L98A2 Cadet GP Rifle

L98A2 Cadet GP Rifle 5.56mm - a Somerset cadet's primary rifle for the parade ground, shooting and fieldcraft

Cadets progress from the L144A1 CSBTR to the L98A2 Cadet GP Rifle 5.56mm, modelled on the highly successful standard rifle issued to the UK armed forces, which differs only in having semi-automatic action (rather than the fully automatic ability of the service rifle) and basic iron sights rather than the optical sights that the armed forces use.

© Lt Paul Sainsbury

The majority of a cadet's career will be spent with this rifle - on the parade ground, in the classroom, on the range and (with a Blank Firing Adaptor fitted) on fieldcraft exercises in all weathers.

Every cadet has to complete a mandatory Weapon Handling Test (WHT) under strictly controlled conditions before firing the rifle with either blank or live ammunition on a regular basis. Army Cadets' safety parameters are, rightly so, tougher than those of the regular forces and cadets pride themselves on their dedication to safety and self-discipline before all else.

In all rifle training, safety, concentration and self-discipline are paramount; traits that are not perhaps readily associated with teenagers but which serve them well in everyday life.