View Full Version : How far should I sight my .22 lr?

Jesse D310
May 9, 2006, 04:32 AM
Hi I recently bought a Marlin 22lr. rifle and I also bought a scope. At what range should I set the scope for?

May 9, 2006, 06:42 AM
45-55 yards, generally speaking

May 9, 2006, 07:01 AM
How far should I sight my .22 lr?
The answer is how far do you intend to shoot.
25 yards?
50 yards?
100 yards?
I have a 22 Long Rifle Ruger 77/22 that is [a yard gun] sighted in for 25 yards.

Here is an important consideration...Most scopes focus at 30 to 35 yards.

May 9, 2006, 10:20 AM
For an auto rifle i would set it at around 35-40yds, i set my bolt rifle at 50yds

May 9, 2006, 10:44 AM
Mine is sighted in at 40 yds.

May 9, 2006, 10:48 AM
i have the same problem, i bought a marlin 980v bolt action bull barrel 22lr and have been debating where to sight it in for,
the problem i return to is i am shooting a varmint at ranges of 10-20 yards but targets at 50 yards or more,
im not sure what ill end up doing, prolly sight it then write the number of clicks to adjust it out down or just rember how many clicks for what range ...
any opionoins :P

Wild Bill Bucks
May 9, 2006, 10:50 AM
Sighting in a .22lr with a 40 grain HP loaded to 1255 fps with a Ballistic coefficient of .100.
Sighted at 30 yards = You will be approx. 1/2" low at 10 yards, be dead on at 20 to 50 yards, at 60 yards approx. 1" Low.
This is the best sighting range I have found for small game in my area.(Southeastern Oklahoma)

May 9, 2006, 11:35 AM
I sight mine 2" high at 50 yds, puts it dead on at 75 yds, 1 1/2" low at 100. The sight setting works well for small game and ground squirrels.

May 9, 2006, 11:40 AM
For Hyper-Vel (like Aguila super maximum) ==> 70 or 75 yards. But I don't use these as I found them to be inaccurate, so this is theoretical.

For High-Vel ammo (most common) ==> 60 yards This is a good choice since "Hi-Vel" is the most common type of ammo, and a 60 yard zero gives you a PBR of about 74 yards, IIRC, with a 3" kill zone (1.5" high or low).

For Standard-Vel ammo ==> 50 or 55 yards
For Subsonic standard ammo, including SSS ==> 45 or 50 yards
For CB longs & shorts ==> 25-40 yards, depending on use.
For Super Colibris ==> 10 yards

My preferences, anyhow.

May 9, 2006, 06:23 PM
FWIW, I've got my Marlin 39D zeroed in at 75 yards. It's been known to take out little critters up close and crows at 100 yards. That was just with plain .22LR high speeds. The newer hyper-velocity rounds (like CCI stinger) make 75 yds seem like a good bet.

May 9, 2006, 07:55 PM
ive got a remington 597 with a 3-9X40 Bushnell trophy (big game not .22) scope. I keep mine dead on a 25 yards and with a bit of testing and whatnot shooting gophers at 50 yards is a snap and anything less than 25 is almost too easy.

I use CCI Mini-Mags whenever possible

May 9, 2006, 08:15 PM
The answer is how far do you intend to shoot.

+1 on that!

May 10, 2006, 07:54 AM
As is this answer to many of these questions:it depends.

Mine are most accurate with 38-40 standard velocity loadings. I can shoot realy tight groups at 50 yards with my Marlin Model 60. So, I sight 3/4" high at 50 yards. Most shots I get (pest/vermin) around my place will be at least 30 yards, and closer to 50, usually...So, for shorter shots, I aim just a "tad" low. And, sighted this way I'm about 1" or so low at 100 yards, which is about the maximum practical shot with a .22. With the slightly high 50 yard zero, its about right on at 75, and I just aim a bit high at 100. I rarely miss, and this formula works for me, but YMMV.

May 10, 2006, 08:10 AM
An air rifle target scope with a close parallax adjustment. You will need the parallax adjustment for proper accuracy under 50 yards, and you will want the quick and precise horizontal adjustment for all shots past 100 yards.

May 11, 2006, 02:03 PM
85 yards.

Jesse D310
May 12, 2006, 04:10 AM
I mostly want it for hunting jackrabbits and squirrels at I would say 25 yards to 75 yards. I think I should set it at 50 yards. What do you guys think?

May 12, 2006, 06:29 AM
Set up some paper targets ranging from the 25-75 yards you said you intend to shoot. Pick a zero, any zero. Find a happy medium, your 50 yard guess will be a fine place to start. Then let that wonderful "bullet drop compensator" that is located between your ears take over. Sighted in at 50, you will be very close do a dead on hold from 25-75 yds.

Just go shoot.

May 12, 2006, 09:20 AM
I mostly want it for hunting jackrabbits and squirrels at I would say 25 yards to 75 yards. I think I should set it at 50 yards. What do you guys think?

Dude. Did you read my post? Assuming you're using "hi-vel" ammo, setting it for Sixty yards (not 50) will give you a PBR right about 74 yards - this is exactly what you are saying you want. Squirrels are small targets. You set that at 50 and shoot one at 75 and you are going to be at least 1/2-1" low. On a jackrabbit it won't matter, but on a squirrel, it's a miss. Set it for a 60 yard zero and you will be happy. Are you familiar with PBR (point blank range)? If not, PM me or post here and I'll give you some info...

May 12, 2006, 11:12 AM
34 yards, 2 feet 7 inches...works good....

Jesse D310
May 22, 2006, 06:02 AM
No Im not familiar with PBR.

May 22, 2006, 09:23 AM
OK, read up on it here:


That is an outstanding explanation, actually. Then ask follow up questions. But the hit zone for a squirrel is roughly 3", so you can't go any more that 1.5" high or 1.5" low. Given that, and the BC and muzzle velocity (and thus trajectory), you can calculate what zero gives you a *maximum* PBR. For a 3" vital zone and Hi-vel .22lr ammo (30 gr), a 60 yard zero means that you will never be more than 1.5" high at any point between the muzzle and 60 yards, and you will not be more than 1.5" low until you get past 74 yards, if I am recalling correctly from when I ran the numbers previously. Actually, I calculated that 59 yards is the perfect zero, but rounded it up to 60. So that might make you 1.6" high at some point along the trajectory, something like that.

May 22, 2006, 09:29 AM
I always kept mine sited for 50 yards with no problems.

May 22, 2006, 12:31 PM
IMHO, it would depend on how you intend to use your 22...If you're indoors mostly & shoot only at 50' - 75' then sight it in at that range. If you're out doors and shoot out to 100 yards...sight in at that distance ;) Have it ready to perform at what you are anticipating will be its primary mission

Sun Tsu
July 29, 2008, 10:53 AM
I found that the 22 lr has the capilibility of shooting 163yds without any major compensation nessicarrily. I would recomend zeroing in at 75yds to avoid over shooting a small game target.

July 29, 2008, 10:59 AM
What happens to a bullet at 164 yards? :D

I have mine zeroed at 50 yards.

July 29, 2008, 11:40 AM
Mine is set for zero at 60 yards. It is an air rifle scope but parralax is not a concern as it is just fine from 20 yards to 100 yards...

July 29, 2008, 12:45 PM
According to the ballistics calculator here: http://www.eskimo.com/~jbm/calculations/traj/traj.html
zeroing at 70 yards will hold inside of a 2" circle (minute of squirrel) from 5 to 81 yards, using a 36 grain CCI Mini-Mag HP. That also gives you a second zero at 17 yards in case something jumps out right in front of you.

For a 4" circle you can zero at 88 yards and have a max PBR of 102.

July 29, 2008, 01:19 PM
62 yards is the optimum BSZ for the .22

July 29, 2008, 07:31 PM
Quote by a10t2:

According to the ballistics calculator here: http://www.eskimo.com/~jbm/calculations/traj/traj.html
zeroing at 70 yards will hold inside of a 2" circle (minute of squirrel) from 5 to 81 yards, using a 36 grain CCI Mini-Mag HP. That also gives you a second zero at 17 yards in case something jumps out right in front of you.

Than why not just sight in for 17 yards?

The old rule of thumb (and I mean old!!!!) is that you sight a 22 in for 25 yards. This puts you a little high at 50 yards and dead on again at 75 yards. It's worked for years, why mess with it.


July 29, 2008, 09:34 PM
50 yards.

July 29, 2008, 09:47 PM
My GSG-5 is set for 50 yds. But my Stevens bolt-action is set for 100. Nothing more fun than shooting for groups with a .22 at 100 yds.:D

phil mcwilliam
July 30, 2008, 04:57 AM
I always sighted my 22's 1 inch high at 50 yards. They were on at 25 yards, on at 75 yards, & about 4 inches low at 100 yards. I've found this suited my hunting needs for shooting rabbits in the hills.

July 30, 2008, 05:24 AM
mine is sighted for 100 yards. using remington thunderbolts and winchester wildcats. remington nylon 77 aka mohawk 10C with a 4x scope. i can kill a 6" paper plate at 100 yards,or a 12 oz soda can/20 oz. coke bottle at 50 yards.

July 30, 2008, 12:28 PM
I sight in most of my .22LR's at 50yds. Dead-on for most shots and holdover is easy out to at least 125yds.

July 31, 2008, 09:23 PM
get a BSA sweet 22 scpoe and zero at what the paper work says

August 1, 2008, 07:20 PM
I squirrel hunt with my Savage bolt action .22 and I have it zeroed at 40 yds. I like to shoot squirrels in the head if I can and that's a pretty small target. I can hold dead on from 10 to 50 or 55 yds.

King Ghidora
August 1, 2008, 08:23 PM
I have a Marlin Model 60. I just came in from sighting it. I sight at about 40 yards because that's the distance of my front yard shooting range. I can shoot about a 1 inch pattern at that distance if I bear down some but usually I don't have that much patience and I'm happy shooting a 2 inch group. But that's shooting standing up with a side rest like a tree or the side of my house. I sometimes use my grill as a bench essentially. Marlin's can be very accurate.

I find that anything up to about 15 yards the Marlin still hits solidly without adjusting my aim. Anything up to about 75 yards works too but above that I have to adjust where I'm aiming. This is with iron sights BTW and my laser sight that I have mounted on it. I can hit small birds and bats flying through the air when I adjust for shooting at this distance. I've seen my brother, who's a much better shot than me, shoot squirrels on the run right through the eye time after time and he adjust his Marlin at the same distance. My brother is ambidextrious which gives him a huge advantage with a long gun. I can outshoot him with a handgun though. :)

The main thing is to practice enough to know how you will need to adjust at various distances. I've shot a .22 at a bleach jug size target at a quarter of a mile and only missed it a foot. My brother hit it. But I had to aim about 6 foot above the target. I should have aimed 7 foot above it though because I missed directly under the target by a foot. .22's have a lot more range than most people give them credit for.

I love my laser sight too. It's fabulous for those night time varmits. I have a laser for my Remington 870 too and it's dead accurate. If you put that dot on something it's going to be hit if it's in shotgun range. People say they're a crutch but I say they're a tool. As long as I use a see through mount I don't have any trouble with them at all. I can shoot from the hip and shoot that same 1 inch pattern at 40 yards. I'm getting older or I could do better than that. I'm just not as steady as I once was.