The Small Arms Collimator (SAC) is a very powerful tool for maintaining readiness at the individual and small unit level. Used properly, it helps to maximize the benefits (i.e. engagement speed and accuracy) provided by our weapon platforms and various sight options.
The SAC allows shooters to adjust or confirm zero on weapon systems in less than one minute in any environment (i.e. in a vehicle, on an aircraft, on board ship, behind cover on a patrol, in a hidesite, etc.) without compromising position. This improves operational effectiveness by: a) ensuring that shooters always have a good zero on their weapons, and b) allowing shooters to select and use the best sight option for their mission and operating environment.
Following are some guidelines for implementing the SAC into operational units:
1. The SAC should ideally be fielded to whatever unit level is normally independently deployed or positioned (i.e. one per squad for M4/ M16, one per sniper team or sniper rifle for sniper weapons, one per machine gun, etc.).
2. Training should clearly describe and differentiate between CZP and PZP (classroom training for the SAC can usually be completed in about 30 minutes).
3. Initial range time with the SAC should include:
- Utilizing CZP to get ‘on paper’;
- Establishing and recording PZP;
- Spinning turrets, dismounting sights, exchanging weapons, etc- and;
- Returning weapons to PZP and confirming zero with live fire. Weapons should have a precise zero.
This process is designed to build confidence in the SAC, which is critical.
4. Leaders should develop and enforce SOPs for checking zero:
- At routine intervals- once per day, for instance;
- During pre-combat checks;
- After parachute or FRIES infiltration (or any other infiltration method where weapons are subjected to bumps and knocks), when conditions on the ground permit;
- Any time zero is compromised by dropping or bumping weapons, when conditions on the ground permit;
- At snipers’ final firing position (FFP);
- After removing sights to clean weapons or to store weapons on racks.
5. Leaders should be aware that using the SAC allows sights to be changed to meet mission requirements. Night vision sights, for example, can be removed and replaced by an M68 CCO or other optic at daybreak.
Live fire confirmation of zero should still be conducted whenever possible.