Zeroing a rifle or cannon can be time-consuming and expensive on large calibres. For special forces behind enemy lines it might even become life threatening to verify the accuracy of a weapon that has suffered a bump during a parachute drop.
Red-i is a battery-powered laser pointer shaped like a round of ammunition. By pushing it into the chamber and closing the bolt, the laser is activated and projects the beam through the barrel. The sights, even open sights on a rifle, are adjusted to line up with the red dot projected across a fixed distance of 25m, for example. Thus the weapon is zeroed without the need to fire a live round.
Daan Guillaume, designer of the Red-i, originally aimed his invention at the commercial market, primarily for hunters. Having patented it four years ago, he is now preparing its military specification. "We have already developed the full range, from 5.56mm through to medium calibre 35mm, and lately even 40mm-grenade-launcher ammunition," he explained. "The laser is prealigned, meaning one does not have to fiddle with or align the equipment once the Red-l is inserted into the weapon. Just close the bolt, aim and adjust the sight."
The Red-il has already proven itself in the manufacture of various types of sighting system, where it is once again used in aligning the sight during the manufacturing process. Another application is in training new recruits in the art of accurately aiming their weapons without firing live rounds - at least in the initial phase.
Because of its precision design and the prealignment of the laser inside the bullet, the Red-i clips into a rifle's magazine like any other round of ammunition. The laser beam is not affected by the way the bullet lies in the chamber. According to Guillaume, Red-i is suitable for assault or hunting rifles, machine guns, air-defence systems, aircraft cannon and even grenade launchers.
Publication: Global-Defence.com 2001
Article: Weapon Systems - pg 123