What’s your Zero?

If you are a fan of the MSR, more than likely you’ve had extensive conversations about the “best” distance in which to to zero your sights and/or optics.  At PSA we’ve had at least a dozen heated debates on that very subject!!  Our opinions come from prior training, personal desires, and even specific missions.  Many of you have even taken advice from some of your military buddies on the best zeroing distances.  We want to give you guys a few things to consider when you undertake the important process of zeroing.


Technically, when you zero your rifle (or pistol) sights and/or optics you are attempting to bring your point of aim and point of impact together, as one, at specific distances.  This convergence can also be considered as the intersecting point between your line of sight and bullet trajectory.   It is important to remember that zeroing your sights/optics will be one of the most beneficial ways of maximizing the effectiveness of your firearm platform.   In other words, we should all strive to make the most of the MPBR (Maximum Point Blank Range) with our defensive options.  MPBR is the maximum distance in which a shooter can hold his/her sights dead on the center of the target and hit dead center.  After all…….when the SHTF  you may have to use your rifle to pick off a zombie or two at varying distances!

Some of the most important questions to ask yourself (and answer too!!!) include but aren’t limited to:

  1. What kind of optic/sights are on the firearm?
  2. What is the maximum distance you plan to shoot this firearm?
  3. How big (or small for that matter) is your intended target?

At distance, precision and target size become more and more important as shooters try to zero.  Understanding this fact will most definitely have an impact on how the firearm is zeroed.   For precision, long-distance shooting, you can’t beat a 100 yard zero.  At this distance there is only one convergence point (not true for 50/200 or 25/300 yard zeros), and thus correcting shots will always lead the shooter to either hold over or dial up.  Other distances will have two convergence points, and thus depending on distance, the shooter will have to conduct more problem solving!

No longer do you have to look on your neighbor’s test paper to get the best answers!  Today, ballistic calculators are available to anyone with an internet connection.  These calculators are the best option for finding the most beneficial zero for your specific firearm platform.  Even better, most smartphones have ballistic calculator apps, many of which are free to download.  These amazing little pieces of technological wonderment will tell you what your offset should be, give you your proper hold location, and some will even save your information for you!

Another important aspect of zeroing that we want you to remember is that your zero may change.  Take for instance you are in South Georgia doing some recreational shooting and you zero.  Your wife takes you on a hunting trip in Denver three months later.  Atmospheric pressures are vastly different from Georgia to Colorado and these pressures affect zero’s.  It is imperative that you check your zero when changing environments.

Zeroing may mean the difference between winning the fight and simply putting rounds near your intended target.  Stay tuned to PSA’s YouTube channel for how-to videos on zeroing!!!

***  If you are unfamiliar with firearms and/or their accessories, and want to learn more, PSA strongly suggests that you find, enroll, and attend a comprehensive and reputable firearms safety course. Firearms safety is all of OUR responsibility.  

We want to thank you for taking out the time to stop by our lane at the shooting range!!  We hope that you enjoyed your stay and hope that you stop back by early and often to catch up on all PSA updates!  We truly hope that we were able to hit the target, and if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to shoot them our way!!  We look forward to shooting the breeze with you soon again!!

And as always….remember to watch your six and stay low!!!

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