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Increasing the accuracy of shooting from any weapon is directly related to using various sights. These devices can be installed separately and complement existing ones. In this case, be sure to combine both sights. This will make it possible to reduce the percentage of inaccurate shots and continue shooting even if the optics fail. The matching process is a reasonably simple task. However, in order not to make mistakes and do the job correctly, you need to follow a specific procedure.
What is a co-witness?
Obsolete and some modern weapons are equipped with a simple iron sight. These devices are a structure consisting of a rear sight (located vertically to the line of sight) and front sight. The latter can be made from a rack, ring, and other elements. Often, such iron sights are ineffective, and laser, collimator, or optical companies come to the shooter's aid. Their reticle combines iron sight elements to form a dual aiming system. That's what they call co-witness. There are two options for such combinations, each of which has its characteristics and positive and negative qualities.
Types of co-witness:
Absolute. This combination option is classic and is used quite often. It provides 100% visibility of the optical field, giving the shooter several noticeable advantages. Chief among them is the complete visibility of the iron sight elements, simplifying the process of aiming. Also among the benefits include ease of alignment, the ability to locate the optics closer to the gun barrel, and ease of adjustment. Also, some users note a faster reaction to changes in the weapon's position.
Lower 1/3. This type of co-witness fully lives up to its name. It is characterized by 30% visibility of the optical field. This feature becomes possible due to the location of the optics on a unique raised mount. Among other interesting points, the need to shift the optical devices relative to the weapon barrel stands out. This takes some getting used to but allows you to reduce the load on the neck muscles if you need to aim for a long time. Another essential feature is the reduced visibility of iron sight elements. This creates difficulties during aiming but allows you to see the target better.
Why perform a co-witness?
Combining optics with iron sight is the right decision. This gives shooters many advantages, thanks to which they manage to achieve their goals.
Importance of performing a co-witness:
Ability to use under any conditions. The combination of iron and optical sights makes the weapon more versatile. In this case, it can be used in almost any external constraint. With bright sun, it won't be easy to see the optics' reticle and the laser's red dot in the daytime. In this case, the rear and front sight will be visible even when exposed to direct sunlight. At night, the situation becomes diametrically opposite. Iron sight elements become almost invisible, and the laser and aiming optics stack become distinguishable.
Ease of aiming. The ability to simultaneously see the rear, front and reticle make it as easy as possible not to guide the weapon to the target. This accelerates the aiming process, and the ability to fire shots faster opens up. Sometimes, this becomes a critical success factor and allows you to hit the target quickly.
It is increasing the accuracy of fire. Such an indicator characterizes the quality of shooting as accuracy. It is essential in cases where the shooter needs to hit the same point several times (for example, during sports competitions). There is no better way to increase accuracy than combining several aiming elements. This will make it possible to avoid a large dispersion of bullets and their hitting the edges of the target.
They reduced ammunition consumption. This co-witness advantage comes from several factors, such as ease of aiming and a reduction in the percentage of inaccurate shots. Their combination can significantly reduce ammunition consumption and the financial costs of their purchase.
Continuity of the process. Any optical sights operate on the energy of batteries or an accumulator. These elements provide autonomous operation of the device for a specific time. However, if the allowable limits are exceeded and all energy reserves are consumed, the optics will turn off and become useless. To continue the work begun in this case, you must perform a co-witness. Thanks to this, it will be possible to switch to iron sight and avoid wasting precious time completely.
Load reduction. Prolonged use of sight leads to excessive stress on the muscles and organs of vision. This often negatively affects the condition of a person and his health. However, it will be possible to minimize such a load when combined with iron sight and optical devices. This is due to the reduction in the time spent on aiming and hitting the target with a minimum number of shots.
How to implement a co-witness?
To perform a variety of tasks, users often require a backup sight. It will help you aim better and save the situation in case of failure of the optics or the discharge of its battery. The introduction of such a co-witness system is available in most cases. It is enough to have the necessary devices and suitable weapons. In most cases, the latter are rifles of various types used by the military, law enforcement, professional hunters, and civilians (to protect family and property).
To implement a co-witness, you need to follow a few standard steps. They are carried out in a specific sequence, eventually allowing you to get the desired design. At the same time, it must be remembered that the combination will be ideal only in cases where the installation of sights is correctly performed. If this rule is observed, it remains only to combine the optics' reticle with the iron sight elements. This must be done by adjusting and adjusting the position of parts relative to each other.
The implemented sighting system is tested to check the quality of the work performed. It is carried out at a particular training ground or in places remote from settlements. This is done so that any inaccuracies in the operation of the structure do not lead to various negative consequences. If there are no problems during the check and the shooting is as comfortable as possible, then implementing a co-witness was successful. If there are inaccuracies, you must make adjustments and re-test the combined sights.
How to properly co-witness optic with iron sight
Combining existing optics with the classic iron sight is a relatively simple task. Despite this, during its implementation, some rules should be observed, the correct sequence of actions should be taken into account, and the recommendations of specialists should be considered. Such an integrated approach will achieve the desired result and reduce the likelihood of errors.
The correct sequence of actions:
At the initial stage, you should carefully examine the existing sights. A visual inspection will help to identify any defects and shortcomings of the products before you install and customize them to your needs. Thanks to this, it will be possible to avoid unnecessary waste of time, and you will be sure that the devices to be installed are in perfect condition.
After the test is completed, the iron sight is installed. To do this, select the optimal location of the rear sight and front sight, depending on personal preferences and the characteristics of the existing weapon. Both elements can be hinged or fixed. The first option is suitable for optics firmly attached to the gun barrel, and the second is for folding-type devices.
The third stage of work is zeroing the iron sight. This process involves performing several standard steps to make further configuration and operation of products efficient. Making any adjustments at this stage is considered the correct decision since, after adding optics, making any changes will be much more difficult.
Having completed all the affairs with the iron sight, they move on to optics. It is carefully installed on the barrel of the weapon and fixed. All actions are performed slowly and carefully, as inaccurate movements can damage the lenses and make them sightless and effective. Most often, installation is completed directly on the gun barrel. However, in some cases, you may need a special insert that will slightly raise the optics. This rarely happens, but every weapon owner needs to know about the possibility of additional manipulations.
The next step is to check the sights and adjust them. To carry out this work, turn off the optics and make a test aiming (the weapon must be unloaded). If no deviations in the position of the rear sight relative to the front sight are observed, then the installation of these elements was performed correctly. In case of any inaccuracies, slightly change the position of one of the parts.
After the manipulations, turn on the optics and carefully study the position of the reticle relative to the iron sight elements. They must match perfectly because you can only count on high shooting accuracy in this case.
At the end of the work, test firing is carried out. They ensure that the optics are zeroed with the iron sight, and there are no problems with the shot's accuracy. During testing, it is essential to follow safety rules. This will avoid various negative points that will harm the combined sights or increase the risk of injury to the user.
The final step is to check the entire structure installed on the weapon. It is carried out visually and helps to identify any flaws. Also, at this stage, various adjustments are made (for example, adjusting the position of the grid, strengthening the fixation of the optics on the gun barrel, etc.), if any.
Iron sights are not perfect, so they are often supplemented with modern optics. Such a combination will be effective only if both devices are correctly combined. This process is a standard procedure that the weapon owner can efficiently perform. At the same time, it is essential not to make even minor mistakes. This way, achieving perfect accuracy and maximizing comfort during shooting will be possible.