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At what distance do you sight in your scopes?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by radshooter, Dec 27, 2010.

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  1. radshooter

    radshooter Member

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    All my scopes are zeroed at 100 yards because right now, that is the farthest I can shoot on the local range.

    My two principle calibers are .223/5.56 and .308/7.62x51. I would like the .308s to be zeroed a bit further than the .223, but not sure what is practical. I would also like to zero the .223 a bit farther than 100 yds.

    These are the rifles I want to zero:

    Ruger 10/22...Ok...I will keep this zeroed at 100 yds for the scope and 50 yds for the open sights.
    Mini-14.....Not the most accurate, so I am thinking 200-300 yd zero
    Several AR-15s.....fairly accurate, so zero at 300 or 400 yds??
    Armalite AR-10....Pretty accurate when I do my part. Thinking 500 yds on this one.
    Remington 788 .308....Very accurate. In my younger days I could shoot 5 shot cloverleafs off a bench at 300 yds all day. I am thinking maybe zero this at 600 yds???

    I am not a hunter. I target shoot and plink for recreation. I would like to start stretching my limits a bit to see what I am capable of. Also thinking of self defense scenarios that would be beyond handgun range. I think I have a lead on a 600 yd range near here, and would not mind spending a day at the range getting things sighted in. I think some of the rifle's potentials are being wasted at 100 yards and would like to "stretch their legs" a bit.

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. JDMorris

    JDMorris Member

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    .308 at 100, .223 at 50.
    Just me though.
    No need for the long range stuff, just sight in at 100 and adjust elevation how you need it.
    My .308 can made hits out to 300 yards with a 100 yard zero by just adjusting the elevation and holding over.
     
  3. A_Matthew

    A_Matthew Member

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    I'd say it's more of a personal preference. (That's probably exactly what you didn't want to hear, right?;)) If you got a high powered scope on the Rem .308, I'd see what happens at 600, then keep moving it up 50-100yd increments. ( If you want a challenge, that is.)

    If that gun is capable of that, I have no doubt that it could get on paper at a 1,000yds. Even if it didn't, it sure would be fun to try.

    Not sure what I would do with the others. I guess the most important aspect is to have fun. I would find shooting at a 1,000yds fun. That's why I would try it. Hope this helped a little. Matthew
     
  4. radshooter

    radshooter Member

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    Thanks JDMorris. That is kind of what I do now, but is more by guess and by golly than any scientific application. One of my goals for the new year is learning how to range with my Mil-Dot scope and "dope the scope" as they say. I can't afford or justify a laser rangefinder at this point in time, so keeping it "old school" for now. I am really hoping to be able to shoot more in the coming year than in the past.
     
  5. radshooter

    radshooter Member

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    Thanks Matthew. Yeah, my main objective is to have fun. I don't know of anywhere locally I can shoot 1000 yds without driving 3 hours to get there. I am pretty comfortable at the 100 yd range here, but would like to start stretching my legs a bit. I also think my wife would get into her AR-15 a bit more if there was some more challenges for her.
     
  6. A_Matthew

    A_Matthew Member

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    I know. That's about the only problem with my advice.:D:D:D
    (Kidding, of course.)
    Matthew
     
  7. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    (Except for magnums and hot-shot .22s) My deal for centerfires, from .223 through .30-'06 has been for roughly two inches high at 100 yards. This is near dead-on at 200 and right at six inches low at 300.

    Almost everything will be around 20" to 24" low at 400 yards, and about four feet low at 500.

    This pretty well holds for cartridges with muzzle velocities around 2,800 to 3,100 ft/sec.

    For any given cartridge, the above is a good starting poiint. Between range testing and a review of the ballistics tables in such as the appendices of the Sierra reloading manual, you can get very close to the actual performance of your particular rifle and cartridge combination.
     
  8. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    I zero my 22s at 50yrds, centerfires at 100yrds. It depends on your scope.....If you have target turrets, just dial in some elevation as you back up. My .223 and .308 are pretty simple, add 2 moa at 200yrds, and add another 3 moa at 300yrds(300 is all I have to shoot at:(). If you have hunting type turrets, coin adjust, I'd zero at the range you mostly shoot at, and learn the hold under and over values for other distances.
     
  9. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    Since I’ve more or less retired from hunting and only two center fire hunting rifles remain and only one has a telescopic sight I had to think about the distance I zeroed for. 2-1/2 inches high at 100yds equates to an approximant 250yd zero.

    That had to do with point blank range concept. The bullets path did not exceed 4 inches above the line of sight or drop 4 inches below the line of sight out to 300yds.

    I’ll admit that 2 inches high at 100yds would have been just as good for my application. I can’t recall shooting a game animal over 200yds and most were with in 100yds or less.:)
     
  10. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    All of my centerfires are zeroed at 300 yards.

    Geno
     
  11. Mr_Pale_Horse

    Mr_Pale_Horse Member

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    Sight in range need not equal zero range.

    I sight in at 100 yards using a maximum point blank range for the target area I am shooting. For example, I will using a +/- 3 inches for whitetail, but +/- 4.5 for Elk. That means, depending on the load, +2 to +2.75" @ 100 yards.

    Then, I hold center of mass inside the maximum point blank range, and pass on any shot longer than that.
     
  12. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Mine are used for hunting, so our goals will be a little different. Mine are zerod at 3" high at 100 yds. That gives close to a 300 yd zero, which allows you to hold dead on out to about 350 yds.
     
  13. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    The replies are going to vary based on personal preference.

    So the correct answer is to zero the rifle at whatever distance makes sence for the kind of game your hunting or how far you will normally be target shooting with the rifle.

    The best way to keep track of this with High Power Rifles is to keep a ballistic chart with number of clicks for your scope for the ranges you plan to shoot at.

    Zero your 308 wherever you like for example 100yrds. Mark the scope or lock in zero from there you need to know the clicks needed for your come ups at 50yrd or 100yrd intervals out to 1000yrds if you plan to shoot that far.
     
  14. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    I sight my .308 in at 100 yards, 2" high. Its dead on at 200 yards, 9" low at 300 yards. If I were hunting Elk at 300 yards, aiming for the top of the back would be the money shot.:)

    My Mini-14 is sighted at 100 yards, 1" high. That'll get me out to 150 yards, beyond that, its lost all accuracy.
     
  15. henschman

    henschman Member

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    I zero at 25m. This gives you right around a 300 yard zero, varying somewhat depending on your optic height and trajectory. It gives you a zero that will get kill-zone hits from point blank out to 350 yards or so with most center fire cartridges.
     
  16. Sky

    Sky Member

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    Depends on what Ar I am shooting and it's intended purpose/scope... I always start out at 25 yards or less to get windage exactly on. Elevation depends on range for rifle/scope combo is not that important yet......If this is going to be a 300 yard rifle/scope I zero at 25 yards...usually end up just a tad bit high POI at 300.... adjust elevation and finished....If the rifle and scope are to be used for closer shots then I zero at 50 yards for a 200 (tad bit high adjust out with elevation knob) If I only had one rifle to shoot then I would probably set zero at 50 for a 200 yard weapon.....just depends on the terrain/conditions the rifle will be used in.....heavy woods, close shots, I just use irons or a red dot. To me the most important is windage setting initally; really helps when trying to reach out and touch a target at 300+ yards and makes everything much easier.
     
  17. Meta

    Meta Member

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    300 yard cloverleafs....all day? I know quite a few people who've spent a small fortune on some rather exotic benchrest rigs and can't shoot cloverleafs at 300 yards. Certainly not all day or any day for that matter. The current world record is around 1/2" for a 5 shot group at 300 yards. Highly competetive, world class shooting at 300 yards, with a purpose built benchrest rig, runs around an inch. Cloverleafs for a .30 cal bullet meaure around 3/10". The deer and fish get bigger and the groups get smaller as we get older.
     
  18. Dr T

    Dr T Member

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    Varmint guns.

    I sight the 223 and 22-250 2" high at 100 yards.

    Medium and Big Game

    For 6 mm's and up (medium and big game): I sight everything in 3" high at 100 yards. I arrived at this after a number of hours playing with ballistics software. When sighted in 3" high at 100 yards, this gives rise to an interesting little rule of thumb (which is good for +/- several 0.1's of an inch) for cartridges loaded with bullets with ballistic coefficient of > 0.3. It is based on the "point blank range" concept that was used in old Sierra reloading manuals. The Maximum Point Blank range is the maximum point in range that the bullet will drop 5" below line of sight without rising 5" above the line of sight.

    This will allow a rifle sighted in for maximum point blank range to hit the breadbasket of a deer (a circle roughly 10 inches in diameter) by simply aiming for the center of the heart/lungs/liver mass.

    Rule of thumb: When sighted in 3" high at 100 yards, the maximum "point blank range" in yards will be (MV in fps)/10.

    Examples: A 243 with a MV of 3100 fps will have a point blank range of 310 yds. A 30-06 with a MV of 2650 fps will have a point blank range of 265 yards.

    Corollary: Every extra 100 fps of velocity will get you about 10 yards extra point blank range.

    This simple rule has saved me a lot of grief over the years. It is not meant to be precise for target shooting. It is merely meant to be a practical rule for hunting. At least I don't have to carry a ballistics table around taped to the side of a laser rangefinder. If a deer is closer than the point blank range, I just aim and squeeze the trigger. If it isn't, I shouldn't take the shot anyway.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  19. brandon_mcg

    brandon_mcg Member

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    5 shot group at 50 yards just to check then another group at 100 yds.
     
  20. TXiceman

    TXiceman Member

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    .257 Roberts and .30-06, both sighted in at 100 yards and set to shoot 3" high at that range.
     
  21. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Member

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    i say sight the .308 1" high at 100yds. the .308 drops 1" from 100-200yds. dead on zero a 200yds is a good zero.
     
  22. JDMorris

    JDMorris Member

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    The .308 drops more than 1" from 100 to 200 yards hate to tell you.
    about 2" is more correct.
    It really starts dropping from 200-300.
     
  23. trstafford

    trstafford Member

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  24. EdLaver

    EdLaver Member

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    I have both my 16" Ar15/10's sighted @ 50 yards which should be good out to 200 or a little over.

    My .308 bolt is @ 100
    AR15 Bull 20 @ 100
    PSL @ 300

    For me, it depends on the intended role of the rifle and the type of scope you are using. I have tactical knobs on both the AR15 Bull 20 and .308 bolt so I can make quick adjustments. On the 16" barrels the scopes are short dots and the knobs aren't as quick to adjust so 50 works for them.
     
  25. henschman

    henschman Member

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    The standard come-ups for 7.62x51 M80 ball out of a 22" barreled M14, in 100 yard increments starting with a 100 yard zero, are 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 8, 8. That means it drops 3 MOA from 100 to 200, 3 MOA from 200-300, 4 MOA from 400-500, and so forth.

    So a 200 yard zero will be 3" high at 100, since 1 MOA is 1" at 100 yards. A 300 yard zero will be 6" high at 100 yards.

    If you want to figure out what the come-ups are for your specific load, look up one of those free ballistic calculators that are on the web.
     
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