In the basic rifle marksmanship environment, the small arms collimator can be used to reduce ammunition costs and range time associated with initial zeroing. It has been shown to improve marksmanship scores. Additionally, frequent use of the SAC emphasizes the importance of maintaining a good zero on weapons at all times and develops the knowledge and mindset needed to use the SAC in operational units.
Saves time and ammunition
The SAC dramatically reduces zero range time (by as much as two-thirds, according to a US Army source). Having trainees adjust to CZP prior to conducting live fire zero leads to a significant reduction in the number of firing iterations needed to achieve zero. CZP gets everyone immediately on paper - and typically within a couple of inches of zero at 25m. Many shooters will be zeroed on their first iteration, and others will only need to make minor adjustments.
Using the SAC reduces zero range time by 66% and saves as much as $750 in ammunition (per company) on every trip to the zero range.
The SAC can pay for itself in a relatively short period of time by drastically reducing the amount of ammunition required to get shooters zeroed. Reports from the US military indicate that using the SAC saves $750 per zero iteration at the company level. Alternately, the ammunition saved can be used for other types of marksmanship exercises or drills.
Improves marksmanship scores and overall shooting competence
Reduced time on the zero range means more time for other training - more advanced, combat marksmanship training. It is critically important for shooters to understand how to properly zero their weapons, but chasing paper, accepting 'good enough' in order to avoid holding up the group, or sitting around waiting on a few shooters to finish is NOT the best way to learn.
Any competent firearms instructor knows how important it is to establish and maintain a tight zero. Establishing zero at the beginning of a class often takes more time than what we put on the schedule, though. To move things along, we frequently encourage (or force) the last two or three shooters to accept a less-than-perfect zero. And every time we do that, we send a message to our students that zero isn't really as important as we made it out to be. Using the SAC for CZP prior to live fire avoids this problem altogether. And checking CZP frequently throughout a training cycle reinforces the importance of a good zero.
Helps communicate important concepts for marksmanship
Integrating the SAC into basic rifle marksmanship training as a training aid is an excellent way to improves shooters’ understanding of the relationship between various marksmanship fundamentals and point of aim/ point of impact (POA/ POI). The shooter, for example, can ‘see’ the effect on bullet strike from relaxing or tightening stock weld (each small square on the M4/ M16 SAC grid = 7.2 inches @ 100 yards).
Quick and easy to use
The SAC is quick and easy to use, even for recruits. There are no complex procedures or mathematical equations involved. Classroom training on the SAC can be completed in under 15 minutes, and it typically only takes shooters a few minutes of instructor-led use on the range to fully understand how to use the SAC.
Keeps problem weapons from creating problem shooters
When problems like excessive windage are not identified, they frequently cause new shooters to question the fundamentals they’ve been taught- and possibly to start making adjustments to those fundamentals (doing it their way). This erodes confidence and creates bad habits, both of which can negatively affect the trainees’ ability to shoot for a long time. Adjusting to CZP helps instructors quickly identify weapons, sights, or mounts that are unserviceable or improperly set up and correct those problems - before they create training scars.
Having shooters record PZP as soon as they achieve zero can save a tremendous amount of training time if weapons or sights fail during the training cycle. When the shooter has recorded PZP, they can be issued a replacement weapon and continue training without a trip to the zero range (although live-fire confirmation is recommended whenever possible).