Rifle shooting is an activity that many cadets enjoy. Safety is paramount with all ACO activities and shooting is no exception. All cadets and staff are fully trained on a weapon before being allowed to fire and must retake a Weapon Handling Test (WHT) every 6 months to ensure safety and competency. Cadets can progress their shooting skills through the Progressive Training criteria and can be awarded a range of marksmanship badges from a Trained Shot to an Advanced Marksman upon reaching the published standards. .
Through the Progressive Training syllabus, cadet have the opportunity to fire a variety of weapons. These typically involve:
Air Rifle Shooting
Usually run at a squadron level and is normally a cadets first introduction to shooting. Like all of the ACO weapons, the Cadet Scorpion air rifle can be fired from 3 positions (prone, kneeling and standing) and cadets will work with their shooting coach to improve their skills. The distances involved range between 5.5m-10m and are normally indoors. .
Target Rifle Shooting
The next stage in shooting development is the L144A1 target rifle. This weapon is a .22 small bore calibre target rifle and is designed to fire accurately at both 25m & 100m. Again, cadets receive both training and coaching on this rifle as they progress in their training.
Service Rifle Shooting
This is the final stage of Progressive Shooting within the ACO. The Cadet Service rifle is the L98A2 weapon which is based on the Army SA80 rifle. This semi-automatic rifle can be fired at distances of 25m to 300m as well as being used for both live fire and blank fire exercises. The rifle has a full bore calibre of 5.56mm and cadets must be at least 14yrs 6 months and physically capable of holding the rifle in order to gain their WHT.
Across the complete range of Cadet Shooting, cadets can enter both local and national competitions to show their skills and to gain a Corp level marksmanship badge.