Be Heard: How Do You Zero Your AR-15?

I always find it fascinating to discuss how shooters zero their AR-15s, especially experienced shooters. The 2 most common methods that I come across are the 100 meter zero and the 50/200 meter (or yard) zero. I find it fascinating because this is one of those issues where both sides are right. Both choices will work well for a shooter who has trained enough to know where their carbine will print at various ranges. Both choices have proponents that can put forth convincing arguments.

Often this choice is dictated by the optic on one’s rifle, the available space at the range the shooter uses most often, or the skill level of the shooter. Optics with some form of bullet drop compensation will usually need to be zeroed for 100 meters. 50 yard ranges are more common than 100 yard ranges which can lead to a 50/200 yard zero out of necessity and some shooters may not be up to the task of getting a rock solid 100 yard zero. Then there are the shooters who have the skill, equipment, and facility to execute either option and choose one based on the merits of the concept or the realities of how they use (or plan to use) the carbine.

This is your chance to Be Heard. How do you zero your AR-15 and why do you choose to do it that way? What factors went into your decision making process?

Leave a comment below to Be Heard!

9 Responses to Be Heard: How Do You Zero Your AR-15?

  1. Anthony December 11, 2012 at 08:05 #

    I/we use two areas for ranging at our private range. We have the 50 yard and 100 yard. We are looking at expanding to 200 yard, but safety of others has slowed us in that expansion.

  2. Sean December 11, 2012 at 08:58 #

    I zero 50/200 but I use a special M4 target that allows for you to handle it all from the 25. I then verify out to 50 and then 100 (my range doesn’t have a 200). In competition it has been reliable out to 270.

  3. Josh December 11, 2012 at 10:40 #

    We use 50/200 for our carbines. It allows us to stay in about a 4″ zone out to around 275 yards (with no hold or adjustment). The zero also holds for 55 grain range and 62 grain duty ammo. The 100 yard zero can have up to 9″ of point of aim/point of impact variability in the same range. It seems to work better for our patrolmen considering the distances we commonly encounter.

  4. William Keller December 11, 2012 at 11:56 #

    I zero for 100m using a 25m target. Just did a post on this awhile back for those interested:


  5. Kevin December 11, 2012 at 15:32 #

    300 yd zero

  6. Josh December 11, 2012 at 16:21 #

    For GP I zero to 40 yards regardless of caliber. It ends up being pretty much the same as the 36/300. Many common calibers’ ballistic arc end up being roughly the same at 40 & 300.
    On a related note…Here’s an interesting video about zero from Mr. Haley.

  7. Dann in Ohio December 11, 2012 at 23:31 #

    Some of us country folks… do some of both… depending on whether the possible target is a two-legged or four-legged varmint…

    Dann in Ohio

  8. Rugrash December 11, 2012 at 23:47 #

    .pdf for “The Battlefield Zero”

  9. Aub December 12, 2012 at 10:42 #

    I currently use the 50/200 zero but after watching adaptive carbine with travis haley, I like the looks of the 36/300 yd zero and will probably give it a shot.

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