Smallbore Rifle Shooting
Target shooting with small-bore rifles is part of one of the largest participant sports in the country. It is open to all, irrespective of age, gender or ability and has a proven track record of improving an individual's concentration and motivation. It is also one of the safest activities undertaken by the Air Training Corps.
Although target shooting was one of the original founding sports for the modern Olympic Games started in 1896, its popularity amongst civilians only really took off in 1900 as a consequence of the Boer War. The Boers' superior marksmanship lead to increasing concern at the capability of the Army to defend the population against invasion. The call went out for the populace to learn to shoot to defend their country and in due course civilian small-bore shooting clubs were formed from which the sport grew.
Shooting is available to all cadets at nearly one thousand Squadrons around the country and takes place on a variety of indoor and outdoor ranges. Small-bore rifle shooting is mostly carried out over distances of 25 yards (usually on indoor ranges), 50 yards or metres and 100 yards, both outdoors.
This is one of the few sports where male and female, and the able and those with disabilities compete equally against one another. Age is no bar to competition. Cadets can start as soon as they are 13 years and 3 months old and have reached 1st Class standard, and they must also be physically strong enough to hold a firearm safely. Once you are proficient there are many competitions in the Corps open to them.
Smallbore rifle shooting is the cadet's introduction into shooting and once sufficiently competent they can progress to fullbore rifle shooting using both 5.56mm and 7.62mm rifles.
Each year there is a National smallbore competition that decides who will represent the Corps in a competition between the ATC, ACF and SCC. The Battle of Britain Competition gives Squadrons a chance to compete against all other Units in the country. In 2014, 2391 Squadron came 2nd in the competition.
Every year since 2004 cadets from the Squadron have represented the Corps in the Whistler Trophy, a competition held against the ACf and the SCC.