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Can't hit crap with my AR at 100 yards, what am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by poodleshooter1, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. poodleshooter1


    May 3, 2005
    I zeroed my 16" AR-15 in at 25 meters just fine, however; when I went to shoot at 100 meters I couldn't hit the 6x9 paper. I could easily hit it with an AK.

    Not sure what I'm doing wrong. Stock was fully extended. I did not have my nose on the charging handle like I recently read I should have had (I think I had my nose on the charging handle when zeroing a while back).

    I'm having trouble getting used to the peep sights. I wear glasses on top of it and it makes it even more akward.

    Any tips?
  2. Glock21Owner

    Glock21Owner NRA Life Member

    Dec 27, 2001
    Isle of Lucy
    Let someone else shoot it and see if they get the same results. How many rounds are you firing? Can you put up a silhouette target like a B27 and see where your rounds are hitting? Are your sights fairly centered or are they cranked over to one side? Lots of variables in play here



    Feb 2, 2005
    Thomasville, NC
    So many little keyboard time.

    First off, I'd get a consistent cheek weld; if you want to use NTCH, use it. Don't zero one way, then change, then change back. Pick a method, then stick with it.

    Secondly, I'd recommend heading to and reading that page; it will take some time, but its well worth it to understand some of the fundamentals about bullet flight path as it relates to the zero. Then, after you understand it, use Santose's 50m zero procedure. Works like a CHAMP.

    Next, I'd get a bigger target. Get a piece of butcher block paper, draw a 4" square in the center and color it in with a black marker. Put THAT at 100yds (after you do your 50m IBSZ) and hold the rifle such that the front sight post is centered in the rear aperture (sight alignment) and then move that sight picture to where the black block you drew is 'sitting on the post'...basically, get everything set up to where you barely lose the little white line between the sight post and the block. Fire 5 shots, then go downrange and check your target. Assuming you had a good zero at 50m, you should be pretty much dead center, maybe a little above that, in the black of the target. Thats called a '6 o'clock hold' and its the best way to get new shooters on paper and zeroed quickly.

    Your group at 50m (or yards, not a huge difference at that range) should be able to be covered by a quarter; if it looks more like a shotgun pattern than a group, I'd recommend getting some instruction, even if its a buddy that can shoot well. Heck, check the link in my sig line and head to an Appleseed to hammer out the basics. Cheapest quality instruction you'll get in basic rifle marksmanship.

    Anyway, hope that helps. For what its worth, the 25m zero throws the 5.56 WAAAAAY too high for my tastes; I really wish I'd known that when I was on active duty.

  4. I agree, have someone else shoot it. Try different ammo. Its all sight alignment/breathing/trigger control, as long as the gun is right. I have seen guns that were just trouble and you couldnt group with them. All I use is iron sights for the most part for shooting and coyote hunting. I dont put my nose on the charging handle, never have. I extend the stock fully everytime, out the corner of my mouth on the inside edge of the stock just like I do the string on my bow (I am more into archery then guns). Consistancy is the key.

    Could be the gun, ammo, or you?

    I also agree that the 25 m/yd zero is for the birds. I zero with iron sights at 100yds. You can be 6" off at 100yds with a 25 yd zero depending on ammo/gun etc. And I would use the small aperature for 100yds. I have the Brownells 360 with large/100/200/300 holes it is nice!
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  5. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454

    Jun 20, 2002
    OK you can hit at 25 yards- try 50 yards! If you were centered at 25 you should be 1/4"-1/2" high at 50 centered! This will tell you alot as far as sites! Cause you said you get none on paper at 100 say 1. your a very bad shot! 2. you have screwed up sites. 3 a very bad barrel! Sorry I don't sugar coat!:rofl:
  6. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999
    Bring your spotting scope and a friend to get you on the paper
  7. Jeff82

    Jeff82 NRA Benefactor CLM

    Feb 25, 2002
    What was group size at 25? What weight ammo? What twist barrel?
  8. Jdog


    Sep 10, 2007
    wasatch range
    time for a scope
  9. Foxtrotx1


    Jan 29, 2010
    Scottsdale AZ
    no, Irons first. Fundamentals.
  10. JASV.17

    JASV.17 Prime Example

    Jul 10, 2007
    You're zeroed at 25, don't expect the same zero at 100.

    I bet if you take your rifle out and change your POA to the bottom of the paper (about 6" below where you want rounds to go) you'll see a huge improvement.

    I had the same experience when I took my rifle out for the first time. My range only has 25 and 100 yard distances. I was shooting targets printed on copy paper. 25, I was good to go. Moved over to 100, nothing. Called my brother, he told me to aim about 6" lower. I did, and I was right on. FYI, this was using the large aperature, 1:7, 55gr.

    It will also help you to cover a good deal of the target with paper, so you see where all rounds are going.
  11. K. Foster

    K. Foster

    Feb 19, 2002
    Your bullets are going somewhere. Get a piece of butcher paper or a much larger target and find out where you’re hitting.
  12. K. Foster

    K. Foster

    Feb 19, 2002
    That has no bearing on the OP’s issue.


    Feb 2, 2005
    Thomasville, NC
    Optics don't help breath control, trigger control, nor cheek weld.

    Seeing where you miss won't help you shoot better.
  14. For a 25m/300m zero, your POI (point of impact) will be more than 4" above your POA (point of aim) at 100 yards. You said you were shooting at a 6"x9" target, if you were aiming at the center of the target, chances are your shots were flying over the top of the paper. Try a 50yd/200m zero, it is much more practical, your POI will never be more than 2" above or below your POA between 10yds and 250yds.


    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  15. fuzzy03cls


    Jan 28, 2010
    I would re zero at 50. Use a 6'oclock hold at 100.
  16. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454

    Jun 20, 2002
    Aggreed I use the 50 yard zero! With my A2 sites on the 25/300 I'm about 2.5 high at 100 yards! With 5.56mm M193 thats right on for what the AR15 is made for!
  17. DieselNut


    May 21, 2007
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Who made your AR? Check the sights to make sure they're not canted. Some people have had issues with this.
  18. BBJones


    Mar 2, 2010
    In summary:

    -get a bigger target to find out where you are actually hitting
    -be consistent in how you sighted in at 25 yards (do at least 5 shot groups, 10 shots would be even better)
    -use a 50/200 zero (if you only have access to a 25 and 100 yard range, try to impact approx. 1-1.25" low at 25 yards and you will be 2-2.5" high at 100yards; ammo dependent)
    -find a decent source to teach you fundamentals of shooting and practice those fundamentals
    -check to make sure your sights are not canted
    -examine charts that demonstrate the trajectory of 5.56 (but note different ammo does different things)

    After all this, you will be a much better shooter than many people who have been shooting for years but never took the time to learn anything.
  19. mikekj


    Feb 24, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Sure it does. If he's shooting thin skinned, 50gr hunting bullets in a 1-7 bbl, the bullet may fly apart from spinning to many rpm's. They may not make it 100 yards.

    It has been known to happen.
  20. Hogwash