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Old August 15, 2016, 09:20 AM   #1
Jak300gt
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Windage zero help

I went to my first medium range rifle course the other day, and preformed horrible. Targets were from 200 to 660 yard. I thought I had my rifle properly zeroed at 300 yards. However I believe I was mistaken. I am completely new in calling the wind witch was a large part of my problems. Witch brings me to my question. What is the proper way to zero a rifle. And should I do it at 100yds rather then 300
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Old August 15, 2016, 09:39 AM   #2
kraigwy
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When I coached HP (for the AK NG) I'd have people zero at 300. At 200 its easy to slop the rounds in. At 600 you're dealing with Mirage and Wind.

What is critical is calling and plotting your shots then studying the hits, comparing them with calls for each individual shot.

Set your target at 300, shoot a 10 to 20 shot group. The more shots the more accurate the zero.

Now take your target, draw a line from 12 to 6 o'clock, and another line from 3 to 9 o'clock. Count the number of shots in each quarter.

Adjust and shoot again, keeping at it until you get an equal number of shots in each quarter of the target.

Now you have your zero. Doesn't matter if you shoot tight groups or wash tube size groups, anyone can get a zero using this method.
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Old August 15, 2016, 09:40 AM   #3
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First off, don't sweat it. You have to start somewhere.

Ideally, you have a confirmed zero for elevation for each range you are shooting, and spin the knobs for each target.

What sights are you using? For my LR rig, the rifle is normally zeroed at 200 yards, with the target turrets on the scope reset so I can easily return to this point. I then know the come-ups for any given range.

When I was still shooting Service Rifle across the course, I had zeroes for each range and position, (standing zero and sitting zero were different at 200 yards).

Now, if you don't have target turrets on your scope, or your scope doesn't track consistently (you put 10 1/2 MOA on the scope, does point of impact move that distance), then you could have problems.

What is the longest range you have access to for zeroing?
Do you know the actual velocity of your load?

Can you elaborate on what the course was?
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Old August 15, 2016, 09:40 AM   #4
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Wind changes, so that adjustment is never truly zeroed. All you can really zero for is vertical adjustment, so a 300 yard zero is just fine. Calling wind is tough and you won't always get it right, but you'll get better the more practice you get.

Does the range you shoot at have wind flags? There are several resources online that'll help you learn to read flags. Plus you can learn to read mirage, it's tougher than flags but by reading mirage you'll learn to call wind better.
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Old August 15, 2016, 10:11 AM   #5
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You CANNOT successfully correct for wind and or mirage unless you have a Mechanical Zero. Obtain a Mechanical Zero then learn to estimate wind and make windage corrections.

For example, on my M1A I've been shooting for nearly 40 years, and used to get my DR Badge, has a mechanical zero of 4 Left.

In other words before I shoot any match or practice session, I set it at 4 Left and then check for the wind.

Failing to have a mechanical zero, you will have no reference or starting point when the you go to another range, another match or even get a wind change at the same match.

The correct way to do it for in long range shooting, is shoot a 20 round match as it fit was 20 - 1 round matches. Going back to your mechanical zero after each shot, then re-calculating and adjust for the next shot.

Of course that isn't always practical, that's why you write down every sight change so you can look at your score/data book at any time and know where your sights are.
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Last edited by kraigwy; August 15, 2016 at 10:17 AM.
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Old August 15, 2016, 10:26 AM   #6
HiBC
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I'm not a competition shooter,so this will be a little off.
If I have to get a zero on a hunting rifle and I'm running out of opportunities,
I'm almost in Wyoming and the wind is blowing.
And I want a 300 yd zero,

I'll sight in at 300,no problem,

But then I'll touch up the windage adjustment at 100yds.

And I'll still use my wind meter to offset my group via the chart at 100 yds.

I just think I have fewer variables to fight that way.

Last edited by HiBC; August 15, 2016 at 10:36 AM.
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Old August 15, 2016, 11:35 AM   #7
Jak300gt
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Thanks for all the input. To answer some of the questions; I was using a 6.5-20 X 44 mil dot scope. It does not have tactical turrets. They are 1/8"@100 click. They are able to be turned by hand but have caps. And can be repositioned to mark zero. I can not confirm that the scope clicks are truly accurate or repeatable. My max I can zero comfortably is 300yds. I do not know exactly what my muzzle velocity is however I have a decent idea based on my vertical hits at other ranges. Using sniper calc app on my phone I was good out to about 450 ish yards for vertical so I know my vertical needs work and I know how to fix that.
So how does one find the mechanical zero of a rifle then is my next step. I'm not worried about vertical. Only windage. And I agree that with out a mechanical zero one can not adjust for wind properly.
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Old August 15, 2016, 01:50 PM   #8
Jak300gt
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Also what companies should I look at for getting a scope with tactical turrets? I'd rather not go more then about $300. I'm not trying to win a 1000 yard match just make decent hits out to maybe 800 yards.
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Old August 15, 2016, 02:46 PM   #9
emcon5
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For Mechanical Zero, do what Kraig mentioned in post #2.

Sounds like you have target turrets, you don't need "Tactical" turrets, whatever those are (I am guessing target turrets without a cap and a higher price tag).

Do a box test with your scope and see how well it tracks. Set up at 100 yards with a good rest, and shoot a group, go up 10 MOA and shoot another, then right 10 MOA, then down 10 MOA, then left 10 MOA. The fourth group should be on top of the first. If you have a large enough target, 15 MOA for each step would be better.

That should give you a good idea of how well the scope tracks.

If your elevation is OK, and you shot OK at 300, my guess is that your scope is not far off, if at all, and most of the problem is reading the wind.

For wind, were you adjusting the scope, or holding off? With Mil-dots, it is pretty easy to hold off, you have handy reference points. Keep in mind, that for a variable power scope, unless yours if first focal plane, the mil-dots will only be 1 mil at a specific magnification. For my Leupold it is 10X, which actually works out OK, because it tops out at 20X, so the mils become half mils.

Start here, thanks to the Army Marksmanship Unit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAYqr02dpQ4

She gives a pretty decent high level overview, and a great place to start.

What I did is print out a cheat sheet and taped it to the sun shade on my scope. If I had to do it over again, I would laminate a range card and hang it from the front scope ring, so I can see it from behind the rifle.

Quote:
range /drop/10 mph full value wind MOA

100 +1.5
200 0 1
300 -2.2 1.5
400 -4.7 2.1
500 -7.6 2.7
600 -10.7 3.3
700 -14.1 4
800 -17.8 4.7
900 -21.9 5.5
950 -24.1 5.9

1 Mil 3.4 MOA
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Old August 15, 2016, 02:53 PM   #10
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This Vortex is a moderately priced but excellent scope. I use it on my Model 70 Target rifle in precision rifle matches up to 1400 yards.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/242...-reticle-matte


There will be a CMP Sanctioned Clinic and Match Sat. Aug. 20th at 9AM, Newcastle WY. No charge for the clinic or match. There will be a category for, Garand, Springfield, Military(other military), Carbine and modern military, shoot one or all.

Sight it in, lets say at 100 yards, for both elevation and windage. Then set the knobs to zero.

Then you just need to determine, (from a ballistic program) how many minutes you have to come up. You should be right on. Set back to zero when your done and you're ready to adjust for the next range/

If you make windage corrections, just set it back to zero when your done.

It worked for me I put the same scope on three of my other rifles, including wife's Ruger Precision Rifle.

On my Model 70 Featherweight I put the 6X18 version. Again works well

Below your $300 mark, yet keeps up with the big boys in Long Range Precision Matches. The warrantee is the best you'll find.
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Old August 15, 2016, 07:13 PM   #11
Jak300gt
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Thanks guys. Soon as I can get my reloads done I'll do that box test. And now that I think about it my scope is celebrated at 10x and I was shooting at 20x so I may have been to light on wind calls because I was holding my wind calls but I was doping my elevation. I couldn't see my shots but every time I missed the plate the guys I was with said elevation was good I was just off left or right. I knew that I need more practice. Was just trying to make sure I wasn't doing anything terribly wrong
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Old August 15, 2016, 07:16 PM   #12
Jak300gt
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Scope is Calibrated at 10x* sorry

Also thanks for the scope info I'll check them out now. I'm fairly happy with my scope but the optics are kind of dark even at the lower powers
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