The purpose of battle sight zeroing is to align the fire control system (sights) with the rifle barrel, considering the given ammunition ballistics. When this is accomplished correctly, the fire control and point of aim are point of impact at a standard battlesight zero range such as 250 (300) meters.
When a rifle is zeroed, the sights are adjusted so that bullet strike is the same as point of aim at some given range. A battlesight zero (250 meters, M16Al; 300 meters, M16A2) is the sight setting that provides the highest hit probability for most combat targets with minimum adjustment to the aiming point.
When standard zeroing procedures are followed, a rifle that is properly zeroed for one soldier is close to the zero for another soldier. When a straight line is drawn from target center to the tip of the front sight post and through the center of the rear aperture, it makes little difference whose eye is looking along this line. There are many subtle factors that result in differences among individual zeros; however, the similarity of individual zeros should be emphasized instead of the differences.
Most firers can fire with the same zeroed rifle if they are properly applying marksmanship fundamentals. If a soldier is having difficulty zeroing and the problem cannot be diagnosed, having a good firer zero the rifle could find the problem. When a soldier must fire another soldier's rifle without opportunity to verify the zero by firing - for example, picking up another man's rifle on the battlefield - it is closer to actual zero if the rifle sights are left unchanged. This information is useful in deciding initial sight settings and recording of zeros. All rifles in the arms room, even those not assigned, should have their sights aligned (zeroed) for battlesight zero.
There is no relationship between the specific sight setting a soldier uses on one rifle (his zero) to the sight setting he needs on another rifle. For example, a soldier could be required to move the rear sight of his assigned rifle 10 clicks left of center for zero, and the next rifle he is assigned could be adjusted 10 clicks right of center for zero. This is due to the inherent variability from rifle to rifle, which makes it essential that each soldier is assigned a permanent rifle on which all marksmanship training is conducted. Therefore, all newly assigned personnel should be required to fire their rifle for zero as soon as possible after assignment to the unit. The same rule must apply anytime a soldier is assigned a new rifle, a rifle is returned from DS or GS maintenance, or the zero is in question.
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