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How to Zero your Scope - The "2 Shot System"

By Chris Nelson

Zeroing Your Iron Sights

Zeroing is aligning the sights with the rifle's bore so that the bullet hits the target at your intended point of aim. A "zero" is achieved when the aim, sights, and bore all align on this point.

Step 1: Determine Your Zero Distance - 50 Meters

Ranges typically have distances clearly marked, always check if they are in yards or meters. In this guide, we'll use 50 meters.

Step 2: Fire a 3-Round Group

Your aim is a closely grouped set of shots. Adjust based on the estimated center of this group.

Firing Pattern 3 Round Group

Step 3: Measure for Vertical Correction

Measure Bullet Holes for Vertical Adjustment

Step 4: Measure for Horizontal Correction

Measure Bullet Holes for Horizontal Adjustment

MOA (Minute of Angle) Defined:

A MOA is 1/60 of a degree of arc. Its size grows consistently over distance, but its value remains constant. For instance, at 100 meters, one MOA is roughly 1.14 inches. This pattern continues with distance.

Step 5: Calculate the MOA/Click Value at Your Zero Distance

Step 6: Adjust the Elevation

Number of elevation clicks = Vertical Correction Needed ÷ MOA/Click value at your zero distance. For example: 5.125 ÷ .57 = 9 clicks up.

Step 7: Adjust the Windage

Number of windage clicks = Horizontal Correction Needed ÷ MOA/Click value at your zero distance. For example: 3.25 ÷ .57 = 6 clicks left.

Step 8: Repeat Steps 3-7

Continue adjusting until your shots align with your point of aim. Take your time to ensure accuracy, especially for long-range shots. Accuracy is crucial to avoid missed opportunities.

Adjusting Shot Group to Point of Aim

If it takes more time, do it. Better to be spot on then miss opportunities at greater distances.

Number of questions: 1
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Your graphic in Step 5 says to look up your MOA/Click at the zero distance. My question is, is that number consistent for all caliber and weights of bullets as it is shown in the chart in Step 5 or is it ammo specific. If it is ammo specific how do I find that info for the specific ammo I want to use ?
EdN. August 6, 2017 11:46 PM
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Ammo specific. You can generally find ballistic profiles on ammo mfgr websites for your particular ammo. At moderate ranges you’ll be close, but longer shots will vary a lot. Document your zeros for each type ammo you have and correct your turrets accordingly. Then shoot to confirm.
Jama February 11, 2021 2:38 PM
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This zero method is consistent with the particular ballistic profile for the ammo used during adjustment. Another type ammo with a different ballistic profile i.e. different projectile weight, powder load, shape, etc. will have to be accounted for and adjusted. Also, the shooting conditions , wind, relative elevation of target are assumed to be the same for zero and will need to be compensated for on the fly for every shot.
Jama February 11, 2021 2:28 PM