Advice on Long Range Scope Zero

LaHunter

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So, here is some food for thought.. I drank the KoolAid and did a 200 yard zero for all the reasons mentioned above.. and I am sure 9-10 times it works... The one time it doesn't is when a buck of a lifetime is on a steep down hill incline and you shoot over his back 3 times wondering what the hec? We all understand the trajectory of bullets and how up and downhill work.. One thing I will never do again is a 200 yard zero for my hunting conditions.. 200 zero makes you shoot that much higher when shooting down hill and likely hood of a miss is much more.. As mentioned above, zero for the conditions you will hunt. If you peek over a rim and see a buck at 150 and you are zeroed at 200 there is a good chance you will shoot right over the top of it.. 100 yard zero you will just spine shoot it and down she goes... As for me and mine we will be zeroing at 100 as always. If all you will hunt is Antelope then a 2-3 hundred yard zero is fine.. Always consider you conditions.. I can always dial a little more but when you are zeroed at 300.. Good luck shooting down hill..
Reading this makes me think operator error rather than blaming a 200 yard zero vs a 100 yard zero.
 

lancetkenyon

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If you zero for 100, but then dial for 200 to walk around with....you are zeroed for 200. What is the difference? Except the ability to "dial down" to 100.

But, depending on scope, even with a 200 yard zero and a zero stop, you can still dial below "0" to get a 100 yard POA/POI with certain scopes. Some scopes can dial .1-.5MIL (or MOA) below zero. Some are a dead zero set too.

I cannot see shooting 6-8"+ high when shooting downhill with a "200 yard zero" and a 100-140 yard target. Maybe with a 400+ yard target and you dial actual LOS distance instead of compensating for the angle actual horizontal distance. I have shot downhil/uphill, even high angles, plenty of times. Never had an issue. There was something else going on with the shot/set up.
 

Ucsdryder

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If you zero for 100, but then dial for 200 to walk around with....you are zeroed for 200. What is the difference? Except the ability to "dial down" to 100.

But, depending on scope, even with a 200 yard zero and a zero stop, you can still dial below "0" to get a 100 yard POA/POI with certain scopes. Some scopes can dial .1-.5MIL (or MOA) below zero. Some are a dead zero set too.

I cannot see shooting 6-8"+ high when shooting downhill with a "200 yard zero" and a 100-140 yard target. Maybe with a 400+ yard target and you dial actual LOS distance instead of compensating for the angle actual horizontal distance. I have shot downhil/uphill, even high angles, plenty of times. Never had an issue. There was something else going on with the shot/set up.
I guess the obvious logic would be that you would also have a 100 yard zero for shooting at 100. A lot easier to find a spot to shoot 100 to verify zero than 200 as well. Not sure if it changes your moa adjustments or if you’re still in that moa = ~3” at 300, 4 at 400 etc.
 

GrayCreed

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Jun 17, 2020
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Hi all,

I am having a 28 Nosler built and will be putting a Leupold 4-24 Vx6 on it with an Impact 23 MOA Reticle. This is the first long-range rifle I have owned. I live in Montana. I built this rifle to hunt elk and mule deer. I plan on using the reticle when I need to make a quick shot. I plan on dialing when the game presents this type of opportunity. I would likely limit my shooting to 600-700 yards until I build proficiency with the rifle. Here is what I would like advice on:
  1. For hunting is it best to zero the scope in at 100? OR
  2. Calculate maximum point blank range and zero for that distance? OR
  3. Is there another way I haven't thought about?
Thanks for your help.
I either:

1. Just zero at 200 yards

2. Do a ballistic chart for my bullet and play with the zero so as many whole or half numbers land on the mil markers (I only shoot mils)
 

Greyfox

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If you zero for 100, but then dial for 200 to walk around with....you are zeroed for 200. What is the difference? Except the ability to "dial down" to 100.

But, depending on scope, even with a 200 yard zero and a zero stop, you can still dial below "0" to get a 100 yard POA/POI with certain scopes. Some scopes can dial .1-.5MIL (or MOA) below zero. Some are a dead zero set too.

I cannot see shooting 6-8"+ high when shooting downhill with a "200 yard zero" and a 100-140 yard target. Maybe with a 400+ yard target and you dial actual LOS distance instead of compensating for the angle actual horizontal distance. I have shot downhil/uphill, even high angles, plenty of times. Never had an issue. There was something else going on with the shot/set up.

My reaction in the uphill/downhill shooting as well. Also, while I set my scope zero at 200, my Nightforce’s zero stop is set lower on the scale( below zero) to coincide with a 100 yard POI should I be range limited for a zero check, or allow some room to fine tune my 200 yard zero without having to re-set the zero stop.
 

StanleyActual8541

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There is literally no reason to compensate for angle @ 200 yds. Total bullet drop for let’s say and M118LR 175gn SMK @ 2600fps is 4.3” with a 100 yd zero.

200yd LOS Distance @ 45Deg equates to 141 yds Horizontal Distance and That equates to about 2.1” of bullet drop. You don’t need to Compensate for that. That doesn’t result to a miss on its own.
 

StanleyActual8541

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If you zero for 100, but then dial for 200 to walk around with....you are zeroed for 200. What is the difference? Except the ability to "dial down" to 100.

But, depending on scope, even with a 200 yard zero and a zero stop, you can still dial below "0" to get a 100 yard POA/POI with certain scopes. Some scopes can dial .1-.5MIL (or MOA) below zero. Some are a dead zero set too.

Im sorry but thats incorrect. Not with proper modern turrets There is a difference between a zero distance and how you dial to a specific range from there. It’s not the same.

And what most of this discussion came up was zeroing at 100 and then dialing to your MPB mid range. Once you do that, There is no reason to make any adjustments up or down to you ur scope until your target exceeds your MPBR. At that point you can just dial to whatever range you need to.
 

lancetkenyon

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Im sorry but thats incorrect. Not with proper modern turrets There is a difference between a zero distance and how you dial to a specific range from there. It’s not the same.

And what most of this discussion came up was zeroing at 100 and then dialing to your MPB mid range. Once you do that, There is no reason to make any adjustments up or down to you ur scope until your target exceeds your MPBR. At that point you can just dial to whatever range you need to.
What is incorrect?
If you zero your rifle for 100 yards, then dial up to your 200 yard shooting solution, say .4MIL or 1.5MOA...you are now set for zero POI above or below POA at 200 yards. Just because your turret says .4MIL or 1.5MOA, does not mean anything. You are dialed for a 200 yard POI, same as having a 200 yard zero.
If you plan on zeroing at 100, but always dialing to your 200 yard shooting solution in the field in an attempt to limit bullet flight above or below POA by 2", why not just zero at 200 yards? Starting at 0 instead of +.4MIL for a 200 yard POI?

Unless you are shooting some sort of competition that always shoots 100 yards and need that zero and you don't want to hold under the .4MIL/1.5MOA with subtensions. Or, have a scope that has a few .1s or MOA under your 0.

With a 140 Berger @ 2800fps, 6500' AMSL & 85° (my pronghorn spot):

As far as MPBR, if you want no more than 4" high and 4" low from POA, you could then set zero at 282 yards. 4" high at 160, 4" low at 330. Crosses LOS @ 30 & 282.

200 yard zero, to maintain MPBR would be up .5MIL to have a 282yd shooting solution. Or 1.6" high at 130yds, and 4" low at 269yds if left at the 0.
100 yard zero, to maintain MPBR would be up 1MIL to have a 282yd shooting solution. Or 0" at 100, and 4" low at 219yds if left on 0.

I realize the further out you go, the dial ups are going to start to diverge. But out to 500, the 100 yard zero maintains the same dial up +.4MIL as the 200 yard zero.

200 yd zero. Down .4MIL for 100 POI. Up .6MIL for 300yds. Up 2.2MIL for 500.
Screenshot_20210725-123332_Shooter.jpg


100yd zero. Up .4MIL for 200 POI. Up another .6MIL for 300. 2.6MIL for 500.
Screenshot_20210725-123357_Shooter.jpg


If you want to zero at 277 yds, you still maintain 4" high as your top of flight. But, look at 100 & 300 yds. -.9MIL for 100 yds, and +.1MIL for 300. Still a 1.0MIL difference. Still a 2.6MIL spread between 100 down .9MIL & 500 up 1.7MIL too.
Screenshot_20210725-124712_Shooter.jpg
 
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bamban

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On my 300WM I zero at 100 to get the best wind and test scope vertical tracking on a plumb bob target. Off to the KD range laser range target at 400 yard, once elevation is confirmed, I will reset the elevation knob to zero at 400.

Recently confirmed elevation correction from 200 to 800 either clicking or using the NP R2 reticle.

Screenshot_20210725-152219_Shooter.jpg



This is just my way. YMMV
 

StanleyActual8541

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What is incorrect?
If you zero your rifle for 100 yards, then dial up to your 200 yard shooting solution, say .4MIL or 1.5MOA...you are now set for zero POI above or below POA at 200 yards. Just because your turret says .4MIL or 1.5MOA, does not mean anything. You are dialed for a 200 yard POI, same as having a 200 yard zero.
If you plan on zeroing at 100, but always dialing to your 200 yard shooting solution in the field in an attempt to limit bullet flight above or below POA by 2", why not just zero at 200 yards?

Unless you are shooting some sort of competition that always shoots 100 yards and need that zero and you don't want to hold under the .4MIL/1.5MOA with subtensions. Or, have a scope that has a few .1s or MOA under your 0.

With a 140 Berger @ 2800fps, 6500' AMSL & 85° (my pronghorn spot):

As far as MPBR, if you want no more than 4" high and 4" low from POA, you could then set zero at 282 yards. 4" high at 160, 4" low at 330. Crosses LOS @ 30 & 282.

200 yard zero, to maintain MPBR would be up .5MIL to have a 282yd shooting solution. Or 1.6" high at 130yds, and 4" low at 269yds if left at the 0.
100 yard zero, to maintain MPBR would be up 1MIL to have a 282yd shooting solution. Or 0" at 100, and 4" low at 219yds if left on 0.

I realize the further out you go, the dial ups are going to start to diverge. But out to 500, the 100 yard zero maintains the same dial up +.4MIL as the 200 yard zero.

200 yd zero. Down .4MIL for 100 POI. Up .6MIL for 300yds. Up 2.2MIL for 500.
View attachment 287042

100yd zero. Up .4MIL for 200 POI. Up another .6MIL for 300. 2.6MIL for 500.
View attachment 287043

If you want to zero at 277 yds, you still maintain 4" high as your top of flight. But, look at 100 & 300 yds. -.9MIL for 100 yds, and +.1MIL for 300. Still a 1.0MIL difference. Still a 2.6MIL spread between 100 down .9MIL & 500 up 1.7MIL too.
View attachment 287045

what’s incorrect is unless you’re speaking in regards to an optic with a capped elevation and not modern target turrets. then dialing for POA/POI is not the same thing as your baseline zero of your weapon system. The reason folks did that back in the day was due to the facts they were limited by their equipments capabilities
(ie duplex reticles, and capped elevation / windage).

I am not “re-zeroing” my rifle everytime I touch my turrets

1 reason you “zero” at 100 is environmental factors are irrelavant at 100yd. Wind does make a difference at 200 and if rather not have a XX mph wind figured into my “true” zero.. Being that environmentals are irelavant at 100, this ensures that I will not have to “re-zero” my rifle every time I move to a new location. True zero stays the same, but my dopes past that, where environmentals play more of a part,!will change. Easily compensated for with a quick spin of the turret.

With 100 yd zero, all your adjustments are up. All your doing by pushing your zero range down range is now you have to make adjustments up AND down, not to mention the fact you’ve just required yourself to have to make an adjustment when the target is closer to you which means you have less time to make that adjustment. Distance affords you time

With modern optics, There is literally nothing to be gained by zeroing @ anything other than 100 yds. There’s no advantage to it. Flat and fast was king back in the day due to the fact it extended the range at which you could engage a target without the need to make any adjustments. Although that is stil an imporatnt factor for LR shooting. It becomes “less” important at the closer ranges when you have the ability to rapidly and accurately dial or hold straight to a given range and the farther that target is for you, the more time you have to make that adjustment

zero at 100, where environments play no part in your zero.. Then dial up to whatever range you want to. Ie your MPBR, and you you know that unless a target pops up further down range than your MPB, there’s no adjustment needed. If it does pop up down range outside of your MOBR, you have the time to make a quick POA/POI adjustment to it turret.

when the hunt is over. Spin your turret back down to your true zero and your done

Don’t complicate it. If I have a RF in my pocket, I won’t be milling my target. Same original applies here.
 
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