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.