In the Training/ Basic Rifle Marksmanship (BRM) environment, the small arms collimator can be used to reduce ammunition costs and range time associated with initial zeroing. It has also been shown to improve marksmanship scores. Additionally, frequent use of the SAC emphasizes the importance of maintaining a good zero on weapons at all times and develops the knowledge and mindset needed to use the SAC in operational units.
Benefits of Using the SAC in the Training or Basic Rife Marksmanship Environment:
1. The SAC is quick and easy to use, even for recruits. Training on the SAC can be completed in under 30 minutes.
2. Having trainees adjust to CZP prior to conducting live fire zero leads to a significant reduction in the number of firing iterations needed to achieve zero (CZP gets everyone immediately on paper, and quickly IDs problem weapons and problem shooters so that each can be properly addressed by instructors).
- Reduced ammo for zeroing- the SAC can pay for itself in a relatively short period of time by drastically reducing the amount of ammunition required to get shooters zeroed. Alternately, the ammunition saved can be used for other types of marksmanship exercises or drills.
- Reduced time on the zero range- means more time for other training (ideally, more advanced work with weapons).
3. Adjusting to CZP keeps problem weapons from creating problem shooters- excessive windage and other problems with weapons cause new shooters to question the fundamentals they’ve been taught, and possibly to start making adjustments to those fundamentals (doing it their way). This erodes confidence and creates bad habits, both of which can negatively affect the trainees’ ability to shoot for a long time.
4. Training on the SAC improves shooters’ understanding of the relationship between various marksmanship fundamentals and point of aim/ point of impact (POA/ POI)- i.e. the shooter can ‘see’ the effect on bullet strike from relaxing or tightening stock weld (each small square on the M4/ M16 SAC grid = 7.2 inches @ 100 yards).
5. Weapons that go down during the training cycle can be replaced without a trip to the zero range (although live-fire confirmation is always recommended when possible).
6. Frequent use of the SAC reinforces the importance of a good zero.
Guidelines for Implementing the SAC into BRM/ training:
1. The SAC is typically introduced to trainees at roughly the same time that mechanical zero would normally be explained. After mechanically zeroing weapons, trainees should be given classroom training on the SAC, and then instructed to adjust their weapons to CZP (prior to conducting any live fire). Note that the time spent conducting training on the SAC and adjusting to CZP will be made up for in time savings on the zero range.
2. Use the SAC to help trainees understand the importance of consistent application of fundamentals- explain that each small square on the SAC indicates a 7.2 inch shift in impact at 100 yards, then have the trainee move around slightly on the rifle while looking at the SAC grid through iron sights. This illustrates how a seemingly small change in position on the rifle can cause a significant change in point of aim/ point of impact (POA/ POI). Note that there should not be a shift with parallax-free optics.
3. Normal live-fire zero procedures should be used to establish a good zero for each trainee. At that point, the SAC should be used by each trainee to establish and record PZP.
4. PZP/ weapon zero should be routinely checked by trainees throughout the remainder of their training cycle to ensure that their weapons retain zero for training and qualification. This also emphasizes the importance of a good zero and encourages proper use of the SAC once the trainee reaches an operational unit.