Tag Archives: Ballistics

Episode 005 – Rifle Zero Distances


A lot of people zero at 25 yards because, well, that’s how long the zero range is.  That’s definitely how the Air Force does it.  That’s how we did it in the police academy.  That’s how I did it, before I knew better.  But is that the best distance for an effective, usable zero?

As with a lot of things, the answer is “it depends.”  It depends on a lot of stuff, but primarily on the distance – or distances – you expect to be doing the majority of your shooting.  And it’s important to understand that when you optimize for one particular distance, you may be giving up some capability at other distances.

Yes, picking the wrong zero, and not understanding your zero, can lead to missing an all-important shot.  Choose wisely.

So in this episode, we’ll compare the usability of a 25, 36, 50, and 100 yard zero.  What path does the bullet take?  What are the hold-overs and hold-unders at various ranges?  And, we’ll discuss weird zeros that I’ve heard of – namely, ultra short 7 or 10 yard zeros.

Hopefully you can use the info in this podcast to pick the best zero distance for your rifle – as an educated shooter – instead of the way  many people do… by saying “eh, that’s how we’ve always done it.”

Also, here’s the Travis Haley YouTube clip I mentioned in the podcast.