Zero range

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Diverguy23, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Diverguy23

    Diverguy23 Member

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    Is it better to have a 200 yard zero or to take out atmospherics as much as possible would it be better to just have a 100 yard zero with say, a 2" high offset? Seems like most ballistic programs allow for the offset and I'm assuming that's what it's for but I have found almost no information on that particular topic. Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. dok7mm

    dok7mm Well-Known Member

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    The offset feature is to true how much your zero is off from the exact zero. Say the center of a 3 shot group is slightly off the center of your aiming point, you would use the offset in your ballistic calculator to true your zero.
     
  3. bootsking

    bootsking Well-Known Member

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    You are better off using a 100yd zero because changes in ambient conditions will not affect it. Longer zero ranges mean you will be chasing your tail, not knowing if you are off because of weather or true rifle shift. The offsets in the programs are to allow you to use one load to zero, the shoot different loads without needing to zero for each one by knowing the offset between the loads. For example zeroing with target rounds, then hunting with a different bullet and velocity.
     
  4. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    If dialing, I think its much easier to start from an easy baseline, 100 yards. Verify drop at some mid ranges so you have some better data for long ranges. The 2" high at 100 yards is a point blank method of aiming which is based on not changing your scope settings. A 2" offset at 100 yards may not be zero at 200. You'll need to verify that. If that's the case, why not just stick with 100?

    I've hear some people zero at 500 yards to take out spin drift and the like and then back dial to what would be 100 off a ballistics chart. Not a bad approach either.
     
  5. 6MM06AI

    6MM06AI Active Member

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    All my rifles are zeroed 2" high at 100. Seems to be a no brainer. If there is a coyote at 100 or 325 No time and no need to dial, just point and shoot. A tactical rifle would be a different scenario, there is time to range and dial.
     
  6. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    With high velocity cartridges, a 300 yard zero means you aim a bit low up close and a bit high at distance. Not sure what that point blank size would be. I've read articles from military personnel who even sight in their 300 win mags at 500 yards.
     
  7. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Well-Known Member

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    For me, it depends on the scope and whether I'm sighting a rifle for targets or hunting. Any rifle with a ranging reticle and good turrets gets zeroed at 100; I either dial in or use the reticle to hold for more distant shots. A hunting rifle with a basic duplex reticle gets sighted two inches high at 100 which, depending on the cartridge, pushes the point blank range out to close to 300.
     
  8. carpetman2

    carpetman2 Well-Known Member

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    My timber rifles are all zeroed at 100 yards, my two long range hunting rifles are zeroed at 200 for this one reason, and that is for a sudden close encounter of say 300 yards with only a second or two to set up for a shot. In that way, if the animal, specially a deer is say 320 and no time to range or dial I can just aim and fire and be pretty close guessing the range to be in there. Of course guessing ranges, even that close is not a very good idea, but it does occur occasionally. That happened two years ago and it paid off big time. Had I been zeroed at 100 I may have been too low for a clean kill and would more than likely passed up on the opportunity.
     
  9. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    We have to think of "zero" as two separate parts, zero range which is what range your target is which I use 100 because of variables, then we have zero point which is just where on that paper the bullets are dialed to land.
     
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  10. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Well-Known Member

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    I actually read instructions on my Leupold scope with a varmint reticle (imagine that!). Reticle has holdover Stadia lines and there is a way to calibrate it using a 200 or 300 yard zero and measuring the ballistic "drop" on your target at 500 yards, with one particular load. I will test it this week, but for those that have a holdover reticle, check your owners manual. My scope is a rear focal plane reticle, and does not zoom with the image at higher/lower magnification. If this test works out, I need to range, holdover with correct stadia, and it goes there. Marking the zoom knob after the test is all I need to do for a permanent reference. I use 200 as my reference zeroed yardage with the 7mm mag handload.
     
  11. LongBomber

    LongBomber Well-Known Member

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    I have the "zero" on my turret setup to be my 100 yard zero. When I am out hunting I set my turret to 1 1/2 moa - roughly the correction for 200 yards. I am covered pretty well for any shot that just presents itself at shorter ranges, and my scopes "zero" is based off of a 100yard zero for dialling
     
  12. OptiCo.us

    OptiCo.us New Member

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    Your question was listed near another post I just made. Glad I read the prior comments. All of the advice is very accurate. My suggestion is zero 100yds because it is easier, which usually means more accurate. Depending on how you use your rifle, zeroing 1" high at 100yds might be best for you. Zero does not mean POA=POI, someone else mentioned that. In fact, much easier to make a representative group if you aren't shooting out your POA with each POI. No one mentioned it but I'll add that longer zero range does not extend the useful range of your optic install. Common misunderstanding but not with this crowd :)
     
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  13. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Well-Known Member

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    I agree, with not extending useful range if you are using a simple reticle with no holdover Stadia in the reticle. With holdover Stadia, you need to do the extra work before shooting long range, to make sure it works before hunting. I love doing it, not all do. Getting my rangefinder and scope in synch, has been incremental, but it is a test on how far you can go with your equipment and know your hunting limits. Out in the wide open west, it's mandatory to know where you "pass" on a trophy animal.
     
  14. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    Most of my big game rifles are sighted in for a MPBR with an 8” target radius.
    This normally runs 2.5”-3” high at 100yrds, this gives 350+yrds with no hold over. Most all of my rifles are magnums of one sort or another, so they have pretty flat tralectory sighted this way.
    It equates to shooting down an 8” tube with the bullet just scuffing the top and dropping at whatever the maximum point blank range is. Most ballistic apps can punch out MPBR numbers easily.
    I find a 2” high @ 100yrds zero actually hampers long shots of 300yrds or more, if you shoot within this range then the 2” high zero is fine for those situations.

    Cheers.
    :)
     
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