gallery were made open, enabling both the No.8 and L98A2 to shoot on separate ranges simultaneously. The cadets were split into two groups, one for the No.8 .22 calibre rifle on range1 and the other for the L98A2 NATO 5.56 calibre on range 2.
Two Deliberate fire practices where carried out- Shooting 10 rounds at a target, with the objective of getting all rounds within a 1 inch radius of the centre of the target. Three points are scored for every round within the set radius.
One Snap practice was carried out- Shooting at a target with 2 rounds at a time. When told the command “Up” you may start to fire 2 rounds in 8 seconds before the command “Down” is heard where you must stop shooting. This process repeats 5 times so 10 rounds in total are fired. Scoring is the same as for Deliberate fire practice.
And finally, One Rapid Practice was carried out- Shooting at a target with 10 rounds in a maximum time of 35 seconds. Scoring is the same as for Deliberate fire practice.
Good news for 198 Squadron, Cadet Corporal Mark Timson achieved the highest Marksman accolade achievable, Corps Marksman, without attending a specialised Cadet 100 Camp.
A score of 100 out of 120 must be achieved to obtain Corps Marksman.
Cadet Corporal Mark Timson achieved 105 which gained him the accolade.
The accolade of Wing Marksman was achieved by a Cadet on the No.8 rifle during the day, sadly not a member of 198 Squadron.
Following the great days shooting, cleaning of the weapons is always a formality. Not a particularly enjoyable one for the three L98A2 shooters, who had put around 250 rounds through each rifle, as you can imagine this was a nightmare to clean especially with the intricate gas-operated semi-automatic system. Nonetheless, very much worth it for this extraordinary experience of firing the current military rifle.