This module can only be taken as part of the Vehicle and Weapon Engineering MSc (USA).

To provide the information and experience to understand the principles of operation and analysis required in designing a light weapon and its components.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 29 Mar - 02 Apr 2027
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationExternal

Course structure

Lectures are delivered at MSc standard by Cranfield University academics, supplemented by commercial and military Subject Matter Experts. The teaching is conducted in a military environment using static displays to aid the teaching environment. Where possible the knowledge of each taught phase is followed by a practical range session to consolidate the knowledge.

What you will learn

Operation and safety, wound ballistics, hit probability, operating mechanisms of rifles and machine guns, firing mechanisms, gun springs, extractor design, sighting systems, small arms recoil, barrel design and feed mechanisms

Core content

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:


- Identify and analyse the sub-systems that make up a light weapon
- Describe and critically evaluate the operating principles of small arms
- Examine in depth and formulate the process of designing a light weapon system 
- Critically assess the function of a light weapon system, report and discuss the findings with a weapons engineer
- Critique the design of component parts of an automatic weapon

Who should attend

This course is for those of you who are engineers concerned with the design and development of Small Arms with an understanding of the systems' technology employed and the discreet design of key components. The course would also benefit you if you are involved in requirements capture and procurement of automatic weapon systems.

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.