M3a Scope

The M3A scope is an optical instrument that the sniper uses to improve his ability to see his target clearly in most situations. Usually, the M3A scope presents the target at an increased size (as governed by scope magnification), relative to the same target at the same distance without a scope. The M3A scope helps the sniper to identify recognize the target. His increased sighting ability also helps him to successfully engage the target.

NOTE: The adjustment dials are under the adjustment dust cover.

a. M3A Scope Adjustments. The sniper must use the following adjustment procedures on the M3A scope:

(1) Focus adjustment dial. The focus adjustment dial (Figure 2-18) is on the left side of the scope barrel. This dial has limiting stops with the two extreme positions shown by the infinity mark and the largest dot. The focus adjustment dial keeps the target in focus. If the target is close, the dial is set at a position near the largest dot.

NOTE: Each minute of angle is an angular unit of measure.

(2) Elevation adjustment dial. The elevation adjustment dial

(Figure 2-18) is on top of the scope barrel. This dial has calibrated index markings from 1 to 10. These markings represent the elevation setting adjustments needed at varying distances: 1 = 100 meters, 3 = 300 meters, 7 = 700 meters, and so on. Each click of the elevation dial equals 1 minute of angle.

(3) Windage adjustment dial. The windage adjustment dial (Figure 2-18) is on the right side of the scope barrel. This dial is used to make lateral adjustments to the scope. Turning the dial in the indicated direction moves the point of impact in that direction. Each click on the windage dial equals .5 minute of angle.

Weapon Scope Dial

(4) Eyepiece adjustment. The eyepiece (Figure 2-19) is adjusted by turning it in or out of the barrel until the reticle appears crisp and clear. Focusing the eyepiece should be done after mounting the scope. The sniper grasps the eyepiece and backs it away from the lock ring. He does not attempt to loosen the lock ring first; it loosens automatically when he backs away from the eyepiece (no tools needed). The eyepiece is turned several turns to move it at least 1/8 inch. It takes this much change to achieve any measurable effect on the focus. The sniper looks through the scope at the sky or a blank wall and checks to see if the reticle appears sharp and crisp. He locks the lock ring after achieving reticle clarity.

Sniper Scope Logo




b. M3A Scope Mount. The M3A scope mount has a baseplate with four screws; a pair of scope rings with eight ring screws, each with an upper and lower ring half with eight ring screws and two ring mounting bolts with nuts (Figure 2-20). The baseplate is mounted to the rifle by screwing the four baseplate screws through the plate and into the top of the receiver. The screws must not protrude into the receiver and interrupt the functioning of the bolt. After the baseplate is mounted, the scope rings are mounted.

NOTE: The M3A scope has two sets of mounting slots. The sniper selects the set of slots that provides proper eye relief (the distance that the eye is positioned behind the telescopic sight). The average distance is 2 to 3 inches. The sniper adjusts eye relief to obtain a full field of view.

Sniper Scope Png
Figure 2-20. Scope mount.

(1) Before mounting the M3A scope, lubricate the threads of each mounting ring nut.

(2) Ensure smooth movement of each mounting ring nut and mount claw.

(3) Inspect for burrs and foreign matter between each mounting ring nut and mount claw. Remove burrs or foreign matter before mounting.

(4) Mount the sight and rings to the base.

NOTE: Once a set of slots is chosen, the same set should always be used in order for the SWS to retain zero.

(5) Ensure the mounting surface is free of dirt, oil, or grease.

(6) Set each ring bolt spline into the selected slot.

(7) Slide the rear mount claw against the base and finger-tighten the mounting ring nut.

(8) If the scope needs to be adjusted loosen the mounting ring nuts and align the ring bolts with the other set of slots on the base Repeat this process.

(9) Slide the front mount claw against the base, and finger-tighten the mounting ring nut.

(10) Use the T-handle torque wrench, which is preset to 65inch-pounds, to tighten the rear mounting ring nut.

c. Care and Maintenance of the M3A Scope. Dirt, rough handling, or abuse of optical equipment will result in inaccuracy and malfunction. When not in use, the rifle and scope should be cased, and the lens should be capped.

(1) Lens. The lens are coated with a special magnesium fluoride reflection-reducing material. This coat is thin and great care is required to prevent damage to it.

(a) To remove dust, lint, or other foreign matter from the lens, lightly brush the lens with a clean camel's-hair brush.

(b) To remove oil or grease from the optical surfaces, apply a drop of lens cleaning fluid or robbing alcohol on a lens tissue. Carefully wipe off the surface of the lens in circular motions (from the center to the outside edge). Dry off the lens with a clean lens tissue. In the field, if the proper supplies are not available, breathe heavily on the glass and wipe with a soft, clean cloth.

(2) Scope. The scope is a delicate instrument and must be handled with care. The following precautions will prevent damage

(a) Check and tighten all mounting screws periodically and always before an operation. Be careful not to change the coarse windage adjustment.

(b) Keep the lens free from oil and grease and never touch them with the fingers. Body grease and perspiration can injure them. Keep the cap on the lens.

(c) Do not force the elevation and windage screws or knobs.

(d) Do not allow the scope to remain in direct sunlight, and avoid letting the sun's rays shine through the lens. The lens magnify and concentrate sunlight into a pinpoint of intense heat, which is focused on the mil-scale reticle. This may melt the mil dots and damage the scope internally. Keep the lens covered and the entire scope covered when not in use.

(e) Avoid dropping the scope or striking it with another object. This could permanently damage the telescope as well as change the zero.

(f) To avoid damage to the scope or any other piece of sniper equipment, snipers or armorers should be the only personnel handling the equipment. Anyone who does not know how to use this equipment could cause damage.

(3) Climate conditions. Climate conditions play an important part in taking care of optical equipment.

(a) Cold climates. In extreme cold, care must be taken to avoid condensation and congealing of oil on the glass of the optical equipment. If the temperature is not excessive, condensation can be removed by placing the instrument in a warm place. Concentrated heat must not be applied because it causes expansion and damage can occur. Moisture may also be blotted from the optics with lens tissue or a soft, dry cloth. In cold temperatures, oil thickens and causes sluggish operation or failure. Focusing parts are sensitive to freezing oils. Breathing forms frost, so the optical surfaces must be cleaned with lens tissue, preferably dampened lightly with alcohol. DO NOT apply alcohol on the glass ofthe optics.

(b) Jungle operations (high humidity). In hot and humid temperatures, keep the caps on the scope when not in use. If moisture or fungus develops on the inside of the telescope, replace it.

(c) Desert operations. Keep the scope protected from the direct rays. of the sun.

(d) Hot climate and salt water exposure. The scope is vulnerable to hot, humid climates and salt water atmosphere. It MUST NOT be exposed to direct sunlight. In humid and salt air conditions, the scope must be inspected, cleaned, and lightly oiled to avoid rust and corrosion. Perspiration can also cause the equipment to rust; therefore, the instruments must be thoroughly dried and lightly oiled.

d. M3A Scope Operation. When using the M3A scope, the sniper looks at the target and determines the distance to it by using the mil dots on the reticle. The mil-dot reticle (Figure 2-21) is a duplex-style reticle that has thick outer sections and thin inner sections. Superimposed on the thin center section of the reticle is a series of dots. There are 4 dots on each side of the center and 4 dots above and below the center. These 4 dots are spaced 1 mil apart, and 1 mil from both the center and the start of the thick section of the reticle. This spacing allows the sniper to make close estimates of target range, assuming there is an object of known size (estimate) in the field of view. For example, a human target appears to be 6 feet tall, which equals 1.83 meters tall, and at 500 meters, 3.65 dots high (nominally, about 3.5 dots high). Another example is a l-meter target at a 1,000-meter range. This target is the height between 2 dots, or the width between 2 dots. If the sniper is given a good estimate of the object's size, then he may accurately determine target range using the mil-dot system.

Reticle Png
Figure 2-21. Mil-dot reticle.

e. Zeroing. Zeroing the M3A scope should be done on a known-distance range (preferably 900 meters long) with bull's-eye-type targets (200-yard targets, NSN SR1-6920-00-900-8204). When zeroing the scope, the sniper—

(1) Assumes a good prone-supported position 100 meters from the target.

(2)"Ensures the "l" on the elevation dial is lined up with the elevation index line, and the "0" on the windage dial is lined up with the windage index line.

(3) Fires three rounds at the center of the target, keeping the same aiming point each time and triangulate.

(4) After the strike of the rounds has been noted, turns the elevation and windage dials to make the needed adjustments to the scope.

• Each click on the elevation dial equals one minute of angle.

• One minute of angle at 100 meters equals 1.145 inches or about 1 inch.

• Each click on the windage dial equals .5 minute of angle.

• .5 minute of angle at 100 meters equals about .5 inch.

(5) Repeats steps 3 and 4 until a three-round shot group is centered on the target.

(6) Once the shot group is centered, loosens the hex head screws on the elevation and windage dials. He turns the elevation dial to the index line marked "l" (if needed]. He turns the windage dial to the index line marked "0" (if needed) ana tighten the hex head screws.

(7) After zeroing at 100 meters and calibrating the dial, confirms this zero by firing and recording sight settings (see Chapter 3) at 100-meter increments through 900 meters.

f. Field-Expedient Confirmation/Zeroing. The sniper may need to confirm zero in a field environment. Examples are shortly after receiving a mission, a weapon was dropped, or excessive climatic changes as may be experienced by deploying to another part of the world. Two techniques of achieving a crude zero are the 25-yard/900-inch method and the observation of impact method.

(1) 25-yard/900-inch method. Dial the scope to 300 meters for elevation and to "0" for windage. Aim and fire at a target that is at a 25-yard distance. Adjust the scope until rounds are impacting 5/8 of an inch above the point of aim. To confirm, set the elevation to 500 meters. The rounds should impact 2 1/4 inches above the point of aim.

(2) Observation of impact method. When a known distance range is unavailable, locate a target so that the observer can see the impact of rounds clearly. Determine the exact range to the target, dial in the appropriate range, and fire. Watch the impact of the rounds; the observer gives the sight adjustments until a point of aim or point of impact is achieved.

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