As a means of furthering our affiliation with No 2 Company, Army Cadet Force, the Master, Mr David Lentaigne, the Clerk, Mr John Allen, and our Military Liaison Officer, Brigadier Paul Cort, visited them at Moody Down Ranges, near Winchester, last month when the cadets competed for the Gunmakers’ Shooting Trophy. After applying liberal amounts of suncream (the weather gods were smiling!), overcoming the usual gremlins that beset the automatic marking system, and zeroing the rifles, the competition began. This was structured in three phases, aimed at testing the cadets’ skills as broadly as possible. Phase 1 consisted of a grouping shoot at 100m, with individual cadets aiming to achieve the smallest possible group. Phase 2 brought in the different fire practices, and saw the cadets firing deliberate, rapid and snap at 100, 200 and 300m, with individual and team scores being collated. By the end of the morning 22 Detachment, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, were neck and neck with 24 Detachment, The Rifles.
Over the lunch three of the senior cadets then gave a short presentation introducing the various cadet weapons systems. They also explained the progressive shooting training system used throughout the Army Cadet Force, starting with the lightweight low-recoil air rifle and moving onto the heavier and more powerful 5.56 and 7.62mm rifles, which helps to build confidence among the cadets and to improve their marksmanship skills.
The final phase was a ‘March and Shoot’, with cadets marching from the 200m point back to the 600m point, before doubling back to the firing point. They then faced 10 snap target exposures. With the final detail complete, the scorers retired to figure out the standings, while the cadets made a start on cleaning the rifles. At the final reckoning, the Gunmakers’ Trophy went to 22 Detachment, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, beating 24 Detachment, The Rifles, by the narrowest of margins and ending their three year winning streak. Incredibly, the individual Top Gun prize was a dead heat between Cadet Woods (24 Detachment) and Cadet Akyol (22 Detachment), who split the first prize of £50 between them.
After presenting the trophy, the Master said how impressed he was with the efforts and abilities of all the cadets who took part, and acknowledged the professionalism and commitment of the staff running the range.