A Definitive Guide on How to Sight in your AR-15 Scope

How to Sight in an AR15 Scope
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A Definitive Guide on How to Sight in your AR-15 Scope

In this video, we are going to cover everything you need to know about sighting in your new red dot, magnified optic, or scope.

While this video is intended for magnified optics, you can still make use of it to zero your red dot scopes and sight in non-magnified optics.

This video will cover the basics of scope adjustments, walking your reticle into a sharp zero, setting up at the range, and more.

Covering these topics can help you use less ammo when sighting in your optics, and achieve a perfect zero quickly and efficiently.

The last thing anyone wants is to use all their range ammo just trying to get their point of impact onto the target!

Spend the time here learning these initial setup steps, save yourself time and ammo at the range later.

WATCH THE HOW-TO VIDEO HERE

What is Rifle Zeroing?

Zeroing or sighting in a rifle refers to the process of aligning the firearm's sights or optics with the point of impact of the bullets or projectiles it fires.

The goal is to ensure that when you aim at a specific target, the bullets will hit that target accurately at the desired distance.

Here's how the process typically works:

Select a Target
Choose a target at a known distance. The distance at which you zero your rifle can vary depending on your needs and the type of shooting you plan to do.

Common distances for zeroing include 100 yards/meters for many rifles, but it can be shorter or longer depending on your specific firearm and purpose.

Aim and Shoot
From a stable shooting position (such as a benchrest or prone position), aim your rifle at the chosen target and fire a series of shots.

Evaluate Impact
Examine where your shots hit in relation to your point of aim. The shots may be above, below, to the left, or to the right of the target, depending on how your sights or optics are initially set.

Adjust Sights
Based on where your shots impacted, make adjustments to your rifle's sights or optic.

If your shots were low and to the left, for example, you may need to raise the front sight or adjust the scope's windage and elevation turrets accordingly.

Repeat
Fire another series of shots after making adjustments, and continue the process until your shots consistently hit the target where you intend.

Confirm Zero
Once you achieve consistent accuracy at the desired distance, you have successfully zeroed or sighted in your rifle.

Zeroing is essential for ensuring that your firearm is accurate and effective at various distances.

It accounts for factors such as bullet trajectory, bullet drop, windage, and the specific characteristics of your rifle and ammunition.

Zeroing also helps you make precise shots in hunting, target shooting, and other shooting applications.

What to Avoid When Sighting-in or Zeroing an AR15 Rifle

When sighting in or zeroing an AR-15 rifle, it's essential to follow proper procedures to achieve accuracy and safety.

Here are some common mistakes or things to avoid during the zeroing process:

Skipping a Stable Shooting Platform
Using an unstable or makeshift rest can lead to inconsistent results. Always use a stable shooting platform such as a benchrest, sandbags, or a bipod to support the rifle.

Inconsistent Ammunition
Use the same type and brand of ammunition you plan to use regularly when zeroing your AR-15. Different ammunition can have varying ballistics, affecting your point of impact.

Not Cleaning the Barrel
A fouled barrel can affect accuracy. Clean your barrel before zeroing to ensure consistent results.

Not Starting at a Short Distance
Some shooters make the mistake of starting the zeroing process at long distances. Begin at a closer range, like 25 yards, to get on paper before moving to longer distances.

Over-Adjusting Sights
Making large sight adjustments after just a few shots can lead to overshooting the target. Make gradual adjustments and re-test to avoid overcorrection.

Ignoring Environmental Factors
Wind, temperature, and humidity can affect bullet trajectory. Be aware of environmental conditions and how they might impact your shots.

Rushing the Process
Take your time when zeroing your AR-15. Rushing can lead to inaccurate results. Ensure you have enough time and ammunition to make precise adjustments.

Not Recording Data
Keep a record of your adjustments, shot groups, and results. This helps you track your progress and ensures consistency in the future.

Ignoring Shooter Errors
Remember that shooting errors, such as flinching or improper trigger control, can affect your shots. Be mindful of your shooting technique and work on improving it.

Not Checking for Loose Components
Ensure that all components, including scope mounts, rings, and other accessories, are securely attached to the rifle. Loose parts can cause inconsistent results.

Not Reconfirming Zero
After any major changes to your rifle (e.g., scope replacement, significant modifications), always reconfirm your zero to ensure accuracy.

Neglecting Safety
Always treat your firearm as if it is loaded, keep it pointed in a safe direction, and follow firearm safety rules at all times. Avoid negligent discharges by keeping your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot.

By avoiding these common mistakes and following proper procedures, you can effectively zero your AR-15 rifle and achieve consistent accuracy.

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