One Cartridge Two Zeros: SIG Romeo 9T

In its continuing effort to provide everything for the US military from shoelaces to fighter jets, SIG has developed an optic which resolves a challenge with .300 Blackout and other calibers which offer both supersonic and subsonic loadings. Namely, how does one zero an optic for such a rifle? SIG’s answer was to build a red dot optic with two separate emitters, each creating an independent reticle. One is green and one is red to easily keep track of which is which, and they are each zeroed independently. A single button cycles between red, green, and both on simultaneously.

Beyond basic durability and waterproofness, a number of other military concerns are addressed with the Romeo9T. Its emitters are positioned vertically, and the glass is designed to prevent any light spillage out the front of the optic, where it could be seen by enemy forces with night vision gear. It also has an emergency brightness feature – tap the main button once and the reticle jumps to maximum brightness (a second tap returns it to whatever the previous setting was). This is to allow rapid adapting to brightness when using NVGs. Moving from darkness into a lit room or having outdoor lights come on will render a reticle set to VNG brightness completely washed out and invisible, and this feature allows a quick solution.

The price is expected to be (IMO) eye watering, probably because as long as it’s the best (or only) option, military budgets will pay for it regardless.

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  1. You state this is the only option but you missed the Wilcox Boss Xe, which includes built in laser as well for around $5k while high is even a better fit for the form factor.

  2. I applaud the effort. It solves a problem. It even makes sense.

    However, upon reflection…?

    I’m remembering all those times I had to show people why they had to move the old A1 sight from the long-range option to the short range leaf when they moved from the 25m Zero Range over to qualification, and how many people were bolos on said qual range because they didn’t do it, or didn’t understand why it was necessary.

    To one degree or another, I sympathize with the French armorers who removed zeroing from the list of things they demanded of their soldiers. The necessary manipulations of the sights are, for many, an esoteric dark art. Hell, I’ve fired weapons that I swear to God were implements of Satan here on earth, because the damn things simply would not behave consistently enough to effectively zero.

    The idea of having two different points of impact for the same weapon dependent upon cartridge is one that I find highly questionable for mass issue. I’ve been out there on the firing line, trying to teach the average soldier what the hell to do, and I’m here to tell you, they just don’t allocate enough time, ammunition, or emphasis for the average soldier to “get it”. They simply aren’t motivated enough to really study and internalize it all, so they don’t. SF and Rangers? Yeah; absolutely: They’ll get this, and it’ll be a useful thing for them. Private Joe Ragbag? Specialist Snuffy? LOL…


    The solution to all of this crap isn’t better tech-toys; it’s better training and more incentives for the average person to “get good”. You start paying people an incentive pay for marksmanship, the way we used to back in the pre-WWII era? You’ll see people paying attention and actually worrying about things like understanding their sighting systems and weapons. Until then? It’s a matter of limited concern, for the average soldier.

    So, as a SOPMOD add-on? Cool beans; I love the idea. General-issue item for the Snuffulupagi? Not on a damn bet. You’ll lose your damn mind trying to get them to wrap their heads around this crap.

    Good ‘effing Christ on a crutch… I had severe issues getting the senior leaders to understand that even the M3 Red Dot we were issuing as the M68 back in the day required some fairly extensive training. We got ours drop-issued to the unit the month before we deployed; they canceled the new equipment training and the ranges in lieu of doing the “Casing of the Colors” ceremony and the associated practices.

    Some six months after we returned, I was still finding young soldiers who’d deployed to Iraq with those sights on their rifles and had not one damn clue how they were to be zeroed or used effectively. One of them told me his sight had been broken since the day he deployed, not understanding that the switch was also a brightness setting…

    Before they put stuff like this on general issue, for everyone, they drastically need to change the culture surrounding marksmanship in the Army. Marines? Maybe not so much, but I ran into some oddities with former Marines I dealt with, as well. Fudd-lore and magical thinking is endemic to all too many military forces.

    So, you either do what the French did and make everything utterly idiot-proof, or you spend more time and money properly training them. In some cases, that’s likely going to require fscking shock collars and brutal aversive training of people not to screw with their sight settings unless they know what they’re doing.

    This ain’t no joke… I once had a guy on a range who thought that the higher the number you dialed the sights in for, the higher the impact. With a straight face, I was told that the 800m mark on the M16A2 was a war crime that I could only set the weapon onto if I had orders from the first general officer in our chain of command.

    That was, BTW, from an officer cadet we had in for training. I have no earthly idea where the hell he got it, but I made note of what college he came out of so as to ensure I never worked for one of its graduates.

    • “(…)idea of having two different points of impact for the same weapon dependent upon cartridge is one that I find highly questionable for mass issue.(…)”
      Well, SG-43 machine gun does sport sighting system support two different trajectories, see Рис. 12. Прицельная рамка:
      right scale for heavy bullet, left scale for light bullet, distances in hundreds of meters.
      Whilst not meant to equip majority of soldiers, it is worth mentioning that weapon with such feature was adopted in 1943 by Workers’-Peasants’ Red Army which in that time was conscript-powered and not limited in issue to elite units.

      • How’d that work out for them, in practice?

        I seem to remember my SF weapons instructors highlighting that “feature” as a fairly significant problem. One mentioned having seen some considerable back-and-forth between Soviet trainers on this very issue, in that they were having problems with their students not using the right sight, so they recommended back to Moscow that any more SG-43s being sent out have just one sight option and type of ammo.

        No idea where they got that from, but that’s one of the things they highlighted to us about the SG-43 during foreign weapons familiarization training. It could well be made-up lore, but it’s in keeping with my experience of the “lowest common denominator” in weapons training.

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