View Full Version : How Far Should I Zero My AR-15

05-20-2012, 1:34 AM
Hello fellow calgunners! I've been learning a lot about my AR-15 as I've been shooting (I'm an AR newb) and I've been wondering, how far should I set my sights for zero? Of course in our great state of California this is not a HD gun, just for general range use and maybe some tactical carbine classes in the future. I've been told 100 yard zero is good, but why not 50 yards? Any advice is welcome!

05-20-2012, 1:40 AM
50yd is my prefered 0. For most set ups it had minimal shifts within practical distances

05-20-2012, 1:43 AM
That's what I'm thinking. Plus it's hard to find 100 yard ranges where I'm at.

05-20-2012, 1:47 AM
50. you'll be only within a few inches at the 25 and 100. And I think 50 and 200 are the same poi... or is it 50 and 250/300

05-20-2012, 1:49 AM
In the military we usually BZO our ACOGS at 36 yards I believe. They told us 36 yds simulates 300 because of the arc of the bullet.

05-20-2012, 2:00 AM
If I remember correctly...we set ours at 25 yards = 100 yards considering arc. 55 grain....1/9 twist

05-20-2012, 2:43 AM
All my rifles are zeroed at 50 yards dead on.

05-20-2012, 2:52 AM
Well it looks like I'll be setting my rifle to 50 yard zero. Should I set my irons first and they sight my acog to confirm? Or the other way around?

05-20-2012, 4:19 AM
I zero'd my aimpoint at 50 yards. Imo, zero your irons first, then optics. But you can do it the other way around if you want.. it doesnt really matter to be honest.

Agent 0range
05-20-2012, 7:49 AM
I just zeroed my irons in at 100 yards and my EOtech at 75 yards yesterday. Had to go to BLM to get those distances though.

05-20-2012, 7:58 AM
I also agree with the consensus. 50 yards. I have an ACOG atop my A2 carry handle along with the A2 front sight. Both the irons, and the 4x are dead on at 50 yards.

05-20-2012, 8:00 AM
50 yards for my BUIS and aimpoint.

05-20-2012, 8:02 AM

05-20-2012, 8:16 AM
Mine is 50 yards as well!

05-20-2012, 9:13 AM
the ar-15 is made to be zeroed in at 25 meters and then fine tuned at 300 set the settings on your rear sight to 8/3 6/3 what ever your sight has and sight it is at 25 meters it will be on paper at 300 and just needs fine tuning!

05-20-2012, 9:20 AM
when I did that sorta thing in the canoe club we always shot them on the 200m range

now a days I'm lazy and only usea 50y range

05-20-2012, 9:41 AM
As a range plinker 50 works for me too. Plus I only have a pair of 7x binos to spot with so until I pony up for a good spotting scope 50 is gonna have to do.

05-20-2012, 9:42 AM
Is there a good method to zero an AR-15?

05-20-2012, 9:49 AM
There are a ton of topics on zeroing AR.

Summary of it:

1. Pull out BCG
2. Place upper on a stable mount/clamp/bags/etc
3. Look thru rear of upper thru barrel to intended yard for zeroing (25,5075,100,etc yards) and place center of bore as close to X as possible.
4. Look at irons/scope and zero to target.
5. Replace AR BcG and test fire.

You should at least hit paper.

For OP question, I zero 25.

05-20-2012, 12:54 PM
Zero at 1000 inches (if possible), then confirm/fine tune at 300.

I'll admit to having been lazy and sighted "range toy" ARs at 50 yards and don't notice much, if any difference at 100 yards (as far as I can accurately shoot with iron sights these days).

05-20-2012, 1:05 PM
50 yard zero

I just set up my AR this past Friday. Was banging steel at 300 without a hitch

05-20-2012, 1:12 PM
I'm zeroed to 200. Zeroing to 50 is fine but don't expect to be zeroed to 200 because of theoretical trajectory equivalents. Those equivalents are only good for specific loads and specific barrel lengths. Unless you are chronographing your loads out of your rifle, you never really know.

However, it still may be good enough depending on your personal tolerances for precision.

05-20-2012, 1:25 PM
Running a RDS sight 50/200 or a 1-4 magnified RDS 25/300

05-20-2012, 1:28 PM
@mif hey thanks man I never thought of doing that. Simple enough. I want to do that today but I have to wait futile next week.

05-21-2012, 8:26 AM
ACOGs are typically zeroed at 100y to match the BDC reticle. Generally, you'll want to find the BDC subtensions (that define your MOA drops) and see how that matches to your load, barrel length and bullet choice.
AimPoints/EOTechs do not have a BDC (except the EOTech 557/EXPS 3-4) so those are typically zeroed at 50/200 to take advantage of the relatively flat trajectory out to 250y.

05-21-2012, 8:35 AM
The reason you are not getting many answers is this subject has been beaten to death. Every other day somebody asks the same question. I suggest using the search tool for indebth information on the subject. I could give you a 5 page argument in favor of the 25 yard zero, but frankly I've made that argument enough and am really tired of repeating myself every couple of days. The search tool is your friend.

05-21-2012, 8:35 AM
zero at whatever distance you normally shoot

05-21-2012, 8:57 AM
@tacticalcity well being that I'm accessing the site from my iPhone, it's not easy to do an Internet search of calguns. I understand people ask the same question over and over, and sometimes it is annoying, but isn't that what the fourm is for at the end of the day? You don't have to enter the thread and post remarks like you did and probably do often. Like most wise people say, if you don't have anything nice to say....

05-21-2012, 8:58 AM
But thank you to the people that did respond. I was just curious how most people zero the AR-15 they have.

05-21-2012, 11:28 AM
When I'm at the range I'm usually shooting at 100 yards, so that's what I zero for. I try to keep things not too complicated.

05-21-2012, 11:52 AM
the ar-15 is made to be zeroed in at 25 meters and then fine tuned at 300 set the settings on your rear sight to 8/3 6/3 what ever your sight has and sight it is at 25 meters it will be on paper at 300 and just needs fine tuning!

100% True

05-21-2012, 12:36 PM
A 36 or 300yd (same thing in respect to the sights) with a 100 yd confirmation is the optimal zero for an ar15.

05-21-2012, 1:07 PM
This guy (http://www.ar15.com/content/page.html?id=208) makes a pretty good argument for the 100 yard zero.

05-21-2012, 1:11 PM
50 yd zero for me, works decent from 0 to 300.

the led farmer
05-21-2012, 1:38 PM
it helps to understand the ballistic trajectory of the 5.56/.223 round before you decide what zero to use.

this should help


Don the savage
05-21-2012, 1:41 PM
Here you go in visual form

05-21-2012, 1:43 PM
50 yards zero with any 1x optics.
(or specific zero'ing distances for your optics)

I've done a lot of ballistic calculations and simulations to convince myself that 50yds zero is very effective for CQB/Patrol distances.

For XM193, 55gr bullets

50yds zero = zero also @ 200yds

And ballistically, from zero to somewhere around 225, you will be + or - 2.5" POA/POI.
This means that anywhere from 0-225, you should be able to put your rounds inside a 5" diameter circle if you do your job; ie. you should be able to get your round to your center mass even accounting for the ammo accuracy and the bullet flight drop.

05-21-2012, 1:59 PM
I use 50/200

05-21-2012, 11:23 PM
Here you go in visual form

The bullet flight paths are good.... but for the EOTech reticle..... the ring is 65MOA, hence @ 100yds, a 5'5" person should be just inside "the ring"; hence a typical 6' person would just be probably from the top of the top hash to the bottom of the bottom hash..... and not have just the head and neck @ the ring...

05-22-2012, 7:56 AM
Looks like a 40 yard zero will gain best results. I wonder if we can do a test on that...

05-22-2012, 8:09 AM
Here's a link to a great .pdf on zeroing your AR.

AR-15 Zeros (http://gunwebsites.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Guns-AR15-Zero-Introduction.pdf)

05-22-2012, 9:33 AM
Thanks for posting that Victor! So it seems like 100 yards is the way to go. It hold zero for all the other distances pretty well.

05-22-2012, 9:42 AM
Here's a link to a great .pdf on zeroing your AR.

AR-15 Zeros (http://gunwebsites.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Guns-AR15-Zero-Introduction.pdf)

wow great link, quite informative!