The 36 Yard Zero Target
In the recent carbine courses we have discussed various yard lines to zero your rifles along with the pros and cons of each yard line. For those that have attended the courses now know that when it comes to your go-to 5.56 caliber carbine rifle that you would pick because it is best suited for all possible scenarios, the 36 yard zero seems to be the perfect fit. Of course, this is a matter of opinion, but when it comes to making accurate shots from point blank distance all the way out to 300 yards you really can’t argue that the 36 yard zero makes thinking about your hold overs and unders a breeze, which is especially the case when you’re under extreme stress. There’s a problem though, the majority of shooters do not have regular access to a gun range where they can get much distance outside of 25 yards. So how do we get the 36 yard zero with only 25 yards to work with?
I created a 25 yard adjusted zero target for the 36 yard zero based off of a specific set of specs. The majority of our clients use some type of red dot holographic sight whether it be EoTech, Aimpoint, Trijicon, or Vortex optics. All of these sights sit approximately 2.5 inches above the bore of an AR-15 rifle. Most of our shooters are also using basic 5.56/.223 55 grain FMJ for their range ammo, which is also what they zero their rifle with. I figured somewhere there would be a 36 yard zero target for the 25 yard line but there was nothing. They have 25, 50, and 100yds but no 36. So I put the time in, gathered as much info as I could as far as what shooters are using when it comes to optics and ammo, and I calculated where the bullet would impact at the 25 yard line with a 36 yard zero and made a target out of it.
How To Use It?
If you take a look at the target you will see thick gray vertical and horizontal lines that intersect at a black circle. This is going to be where your point of aim is. Center your red dot here. If you look below that you will see thick black vertical and horizontal lines that intersect at another small yellow dot on the 0:0 axis point surrounded by a yellow faded dot. This is going to be where you want your bullet impacts to be. With this being said, your impacts will not hit where you are aiming. The bottom dot on the 0:0 axis is where the bullet would hit if you were aiming at a target 25 yards away with a 36yd zero which is approximately -.72″ below your point of aim. The bullet is still rising to meet your point of aim at 36 yards, this is why the impact point is low on the target. The faded yellow circle around the black circle is there for variables such as sight to bore distance and bullet weight. I use .77 grain for a truer flight, more accuracy, and more knockdown power. The hold under for that round is -.70″, and if your sight sits only 1.5″ above bore then you are at a -.41″ with 55 grain and -.40 with 77 grain. If your round is inside the gray faded circle you are good. The dashed circle is for acceptable human error and it’s generous. All of your rounds should really be at least touching the faded circle. The numbers on the side are adjustments for a .5 MOA sight. For example, if my round hits at vertical line marked 16 above the 0 then I need to adjust my Eotech 16 clicks down.
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Shawn Ryan 🔱