zero him

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— The 600 series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy. But these are new. They look human... Sweat, bad breath, everything. Very hard to spot. I had to wait till he moved on you before I could zero him.
The Terminator, film

Reese explains to Sarah that the Terminator was hard to spot before he could protect her from him (he had to shoot at him several times with a shotgun to temporarily neutralize him to get some time to escape).

So, what does "zero" mean here? Is it even used like that on its own, withouht "in on"?
  • reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    ....:before I could zero him.... Here it can only mean ......before I could pinpoint him.

    Unless this is a very new usage of zero (like starting yesterday), this is a sub-standard usage of zero in on and you shouldn't use it in your own writing.
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