• If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

At what distance do you zero your rifles?

Rating - 100%
15   0   0
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
16,912
Likes
775
Location
BIOT
I have five rifles with optics.

20" AR - Bushnell Elite 10x40 zeroed at 100 yards, YHM/MI BUIS zeroed at 50 yards
26" .308 Remington PSS - Leupold MkIV zeroed at 100 yards.
Savage MkII - Simmons zeroed at 100 yards
16" AR - EOTech 512 zeroed at 50 yards, YHM BUIS zeroed at 50 yards
Mosin Nagant 91/30 PU Repro - Scope zeroed at 50 yards

The rest of my rifles are iron-sighted.
 
J

Jose

Oh boy, now we can't talk behind his back anymore. [rofl]

simpson_ha_ha_architect_job_architecture_salary.jpg
 

DukeInFlorida

NES Member
Rating - 100%
53   0   0
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
4,195
Likes
250
Location
South of you
I typically sight my AR in at 50 yards. I find that if I do that, then everything from 10 yards to 100 yards is in a killing zone when I aim at it. That's the basic mechanics of an AR round. I use an EoTech sight on my AR, and that's fine for everything up to that distance.

.22 LR rounds are not going to inherently be as accurate as 5.56 rounds, so you'll find that sighting those in at 25 yards makes more sense. You can make shots out to fifty yards with a .22 LR, but sight them in at 25.

My hunting rifle is a 30-06 bolt action Remington (Model 700), with a 3-15 power scope on it, with distance control, and a large Objective Lens. It has markings on an adjustable ring, which lets me dial in the scope instantly for shots from 25 yards to 1000 yards. It's a good scope, and that part of the scope works very well. I sight that gun in at 100 yards, making sure that the scope is adjusted to the 100 yard setting. Then, if you have a rangefinder, you can dial in the distance, no guesswork involved. Dead on shot (not including the affects of wind/humidity/air density, etc). Most of the hunting that I do is 100 yards or less, typically. I did drop a deer once at 250 yards, but that was another scope, and my guess work was lucky.
 

PatMcD

NES Member
Rating - 100%
19   0   0
Joined
May 6, 2005
Messages
7,398
Likes
3,219
Location
Maine
I guess what I meant is that I pick 600 as my basic zero and base my comeups on that. Since I shoot only mid and long range prone, it makes more sense for me to start at 600. Kind of a middle distance if you will.


Makes sense to me.[grin]
Do you come off the bottom like an AR sight or have the scale zeroed and work off that?


I think a lot of the conversation here is about zeroing a rifle for a certain distance and leaving it alone. Using this method, one needs to know the ballistics of the cartridge they are shooting and knowing the drop or rise from that basic zero.
It's a great system for hunting rifles in that you don't have to judge distance exactly. Knowing "I can hold dead center from 10 yds all the way out to 250" is a fairly foolproof process (as long as you can more or less judge your maximum range).

In our known-distance competitions, we are cranking on the sights all the time. With my 200yd zero, I can figure that I would be 3-1/2" low at 300yds and 13-1/2" low at 600yds, but there is no need of knowing that when all I've got to do is start cranking in elevation. That's why they came out with the A2 sight.[wink]
 
J

Jose

Makes sense to me.[grin]
Do you come off the bottom like an AR sight or have the scale zeroed and work off that?

I have my scale zeroed and work off that. The zero on the scale is much lower than my 600 yard zero because I cannot run the scale up that high.

I use my height-adjustable front sight to set my 600 yd rear sight elevation quite high (gives a better head position), make my gross elevation changes with the front sight (5 MOA notch increments) and fine tune according to my dope with the rear sight (1/4 MOA clicks).
 
Rating - 100%
15   0   0
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
16,912
Likes
775
Location
BIOT
.22 LR rounds are not going to inherently be as accurate as 5.56 rounds, so you'll find that sighting those in at 25 yards makes more sense. You can make shots out to fifty yards with a .22 LR, but sight them in at 25.

I have mine zeroed at 100 and it works fine.
 
Rating - 100%
4   0   0
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
3,477
Likes
321
As several people have mentioned, it should vary with the intended application. Here are some of the things I use:

For my 26" Heavy Barreled .308 Rifle, I have a ballistic compensating scope reticle. The bottom tick is zeroed at 500 yards, which puts the other ticks within 1" at 100, 200, 300 and 400 yards, whch minimizes how much I need to adjust it when actually shooting.

For my Winchester 30-30 lever gun, I have a fixed 4x 32mm scope sitting on "Iron-sighter" rings. The scope is zeroed at 150 yards and the rear sight is zeroed at 50 yards. From 20-80 yards, the iron sights are extremely close, beyond 80 yards, I move to the scope. The iron sighter rings force the scope higher than it would normally need to be, so the line-of-sight of the scope is tipped forward more than normal.

For my battle rifle (LR-308) it's currently using Iron sights. These are set-up at 50 yards zero since that rifle is really meant for closer enagements.

My pistols sights (don't have a scoped pistol yet) that are adjustable are zeroed pretty close. While 25 yards is generally the default, I generally adjust to 15 yards with the expectation that they're intended for self-defense.
If I scoped a hunting pistol, I'd likely go for 1-2" high at 25 yards. That should cover any reasonable handgun hunting range.

So the recommendation for the new shooter:

First, look at your equipment. Does it offer easy adjustments in the field? Multiple points of aim? Drop compensation?

Next, consider where you intend to shoot the weapon the most. If your local range is only 100yards and you're going to do 95% of your shooting there, 100 yards might not be a bad place to zero the rifle. If you're going to be hunting with it, how far do you expect to shoot?

Third, consider what will give you the best accuracy with the equipment you have where you intend to shoot it. Hunting in the New England Woods, you likely don't want to have to estimate range, dial in drop adjustments and then take your shot, so you zero for maximum range of the kill-zone (described above) - don't forget to leave room for shooting error. If you have a 12" leathal target zone, I'd recommend limiting rise and drop to 4", that leaves you 2" for shooter error.

Fourth - zero your rifle. Keep in mind most rifles will shoot different with a cold bore than with a hot bore. For a hunting rifle, you're only going to make 1 shot (typically) from a cold bore. Get a good rest and let the barrel cool off between each shot so you're zeroing the rifle to the cold bore.

For a battle rifle, fire a 5 shot group quickly away from the bullseye to heat up the barrel, then fire the 5-shot group at the bullseye to get your point of aim/point of impact adjustment. Once you've adjusted the scope. Repeat, 5 off-target shots to heat the barrel followed by 5-aimed shots for grouping. When you're done and zeroed, let the barrel fully cool down. Then take a cold bore shot and record where it hits.

For a varmint rifle, were you're likely to take a few shots fairly quickly, you can follow the battle rifle's zero technique and remember to adjust your point of aim for your cold-bore adjustment, or if the cold bore adjustment is small, just take a cold-start 5-shot group and move the point of aim to the middle including the cold bore shot.

Finally, practice. Practice estimating distance, using hold overs and aiming high or low as needed.
 
J

Jose

I typically sight my AR in at 50 yards. I find that if I do that, then everything from 10 yards to 100 yards is in a killing zone when I aim at it. That's the basic mechanics of an AR round. I use an EoTech sight on my AR, and that's fine for everything up to that distance.
The 50/220 yard zero extends your point blank range by double of yours.

22 LR rounds are not going to inherently be as accurate as 5.56 rounds, so you'll find that sighting those in at 25 yards makes more sense. You can make shots out to fifty yards with a .22 LR, but sight them in at 25.
Bullcrap. You've evidently never heard of Eley Tenex, Lapua Midas, or several other premium rimfire choices.

This was done with Wolf Match Extra (aka SK Jagd Match), a mid-range target .22LR load:
pic011.jpg


Oh, did I mention that was shot with iron sights, from the prone position supported only by a sling and shooting jacket?
 
Rating - 100%
4   0   0
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
3,477
Likes
321
Jose,

I believe the point Duke intended to make is that .22LR rounds are going to have less possible Accurate Range (rather than accuracy) than a .223rem/5.56x45mm round.

Where it is reasonable to expect consistant accuracy of the later out to 300m, the lack of chamber pressure and case capacity in the rim-fire .22LR cartriage limits its "accurate" range to much shorter distances, making a shorter zero more practical.


Something that hasn't been brought up here - The height of the line of sight above the bore makes a huge difference to the effect of a specific point of aim. M-16's carry-handle battle sight is specifically raised well above the bore to extend the maximum point blank range of the sighting. By starting the sight 2 1/2" above the bore, the flight path of the bullet rises 2 1/2" upto the line of sight, then rises well above the line of sight (varies with zero range) before falling back to the line of sight and dropping at increasing range.
A flat top-reciever with a 32mm scope mounted on low rings is going to provide a very different set of intercepts as the bullet may only rise 1" to interset the line-of-sight of the scope while that same scope mounted on extra-high rings will actually extend the MPBR.

If you want a deer rifle to truely have the greatest MPBR and you consider PBR to be Point of Impact = Point of Aim +/- 4", you really should have the scope mounted 4" above the bore, then move the zero out until the peak rise of the bullet is POA +4".
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
10
Likes
0
I love a 100 zero move to 200 and then 300 it just makes me feel good and a good drill to change your settings/dope.
 

atmay

NES Member
Rating - 100%
19   0   0
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
9,158
Likes
2,371
Location
Free 'murica
WRT 22, I zero mine at 50 yards for hunting squirrel. with my load and rifle, this allows for a mpbr (for squirrel) of about 70 yards.

that being said, the same setup performs pretty well out to 200
 
J

Jose

I have a dope card for each of my two precision rifles.

For my fullbore prone rifle, which is shot at specific known distances on the square range, the card has sero at 600 yards and front and rear sight adjustments in MOA for 100, 200, 300, 500, 600, 800, 900 and 1000 yards since those are all the regulation distances for competition plus the two I find most commonly in gun clubs (100 and 200 yds). It also has the drift in MOA/mph of full wind for each of those distances.

My precision scoped rifle has a similar table except with a zero at 100 and elevation adjustments in milliradians every 50 yds all the way to 1000 yards. For each 50 yard increment I also know my drift in mil/MPH of full value wind.
 
Rating - 96.8%
30   1   0
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
11,398
Likes
3,347
Location
Texas
I've got an ACOG on my AR zeroed at 100yds - but that's how you zero an ACOG. The irons on the same gun are zeroed at 50/200
 

Moderator

Moderator
NES Member
Rating - 100%
38   0   0
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
16,572
Likes
1,684
Location
⚀ ⚂ ⚀ ⚂
I have my shotgun zeroed in from my recliner to my front door. j/k

All my rifles are set at 100yds, as thats the max I can shoot at my club. Hopefully we'll have a 200yrd range by this time next year and I can play around a bit more.
 
J

Jose

All my rifles are set at 100yds, as thats the max I can shoot at my club. Hopefully we'll have a 200yrd range by this time next year and I can play around a bit more.
You can zero any rifle for any distance at a 100 yard range. You just have to have the trajectory of your projectile so you know how high above the line of sight the bullet will cross the 100 yard mark. Then adjust your sights so that the bullet impacts that many inches high at 100 yards.

You just have to confirm at the actual distance later on. But if you did your job reloading, chronographing, and shooting well, you will be pretty damned close.
 
Top Bottom