Life in the RAF Air Cadets brings with it many new experiences, including the chance to try your hand at shooting.

Whatever level you are as a cadet, you’ll be able to take part in military skills and drills, which includes marksmanship.

We’re very lucky at 346 (Tynemouth) Squadron that we have our own range. And we’ll teach you how to handle a variety of weapons safely.

RAF Air Cadets use three different rifles: the L144 small target rifle, L98A2 Cadet GP rifle and the L81A2 Cadet target rifle. In addition, you can take part in shotgun shooting.

You’ll begin by shooting at distances of 25 metres and work your way up to potentially being able to fire at 1oo metres or more. It’s not easy. It requires focus, concentration and a very steady hand.

Basic firing is always done lying on your stomach (the prone position) at static targets. But as you progress through the syllabus you’ll experience different types of weapons, firing positions, gain marksmanship awards and badges, and could even take part in shooting competitions if you’re good enough.

As with every activity, safety is paramount, and we follow strict regulations to ensure that this remains both an enjoyable and safe experience.

You’ll undergo intensive training and must pass a Weapons Handling Test (WHT) before being allowed to take part.

You will find your hand-to-eye coordination, focus, determination, self-control and self-discipline will all improve over the course of your training.

And your sense of achievement when mastering each element of marksmanship, seeing the results of your hard work on the target, is something you definitely won’t want to miss.