Commentary – Why I zero my AR at 50 yards…….

First off – my eye’s are not what they used to be. 100 yards with a non-magnified optic looks pretty far. 200 yards with a non-magnified optic or open sights is extremely far especially considering target identification. Anyways  – back to why I zero my AR at 50 yards.

The M193 55 grain 5.56mm round – and similar loads – are very flat shooting out to 200-250 yards. A lot depends on sight type and distance the sights are above the bore. Typically, with a zero at 50 yards – the bullet will be close to 2 inches high at 100 yards – and 2 inches low at 250 yards. That is pretty flat. My normal shooting distances are between 25 yards and 100 yards – so everything is pretty right on between those ranges.

With my AR’s sighted at 50 yards I feel confident that at any range from 0 – 250 yards – my rifle can hit a torso sized target as long as I have steady aim and good trigger pull. 


By the way – my tired eye’s enjoy the view using the Vortex Strikefire sight.


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12 thoughts on “Commentary – Why I zero my AR at 50 yards…….”

  1. I have always set-up my defensive and hunting weapons using the point blank range system from the Sierra reloading manual tables. This is based on a maximum of 6″ above and below the line of sight. It means your zero range is at an odd distance maybe 280 or 330yds but if you can adjust to that your great over a wide range of distances I also keep a copy of the exterior ballistics chart for whatever I am carrying with me for on the fly adjustments to my point of hold.

  2. Haha, I do it exactly reverse. Zeroed at 200 yards you are ~.4″ @ 50 yards and ~1.37″ @ 100 yards. It’s probably 6 one and 1/2 dozen the other. I also keep a ballistics chart in the grip of mine, so I know the holdover at greater distances.

    • Jesse –

      Funny. I wondered if someone would do just what you practice. Good idea on the chart – going to look into that.

      Thanks – Rourke

  3. An EXCELLENT resource for making/printing out your own ballistics chart. They have a ridiculous amount of calibers and bullet weights on there. Click on the advanced options to change the zero on the chart before you hit calculate. It’s been spot on as far as I can tell about holdover.

  4. I zero at 37 yards, with veloicty and bullet weight( BC, barrel length, ect…) it gives me + or – 2″ out to 250 yards. Point blank is a free download that can help you figure out your projectiles flight path.

  5. I know you know, but I will try. I have two packages of (DRY CALCIUM HYPOCHOPROTE) Pool Shock, that you can get from any pool supplyer. You can now make your own Clorox. There is no shelf life for Pool Shock. Tincture of Iodine or Bleach shelf life is about 2 years. A one pound bag of Pool Shock (granular) will treat up to 10,000 gallons of water. breaking down the numbers. Using Calcium Hypochoprote to make bleach. To make a Chorine Solution for disinfecting water, dissolve one heaping teaspoon ( about one quarter oz. of 78% granular Calcium Hypochlorite into two gallons of water. LABLE CONTIANERS WITH ” DO NOT DRINK THIS SOLUTION !!! THIS IS POISON!!!” Next to disinfect water for drinking, add one part chlorine soultion to 100 parts water or 3 drops of chlorme bleach per Quart (1 Liter) of water and agitate. After making a bleach solution shell life will be the same as bleach apox 2 years.

  6. I also sight my AR at 50 yards for the iron sights. To me, besides the info that was provided on the chart above, it seems more logical to actually see the target and where you are actually aiming and at 50 yards its easiest for me. Besides, if I need to shoot any further than 250 yards I’ll use a different, higher caliber rifle that has magnified optics on it.


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