Tactical Tailor

Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

Optic Mounting & Remounting

I try to read as many of the online comments pertaining to my training as possible. The vast majority are positive, but some are simply a good ribbing. Either way, I love them all.

One such comment was generated from a photo posted of my gun box. The individual stated that my ACOG would not be zeroed since it was not attached. That got me thinking this Gunfighter Moment would be a good venue to personally field that one.

I commonly change optics on my carbine based on the training venue. If you’ve got a good rifle, high quality optic, high quality mounting system, correctly mount your sight to your rifle, understand how to zero, and how to correctly take off and re-mount your sight to the rifle, you will rarely lose much of your zero.

Perhaps a half minute to a minute which requires only minor tweaking on the range.

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)

Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier Special Missions Unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.

His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.

While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.

He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting).


Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

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9 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

  1. fmfbest says:

    Absolutely Pat. I’ve rolled with a BCM carbine with AimpointM2/ACOG TAO1 NSN combo for several years now. No issues with zero on either one. Both are equipped with the lower end factory mounts. Aimpoint QRP and the double knob ACOG mount I’ve had since 2001. Our last long range outing my 7 year old was ringing the B/C steel at 450 with the ACOG and when I switched over to the Aimpoint I was ringing it at 200. even extrapolated over distance the shifts have minimal terminal impact. Inside the 100 yard envelope most shooters are restricted to they won’t be able to tell any difference.

    BTW your latest video is by far the best yet. Oscar worthy if you ask my kids.

  2. jack says:

    Ok, I don’t want to ruffle feathers here, and I have nothing but respect for Pat McNamara, but really, am I the only one who feels this post is a bit light?
    I mean, this is an interesting and valid concern for many shooters, and the only thing that I take from this post is that good equipment and solid procedures will help you maintain zero on your rifle. Great!
    Now who/what/when/how would have been even more interesting! At least what’s publicly available. Then I’d be more than happy to attend one of his course on my own dime to learn the extra personnal tricks from the horse’s mouth…

    • Jon C says:

      Ya know, they don’t have to do these features. If it’s publicly available, I am sure google will yield results to your standard.

      If a weekly column you consider “light” is your tipping point in taking a class from Pat, You’re missing one of the best classes available for a pretty stupid reason.

  3. Mohican says:

    I have reposted this here (http://tirotactico.net/2013/09/07/montar-y-volver-a-montar-un-visor-el-momento-del-combatiente-con-armas-de-fuego-pat-mcnamara-07sep13/) and right away somebody replies scope position doesn’t matter. I commented there that you shouldn’t forget about marking the exact location of the scope to use exactly the same every time you remount the scope, but somebody thinks that’s bullshit, so, any comment? is that right and scope locations doesn’t matter regarding to keeping sight zero when you remount it in the rifle?

    On the other hand, somebody stated that mount screw tension is really important. I guess that could be true though most of the mounts deal with it, doesn’t you? I have an Aimpoint CompM4s in a standard QRP mount and there is just an screw with a system to avoid screwing too tight. Any comments about screw tension? Is it really important to keep zero when remounting the scope in the rifle?


  4. fmfbest says:

    paint pen is your friend for both marking position and tension for optics that get removed often.

  5. Sgt E. says:

    The issued ACOG that came on a TA51 mount would, despite using lock tight, loosen and lose it’s zero through my deployments.

    I don’t see how switching optics, when done properly, is any worse or even unacceptable than what is currently fielded.

    To me in real world operations I would find losing 1 MOA to be acceptable. For practical purposes, in my opinion, the slight loss of zero isn’t that big of an issue.

  6. Just a man says:

    Ready, ready, Break!!!

  7. Mohican says:

    I didn’t remember the article Zero Sum Game. Setting Up Your Sights by Ethan Johns in SWAT JAN12.


    A lot of explanations there about this topic.

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