a. The purpose of battlesight zeroing is to align the sights with the weapon's barrel given standard issue ammunition. When this is accomplished correctly, the point of aim and point of impact are the same at a given range such as 250 meters for the M16A1 and 300 meters for the M16A2/A3/A4 and M4-series weapons. This sight setting provides the highest hit probability for most combat targets with minimum adjustment to the aiming point.
(1) When standard zeroing procedures are followed, a properly zeroed rifle 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. The similarity of individual zeros should be emphasized instead of the differences.
(2) Most firers can fire with the same zeroed rifle if they are properly applying marksmanship fundamentals. This information can be useful in three ways. If a soldier is having difficulty zeroing and the problem cannot be diagnosed, having a good firer zero the rifle could find the problem and eliminates the weapon as part of 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, the rifle will be 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 been previously zeroed by the last soldier it was assigned to. Zeroing this newly assigned weapon should start with the sights left where they are.
(3) There is no relationship between the specific sight settings a soldier uses on his rifle to the sight settings he would zero another rifle to. For example, a soldier could zero his assigned rifle 10 clicks left of center, and then zero another rifle and his adjustments could be 10 clicks right of center. This is due to the manufacturing difference from one rifle to another, which makes it essential that each soldier zeros the rifle that he is assigned. 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 rifle that is returned from direct support (DS) or general support (GS) maintenance, or the zero is in question.
b. All soldiers should successfully group prior to zeroing. If the unit is proficient at grouping, then two shot groups should be fired to confirm proficiency prior to making any sight adjustments during zeroing procedures.
(1) The unit is divided into firing orders. The first order fires while the second order coaches. Firing points are reserved to conduct corrective instruction. When using smaller ranges, the unit should be divided into three or more orders.
(2) Sandbags should be provided at each firing point to accommodate supported firing positions.
(3) Each shot is fired using the same aiming point (center of mass of the target) from a supported firing position.
(4) Each soldier ensures his sights are set for 25-meter zeroing.
(5) The soldier fires a three-round shot group at the 25-meter zero target. The firing line is cleared, and he moves downrange to examine the shot group. The soldier examines the shot group for fundamental errors, triangulates the shot group and puts the number 1 in the center of the shot group.
(6) Initially the soldier should fire two individual shot groups before a sight change is considered. If the initial shot group is not on paper the weapon should be mechanically zeroed before the soldier fires this weapon again.
(7) The soldier returns to the firing line and fires a second three-round shot group.
(8) The firing line is cleared, and he moves downrange to examine the second shot group, triangulate and mark the center of the shot group with the number 2. The soldier groups the two shot groups and marks the center of the two shot groups with an X. If the two shot groups fall within a 4-centimeter circle the firer determines what sight adjustments need to be made, identifies the closest horizontal and vertical lines to the X, and then reads the 25-meter zero target to determine the proper sight adjustments to make. If the two shot groups did not fall within a 4-centimeter circle the soldier continues grouping.
(9) The soldier then annotates any sight adjustments that need to be made to the weapon on the 25-meter zero target and ensures his name is also on the target. If five out of six rounds fell within the 4-centimeter circle the soldier is zeroed and can be removed from the firing line. (The majority of the round must be inside the circle to be counted.)
(10) The unzeroed soldier returns to the firing line and makes sight adjustments.
(11) Steps 1 through 8 are repeated until the soldier places five out of six consecutive rounds inside the 4-centimeter circle. If the soldier is not zeroed in 18 rounds he should be removed from the firing line and given remedial training before attempting to zero again.
(12) Once firing proficiency has been demonstrated from the supported firing position, zeroing exercises can be conducted from the unsupported firing position. For example, 18 rounds are allocated for the zeroing exercise; if the soldier zeroes in 9 rounds, the soldier can fire the remaining 9 rounds from the unsupported firing position.
c. While applying the fundamentals, the soldier consistently aims center mass of the target as shown in (A) of Figure 5-18. The soldier fires two separate three-round shot groups, as shown in (B) of Figure 5-18, and groups them. Based on the location of these two groups the soldier makes the appropriate sight adjustments. After making the correct sight changes, the soldier fires two more separate three-round shot groups to confirm the adjustments have aligned the sights with the center of the target, and the bullets are in the 4-centimeter circle (Figure 5-19.).
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