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Able 50 Yard Zero Target 2021

Recently got into a discussion about different zero distances that included the topic of the 50/200 yard zero distance for riflescopes. This probably the second most common zero distance for a riflescope next to the proverbial 100 yard zero that is often vehemently defended as the ultimate zero distance. While I think the 50/200 yard zero has its merits, I think a lot of folks hold it in very high regard while also holding some misconceptions about it.

Able 50 Yard Zero Target

There are some interesting and important differences between a 50 yard zero and the 200 yard zero also highlighted by this additional data. First is the trajectory deviation between 50 and 200 yards is much narrower when using a 200 yard zero. This gives me a lot more confidence in engaging targets up to 200 yards without making elevation adjustments. The flip side to this is a much wider trajectory deviation beyond 200 yards.

It is possible to get pretty close to a 200 yard zero while using a rifle zeroing target at 50 yards. However, this requires using a chronograph to get an accurate velocity reading and a ballistic calculator to determine the expected trajectory deviation at 50 yards.

UPDATE: If you want to save even more time on the range, consider using this target for bore sighting at home. It works well because of the compressed distance for which it is designed to be used. Most people can find a 10 yard (30 feet) line of sight in their home. Just align your optic on the black dot and bore sight on the gray dot.

UPDATE 2: It may go without saying but this target can also be used to fine-tune your zero at a greater distance. If everything goes well with your initial work at 10 yards, you can then use the black dot to check your zero at 50 or 200 yards since it should be relatively free of impacts.

I prefer to check the zero at 50 yards quickly and then check again at 200 on a new target when possible. Keep in mind that, at 100 yards, your point of impact will be above the black dot if your point of aim is the black dot.

UPDATE 3: I receive multiple emails weekly about this target and its effectiveness with various other calibers and rifles. In the case of other calibers, the target will likely work but may require more fine tuning when you are able to shoot at distance (50 yards would be good, 200 would be better). If you want to be sure, you will have to put your numbers into a ballistic calculator or give it a try.

ARMA DYNAMICS recommends a 50 yard zero for your AR-15 rifle. The 50 yard zero provides for effective center-mass hits on target at the ranges where a carbine is most commonly used. A 50 yard zero allows the shooter to use a simple center-mass hold to ranges of point blank to 200-250 yards, depending on rifle and ammunition combination.

This recent video (below) from Frank Proctor at Way of the Gun and Trigger Time TV is excellent. In it, Proctor talks about why he uses the 50 yard zero, how to achieve a 50 yard zero at 10 yards, and the benefits of doing so. His 10 yard technique is very simple and it works.

I have tested this a bit since the video was posted a little more than a week ago and found it to be a very handy tool to have in my toolbox. I really like the speed at which I am able to establish the zero since I can see and make my adjustments from my shooting position. I like being able to zero on an extremely compact range and I can see how this technique could benefit those without the skill to shoot a group consistent enough to accurately judge what adjustments should be made at extended distances. However, I have also found some caveats that you will want to keep in mind when using this technique.

With the 50/200 zero, I should be able to place my front sight, red dot, or reticle in the middle of a target and hit it at ranges between 50 -and 200-yards with excellent precision.

The 50/200 zero is highly precise at 50- to 200-yards. With a 50/200 MPBR zero, there is only a 3- to 4-inch difference in point of aim and point of impact from 50-yards to 250-yards.

Just an observation to those training for 2 legged predators, if you're engaging much past room sized distances here in the US of A, you got some serious 'splaining to do. I doubt many "duly elected" prosecutors here in the mid-west would see it otherwise. I understand there might be the occasional exception in Texas or Arizona these days. Very good explanation of an otherwise overly complicated topic Mr. Pike, thank you. Many LE officers I've worked with employ 50 or 100 yard zeros but rarely have to engage beyond 25. I'm fond of a 40-50 yard red dot zero too, mainly because that's about as far as I can see these days without some help. Thanks for being there for us, sir.

I hunt feral hogs from 75 - 150yds., so the USMC method probably works the best for me. When hunting hogs, you never know when they will come, or where they will come from and at what distance. In the brush, you need to be ready to shoot quickly, with no time to use a rangefinder and adjust scope DOPE or even to mentally calculate your reticle adjustment (holdover-under), as Tom's comments below confirm. Hogs don't present a large target like the human torso, so sometimes you have to guesstimate when hunting alone. A spotter with rangefinder helps, but I still don't deviate much from POA. Sometimes you they end up gut-shot, but within 100yds you can get a clean one-shot kill. Anxious to find a MPBR and zero distance for the 6mm A.R.C.

You can choose your zero distanceWith a 1.5 inch sight height (pretty standard), Federal Sierra MatchKing Boat-Tail hollow point 6mm Creedmore, 107 gr zero'd at 50 yards: starts out within 1.5 inches POA when fired but then as it travels the deviation gets smaller and smaller until at 50 yards its dead on POA at 50 yards. At 100 yards it is about 1/2 inch below POA and at 200 yards its about 2 inches below POA. This should pretty much get you hogs (if that's what you are interested in) out to about 200 yards with fairly accurate shots.

For a new build or new sights/red-dots I do an initial 50 yard zero at 10 yards out back with Federal American Eagle 5.56mm 55 Grain FMJ XM193BL. Its within 2 inches of point of aim all the way from 10 yards out to 200 yards. I then bench rest check it at the range at actual 50 and 200 yards and some other distances in-between those and sure enough its within 2 inches of point of aim and dead on at 50 yards.

Well, sorry to bust balls, guys but not much of this matters in real time hot combat situations. Such as the Kyle Rittenhause situation but maybe 'upgraded' to several rioting maniacs shooting at the same time at him. And the further out you are from CQB ranges (under 50 meters), the safer you are because this reduces the enemy's effective point-blank range. (the call it 'blank' because it's realized as the maximum 'ineffective' range aka the range where your target is blank from No hits from sighted in zeroes point of aim. Which means several other variables notwithstanding the 'battlefield zero' like cross wind vector, bullet and barrel accuracy, shooter skill under stress, etc. could and would and does easily open up the PBR to much more than six inches at 200 meters, right off the jump shot.Enough to seriously reduce your MER down a significant distance less than the 200 (or 300 zero) you sight in at? Also, that's why the 'battlefield zero' was 'invented'. In most cases under all those variable considerations, it's almost useless after 400 meters in actual combat engagements. It's far more tactically prudent to NOT engage at all if possible.And, of course, that's why the Army has 50 bmgs and mortars, and etc. And well trained snipers for reaching way out if tactical situations require it for advantage.In my jungle fighting days, we (my team) figured out that in the heat of battle, or often encountered 'sudden heavy-contact' (ambushed by above a squad level enemy, and pinned down), we used something else besides a 'battlefield' zero. It was called SFAB (Superior Firepower ASS Blasting). We all instantly flattened out and just layed down as much full auto suppressive fire as fast as we could switch mags by holding the weapons above our bodies in the cover foliage usually with one hand sticking out only point shooting (m-16 shorty CAR-15s were great for this) to give the two M-60 gunners a couple seconds to I.D. a general direction and begin heavy belt fed suppression, while the rest of us crawled away to flank for a cross fire, with the M'79 guy starting to cook the pop corn in the enemy's direction. That tactic always did the trick. Usually all over in less than a minute. Always minimal casualties on my team. Enemy destroyed or just hit and run. Actually never failed tactically in over my 3 years of this type of day in and day out action. (We also did offensive night ambushes and that's when the Claymores did the initial 'shock' 'aiming' for us. And we just threw grenades, pointed and sweap back and forth with the 60's doing most of the heavy-hitting).So the moral of this trip down psycho memory lane is... that although I can vividly recall the action and follow-up on enemy 'remains' and attending to our own wounded. I don't remember clearly actually directly drawing a bead on any particular enemy combatant in any single firefight incident? Except when they sometimes attacked our base camp and got inside the wire at night, but no stand-still 'battle sight' aiming, other than rapid point shooting usually while moving. Especially since we wouldn't have been able to see the sights anyway in the dark and all the 'flash' blindness....Just thought you boys would be interested in a step back into reality land at this point in your training...So don't take your 'sighting' system so seriously. I know it's fun, but It's probably better to just practice enough with your main 'go gun' so that you can hit your target out to 100 meters with 90% plus efficacy While you are practicing moving to cover or flanking. Remember, it's all a different pile of shit than a stationary target that's not shooting back to 'interrupt' your 'well-placed' battlefield zeroed group shot, LOL! Besides, if you are really shooting out passed 200 meters, or even a hundred, and it's not a snipe or surprise ambush to the target, you shouldn't be engaged. You should fall back to either regroup out of danger, or to re-established another undisclosed fire advantage before you engage, or to just disengage all together and live to fight another day. This time with more of an 'advantage'.Keep up the great work!

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