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Appendix D to Chapter 3
AN/PAQ-4 Zeroing Techniques

Chapter 3, Appendix C:  Squad and Platoon Night Vision Task Org
Table of Contents
Chapter 3, Appendix D, Part 2
1. OVERVIEW. This appendix is designed to improve zeroing for the AN/PAQ-4 (A or C models). For a more complete handling of this subject, contact the 82d Airborne Division.


a. Lasers (light amplification by simulated emission of radiation) are used extensively by the U.S. Armed Forces due to their ability to allow the user to remain undetected by the naked (unaided) eye. Infrared lasers are used as aiming and pointing devices.

b. The AN/PAQ-4 series of IALs are battery-powered, light-emitting diode transmitters which project a narrow beam of infrared light visible only when seen with image intensification viewers, such as NVG (e.g., AN/PVS-7 series NVGs). The projected light beam allows the user to determine exact aiming points as well as assign directions of fire or movement and designate targets for others equipped with NVGs. The aiming light increases the accuracy of direct firing at night. After being properly mounted and zeroed to the weapon, and turned ON, the aiming light sends out the invisible light beam along the line of sight which allows the user to engage targets successfully.


Figure 1

a. Characteristics.
(1) Weight: 0.9 lbs.
(2) Range: 150 meters
(3) Power: 2 AA batteries (BA-3058) or 1 Lithium Battery (BA-5567v/1567v)

b. Components.
(1) Aiming Light Assembly
(2) Mounting Bracket (or foot) for the M16A2
(3) ON/OFF switch (OFF/ON/Momentary ON)
(4) Boresight adjusters (azimuth and elevation): one for moving beam up/down and the other for moving the beam left/right.
(5) Scattershield: mounts to front of aiming light that confines the light in a narrow beam, reducing off-axis radiation.
(6) Alignment Mandrel: used when boresighting
(7) Operator's Manual: TM 11-5855-297-12&

c. Employment Considerations. The aiming light is highly accurate for short ranges (out to approximately 100m) when zeroed properly, using the ARI dry or live-fire zeroing techniques. The zeroing procedure in the technical manual (TM) does not work very well and leaves you with one aiming light not zeroed. Remember, the aiming light can be seen by anyone equipped with NVG, friendly or enemy.


a. The AN/PAQ-4A can be mounted on the following weapons/weapon systems:
(1) M16A1/2 rifle (to include with M203 grenade launcher attached)
(2) M60 machine gun
(3) M4 carbine
(4) M249 squad automatic rifle

b. Mounting and operating procedures are covered in the Operator's Manual (TM 11-5855-297-12& Section III).


a. Procedures for Zeroing. These procedures make three critical assumptions. First that the firer has a good daytime zero with the iron sights. Second, the initial aiming light adjustments have been made so that the firer's bullets are "on paper" at 25 meters at night. Third, the firer's NVG are adjusted for best visual acuity. All procedures can be implemented with materials readily available within a unit.

b. Daylight Zero of Rifles. Any rifle intended for night-time zeroing should also be properly zeroed for daytime firing. In the daylight, zero the M16A2 rifle for 300 meters using the standard 25-meter zeroing procedure (rear sight set to the 300 meter setting plus one click up toward 400 while zeroing). Use this setting for all-25 meter firing. Reference Task No. 071-311-2030 Zero an M16A2 rifle, STP 21-1-SMCT.

c. Zero of the AN/PAQ-4A for Night-Time Firing. This zeroing procedure involves aiming the iron sights of your daytime zeroed M16A2 rifle at the center of a specially marked zeroing target (placed eight M16A2 rifle lengths, 26 feet-4 inches, in front of the muzzle of the rifle) and then adjusting the AN/PAQ-4A aiming light beam to a designated spot that will result in a 100-meter aim light zero. The zero will make the aiming light spot parallel to the strike of the round at 100 meters. It is a nonfiring process so it can be done indoors or outdoors, from subdued light conditions to fully dark. All that is needed is about 30 feet of space.

(1) Use the specially designed AN/PAQ-4A "ARI DRY-FIRE ZERO" target on which a white dot is marked 9 mm below and 41 mm left of center mass of the target (See Figure 2). (Also see Chapter 4, Own The Night Individual Training Package, for the full-sized reproducible copy of the ARI target). This is the target to use during the zeroing process. Field expedient methods of zeroing the AN/PAQ-4A will be covered at the end of this section.

Figure 2

(2) Locate an area with subdued lighting that has a vertical surface (e.g., wall, tree) on which you can attach the 25-meter target. Then measure a distance of 26' 4" (or eight M16A2 rifle lengths) from that vertical surface to the muzzle of your M16A2 rifle. Set up a supported aiming position so that you can hold the rifle very steady while carrying out the AN/PAQ-4A spot adjustment procedure. As soon as it is dim enough for your buddy to see the laser spot clearly with NVG while standing near the target, you can perform the night-time zero.

(3) The AN/PAQ-4A zeroing procedure will be easier if two soldiers work together. Be sure the rifle is clear and on safe. The shooter, who has daylight-zeroed his weapon, gets into a very steady supported position and lines up his iron sights at center mass on the dry-fire zeroing target. Be sure the rifle is set for 300 meter use (the 3 setting on the rear sight). The buddy will adjust the AN/PAQ-4A knobs to move the spot until it is exactly on top of the white dot at lower left of the target. If it is too dark to see through the iron sights, you can use a flashlight(s) to illuminate the target and perhaps the sights, if necessary.

(4) The buddy doing the beam spot adjustment uses his NVG to see the beam spot. The buddy should try the goggles with and without the pinhole cap on to determine which gives the clearest view of the spot while standing close to the target.

(5) The buddy should use the "screw analogy" to adjust the beam. The top knob on the AN/PAQ-4A adjusts the spot up and down. Using the screw analogy, if the top knob were a screw, turning it clockwise would cause it to screw down. Therefore, turning the knob clockwise will adjust the spot down. Likewise, turning a screw counter-clockwise would cause the screw to come up and out of the hole, so the top knob turned counter-clockwise will cause the beam spot to go up. The knob on the left side of the AN/PAQ-4A adjusts the spot left and right. If the knob were a screw, turning it clockwise would cause it to screw in (go to the right). So, turning the knob clockwise will cause the beam spot to move to the right (and counter-clockwise -- to the left). If you get confused, think what a screw would do and you will know which way to turn either knob to move the spot where you want (i.e., clockwise = down or into the screw hole {down and right}; counter clockwise = up or out of the screw hole {up and left}).

(6) In adjusting the beam, it works well to move back and forth to the target so you can see the beam spot location very clearly. Make the necessary adjustments while the shooter is relaxing, then have the shooter get a good center mass aim again and recheck the accuracy of the spot placement (on the white dot). This zeroing process takes only about 5 to 10 minutes.

(7) You may find it beneficial to have a third person close to the target using goggles to check the accuracy of the aiming light beam on the dry-fire target. Then the buddy can stand next to the shooter, and simply adjust the aiming light knob in accordance with the directions given by the individual at the dry-fire target.

d. Field Expedient Dry-Fire Method. To do a field-expedient method to dry-fire zero the AN/PAQ-4A aiming light, all a leader needs to remember is the eight M16A2 lengths away, the 41 mm left and 9 mm down of center mass of a target to zero on. Since most of us do not carry a ruler, we have other means to make these measurements. Using a MRE box, mark a cross the length of a protractor or the straight edge of the lensatic compass on the box. Using the 1:50,000 meter scale on the protractor (lensatic compass scale is the same), mark 2,100 meters to the left of the cross intersection and 500 meters down for where the white dot goes (20 mm is equal to 1,000 meters on the 1:50,000 scale on the protractor). To help aim center mass with the iron sights, blacken four squares 1,000 meters above and below the intersection and 1,500 meters left and right of the intersection using the 1:50,000 meter scale.

e. Dry-Fire Zero Summary Checklist.
(1) Zero your iron sights for 300 meters.
(2) Set the sights of your daylight-zeroed rifle to 300 meters.
(3) Use the AN/PAQ-4A "ARI DRY-FIRE ZERO" target or the field-expedient method.
(4) Be certain your rifle is cleared and on safe.
(5) With a steady supported position, aim your iron sights exactly center mass from 26' 4" away (eight M16A2 rifle lengths).
(6) Your buddy wearing NVG adjusts your laser beam spot until it covers the white dot on the target. Be sure the goggles are properly adjusted for clear vision.
(7) If necessary, a third individual with goggles can be positioned near the target to determine where the beam of the aiming light falls. He can call out needed adjustments to the firer's buddy.
(8) The buddy uses the "screw analogy" to adjust the knobs.
(9) With this ARI dry-fire zero procedure, you should hit targets at 100 meters and perhaps out to 200 or 300 meters.

Chapter 3, Appendix C:  Squad and Platoon Night Vision Task Org
Table of Contents
Chapter 3, Appendix D, Part 2

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