Why does the military say clicks?

Answered by Willian Lymon

The military uses the term “clicks” as a slang for kilometers. I believe this term originated from the use of maps and compasses in military operations. When planning and executing missions, military personnel often rely on grid coordinates and map scales to navigate and communicate their positions.

In this context, a “click” is shorthand for a kilometer on the map. It’s a way to quickly convey distances and locations without having to explicitly say “kilometer” every time. This slang term is likely used for brevity and efficiency in communication during fast-paced and high-pressure situations.

However, it’s important to note that “clicks” is not an official military term. It is more commonly used in informal settings or among military personnel who are familiar with the slang. In official documents and formal communications, the term “kilometer” is typically used.

Now, let’s talk about the term “click” in a different context – sighting-in a weapon. When a shooter is adjusting the sights on a rifle to achieve accurate shots, they make small adjustments known as “clicks.” Each click corresponds to a certain amount of movement in the sights, usually one second of arc or approximately one inch of distance at one hundred yards.

For example, if a shooter is consistently hitting to the left of the target, they would adjust the sights by clicking them to the right. This adjustment moves the point of impact of the bullets, helping to zero in on the desired target. The term “clicks” is used to quantify and communicate these adjustments in a standardized and precise manner.

While the term “clicks” is used in different contexts within the military, it serves the purpose of efficient communication and precise adjustments. Whether it’s referring to kilometers on a map or fine-tuning a weapon’s sights, the term helps military personnel convey information quickly and accurately.