The future of cadet shooting within the RAFAC

An interesting FOI just released showing the proposed future of marksmanship shooting training within the RAFAC.


10 year future:

Sadly, it would appear that the L144 and L81 will disappear with no replacements, leaving just the air rifle and the L98.

The positive I do see here though is “Invest in RAFAC hubs for Sec 5 at RAFAC sites”. That could be a fantastic change if done well, potentially allowing easier access to L98 training and shooting.


This is not achievable with the current estate structure as you would need a number of section 5 armouries to be established (& they are a pain) you would need to rebuild a large number of cadet buildings & the money may not be there.

If you drop all .22 and L81 shooting, that would certainly give some budget! (I know, different pots of money and all that, but still)

I don’t think it would

.22RF is about £6 for a box of 50 so £12 per 100
5.56mm is about £28 for a box of 20 so £140 per 100

The storage requirements on section 5 just adds to a logistical pain due to the legal issues.

L98 is a more technical weapon so needs more servicing so that would be more costly.

You also have the political aspect where the L98 is designed to shoot & kill (maim?) humans where the L81 & the L144 are designed purely to shoot targets.

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Without wanting to go into detailed security stuff, am I not right in thinking that our current ‘hubs’, the proper alarmed ones, are almost capable to holding sec 5 anyway? If we lose the .22s, it surely wouldn’t take much to convert those to be able to hold L98s and L103s?


What I would want to know about is the “virtual” shooting aspect?

I’m struggle to get that concept squared unless every squadron got a SCATT trainer.

I doubt anyone will miss the L144 and I’m yet to meet someone who’s seen an L81, but I would have thought a .22” version of the current service weapon would be an obvious contender for indoor / short ranges, and an entry point for LFMT, rather than air rifles (i.e. toys with no connection to service shooting).


This is focussed more on virtual training for SAAI etc

Cost is the issue, the .22 converted L98 does have an ‘L’ number now but is expensive.

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Both are good when you know how to use them. The L81 was quite often used but there were arguments over the servicing contracts & use to be quite common in your wing.

This would be the way forward with the bonus that semi-auto .22RF is still Section 1.

An example they could have gone with is the Walter G22 with the bonus that the drills were similar to the L98.


The majority of SW Hubs never stood up for 144 and all are to be scrapped. 4-5 years with dozens of active alarms, with annual servicing, that never housed a single rifle and never will.

You think this organisation can sort S5?

P.s. pretty sure it’s not an OpSec issue to declare something not existing, so I should be safe.

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“Yay…can’t wait for more virtual and less practical” said no one, ever!


Sadly, I think I agree with you :confused:

Most of the ATC hubs are just alarmed benweld.

The section 5 has to be in a a gun vault armoury which are the new bastion armouries. . This is in the public domain so not really op sec but you would need to install these in squadron

I doubt the floors would be able to take them.


Ah, yes, that is significantly more than what we have now! I suppose units that are in hard accommodation like TA centres, or some join cadet units might be able to though. Also CCFs that have decent school space potentially.

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Shooting is practical. Happy to be corrected but there is very little that can be done from a virtual aspect that aids people in shooting or generates the interest.

This was proposed to the command board in January. Interestingly the same person did an FOI for JL. The JL presentation is very one sided in pushing the case for continuing in 2024 & not a balanced viewed on pause.

As such we don’t know if the vision as been accepted especially in the tri-service world of shooting.

There does seem another push from the war-y bridge on pushing L98 rather than (in my opinion) more beneficial target shooting but this has been an insidious battle running for a while.

We saw that in the change to the Cadet Live practices & the change of mentality there.

@MikeJenvey I do wonder what the CCRSs, or the NRA or NSRAs reaction to this proposal would be

And the cost of that is would be more than almost any sq could afford. Most likely, they’ll be putting us on PUBG and Fortnite. Cheaper.

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Unfortunately, the move to virtual / synthetic training is following a trend already set by the parent service. IRT Mod. 1 (formerly CCS / ODT / GDT depending how far back you go) is now on the DCCT rather than LFMT and has been for some time. The only time aviators are likely to fire live ammunition after Phase 1 training now is if they join their station shooting team or deploy.

If you’re referring to the SCATT they are expensive but within a sqns means with a bit of fund raising at around £3k - some sqns have spent more on flight sims.

If more sqns were encouraged to get them them it would allow them to work on marksmanship principles at Sqn level without all the range paperwork stuff making LFMT more effective.

Brilliant! Thanks for that!

I would take umbrage at that - it shouldn’t be seen as a toy, but rather a system that allows a very good introduction to the principles of marksmanship.

Cadets from my Sqn, & from others in the Wg, always seem to do well going straight to the L98 from only using the air rifle.

If the L81 goes, & no replacement, well, CISAM & potential Atheling representation goes out the window. Not acceptable.

There are many (good quality) semi-automatic .22 systems about. They would get cadets used to all the drills that they would encounter on the L98.