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Thermal Boresighting

We are continuing our discussion on the Boresight. Specifically, we will be boresighting thermals. The reference for this is TM 9-5860-226-13&P dated August 2007. The boresight needs to be zeroed to the weapon prior to zeroing anything else. To learn how to zero the Laser Boresight, and why it is important to do this, reference the TTP article post prior.

Thermals are handled slightly differently than the primary optic for the weapon. To set up the weapon for thermals, you will get in as stable a platform as possible. Once that has been accomplished, you will then have to give the Paratrooper on the weapon a refined point of aim to see the aim point with. If I were to just use a sheet of paper, there would be nothing there to indicate to the paratrooper where the point of aim is. To give them a refined point of aim, the Paratrooper at the Target holds their fingers on the two ovals flanking the aim point on the offset target. 

Two people are required for this: the Paratrooper on the weapon, the Paratrooper Making adjustments on the thermal, and the Paratrooper at the target. The process starts by the Paratrooper on the weapon stabilizing the weapon as much as possible, and using the refined point of aim the Paratrooper on the Target is giving them with their fingers. The Paratrooper on the weapons calls out ‘mark when they are on the point of aim with their reticle.

The Paratrooper at the target then looks at where the laser is hitting when the laser boresight is on its point of aim, then they call out to the Paratrooper on the weapon the adjustments to make, using the cheat sheet we talked about last week. The Paratrooper on the weapon pulls their eye away from the eye cup, and makes the adjustments on the thermal. This is important, because in some models of thermal, the screen will not refresh with the new adjustments until this is done.

The Paratrooper on the weapon, then acquires a steady position, and does the sighting process again. They repeat this process until the point of aim and point of impact are in their respective locations.

So to sum up, we’ve discussed how to zero thermals to the weapon with the Laser Boresight. Will discuss some more information on boresighting, and alternate techniques if a boresight is not available.

#weaponsmastery #boresighting

Raymond Miller
Raymond Miller is the former Small Arms Master Gunner of the 82nd Airborne Division. He is leveraging his operational experience training soldiers in Weapons Mastery to address Human Systems Integration issues for the United States Army.

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