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Zeroing the M4A1 Carbine

For Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures Thursday, we have a video demonstrating techniques for marking and interpreting the New Army Approved zero target. The reference for this discussion is Appendix E, TC 3-22.9, change 2, dated August 2017.
The new zero target has been discussed in previous posts. However, to use it more efficiently, you have to be able to determine which hole is from which group. All too often, I’ll see firers and coaches staring at a target like they are trying to make sense of it, but are too proud to admit they don’t know what they’re doing.
In this video, I demonstrate how you can do this with a cheap pack of highlighters. The highlighters are a simple way for both the coach and the shooter to determine what the corrections are for the optics or iron sights. Spoiler alert: You have to know which group is which. In order to do that, you have to mark them and color code them to make sense of the target.
I also discuss some other information you can record from the zero target. Things like your maximum spread will help to determine the overall group size and give you an idea of how well the firer is grasping the shot process. The Army standard is 4 minutes of angle. For reference, I accepted a 4-minute group with a CCO and shot a 36 on the qualification range first-time. That included clearing a double feed which cost me two rounds. The other two targets I know I rushed my shots and was off my intended point of aim.
The only reason I am bringing up what I scored on the qualification is to make sure you understand what a good zero will do for you. Not rushing and accepting a sub-par zero was the main thing that guaranteed my successful engagements of the targets. Take your time, focus on your shot process, and get a consistent routine. If you are at the Enduring Range, we do not require you to wear full kit, eliminating that distraction. All you have to focus on is your shot process.
If you’re not sure if you are doing the right thing, have an experienced coach watch you. If one isn’t available, have an inexperienced coach watch you and reference appendix E, TC 3-22.9, change 2, dated August 2017. I have a printed and digital copy on the range with me to look at and refer to and illustrate some points to new shooters.
Just remember, your rifle’s zero determines if you hit or miss your target. It is critical to get a good zero at 25 meters if you cannot live-fire confirm at true distance, like doctrine (and the zero target) says we are supposed to do. If you accept being one inch off your intended point of aim by not marking groups and knowing for sure where your rounds hit at 25 meters, you will be off your intended point of aim by 12 inches at 300 meters. This is before I add in any other variables like the 12 additional inches of my 4 MOA group size at 300 meters, bullet trajectory, wind, trigger squeeze, unstable firing platform, etc. So sometimes when that target you ‘hit multiple times’ didn’t go down, it was because you weren’t anywhere near it.
#NCObusiness #trainyourparatroopers  #itallstartshere

Raymond Miller
82nd Airborne Division Small Arms Master Gunner: primary weapons trainer, force modernization for individual weapons, and range liason for the 82nd.

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