Why zero at 100 yards?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Dave King, Sep 5, 2001.

  1. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2001
    Althought not completely universal the 100 yard zero is very common. From a 100 yard zero setting we can all talk about the number of Minutes of Angle (MOA) we need to get to a certain distance and hold for Point Of Aim (POA) to Point Of Impact (POI).

    As an example: I use a 308 Winchester a lot so when someone asks me for my 500 yard data for a particular load I simply reply "11.5 Minutes Up" which they immediately (in most cases) understand to mean that I adjust my scope up by 11.5 MOA over my 100 yard zero.

    Many of the long range shooters have a little chart taped to their rifle somewhere. This little chart shows distances and elevation numbers. (My chart is inside the rear scope cap) I can loan my rifle (AND ammo) to another shooter and after he verifies that his 100 yard zero while shooting my rifle is correct for him he has all the additional data he needs to shoot the rifle to any distance (1000 yards or so).
  2. 3fingervic

    3fingervic Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2009
    I am going to build a LR rifle. I was planning to zero it in a 200yrds. Actually I was planning to site it in at 100yrds. but depending on the data have it be an inch or two high. Is this inappropriate?
  3. ss7mm

    ss7mm Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2005
    Geez, that's resurrecting an old post/thread. 8 years back, you must be doing a lot of reading.:)

    This subject comes up periodically and you will find that we have people that zero their guns from 100 out to 500-600 yards and all have reasons for doing so that fit their hunting/shooting style and that works for them.

    My logic is that for the long shots I'm going to be twisting the turrets so I want my gun zeroed at a range that allows me to take a quick shot without worrying about dialing and know that out to a certain distance that I'll make a killing shot.

    Most of my long range guns dictate that if I am zeroed at 300 yards, then anywhere from the muzzle out to about 400 yards I can quickly take a shot on a big game animal. This doesn't mean this is the way everyone should do it, it just means that I'm comfortable with this and it has been that way so long that it's all automatic in my thought process when a shot presents itself.

    Depending on what you are shooting you can zero at just about any range if you know the results of doing so and that you haven't zeroed at a range that will cause you a problem if presented with a quicker than normal shot.

    I guess what I'm saying is, do what works for you. If you don't have a ballistics program, there are free ones available and you can see what your zeroed range and your gun will do at all different ranges. This should all be predicated on having already accumulated proven field data for your decision.

    Good luck with your new build.
  4. CAM

    CAM Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2002
    ss7mm that was sure a nice way to put that!

    As ss7mm said to each his own, but 100 yards or "meters" if you like is the best baseline for most people. not much changes at 100 yards.

    Even if I "say" I'm sighted in at 600, I use my 100 yard info and then imput the data to crank up to 600, because the 600 data has enviroment effects on zero that the 100 yard zero has little effect.

    Some times I like my 10 MOA pin to be dead on at 1K, but I still use the 100 yard zero to base the info to get my pin on at 1K for that day, altitude, temp, etc.

  5. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    I am simple minded and my memory is so bad that I have to carry a drivers license just to find out what my name is. So all my rifles are zeroed at 100 yards. That way I don't get confused over that issue when I switch from rifle to rifle. All I have to do is bring the ammo that fits it.

    As was mentioned, if I want a 300 yard zero then I just dial in 3MOA.
  6. Chopaka81

    Chopaka81 Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    On opening day of 2007 deer season I was hunting with my new fangled Tikka T3 Lite in 270 Win, with a Luepold VX1 2-7x32 LR Duplex mounted on it for a nice Light weight mountian rifle.
    I "normally" use a 300yd zero, however with this new set-up I decided to take advantage of the ranging dots in the scope. (Big Mistake) Therefore I changed from my "normal system" to some "new & better".
    5 mintues into legal shooting light, I spotted a nice 4x4 mulie at 550yds. Using my new ranging dots I promptly put 5 rds into the side of the mountian as the buck calmly walked away - going up the side of the mountian.
    Later, and after a lot of vertical boot leather excerise, I tracked the buck down and was able to take him with a simple 125 yd shot.
    The lesson I learned that day is that when under pressure you will have a very strong tendency to revert to your "normal" system. My recomendation to you is that you pick a system and stick with it.
    Bottom line, it is not easy for an old dog to learn new tricks.
  7. KQguy

    KQguy Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2007
    I use to use a 200 yd. zero,but now I use a 100 yd. zero.The reason is because I am lazy!I like to check my zero's pretty often,mainly just for piece of mind,although they are rarely off.I find it much easier to put a target out to 100 yds.,test it,and go pick it back up and put it away from 100yds. than it is from 200+ yds.So for me,it's just a convenience thing.
  8. Forester

    Forester Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    It depends on the caliber, but I zero at the longest even hundred yards that will still let me take a point blank, no hold over or under shot all the way back to the muzzle. Most of the time that is 2 or 300.

    Also, I ALWAYS zero windage at a longer distance because small errors in your zero may not show up at 100 and would be more obvious at 3 to 500. To do this though you need a near zero wind day to be sure you are not accidentally including some wind value in your zero.
  9. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2008
    I grew up learning ot shoot in PA. To my recolect, everyonr zeroed at 100 yds. I now live and hunt in the West and everyone here that I know, zeros at 200, 250 or 300 yds. the hunting is a lot more open with more longer shots.

    I agree with BB to pick one range for all my rifles and Forester to zero windage at longer distances, especially if you are going to be shooting long range.

    I use 200 yds for my zero (elevation). Any shots less than 300 yds are point and shoot no brainers, hold slightly below the back on 300 yarders.
  10. Down Under Hunter

    Down Under Hunter Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2007
    I like to use the 100 m zero for simple verification that the scope is dead on. It virtually eliminates the shooter error factor in confirming the zero and I have learnt that "near enough aint good enough !" I aint happy with a half inch right and half inch low (still looks decent in the scope) but will put you out down range. The easiest distance I have had to work with to confirm that everything is square. If its on, its on way out there !