No 8 Rifle Safety Case


Apparently it was announced at the conference the ACO has ordered a grand total of…


Then I hope someone, somewhere, is working their @rse off to extend the No 8 OSD, or else ACO shooting will be (even more) in the poo… :confounded:


It would seem that the L144A1 firing pin is a very different design that that from the No 8.


Close up.

It looks like that there will a very high probability that the NSPs (firing off the action of an empty chamber) will result in damage to the firing pin as it will impact the chamber when the action is fired off. The “pin” on the L144A1 is actually a rectangular strip of metal & the bottom forward corner strikes the edge of the cartridge.

The No 8 firing pin & associated headspace was a very different design, hence this was not an issue.

So, how will SASC deal with this? It seems to me that potential damage to the firing pin has not been taken into account (& as the draft “manual” for the L144A1 mentions at the outset webbing, & checking webbing pouches as part of the pre-firing drills, it would seem that their mentality for military weapon handling hasn’t taken this into account.

The rest of the “real world” firers who use .22 competition rifles either don’t dry fire, or use snap caps/dummy plastic rounds. This would probably fall under the SASC’s definition of blank rounds!

The rest of the “real world” firers who use .22 competition rifles also use breech flags as the way to show to all firers/RCO that their rifles are unloaded & safe. Until the manual was issued for the Scorpion air rifle, we used to use .177 breech flags - but now of course follow the full NSPs = firing off the action on an empty barrel & leaving the bolt CLOSED!

Anyone got the direct contact details for the person(s) dealing with the L144A1 at SASC? Someone has got to tell them that they need to (a) change the proposed drills & (b) move away for the military centre-fire NSPs that should not be linked to simple single shot .22 bolt action rifles.

The complete album of photos is here. The stand looks to be a complete design “fail” - why not a standard 2 leg bipod stand as used for all other tgt rifles (including the L81A1)? It’s got a hand rail too, so would be a much better option. You can get folding ones that remain attached to the rifle, but much more expensive.

It doesn’t give a definitive comment - but guessing that this is the safety catch?

I can’t see a front attachment point for any sling - but I am reliably informed that the sling is made out of a “bungee” material" = absolutely useless to get a constant tension


I would assume you can use the same contact details as for the L98A2/L86A2 - page iv of AC 71807-C.


Possibly - but I think I have the direct POC from another source. The design philosophy for a very simple .22 rifle should be reflected in very simple NSPs!


The NSPs for the No8 are extremely simple and do not involve operating the trigger.
The unload ought to be the same process and I’m not worried about using a breech flag so long as the bolt remains open.


It’s a no brainer - leave the bolt open, breech flag inserted.

This is part of my message sent to the SASC point of contact:

Perhaps with a new wpn system, this is the chance to introduce NSPs that will reflect a more modern approach, simplify the drills (no risk to the firing pin) & match comparable (safe) civilian protocol. The best option for NSPs would, to me, be a visual/physical check of the breech/chamber by the firer, followed by the verification by the RCO/safety supervisor, then the insertion of a breech flag. Incidentally, this would also be effective for the Scorpion air rifle, as the current NSPs involve firing off the action on an empty barrel, & then leaving the bolt closed. The use of breech flags would then be mirrored across the board for all single shot rifles (L81A1, Scorpion & L144A1). This would be consistent for trg & NSPs.


These would be the same safe civilian protocols that permit an L81 to be “rested” by taking the rifle out of the shoulder and elevating the barrel over the back-stop?

Breech flags may be of some value if you have people walking backwards and forwards on a gallery range switching firers while a detail is ongoing but I contend that they are an unnecessary complication for the sort of shoots we generally undertake on .22 rimfire. Just leave the bolt open.

Any idea why the cartridge platform is red? Is that to make it more visually obvious that the bolt is rearward?


Maybe interpreting the rules differently? if the bolt has not been locked closed, then the rifle is not considered loaded, & can be rested with the barrel elevated. When the rifle has the bolt made closed into the LOADED position, then NRA Rule 116 has to be complied with:

116 The bolt (or equivalent working part in other types of firearm) must not be closed (or opened after being closed) on a live round if the barrel is elevated at more than 70 mils (approximately 4°) above the horizontal. In practice this means that when closing or opening the bolt with a live round in the chamber the barrel should be horizontal and laterally aligned within the target lane.

in a practical sense, anyone wanting to move a loaded rifle from the shoulder to rest (either pointing the barrel skywards, or moving the rifle to rest on the ground) will probably infringe Rule 117 by the nature of left/right movement of the rifle:

117 Except only where otherwise prescribed in the conditions of a competition or other rules of specific and limited application, a loaded firearm must at all times point no further left or right of the direct line to the assigned target than the standard safety angle of 200 mil (11.25 degrees – approximately six targets width per hundred yards distance). A firer who consistently points a loaded firearm outside these limits may be considered to be acting in a dangerous manner (Para 125).

Breech flags would introduce commonality (especially for the air rifle!) & simplify all aspects of handling, wpn movement (even swapping rifles on an indoor range), etc. It would be visibility to all, at a distance.

Cartridge platform colour - no idea. Visibility of bolt position is certainly a possibility.


latest i have heard:

the No8 is no more after 39th September.

our local RAF Armourers will not be releasing the No8 for IWT or LFMT after 30th September.

there is no word when (or indeed IF) the L144A2 is coming in for us but makes for an interesting case for us as we run a monthly weapons weekend offering the Cadets training and shooting. Offering both No8 and L98A2 this will dramatically have an effect on the backlog*

I am yet to see ANYTHING official indicating the future of 0.22 shooting in the ACO.
thanks to these boards or a well known ACO linked Facebook group I have seen articles on line and then photos of the L144A2.

the closest i have seen is the local SATT indicating as a prerequisite “students should be familiar with the No8 (or L144A2 if out by then)”

i guess there will be little chance of the WI/SAAi, RCOs, SS and coaches qualifying on the weapon this year if for the past two months or so they (HQAC, SATTs, our Wing) have failed to distribute any memo on the subject.

i won’t be holding my breath for anything quick

place your bets now:
[given we have 2 years (and counting) without gliding]
who wants L144A2 by Christmas?
by Easter?
By Summer camp season 2017?

*as a Out of interest for this months weekend (tomorrow and Sunday) we had 28 bids for 8 IWT places, 40 bids for 12 LFMT


Our WShoO has received the training on new rifle, and will cascade to WI/SAAI once the rifle is issued.

The ACF are expecting the first tranche in October. The ACO roll-out / allocation is as yet unknown.

Out of interest, is the 28 cadets for IWT a sqn/sector/wing issue? Do you not run training where possible as part of First Class, if you hold weapons?

Why is your LFMT so limited in terms of numbers, if more want to shoot why not let them, or look at a different range with a higher number of lanes?


this is a monthly run Wing course.
personally we don’t hold weapons or a range on our Sqn and why 4 years ago these weekends were set up. having qualified as a SAAI i was keen to use the qualification and soon it became/replaced the long gone Wing shoots)

The majority of Units attending are in a worse state than ours, having no qualified Staff (SAAI or RCO) so doing so as part of first class training is difficult.
an aim of these weekends is to correct that and offer the opportunity to get hold of a rifle which woudl otherwise not be readily available.

why not let 40 Cadets shoot? well because 28 of those (or so) were expecting training the day before (IWT on Saturday, LFMT on Sunday). so by definition we can’t allocate LFMT to Cadets without training.
why not train more than 8? with a limited Staff pool we only aim to run one syndicate a month, 8 is the largest size class we run for one instructor to manage.

so what about the rest? we already use a 25m station barrack range with 6 lanes, however due to Staff restrictions we only expect to run a max of 4 lanes (running on a 1:1 basis typically as most are first time shooters and often limited with four rifles* - we aim for safe QUALITY shooting rather than lead conversion)
*4 rifles = 1:2 ratio when teaching = 8 IWTStudents…can you see this coming together?
with 3 syndicates a day that is simply 4 lanes x 3 syndicates = 12.
there is no suitable larger range (more lanes) within a suitable distance to use, and where we are is well placed in the Wing as a “central” location for all to attend.

on average those 12 Cadets get ~30-40 rounds in the day’s shooting. if we allocated all the interest (40)to attend Cadets would spend too long sitting around waiting for their go and at best only get 10 rounds for their efforts.

for L98A2 we allocate 8 IWT and 18 LFMT. why the extra 6 on L98A2?
we run 6 lanes = 6 x 3syndicates = 18.
why 6 lanes? well we’re guaranteed the weapons and the Cadets have prior range experience. we get more return shooters for L98A2 than trainees*
As a result the ratios don’t need to be so tight and so can offer more lanes. (obviously those who are first time firers are 1:1 but this can be done in the first few details)

*a factor we don’t understand. why train for two days in month one and then not return the following month.

i hope that answers your query?
I am happy to answer more questions should you have them/offer more details and our stats (we run these weekends 11 months of the year - training 100s annually) if you desire


My source on the SATT states that the rollout of the new weapons will be starting in the North and making its way South so we aren’t expecting to see new weapons before 2018.


I do hope someone extends the No 8 safety case or else we will be having an extensive shooting “pause” - oh, it has been suggested to me that there is NO specific budget for the L144A2, they will only be purchased when there is under-spend in other areas…


Again something that has been spoken about for nearly as many years (so it seems) as I’ve been in the Corps … replacement for the N°8 and here it is now looming on the horizon and we aren’t likely (if the comments are true) to get them nationwide for at least 2 years. If this means that cadets miss out, someone needs to go. We have been working bloody hard to get cadets trained and kept upto date with their WHTs and most of them go shooting at least once a month if not more often. Which has involved lots of extra moving at weekends and parade nights.
If this is lost as an activity because of something outside our control at the sqn can I refer any questions as to why to Air Command?


How about fill the gap with more Air Rifle shooting? Easier to run and generally gives better outcomes for the cadets - if you have access that is.



If you have access, yes, but bearing in mind that if you need to use a sqn’s indoor air rifle range, that will limit the “parent” sqn’s activities. And of course, if not already air rifle trained/WHT’d, it’s extra work for the staff.


Air rifle is as problematic than .22 for us, we’ve tried to run it with other sqns and it just fails.
This will probably be HQAC’s line to cover themselves which means they can sit back and do nothing and spin the (as MJ suggests) no money line.


For me personally air rifle is a headache because:

1 - As mentioned Staff will have to retrain
2 – we have no facilities on a Wing scale – nor any support. If you go for air rifle its off your own back, making the same mistakes as everyone else.
3 – at a Squadron scale 1 unit in our sector actively uses its range, and uses it enough to cope with its own demands.
4 – at Sqn we’re waiting for a new build to complete which in HQACs wisdom is the “approved” design for joint forces buildings. Fine I don’t have a problem with that, however the new build format has a hall not long enough to accommodate air rifle.
A frustration as our previous building (Spooner hut) could accommodate the range
5 – air rifle is at Squadron cost. the weapons, the maintenance, the ammo, the targets. Ok I admit this is a tiny running cost once set up (what is it? ~£1000 for a few rifles and the wood for the range?) paying for the lead and cardboard, but it is an expense which is not present for service rifle shooting
6 – we’re entitled to X number of 0.22” and 5.56mm rounds per Cadet per year, why should we be encouraged to not use them?
7 – we train and fire the No8 and L98A2 at our local parent unit, it is often the first chance the Cadets visit an RAF Station and see for themselves “behind the wire”. They appreciate the handling of weapons, dealing with the armourers. We train in the Regt building, which as you might imagine has interesting posters and displays and other training material they wouldn’t get to see.
8 – as a military sponsored youth organisation of which one of its aims is to “…teach skills useful in service life…” the difference between our shooting and any other youth group is we’re NOT using air rifle.

Don’t get me wrong I am not against Air rifle, I attended a day’s “familiarisation” hosted by a unit primarily using air rifle and was encouraged by the idea. It is straightforward, simple and much more flexible than service rifle shooting.
However we are not the Scouts/ we have a military background and sponsor and believe that has to come with some advantages to differentiate between us and “them”….else just the Scouts that pretend to be soldiers when we’re not going gliding (oh wait), given our AT is the same, DofE nationally offered and and fire the same rifles…


Rather than wasting the money on Air Rifle which is quite frankly Pony i’d rather just buy a couple of Squadron owned .22 Target Rifles and get some real shooting done.