View Full Version : Zeroing your scope. What distance?

Pond, James Pond
July 4, 2012, 10:04 AM
I realise that this will, in part, be personal preference, but 100yds seems to be the general standard on most rifles.

But what about .22s??

I should have my scope delivered by this time next week and I was wondering which distance to choose.

Given the range of a 22L, my guess was that I should err towards 75 m or even 50 m.

Is this sound logic or is there another, recognised ideal zero distance for .22s?

July 4, 2012, 10:29 AM
When zeroing the .22 set zeroing targets at 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 100 yards, then find the mark at each range. If you are using a scope, and the scope center is 2-inches above bore center, at 10 yards the bullet will hit 2-inches below the bullseye.

Depending on the type of scope, I strive to be bullseye level at 50 yards.

I use this calculator to get the trajectory path before going to the range: http://www.handloads.com/calc/

July 4, 2012, 01:34 PM
I use my 22's mostly for squirrel hunting and the average shot is probably ~ 20 yards... so that's where I zero. I'd say zero for your application.

July 4, 2012, 02:10 PM
Can't speak to .22's, but other shooters usually zero at 100-300 yards, depending on the distances most commonly shot. 100 yards is common, because that's the maximum distance available to many shooters on public ranges.

Long-range shooters usually zero at 200 or 300, as this requires less adjustment for the longer shots.

Hunters often zero to maximum point blank range (as explained in a prior thread of yours) for the ammunition being used.

July 4, 2012, 03:19 PM
For a very common setup, zeroing at 75 yards works well.
Small game hunters may want to zero at 50 so you are never more than a bit high or a bit low using CCI minimags for squirrel.
I use a Burris ballistic reticle scope so my cross hairs are zero at 40 meters. The first mark lines up at 60 meters, the second at 77 meters, and the third hash mark lines up at 100 meters. Therefore I aim center of body at the four distances using the ballistic scope. I used to adjust a Leupold target knob scope, but have replaced that scope using this Burris Fullfield scope which needs no adjustment during a shooting match.

July 4, 2012, 03:21 PM
I zero 22 rifles at 25 yards unless I have a specific need to shoot them at longer range. I normally step up to a 17HMR if I expect shots at 100+ yards. I've shot enough 22's to know pretty close to where they hit at 100 yards with a 25 yard zero.

July 4, 2012, 04:09 PM
For a big game rifle in mostly open country the old rule of three works. It is 3" high at 100 yards.

July 4, 2012, 04:27 PM
Simple caliber independant answer for evey gun ever made.
Zero at the distance you will use it at the most.

THEN figure out the changes for other distances.

July 4, 2012, 04:59 PM
A 22 with optics is zeroed at 50, iron sights at 25. I then shoot at ranges closer and farther and make a note of how much high or low they may be.

July 4, 2012, 05:18 PM
Learn to use the "Maximum point blank range" technique. I'm not going to go into details of it here since it is readily available on Google but essentially it determines the ideal zero distance for any given caliber (i.e., the flatter shooting the caliber, the greater the MPBR zero distance).

July 4, 2012, 05:22 PM
The caliber does not matter. Wether it is.a 22lr or a 50cal you need to zero in at the distance you plan on shooting at. Period.

July 4, 2012, 08:01 PM
I shoot at 100 yards and that is what I zero my scope at. As others mentioned, you zero to your application and anticipated average shooting distance.

July 4, 2012, 08:26 PM
Parallax on 22 scopes is 75 yds IIRC.

July 4, 2012, 08:43 PM
Mine are both set to 50 yards.

July 4, 2012, 09:54 PM
i keep my .22 and .17 zeroed at 50 yards and work up from there. i dont use "22" scopes. my .22 has a pentax 3-9-40 on it and the .17 has a vortex 4-12-40 on it.

the distance i shoot with the .22 is dependent on the ammo. shooting cheap bulk pack, its pointless to try for much more than 50 yards. with the higher end "target" ammo, i can push 100+

July 4, 2012, 11:42 PM
Mines set at 50yards.
I don't really shoot any animals past 70yards so it suits me fine.
Really depend what you intend on shooting with your 22.

phil mcwilliam
July 5, 2012, 06:22 AM
Mines zeroed for 75 yards. This makes it good at 25 yards, 1 inch high at 50 yards, and about 3 to 4 inches low at 100 yards, give or take depending on ammunition. I use my CZ .22 mainly for hunting.

gun nut
July 5, 2012, 06:59 AM
For my 22 it would be either 50 or 75 yards depending on my sights/optics and what I intended to shoot with it. Sounds like your right on James!

Art Eatman
July 5, 2012, 09:38 AM
For general usage purposes, I'm in phil mcwilliams' camp. Otherwise, zeroing for closer distances depends on the specific purpose.

July 5, 2012, 10:13 AM
Depends upon the rifle.

My deer rifle I keep zeroed at 300: +4" high at 100 (chest underlined by horizontal crosshair), just over 4" at 200 (same), 0" at 300 (duh), 11" low at 400(top of the back) ....... a holdover of a foot will get a center hit at 450....

I have a 7-08 with a 16" barrel I download a 150 gr bullet to 2400 f/sec for, for the kids to use..... it's zeroed for 100 and is 6" low at 200. The kids have not shown an ability to consistantly hit milk jugs beyond that distance .... so they can't shoot at deer past that.

The .22's are all zeroed at 50.

July 6, 2012, 11:19 PM
James, Mixing 22 and a large game rifle is a non comparable.

Big game shooting is not target shooting, you want to be able to just aim and shoot at anything out to 200-300 yds. That takes care of most shots if they are a snap shoot, aim at the middle and you are going to hit it in the vitals.

So, 2 inches high at 100 gets you on at 200 and you drop off at 300. Hold a bit high at 300 or top of the back at 350-400 and it will hit the vitals.

Above poster does it a bit higher and goes out a bit further for a dead on shot, same idea but extends his range and he has the cross hairs figured to make the long shots.

22? 50 is common, but if you are hunting rabbits at less, then 20 or 30 makes sense. 22 looses a lot quickly and drops fast. Keep it inside the 50 and you are good. You can sight at 100 but then way off at shorter. Starting to mortar them at 100. Its an inside 50 yd or meter round.

July 7, 2012, 01:10 AM
My general purpose, everyday .22's, both scoped, are "on" at 50 yds, with Rem bulk pack HP's.

But, I have a 9" pieplate sized gong set up on the corner of my place that is about 125 yds off. A CMP Mossberg 44 with peep sights is set up to shoot "on" with a 6 o'clock hold for it, and affords me peep sight practice that is pretty satisfyig. It shoots Rem bulk pac too.

Finally my Savage TR .22 is zeroed on at 100. The scope for it has tac knobs and I can click away for range and wind and get some come up and wind practice. The TR gets CCI hi vel.

July 7, 2012, 03:55 AM
1 is set for 100 yards. exactly 2 inches high at 25 yards. The other is I don't, butit is dead on at both 25 and 50.

July 8, 2012, 01:43 AM
I zero mine at 50 yards and then use Nikon's Spot On to figure out my adjustments for the other ranges.


July 8, 2012, 11:38 AM
For the 22lr, I zero at 75yds. For the lever actions (30-30 and 45/70) I use 100yds. For the flat shooters (25-06, 7mm mag, 300WM etc.) I use 200yds. The rest (22-250, 260 rem, 308, 30-06, etc.) are zero at 100yds.

For the most part, it depends on the game the terrain and the cartridge that you hunt with.