Iron Sights

Depending on the situation, a sniper may be required to deliver an effective shot at ranges up to 900 meters or more. This requires the sniper to zero his rifle with the iron sights and the M3A scope at most ranges that he can be expected to fire.

a. Mounting. To mount iron sights, the sniper must remove the M3A scope first.

(1) Attach the front sight to the barrel, align the front sight and the front sight base, and slide the sight over the base and tighten the screw (Figure 2-22).

Figure 2-22. Front sight attachment.

(2) The aperture insert may be either skeleton or translucent plastic (Figure 2-23, page 2-30). The skeleton aperture is the most widely used. The translucent plastic aperture is preferred by some shooters and is available in clear plastic. Both apertures are available in various sizes. A common error is selecting an aperture that is too small. Select an aperture that appears to be at least twice the diameter of the bull's-eye. An aperture selected under one light condition may, under a different light, form a halo around the bull or make the bull appear indistinct or oblong. The aperture selected should reveal a wide line of white around the bull and allow the bull to standout in clear definition against this background.

Receiver Sight Base

(3) Remove one of the three sets of screws from the rear sight base located on the left rear of the receiver. Align the rear sight with the rear sight base taking care to use the hole that provides the operator the desired eye relief. Then tighten the screw to secure the rear sight to the base.

NOTE: Operator-desired eye relief determines the set screw that must be removed.

b. Adjustment Scales. Adjustment scales are of the vernier type. Each graduation on the scale inscribed on the sight base equals 3 minutes of angle. (See the minutes of angle chart in Chapter 3.) Each graduation of the adjustable scale plates equals 1 minute of angle. To use the vernier-type adjustment scales—

(1) Note the point at which graduations on both the top and the bottom scales are aligned.

(2) Count the numbers of full 3 minutes of angle graduations from "0" on the fixed scale to "0" on the adjustable scale. Add this figure to the number of 1 minute of angle graduations from "0" on the adjustable scale to the point where the two graduations are aligned.

c. Zeroing. Zeroing iron sights should be done on the same type of range and targets as in paragraph 2-10a. To set a mechanical zero on the iron sights for windage, the sniper turns the windage dial all the way to the left or right, then he counts the number of clicks it takes to get from one side to the other. He divides this number by 2—for example, 120 divided by 2 equals 60. The sniper turns the windage dial 60 clicks back to the center. If the two zeros on the windage indicator plate do not align, he loosens the screw on the windage indicator plate and aligns the two zeros. The sniper uses the same procedure to set a mechanical zero for elevation. Once a mechanical zero has been set, he assumes a good prone-supported position, 100 meters from the target. He fires three rounds at the center of the target, observing the same aiming point each time. After noting the strike of the rounds, the sniper turns the elevation and windage dials to make needed adjustments to the iron sights as follows (Figure 2-24):

WINDAGE INDICATOR PLATE

WINDAGE INDICATOR PLATE

Sniper Iron Sights
Figure 2-24. Zeroing adjustment dials.

(1) Each click of adjustment is 1/4 minute of angle (one minute of angle equals about 1 inch at 100 yards, 6 inches at 600 yards, and so forth). There are twelve 1/4 minutes of angle, equaling 3 minutes of angle adjustments in each dial revolution. The total elevation adjustment is 60 minutes of angle (600 inches at 1,000 yards) total windage adjustment is 36 minutes of angle (360 inches at l,000 yards).

(2) Turn the elevation dial in the direction marked UP to raise the point of impact: turn the elevation dial in the opposite direction to lower the point of impact. Turn the windage dial in the direction marked R to move the point of impact to the right; then turn the windage dial in the opposite direction to move the point of impact to the left.

(3) Continue firing and adjusting shot groups until the point of aim or point of impact is achieved.

After zeroing the rifle sight to the preferred range, the sniper loosens the elevation and windage indicator plate screws with the socket head screw key provided. Now, he loosens the spring tension screw, aligns the "0" on the plate with the "0" on the sight body, and retightens the plate screws. Then the sniper loosens the spring tension screws and set screws in each dial, and aligns the "0" of the dial with the reference line on the sight. He presses the dial against the sight, tightens the set screws, and equally tightens the spring tension screws until a definite "click" can be felt when the dial is turned. This click can be sharpened or softened to preference by equally loosening or tightening the spring screws on each dial. The sniper makes windage and elevation corrections, and returns quickly to "zero" standard.

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  • maximilian
    How to aim with iron sights?
    8 years ago

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