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The Fighting Third

Okinawa, Japan
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Zeroing in 3rd Marine Regiment tests new sight

By Lance Cpl. Suzanna Lapi | | November 19, 2013


Marines from 3rd Marine Regiment conducted an M203 40 mm grenade launcher shoot with a recently-developed sight as part of new equipment testing at Kaneohe Bay Range Training Facility, Nov. 19.

Captain Robert Tavzel, a project officer with Marine Corps System Command, and native of Fredericksburg, Va., said the new sight was developed in response to an urgent universal need statement.

An urgent UNS is used to identify needed changes in mission capabilities of Marines in theater or specific operations.

“The grenade launcher sight is being tested to replace the AN/PSQ-18A sight because of the need for something smaller and lighter,” Tavzel said. “It also features a holographic red dot sight for easier aiming and includes ballistic data. Depending on the ammunition used, the sight automatically adjusts itself. This is the initial testing and it’s much better than the old system.”

Twenty-five Marines from each battalion of 3rd Marines participated in the testing. Each shooter received 28 training rounds of 40 mm grenade ammunition. After zeroing their weapons, they shot known and unknown range targets.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Robertson, the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines gunner and a native of Houston, said the Marines received classroom instruction on employment of the grenade launcher sight, then moved to the range to test its newly-developed capabilities.

“The system is very well put together,” Robertson said. “It’s more compact, and a good supplement to customary sights. The dual modes between rounds makes it easy for Marines to work with.”

Robertson said the sight testing was a great opportunity for the Marines to contribute since Headquarters Marine Corps is examining the results for the sight’s permanent use.

“(The participating Marines) have an impact on the future of the Marine Corps,” Robertson said. “Their feedback, everything they say about the sight’s performance will go back to Quantico.”

As the Marines shot on one of five target points, a personnel safety officer coached them after each round was sent down range. The range targets were painted yellow and scaled the side of the hill, offering varied difficulty levels.

Lance Cpl. Joshua White, a rifleman with 1st Bn., 3rd Marines and native of Austin, Texas, said compared to other sight systems, the grenade launcher sight is far superior.

“It’s intuitive because it self adjusts for different ammunition,” White said. “For as often as we carry the weapon, we don’t have the opportunity to shoot. It benefits us to be able to come out and try to knock the rust off. We were able to shoot accurately and properly evaluate the system.”