The M16 A4 is the U.S. Marines’ standard-issue combat rifle. RCO stands for Rifle Combat Optic. Trijicon manufactures the AN/PVQ-31A [above] for the Marines’ M16 A4 rifle. In case that’s not enough to decipher our headline, ordnancemarine.com explains: “The AN/PVQ-31 is a fixed 4x optical aiming sight designed for use with the service rifle configured with the MILSTD-1913 Rail Adapter System. It attaches to the rail to provide the user a targeting tool to engage distant daylight and near low-lit targets with increased identification certainty.” The bottom line arrives via Lance Cpl. Francisco Abundes: “The first recruit training company on Parris Island to qualify with a Rifle Combat Optic device graduates today with 30 percent more rifle experts than the average company . . .
Bravo Company recruits were issued the AN/PVQ-31 RCOs for the M16-A4 rifle June 15 as part of a study by the Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity . . .
The initial basic marksmanship qualification rate was 9 percent higher than the 10-year average at Parris Island, Corns said . . .
Corns said Bravo Company also had a 55 percent expert rate, which is unheard of at recruit training.
While the recruits still get training with iron sights (in case the RCO is RIP), it seems that we have a winner—after God knows how many years of Special Force and yes civilian adoption. But don’t get to thinking that RCOs are gun sights for idiots . . .
“With the RCOs, recruits have to focus more on the fundamentals of marksmanship than they did with the iron sights,” Kurre said.
Corns said the reason for this is because looking into a four-power optic magnifies every mistake.
“You have to be more fundamentally sound with the optics than the iron sights,” Corns continued. “It’s not point of aim, point of impact.”
Some people are saying “recruits aren’t going to understand it,” Kurre said. “No, they got it.”
With today’s video games and fast-moving technology, these recruits adapt quicker to the RCO, Kurre added.
So much for all those videogame nay-sayers. In fact, they’ve been pwned!