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Gunner Controls & Methods

Gunner Weapon Systems and Controls

The Main Weapon systems currently under training for CTB are the M256 120mm Rheinmetall Smoothbore Main gun of the M1A1/A2, 25mm Bushmaster and the 7.62 Coaxial Machine Gun.Additional weapon training will be added in the near future including the TOW launcher as fired from the M2A2 Bradley.

The M256 120mm Rheinmetall

  • Effective out to about 4000m with limited penetration. Against comparable enemy MBTs, the Kenetic energy Sabot rounds are effective out to 3000m
  • Selection of round type is performed by the gunner via the action menu, the menu will display the round types currently available that are NOT loaded into the weapon already.

120mm Ammunition Types


  • Armour piercing fin stabilised discarding Sabot, referred to as SABOT for short, is a kenetic energy (KE) round that relies on mass and density in conjunction with muzzle velocity to achieve penetration.
  • It is effective against most MBTs such as the T72, and variants and all lighter AFVS.
  • It is effective against MBTs to a range of ~3000m, less for later tank types such as the T80 and T90, and to 4000m against IFVS/APCS. The round has a high muzzle velocity and therefore a comparatively shallow trajectory and short flight time.


  • High explosive (Anti tank), refferred to as ‘HEAT’ employs a shaped explosive charge that directs the explosive energy into a narrow cone forwards on detonation. This can effectively defeat quite heavily armoured targets.
  • The round does not rely on its velocity to generate the penetration so, theoretically the range has little impact on its penetration data, although the angle of impact still will matter. It is also, comparatively, a slower velocity and has a higher trajectory and longer flight time, making it more difficult to hit moving targets that change direction/speed regularly, but at the same time can actually be useful in defeating targets presenting hulldown by allowing its flight path to arc over covering terrain.


  • Like a giant shotgun, this round disperses ball-bearing sized projectiles in a cone outwards from the barrell. Used at short range as an antipersonnel weapon or possible against light skinned vehicles/trucks.
  • Limited use tactically, and more often carried in urban environments to enable the tank to use its main armament without causing substantial structural damage to targetted buildings.

The 25mm Bushmaster

  • Effective out to 3000m on light armoured targets and softskinned vehicles. For the purposes of the current sights and the limitations they create, effective range is 2000m approx.
  • Able to be fired at SLOW and FAST rates of fire, selected with the default key ‘F’.
  • Round selection is done by the gunner through the action menu, where the ammunition type not loaded will be listed for loading instead.

Capable of firing 2 round types in ArmA 2:


  • Armour piercing discarding sabot is a kinetic energy round that relies on its mass and density, in conjunction with its velocity, to achieve penetration of armour.
  • It is effective against AFVS such as the BMP-2/3, the BTR series, BRDMs and similar classes of IFV and APC. It has also been known to be effective against export versions of the T72 at ranges in excess of 1000m although it should not be relied upon as the means for engaging targets in the MBT class of vehicle reliably, particularly against later varients of the T72 with armour enhancement.
  • The APDS round has a higher muzzle velocity and shallower trajectory.
  • APDS Flight time at 1000m is .8 seconds. and at 2000m 1.7 seconds


  • High explosive Incendiary. Typically employed against soft skinned vehicles such as UAZs and Trucks, as well as infantry both in the open and in defensive positions.
  • HEIT flight time 1000m is 1.2 seconds, and at 2000m is 3.6 sec


The M240/MAG58 Coaxial Machine Gun

  • Belt Fed
  • Effective Range 900m
  • Selected with default key ‘F” having cycled through the Rate of Fire modes for the 25mm gun, the Coax will then be selected.


The Sight Picture/Tank Fire Control System (ACE)

Since an early installment of ACE, the Abrams and Bradley gunner can now effectively engage targets at range, that are moving, while being on the move themselves. There are 3 main sight pictures that the gunner will experience depending on vehicle type.

1). M1A1 – Comprises a red targeting reticle in the centre of the picture.

  • When activated the range data is displayed below the reticle in green digits.
  • The M1A1 sight picture now includes 2x zoom settings. The first view, zoomed out, allows for wider scanning FoV at lower zoom, and includes a large red cornered box reticle. The second setting is a magnified zoom with more limited FoV and the cross-hair reticle. The second setting is preferred as the view for actual lasing and engaging targets, while the first setting can be used semi-accurately at battle sights range against static targets.

2). M2A2/3 Bradley IFV/CFV – A black reticle that allows for range estimation and lead manually with a ‘choke’ sight.

  • When active, the FCS displays range data below the reticle in red digits.


For the above 2, the ACE Tank FCS is common in its functionality even though the visual sighting picture is slightly different. The following is taken directly from dev-heaven.net and is the ‘how to’ for tank FCS implemented in ACE. There is little reason to reproduce this independantly;

Powering the system up

  • To initiate the fire control system, press the Lase key (default Tab). The system will boot up, and you’ll see ’0000′ on the digital range display at the bottom of your screen.
  • To the left of the four digits there is a ‘Ready’ indicator. When it’s visible, the laser rangefinder is ready for use. After each lasing, the indicator will disappear for the time needed for the laser to cool down, and reappear once it’s ready again.

Engaging a static target

  • Place the crosshair over the target and press the Lase key. Range will be shown on the display, and the armament will be set for the needed elevation.
  • Shoot.
  • Note that elevation for given range is calculated for both main gun and the coaxial machinegun. It is also calculated for each kind of ammo. This means you don’t have to re-lase when you switch to another weapon or change the ammo type – the needed elevation will be applied automatically.

Engaging a moving target

  • Smoothly track the target with the crosshair for at least 1.5 seconds, and press the Lase key. Range will be shown on the display, and the armament will be set for the needed elevation and lead.
  • Maintain the crosshair on the target and shoot.
  • The lead correction will be cancelled (‘dumped’) automatically once you stop moving the turret or start moving it in the opposite direction. You can also use the Dump action or key (default K) to cancel lead.

Switching to Battle Sight mode

  • Battle sight mode is used when targets are likely to appear suddenly at close to medium ranges and there might be no time for proper lasing procedures. In this mode the armament is set to the battle sight range, ensuring the maximum first hit probability in such conditions.
  • To switch to Battle Sight mode, select the BSGT action or press the Battlesight key (default B).

Lasing limitations

  • If you lase a target that is beyond the rangefinder limits (too close or too far), the display will show flashing ’0000′. Armament will be set to the minimum or maximum range accordingly.
  • If the target is within the rangefinder limits, but beyond the maximum range of currently selected weapon, the display will flash. The weapon will be automatically set for its maximum range.

Vehicle commander rangefinder

  • Commander can lase for distance in much the same way the gunner does. To initiate the LRF, press the Lase key. To lase, press the Lase key. (Note: This will not adjust commander’s machinegun. It’s just a rangefinder.)

Switching the system off

  • When the FCS is not needed, you can turn it off by selecting ‘FCS OFF’ in action menu


LAV-25 (+ subsequent vehicles based off the LAV config)

Currently, the main sight picture for the LAV-25 is a basic battle sight / auxillary sight. It has no laser range finding or dynamic lead functionality. At this stage, the basic sight picture allows for effective manual engagement out to about 1500m to 2km with the main weapon and allows for rudimentary human adjusted leading of moving targets.

Range adjustment. (LAV-25 manual sights)

  • When firing APDS, a target at 1000m will require elevation such that the sight picture overlays the target on the middle increment from the top of the sight.
  • This equates roughly to each increment from the top of the sight being an adjustment of ~200m.
  • At 2000m Range, the Gunner will need to aim at the target using the bottom most increment.
  • Note that different levels of Zoom may affect the rules of thumb for range estimation.


It is very important to note that this applies to APDS rounds ONLY
  • When firing HEIT, due to a lower velocity of the round, the increments roughly equate to 100m adjustments.
  • This means that aiming at target 500m will require the use of the middle increment from the top, while a target at 1000m will involve using the increment at the bottom of the sight picture.
  • Note that different levels of Zoom may affect the rules of thumb for range estimation.
  • When firing from elevated positions, this must be taken into account for adjusting the sight picture for range.