L103 DP Drill Purpose Rifle Impact of Recall

I’m sure the massively detrimental impact to the Cadet Experience of the L103 DP recall, let along the virtual non-viability of CFAV’s & Cadets remaining ‘current & competent’, is well appreciated. As I understand things, due to a theft of a DP over a year ago, there’s now been what one can only assume to be a politically motivated reaction to recall DP rifles from across ALL the cadet force units/sqn’s/dets, signualarly de-valuing training & greatly increasing the time & efforts of already over burdened CFAV’s trying to maintain any form of a meaningful progressive shooting programme for cadets. What I want to ask Execs (RAFAC, SCC & ACF), will you fight for our Cadet Corps on this matter and what is the likelihood that this so damaging recall can be overturned and these DP designed weapons returned to unit level establishments ? Grateful for your replies.

I have corrected your text to L103…

The centralisation of L103s is due to the rifles being reclassified/recognised as Section 5 firearms (as they aren’t deactivated to the appropriate certification and standards) and must accordingly be held in higher-standard facilities.

Realistically, I cannot see that changing in any way.

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It isn’t politically motivated, it is a legal thing. An L103A2 is a section 5 firearm and as such can only be stored in a proper armoury. They cannot be deactivated to spec as that would render them useless for everything except rifle drill. Unfortunately, due to certain thefts and subsequent recovery by police, the police realised that they can be convert to a live firing weapon. Of course, if you have the expertise to do that, you can make your own firearm anyway.

From a chat with ACOS Cadets at Regional Command, I don’t believe they can see a way to get these back to units to be stored as they were before. The intent on our side is to gear most training at the unit towards air rifle and L144A1 .22 shooting, with the L103/L98 moved to camps and training days.

The only way I can see that changing is for a change in legislation to recognise these rifles as something that is neither deactivated nor a section 5 firearm.

My local ACF company is fortunate enough to have all units within 30 minutes of the main armoury so organises centralised training.

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Some CCF units still have weapons…

Its definitley a ballache when trying to organise a continuity arms drill display team for AOC 22Grp triservice convention…when the nearest stash of rifles we can access through the RAFAC are 60 miles away

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Not entirely - the rules on where to store what are simply MoD procedure, not law.

It is arguable that a significant factor in all of the decisions relating to how we store weapons is the publicity if we lose one (or even worse, one we lose ends up being used in a crime).


Some CCFs have actual armouries.

Have you considered making friends with your local ACF? They might have a closer armoury.


Working through that avenue at the mo!

I’m grateful for your replies. What I remain confused about, however, is that the L103 was specifically designed not to be considered a Section 5 and has remained outside that classification for well over a decade to the satisfaction of the MOD and government. What therefore has now fundamentally changed ?
Just about any replica weapon can be retrofitted to be a firearm, given the time & components, and when a working firearm can be produced on a 3D printer I simply can not see the justification for this recall.
The L144 is mentioned, whilst providing a very different training/shooting experience to the L103, it still remains unused or issed to cadets. I can remember getting the PAM on the L103 & the No.8’s all being recalled what must be almost 5 years ago ! A plethora of reasons have been given why this rifle still isn’t in regular cadet service but the facts remain that people have been paid to design it, test it, produce it and implement it across the volunteer cadet organisations. It has been a case book example of incredulous delay, the net result being cadets have been failed with many in the ATC passing through their cadet careers with receiving no weapons training at all at their Sqn’s.
I’m not seeking to cause any offense or blame anyone as this is a collective misfortune. I’m no conspiracy theorist either but I can’t help increasingly feeling that their are elements within the media & political arenas that do not agree with the concept of cadet Forces and are seeking to devalue the cadet experience. We should, perhaps, be more challenging & steadfast rather than overally appeasing to such external pressures. Like you all, I love what we do as we see the benefits realised in our young people. Long may we be allowed to meaningfully do it. … Sorry, I seem to have drifted into a bit of an emotional rant.

Am I the only person to have incorrectly read this thread title as “L103 DP Drill Purpose Rifle Impact of Recoil”?

Ironically, it’s exactly that theoretical concern (as an applied potentiality) which is being used as the reason for the reactive withdrawal.

Let’s hope the increased compliance levels for more-secure storage can be met, and soon (financially/practically)

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Somebody in the police looked at one.

Regardless of what the intention may have been, the understanding was in the past or the negligible practical risk that they pose, in the light of the current rules (be they MOD regulations or statute laws) they are now to be considered as S5 and handled accordingly.

It would require levels of dispensation and acceptance of risk that it is unrealistic to expect from those with the power to grant it, and/or a level of expenditure to upgrade distributed storage facilities that I cannot see forthcoming.

The only potential hope I can see is if some of the security improvements that are ongoing would be considered sufficient by somebody in authority (above this organisation) to permit upgraded units to hold the current L103A2s again, though moving them around will be more of a chore than it perhaps had been.

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“It would require levels of dispensation and acceptance of risk that it is unrealistic to expect from those with the power to grant it”_
Respectfully, it was previously regarded by those holding these powers as acceptable risk since the inception of the Cadet Forces. Those holding such power today evidently do not have the same courage in this regard as their predecessors. The net result is the UK Cadet Forces have suffered a significant de-valuing of their training programme and in turn young people will no longer receive the similar benefits of it. Just imagine what attraction their now is at a psychological level, let alone a practical one, being a Royal Marine Cadet or Army Cadet ! I regard it as a massive shame and a major step backwards in our collective cadet force history.


Nothing has changed and the L103A2 has always been a section 5 firearm; they were just sufficiently deactivated for the MOD to allow them to be stored at local units in the chests of the day. It only becomes deactivated with the appropriate mark and certificate from a proof house. It might possibly have been deactivated enough to be considered as deactivated by the rules of the day (L103A1 days), however it was never officially done, and L103A2s would never meet today’s standard. Like I said, if they did, they would be useless.

The problem is that now someone outside is making a song and dance about them so someone in the MOD has decided they need to be stored more securely.

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Not being an expert does an L103A2 have gas parts? If not if someone were to activate it, would it not be single shot (like an L98A1) and would therefore only be a Section 1 Firearm?

Yes, the gas parts are unaltered by the ‘deactivation’.

The amusing thing is, if you have the skills to reactivate it, you have the skills to make your own firearm without going to the trouble of stealing from the MOD.

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Are you trying to tell me i cant just steal one and drill it out with my Makita battery drill?

My world domination plans are completely ruined now! Ill just have to take some No8’s instead :joy::rofl:

looking at it from the other side, rather than change the rifle could the storage not be changed?

ie what is required of an armoury to hold S5 rifles?
24/7 manning?
MOD/Police facilty with all the security that goes with it? (if so some ATC/ACF units might do ok being on a RAF Station/Army Barracks/TA Centre?
stronger armoury with active alarm?

Needs to have a monitored alarm. The weapons haven’t been withdrawn completely it’s a temporary measure until the new alarms (which were already planned) have been installed.

The only issue is that as you would expect money isn’t unlimited, so the units that get the alarms will be the units to hold the weapons. Most Wings are going to hub the weapons where the qualified staff are, which is fine but in 5 years that may have all changed, so the weapons and qualified staff might not be in the same place.

Already evidenced with us. Have a range and armoury, getting an alarm and were previously one of the most active units in the wing. Haven’t shot anything for at least 2 years now!


That’s for the L144s to return, it still won’t allow Section 5 to be kept at that site.

The suitable types of armoury are listed in the JSP, realistically funding would stop units increasing their security and building structure to a suitable standard.

care to summarise?

i am guessing only brick buildings? (not wooden huts)