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AR-15 red dot zero for home defense

Trekrok

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I'm thinking about setting up an AR for a home defense option and started reading a little on zero theories. Holy shit.

So, assuming and generalizing 'standard' everything - 14.5" barrel, 2.5" HOB, 5.56.. is my understanding semi-accurate on these points?

  • 5-15 yards, POI is 2-2.5"-ish below POA for 36 or 50 yard zero - nominal difference between the two.
  • At 10 yards, a 25 yard zero POI is 1.5"-ish below POA and then almost 6" high at 100 yards.
  • Main benefit of 36 yard vs 50 is past 200 yards -T/F

Not looking for anyone to plug in ballistics, just maybe a - yeah that all looks about right kind of thing.
 
Looks all good to me. Personally, I’m a fan of what we did in the Marines. 36/200yd zero, if you’re close close, aim for their mouth to hit the T box. Realistically you wouldn’t do that either way though, as center of mass shots are easier to make. In that case, within 20 yards or so aim for the bottom of the sternum or so.

That’s what I’ll be doing with my next setup which will likely take over closet duty, 13.7” barrel, red dot, 36/200 zero.
 
I can send you a tgt we use for magnified optics and reflex sights. 25m zero for 300m. Easy. The drop at close range is normal because your sight is 1.5"-2.5" higher than the bore.

Shoot at the top of a 3" dot and you'll hit center - center of a face you'll hit the top of teeth/under nose.

What's your primary ammo going to be? Surplus mil like M193 or M855? 77gr? They'll all zero similarly but after some distance, their POI will be different. Up close within 25m, not so much.
 
Yeah, what he said. Opposite of what I said. Brain fart on the aiming offset.
 
I can send you a tgt we use for magnified optics and reflex sights. 25m zero for 300m. Easy. The drop at close range is normal because your sight is 1.5"-2.5" higher than the bore.

Shoot at the top of a 3" dot and you'll hit center - center of a face you'll hit the top of teeth/under nose.

What's your primary ammo going to be? Surplus mil like M193 or M855? 77gr? They'll all zero similarly but after some distance, their POI will be different. Up close within 25m, not so much.
I think about all I've got is m193. And I guess some 62g fusion, not sure why..

Probably need to just settle on something and start shooting it.
 
I do a 25 yd zero for my defense rifle. Up close, I aim for the center of the upper chest. I figure if I put the dot in the general area of the center of the chest, just below the neck, and start pulling the trigger, I should be in good shape and hopefully the bad guy won't. 5.56mm at close range like that...I doubt an inch or two in any direction from there will make much difference. Any hit in that area should be effective. Multiple hits should be multiple effective.

In a real pinch, I figure if I can just get the dot somewhere on target and pull the trigger I might have a better opportunity to take more careful aim for follow up shots. My own opinion is just get a round on target before the other guy does and worry about real accuracy after that.
 
Take it to a range and get a good 200 yard zero. All this up close zero stuff is just a guess. I have seen many a 25/50 yards zeroed gun not be able to hit a 12"X12" piece of steel at 200 yards. I detest close zeros!!!
 
I do a 25 yd zero for my defense rifle. Up close, I aim for the center of the upper chest. I figure if I put the dot in the general area of the center of the chest, just below the neck, and start pulling the trigger, I should be in good shape and hopefully the bad guy won't. 5.56mm at close range like that...I doubt an inch or two in any direction from there will make much difference. Any hit in that area should be effective. Multiple hits should be multiple effective.

In a real pinch, I figure if I can just get the dot somewhere on target and pull the trigger I might have a better opportunity to take more careful aim for follow up shots. My own opinion is just get a round on target before the other guy does and worry about real accuracy after that.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm probably worrying about point blank accuracy a little too much. And I keep getting sucked into caring about ranges that will never happen in this environment. But, in looking at charts at least it doesn't seem like you give up much (maybe an inch) in the 10-25 yard range when zeroing out to 50/200.
 
Take it to a range and get a good 200 yard zero. All this up close zero stuff is just a guess. I have seen many a 25/50 yards zeroed gun not be able to hit a 12"X12" piece of steel at 200 yards. I detest close zeros!!!
You mean close zero is a guess as to how it will carry out to 200 yards? Thing is, I can't imagine a self defense situation where I'd ever be anywhere close to those ranges.
 
You mean close zero is a guess as to how it will carry out to 200 yards? Thing is, I can't imagine a self defense situation where I'd ever be anywhere close to those ranges.
EXample. You zero at 25m. Your bullet crosses LOS at 25m. The bullet comes back down and crosses LOS again at 250m.
 
You will never need a 200 yard zero untill the day you do. If you do a short range zero there is a real good chance that on that day you won't hit anything except Oklahoma 😁. On the other hand if you do zero at 200, you will still be within the parameters of what you have already posted for your short range. But, that's me, be happy!
 
I think I'll take my chances that a 25 yd zero on my HD rifle will be just fine. The chances of having to use it for real are probably statistically zero. The chances of having to worry about taking a 200 yd shot are even less...than zero.

Besides...I've always got the Mini-14 for those long shots.
 
I can send you a tgt we use for magnified optics and reflex sights. 25m zero for 300m. Easy. The drop at close range is normal because your sight is 1.5"-2.5" higher than the bore.

Shoot at the top of a 3" dot and you'll hit center - center of a face you'll hit the top of teeth/under nose.

What's your primary ammo going to be? Surplus mil like M193 or M855? 77gr? They'll all zero similarly but after some distance, their POI will be different. Up close within 25m, not so much.
Is the 25/300m target a pdf I assume? I found one for 10/50 yard, but that seems a little dicey to extrapolate from 10 yards, but maybe not. I may experiment with it for fun to see it works for me.
 
Case in point... Recently I shot a match that had a bunch of paper targets at 7-10 yards, and a few full size steel silhouettes at 500-600 yards. I dialed my rear sight up (yeah irons) to my 500 yard zero.... 12moa UP. At 10 yards my point of impact was only 1" high from the sight. If there had been a 25 yards target it would have only been 3" high.... But at a mere 100 yards I would have been a foot high over my sight. So "up close" it really doesn't matter what your sight setting is, but if your zero percent probability ever turns into a .000001 you are far better off with a farther zero. Kinda like the chance of needing a fire extinguisher in a rain forest is almost zero untill your jeep lights on fire😁
Now with that in mind.... If you have a Mini-14, and I have a regular M-14, who has the mega-14?🤣
 
I have watched a hundred videos on YouTube trying to figure out my zero I want it for up close and for say 200 but I don’t have anywhere to check a 200 yard zero
 
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm probably worrying about point blank accuracy a little too much. And I keep getting sucked into caring about ranges that will never happen in this environment. But, in looking at charts at least it doesn't seem like you give up much (maybe an inch) in the 10-25 yard range when zeroing out to 50/200.

I have watched a hundred videos on YouTube trying to figure out my zero I want it for up close and for say 200 but I don’t have anywhere to check a 200 yard zero
A lot of the WMA shooting ranges go out to 200 yards.
 
We don’t have any up here
What I tend to do is I zero at 36yds, and if I can’t confirm at 200 I confirm at 100, which means my shots (bullet/load dependent of course) should impact 2” high if I remember right. Adjust up/down/left/right as needed to impact exactly where your load should put you at 100 with a 200 zero, and get the left/right dialed in. This will typically get me pretty dang close to where I need to be at 200; and hold me over until I can get to a place to check it at 200 yards.
 
What I tend to do is I zero at 36yds, and if I can’t confirm at 200 I confirm at 100, which means my shots (bullet/load dependent of course) should impact 2” high if I remember right. Adjust up/down/left/right as needed to impact exactly where your load should put you at 100 with a 200 zero, and get the left/right dialed in. This will typically get me pretty dang close to where I need to be at 200; and hold me over until I can get to a place to check it at 200 yards.
That’s typically how I do it now
 
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