M4 carbine sights may have been fogged up as 11th Regiment, Advanced Camp, went out to the Handiboe Range to group and zero their M4 Carbines, but the conditions taught Cadets that not everyday will be sunny and clear skies.
“It was a combination of fogginess and raindrops all over,” said Cadet Taylor Rice, Virginia Commonwealth University. “It started pouring so much that it got into both my prescriptions and into my eye pro.”
Rice along with her peers had to wipe off their eye protection or glasses in between firing iterations due to the intense downpour. While trying to clear their minds and their sights, it was a strong foundation to help build confidence, as the conditions were far from perfect. On a typical sunny day, sights would not have to be wiped down, which helps reduce the potential for inaccurate grouping.
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Vogt, a Senior Military Science Instructor from the University of San Francisco, assisted at the range through the rain and adjusted sight pictures for the Cadets.
“It does have a couple drawbacks for us with all the precipitation,” said Vogt. “It fogs up lenses, the eye protection we are wearing, our prescription lenses, the optics they are looking through. You constantly have to be wiping off those lenses.”
Cadets are given 30 rounds to fire with their M4 in different iterations with the goal of getting their rounds within one minute of angle (MOA) on their target. After firing five rounds, they walk in unison down range to look at their targets and take note of any adjustments that need to be made. After adjusting their targets, they return back to their firing line and repeat the process until they have successfully grouped and zeroed their weapon.
Despite the wet conditions, the cloudy skies allowed for Cadets to get a break from the hot sun and cool down. It also helps prepare the final regiment if they encounter rain again on their qualification day.
“It was pretty rough conditions,” said Rice. “I actually was pretty surprised at how well I did despite the rain. I don’t have much experience shooting, so for me to be able to get my first time go, I immediately grouped and zeroed and it was a pretty good shot and the rest followed suit. It was definitely a confidence boost for qualification.”