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Zeroing home defense AR at 10 yards?

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by Steamboat Bill, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. Steamboat Bill

    Steamboat Bill What've I done?

    Sep 25, 2004
    I was reading a magazine article by Ed Head ('The House Carbine,' Personal & Home Defense, Gun Buyer's Annual Presents #92, 2011, page 38) in which he stated he zeroed his house carbine at 10 yards -- "the average open distance in the typical home." This was done to avoid offset issues, and allow him to hit targets right where he places the red dot.

    My questions: Does anyone have any opposing opinions about this approach for an AR that is being used only as a home defense weapon? Is there a reason that a "non-trigger-pulling non-operator" who wants to use an AR-15 as a home defense weapon would need to follow the popular advice which advocates a much longer zero distance? What negative consequences would one encounter by choosing this 10 yard zero approach (for a home defense use carbine)?
  2. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005
    A 10 yard zero would be fine,.....

    I zero mine at 50 yards. With this the bullet is never more than 2" from point of aim from muzzle to 220 yards

  3. RyanNREMTP

    RyanNREMTP Inactive/Banned

    Jun 16, 2007
    Waco, Texas
    Mine is zeroed in at 25 yards. I use my rifle not just inside the house but outside the house and if they are outside the 25 yards then they are not on my property anymore.
  4. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454

    Jun 20, 2002
    At 10 yards it will not make any difference what you zero at - unless your zeroed at 500 yards or more! The standard 100 yards zero you'll be hard pressed to see a difference at ten!:rofl:
  5. fuzzy03cls


    Jan 28, 2010
    I agree. At such a short distance zero won't matter unless it's way way off. I zero at 50 yards. But I use my AR for different things. A 25yd zero would be fine.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  6. mixflip


    Mar 4, 2009
    +1 for the 50 yard zero. That should give you decent accuracy out to 100 yards and up close inside of 25 yards still. If you are engaging targets past 100 yards in a home defense situation... you pretty much are not defending your home anymore. (unless you live in a humongous mansion of course? lol.)
  7. Wow,

    I can't think of a more useless zero.

    I just punched in the numbers into a ballistics calculator and if the AR10's sight is 2.5" above the bore line and you zero a 165 gr bullet at 10 yards at 400 yards you are 55" ABOVE line of sight and you don't cross back down to zero until 775 yards.

    Using the same bullet and velocity with the 50 yard zero it is like faawrenchbndr says never more then 2" plus or minus out past 200 yards. With the 50 yard zero you will hit 1.91" low at 10 yards.

    Inside my house if I'm 2" off I think my shot placement will be just fine. And if for some reason other then home defense I need to fire my rifle outside the house I know I can hold dead on out to 200 yards.

    Being dead on inside your home is nice, but there is a chance you may have to use your rifle outside your home. What happens when the drug house around the street lets their pit bulls out one day and they are chasing kids around the neighborhood. Are you going to remember that you have to hold under 15 inches at 70 yards? Or are you going to run 65 yards before taking the shot (while the pit bull is still running around as well)

    You may think your rifle is just for home defense, but there is a chance you may need to exit your home with your rifle. Having is set up with a good all around zero is a good idea.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  8. Steamboat Bill

    Steamboat Bill What've I done?

    Sep 25, 2004
    vafish - That was pretty much my initial opinion (minus the ballistics calculator:cool:). I was wondering if I was missing something.

    I remember Kyle Lamb in 'Green Eyes and Black Rifles,' said something along the lines of select your zero for best versatility and flexibility rather than for one specific factor. IMO, the 10 yard zero is too limiting. I'd rather have the flexibility to still be good out to around 200 yards and within a couple of inches at any distance between.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  9. FatBoy

    FatBoy Millennium Member

    Sep 2, 1999
    I just prefer to know my offset up close. YMMV


  10. Yep, if you have that much time to make that precise of a shot then just aim 2" high.

    If you got a 50 yard zero and will be hitting 2" high at 10 yards and you put your red dot between the guys eyes you'll hit just above the tip of his nose. I think most .223 or .308 rounds hitting the tip of a persons nose will pretty much solve your problem.

    And you still have a good all around zero in case you need to take your rifle outside.

    If you set your rifle up for one specific situation Murphy is going to come along and throw something else at you.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  11. Achped


    Feb 12, 2010
    I became a fan of the 50m/50y zero with my ARs on Saturday....when I was consistently hitting a 12" steel plate with my eotech and no 220 yards.

    If I had a dedicated home defense gun, I would maybe use a 10 yard zero, but thats what my glock is for.
  12. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

    Jun 25, 2004
    Amarillo, Tx
    Never, for all the reasons above. 50m zero with +/- 2" from 0 to 220m is perfect for me.
  13. Chuck TX

    Chuck TX CLM

    Jul 11, 2003
    Republic of Texas
    50 yard zero for me. It's a lot more practical IMO to pick a zero with a relatively flat flight path and then practice and ingrain into your memory where the bullet will hit in comparison to the line of sight. Rather than pick zero with a drastic rise and hope that all shots take place at 10 yards. With the 50 yard zero, even if you don't immediately know the distance of the shot is still only going to be a max of 2" low up close or 2" high around 150 yards.
  14. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    Great.... back to the range for re-zeroing.
  15. ronin.45


    Apr 24, 2008

    This exactly. The zero should be as universal as possible. You would severely limit your guns usefulness if you zero at ten yards.
  16. Novocaine


    Jun 10, 2004
    It's the reason I consider Mini or M1 Carbine to be MORE accurate at indoor distances: low sight line makes POI very close to POA from point blank out to 25 yards. I don't think one inch here or there means much but if this kind of surgical precision at indoor ranges is important to you I'd consider switching platforms.
  17. Andrewsky


    May 28, 2004
    I personally sight in my 16" AR for 50 yards. Sighting it in for 10 yards is just plain stupid.
  18. GPalmer

    GPalmer CLM

    May 20, 2006
    Without commenting on the general usefulness of a 10 yard zero, I'll vote for the 50 yard zero. As others have said, the 50 yard might be a couple inches low at 10 yards but even if you can't remember to aim a couple inches low, 2" low on a head shot or COM ain't gonna bounce off 'em. I wouldn't over think this..
  19. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    But but but... what if you had to take a headshot on a hostage taker inside your house and then he walks backwards outside and the range changes from 10 to 15 to 25 yards and back to 10 as you close in...:whistling:
  20. Mike5560


    Mar 6, 2005
    Zero for versatility, train to it's limitations. 10 yards is, as Vafish said....useless. You're sacrificing a 2 inch difference from POA/POI, to get a zero thats dead on at 10 yards but useless at other distances.

    50 yards is ideal IMO, and 25 works as well but I wouldn't go any shorter than 25.