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The rifle used by the Air Training Corps and the Army Cadet Force for target shooting.

Heavily based on the SA 80, it is a single action bolt operated bullpup rifle, with a 30 round magazine. It is prone to jamming (due to the nature of the "crank handle" bolt).

This is the second rifle that cadets train on, the first being the No. 8 .22 Rifle.

Rifle used by the CCF, SCC, ACF and ATC; that is, the UK's military cadet forces.

 

It's based on the L85, better known as the SA80 (SA80 being the family of rifles) which most of the British Armed Forces use. The differences are that it is non-automatic, so has no change lever or gas parts and a much larger cocking handle, which also helps when it comes to very small cadets having to cock it.

 

Similarly to the L85, it takes a standard NATO magazine with 5.56 rounds (just like an M16). The magazine in theory holds 30 rounds, but most springs won't handle that so it's safest to fill 25-28.

 

The sights fitted to the L98 (as opposed to the L85) by default are the iron sights, because SUSATs are expensive and fragile and cadets don't need them.

 

Why train cadets with them? As mentioned above, most cadets start with some variety of .22 rifle, which are usually heavy and manual. In addition to being something that even the most desperate teenager would struggle to go on a rampage with, they are phenomenally easy to use (even the health-and-safety-obsessed manual doesn't require someone to have done a test before firing one) and are useful to teach marksmanship principles on.

 

The L98, on the other hand, is used for teaching cadets the fighting stuff, which is the reason most of them join to begin with. It fires blanks the same way it fires live rounds, so no extra training is needed for cadets to run around pretending to shoot stuff, other than a warning never to aim directly at something. Although no metal comes out the barrel when firing a blank, the hot air is dangerous and the official lethal range is usually quoted as 50m.

 

The L98 can also be used on an outdoor range, but isn't ideal for the purpose. The reason for this is that, because it is manual, the firer has to effectively reposition himself after every shot, which can be annoying. Despite this it is a very accurate weapon.

The L-98 is the main weapon used by British Cadet Forces (for the uninitiated, youth organisations structured around and sponsored by the military) and is based on the standard British forces L-85. It is one of the three standard issue weapons cadets are provided with, the others being the Lee Enfield No.8 rifle, and the L-81 A2 target rifle, although cadets may train on a much wider range of weapons if they are either privately purchased or donated, or, in the case of the LSW, borrowed from the regular forces.

The original L-98 came packaged with several notable faults, some of which were inherent to the SA-80 family as a whole, and some of which came about due to its conversion to a single shot 'child sized' weapon.

Therefore and a drum roll please, a new version of the weapon, updated courtesy of Heckler and Koch, was rolled out from 2008-2010. The L-98 A2 Cadet GP is visually similar to its fore-bearer, with a few noticeable differences.

-The weapon is newly semi-automatic. This means that when a round is fired, gas from the propellant is used to force back the gas parts and re-cock the weapon, loading a new round into the chamber. Only one round will fire per depression of the trigger, however.
This eliminates the problem created when shooting on the range where cadets lose their position when target shooting due to having to re-cock the weapon, and makes for more realistic blank firing exercises.

-The cocking handle is altered to be the same as the standard weapon. As the weapon does not require re-cocking, the need for a larger cocking handle is reduced.

-The muzzle allows for the fitting of a BFA, or blank firing adapter. This is one of the most important advancements, as it brings the safety distance to the front of the weapon from 50m down to 5m, and from 10m to 1m to the left and right. This allows for adult instructors to be far less anal about the location of the cadets when firing, and more realistic scenarios can be used.

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