For Tactics, Techniques and Procedures Thursday, we are continuing our discussion on optics. Specifically, we will be discussing the M68 Close Combat Optic, or CCO. The reference for this is TM 9-1240-413-13P dated may 2013, and TC 3-22.9, Change 1 dated January 2017
The close combat optic (CCO), M68 is a non-telescopic (unmagnified) reflex sight that is designed for the “eyes-open” method of sighting. It provides Soldiers the ability to fire with one or two eyes open, as needed for the engagement sequence in the shot process. It is the sighting system for the M4/M16 family of weapons with the highest population across the United States Army.
The CCO provides a red-dot aiming point using a 2 or 4 Minute Of Angle (MOA) diameter reticle, depending on the variant. The red dot aiming point follows the horizontal and vertical movement of the firer’s eye, allowing the firer to remain fixed on the target. No centering or focusing on the front sight post is required. There are three versions of the CCO available in the force. Picture two illustrates this for us.
The M68 is from a family of sights known as reflex- or red-dot sights. It is designed to be fired with both eyes open. This increases the Paratrooper’s depth of field and perception of cues in their sector. It is designed to be parallax-free at distances exceeding fifty meters. Parallax is the apparent shift of an object. An example can be illustrated by holding up your hand with the index finger pointing up, close one eye, then rapidly open and close the other eye. Your fingertip will appear to have moved, even though no movement has actually taken place. That apparent shift is parallax.
M68 CCO should be placed on rail where the best field of view is achieved. The farther away the M68 is mounted from the Paratrooper’s eyes, the larger the scanning area. The recommended location is with the front end of the mount lined up with front end of the upper receiver.
While the CCO can be fired with only one eye open, it is recommended that it be zeroed and fired with both eyes open. It takes practice to get used to the two-eyes opened method. However, once this is accomplished, your field of view will increase and your target acquisition time will decrease.
So to sum up, the M68 is the reflex sight used by the majority of the United States Army. It is a reflex sight, designed to be parallax free past fifty meters. It is designed to be fired with both eyes open, and when trained in it’s use properly, Paratroopers will have increased field of view and reduced target acquisition times. Next week we will continue our discussion on the CCO, as we discuss how to zero it properly.