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Old November 7, 2005, 09:41 PM   #1
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How do you zero in?

This was prompted by the other "Zero" post.
I have a S&W 686+ and a SIG P-232.
I have yet to shoot hte SIG, but I'm doing well w/the 686.
How does one go about zeroing in a handgun?
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Old November 7, 2005, 10:05 PM   #2
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Zeroing ANY pistol or rifle means adjusting the sights so that the gun shoots to the desired point of impact at the selected distance using the selected ammo.

You can ONLY zero a pistol IF it has adjustable sights. Pick a distance to zero your sights and put up a target. Shoot 3 shots, from a rest if you are not an expert pistol shot. Then adjust the rear sight in the direction you want the bullet impact to move. Shoot 3 more shots from rest and adjust rear sight again if needed. Repeat until bullets are hitting your desired impact point at the selected distance. Your pistol is now zeroed FOR THAT AMMUNITION at that distance. Change ammo and you may have to rezero the pistol sights.

Good shooting and be safe.
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Old November 8, 2005, 01:59 PM   #3
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LB made a good post, I would add one thing. When you are done sighting in from the bench shoot a couple of magazines/cylinders at the furthest distance you can consistently place your shots at. Do not correct your aim at any point, just pick a spot and shoot at it until you have a good number of rounds on the target. Look to see how that group corresponds to where you were aiming. I have seen occaisions where benched group centers were a little different than freehand centers.
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Old November 8, 2005, 02:17 PM   #4
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Well said regarding 'zero-in' procedures. Just keep in mind, if the rounds are flying all over the target AFTER you zero'd your handgun, it's YOU and not the gun that needs correction.
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Old November 8, 2005, 02:44 PM   #5
Dave R
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Just wanted to add that fixed sights CAN be adjusted a little.

Easist way is to try different ammo!

If you want to adjust for a particular type of ammo...

Most fixed rear sights can be adjusted for windage (left/right) if they are dovetailed in. Some aren't. To adjust elevation, some pistols allow you to install front sights of different heights.

If your front sigvht is fixed, and you don't have dots or other inserts, you can raise point of impact by filing down the front sight. You can lower point of impact by filing down the rear notch. This doesn't work if you have 3-dot sights or other inserts.

Worst case, a gunsmith can usually adjust your fixed sights, but it can be spendy if the only way to do it is to grind off the old post and install a different front or rear sight
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
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Old November 8, 2005, 05:28 PM   #6
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The 686 has a red insert on the front ramp w/adjustable rear. The SIG rear can be adjusted.
When I shoot, I aim, shoot, look at target and adjust how I sight down my front sight accordingly.
I don't know if the 686 needs to be zeroed or not.
All I know is that I'm getting all my shots in the black center in a group approx. 5in. at 15 to 30 ft.
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Old November 8, 2005, 05:47 PM   #7
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How do you zero in?
Well, first you move it 3 clicks to the right, then 23 left, then 18 right, and then maybe you'll have that damned safe open!

BWAAAHAHAHAHA! How's that for zeroing in? You'll have no peace for that one, DasBoot, no peace! Now put that cap gun down and go open that damned safe!
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Old November 8, 2005, 05:51 PM   #8
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I KNEW it!!!
I was wondering how long it would take!!
I had a feeling "the safe" thing might start following me around!!!!!
Capt.....I enjoyed that!!!
Deserved it too I suppose!
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