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What is an acceptable group for 50 yd. zero?

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by Glockernaut, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Glockernaut

    Glockernaut

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    Tried to site my irons yesterday and found the process confusing. This was my first time ever shooting an AR so even my benchrest groups were unimpressive. I was centered but high and low. Had a 3 shot group over the bullseye and everything else was at 12 and 6(roughly 10 rounds total). Not sure if I was using the bench rest properly. I had a lot of trouble with the site picture my vision would get blurry and my front site wuld cover the majority of the target making it hard to be precise. Just looking for some recommendations and to hear some of your experiences.
     
  2. jrrich

    jrrich

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    Obviously, the closer your shot group, the tighter your zero will be in the end. At 50 yards, I would be unhappy with anything that a quarter could not cover. Also, quality of your zero depends a lot on the quality of the ammo you are using. You don't need match rounds, but make sure you are using a reliable, upscale brand.

    It sounds to me like you were having more of a problem sighting in the rifle than anything else. You could consider buying or renting one of those bench rests that clamp the rifle in place, or another option would be to get a boresight laser.

    Remember, though, the tightest zero won't do you any good if you can't trust yourself to hit the mark. Maybe the best suggestion would be for you to find some training resources and practice marksmanship a bit more.
     

  3. crenca

    crenca

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    How old are you? I ask because sometime in my 30's my ability to use iron's went all to s%$t. Not sure exactly why because with correction I am better than 20/20 and I am not yet (though getting there) to the point of needing bifocals.

    With a 5 moa red dot and can do 1.75 inch groups at hundred yards. Iron's should give a better sight picture (since the red dot is covering up about 5 inches of the target at 100 yards) but I can only manage 3 inch group with them.

    This situation (which is personal with me) is one reason I choose to use an AR instead of a pistol in the HD role. Even though I am OK with my pistol, my confidence is not there since it depends on my ability to use irons in a critical situation.

    In any case, with the advancement of optics (both red dot and magnification) I don't see why one would choose irons except for backup. I simply sight in my primary and then base my irons off of that. Testing my irons only proves what I already know, that I am better with my red dots and scopes.
     
  4. Kentak

    Kentak

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    Don't fret. This can be solved. I am not any kind of a shooting instructor, so this is just my common sense wisdom on the subject.

    Three things to control to get the good results you want:

    1) Stable support for the rifle and the shooter. Everything the rifle rests on from the ground up needs to be solid. Use a decent bipod or homemade or commercial "beanbags" to support the front and rear of the rifle. Same for the shooter. Wobbly folding chairs won't help the situation.

    2) Technique. Are you familiar with the concept of timing your shots to your breathing cycle? You should be able to find plenty of pictures of good body and arm position while benchrest shooting on the web. Once you get into position, don't change it up while you're shooting a group.

    3) Sight picture. This is possibly a big part of the problem based on the information you gave. As you noted, if your front sight covers the target, you're not going to be able to place the aimpoint consistently from shot to shot. I would suggest using the *small* aperture on your rear sight. Why? It's physics, a smaller aperture has focusing effect. This may help keep your front sight and target in better focus. If your vision is such that you can't keep both in focus, focus on the front sight rather than the target.

    To get a tight group, you must maintain a consistent sight picture from shot to shot. If your target is a large black dot, for example, you should decide where your going to place it in your sight picture. Are you going to "balance" it on top of the front sight post, or are you going to put the top of the front post in the center of the dot? Whichever, you must do it consistently. If your front sight is going blurry, that makes consistency almost impossible.

    For your situation, I would suggest a small (about 2 in), bright dot on a contrasting colored background. I suggest not using a black background because I want to be sure your front post doesn't get lost in the background. Sight so that the target dot "rests" on the center of your front sight post.

    If you take care of all of these things, I have a strong feeling you'll do much better. Oh, it wouldn't hurt to fire a bunch of rounds to warm up your barrel before you shoot for groups.

    Good luck, and keep us posted on how the next outing goes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  5. Glockernaut

    Glockernaut

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    Thanks for all of the responses guys. I def need more training! I have a lot more experience with pistols. Kentak, you brought up two points that I did not even consider. I was in a flimsy chair and the target had a black background. I was def losing the sight, and the site just never seemed stable on the rest. Also, I did not use a rest on the rear of the rifle. I feel stupid in asking but is it standard practice to have the rear of the gun on a the rest? Thank you very much for the detailed response BTW. I will keep you posted.
     
  6. Kentak

    Kentak

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    Glockernaut--

    About the rear support. It depends. Not everyone uses them. But, I would recommend it for what you are trying to do--for no other reason than to reduce the number of variables that might be affecting your groups.

    Here's a pic of one setup I sometimes use. The front support is an inexpensive plastic adjustable tripod. The rear support is a leather bag I picked up at Gander Mountain. It's filled with sand. There are others I like also than come with a lightweight filler.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  7. Jitterbug

    Jitterbug

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    All good advice above, try using about an 6-8" Bull for the target so you can center your front post at 50 yards...and remember to breathe and squeeze.

    Also practice at home using dry fire, being VERY sure to follow good safety rules, meaning a very unloaded gun with no live ammo nearby and a safe backdrop so when the un loaded gun goes off nobody gets hurt. Do this a lot and your groups will start to shrink.
     
  8. KalashniKEV

    KalashniKEV

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    I recommend using a target offset at 25m and following standard zero procedures as outlined in FM 3-22.9.

    The offset you're looking for should be under under 2" for both 55 and 62 grain ammunition.

    [​IMG]


    Lots of guys claim to have zeroed their RDS equipped ARs at 100m, and it's not impossible, but most are only "shot cluster adjusted" at best.

    Good luck, and remember the fundamentals of marksmanship. It's good that you're at least seeking out the Knowledge!
     
  9. MCKNBRD

    MCKNBRD

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    Sounds like a software issue; you need to get to an Appleseed and learn the basics of marksmanship. Position, grip, sling use, breath control, sight alignment, sight picture, squeezing the trigger, and calling the shot all take practice. If you are grounded in the basics, your practice will be much more effective. If you just ramble along trying to put holes in paper, you'll develop bad habits that are VERY expensive. After all, a shot that doesn't go where you want it to is wasted, no?

    Things like sight picture, center of mass hold vs. six o'clock hold, positions, and talking targets will be lost on you unless you have a good friend that will work with you on it or you get some basic training in Riflery skills. FWIW, I'd look for 5 round groups between nickle and quarter size before I started making sight adjustments. Sounds like your sight picture is off (as well as breath control), so I'd pick a six o'clock hold and go with it. I'm assuming you have a standard A2 style sight post in your front sight, so I'd go with a 6" black square on a white background to start with (and stay with irons...focus on the front sight, putting the target square on top of the front post; everything else will blur out. The human eye can't focus at more than one distance at a time). I wouldn't adjust ANYTHING until I could regularly cover 5 shots with a quarter (preferably a nickle or dime) and had a good feel for calling the shot if/when you have flyers.

    Unless you are swimming in $$$, I'd recommend hammering out your basic learning on a rimfire rifle at 25yds; all the basics are the same, and if you can't hit it at 25yds with a rimfire, you ain't gonna do it at 2 or 300 with a centerfire.

    An Appleseed is an easy (and cheap!) way to get a good foundation in the basics and start with good habits. You also get a dose of American History and learn of our heritage as Riflemen over the weekend. Check out the link in my sig, and PM me if you have any questions.

    Byrdman
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010