Should I use a 200 yard zero?

sakha

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Feb 21, 2019
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Using the search is really difficult when it omits the word "zero" from search results for being too common, so apologies in advance if this is one of those "use the search!" common thread topics.

I've traditionally zeroed everything at 100 yards, especially when most of my AR15s have BDC reticles with a 100 yard zero as a base, so I just carried that over to my bolt action rifles as well. It's been working well so far; however, I got a laser rangefinder for a good price (Leuopold RX-2800 TBR/W) and it has a built-in ballistic calculator that I was planning on using. The problem is that it has options for various profiles but they're all set up for a zero at 200 or 300 yards with no option to pick a profile that's zeroed at 100 yards. This means I'd have to rezero at 200, which isn't much of an issue, but leads to my main question:

Is it common practice to zero long-range rifles at 200 or 300 yards? I have no training so I just took 100 yards as a standard without really thinking about it. Are there downsides to a 100 yard zero vs a 200 yard zero and vice versa?

Thanks!
 

Slash0311

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  • Feb 11, 2017
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    I don't know about long range but, use the equipment you have. If its saying you have to use a 200 or 300 yard zero, go for it. Who cares what "normal" is. Being familiar with what you have and how to use it is all that matters.

    My thought is to consider the length of shots that you're reasonably going to take. A 200 yard zero shouldn't cause a problem as long as you're familiar with your holds either over or under.
     

    Clocked92

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    Go with a 100 yard zero if this is a precision rifle. Frank had an article and video about this awhile back but I can't seem to find it right now.

    The 2-300 yard zeros are really only good if you're using them on a hunting rifle and want to just aim on fur for a shot.
     

    lowlight

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    No

    Always a 100 yard zero, especially with modern optics.

    if you hunt and want to have a different zero just dial up that dope and then you can hold.

    There is no benefit to a zero beyond 100 in 90% of the cases out there, only the ELR Guys who cannot zero at 100 will zero beyond and usually at a lot farther distance like 600 or 1000 yards.
     

    Sheldon N

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    A quick look at the manual of that rangefinder does not inspire confidence about the accuracy of their ballistic solver.

    Side note, I just picked up a Leica 2700-B rangefinder and with creating a custom profile and uploading it to the SD card I now have a ballistic solver in the rangefinder that matches my Kestrel and phone app dope out to 950 yards perfectly. And it's based on a 100 yard zero. Stellar glass, amazing ranging performance, and was able to pick up a demo model from Cameraland for just $650.
     

    Skookum

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    Using the search is really difficult when it omits the word "zero" from search results for being too common, so apologies in advance if this is one of those "use the search!" common thread topics.

    I've traditionally zeroed everything at 100 yards, especially when most of my AR15s have BDC reticles with a 100 yard zero as a base, so I just carried that over to my bolt action rifles as well. It's been working well so far; however, I got a laser rangefinder for a good price (Leuopold RX-2800 TBR/W) and it has a built-in ballistic calculator that I was planning on using. The problem is that it has options for various profiles but they're all set up for a zero at 200 or 300 yards with no option to pick a profile that's zeroed at 100 yards. This means I'd have to rezero at 200, which isn't much of an issue, but leads to my main question:

    Is it common practice to zero long-range rifles at 200 or 300 yards? I have no training so I just took 100 yards as a standard without really thinking about it. Are there downsides to a 100 yard zero vs a 200 yard zero and vice versa?

    Thanks!
    The use of 100 yard or 200 yard zero is completely dependent upon application and equipment used.

    If your scope is dialable, then there is no reason not to zero for 100 because you can always just dial an additional 0.5 mils or 1.5 moa for your 200 yard zero if need be.

    For hunting with something like a Leupold hunting scope or a carbine with a BDC, a 200 yard zero is commonly used because that takes the greatest advantage of a cartridges relatively flat trajectory (the maximum point blank range concept) out to 300 yards or so.

    All my regular hunting rifles and carbines are zero'd for 200. All my dialable scopes are zero'd for 100 yards.
     

    sakha

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    Feb 21, 2019
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    A quick look at the manual of that rangefinder does not inspire confidence about the accuracy of their ballistic solver.

    Side note, I just picked up a Leica 2700-B rangefinder and with creating a custom profile and uploading it to the SD card I now have a ballistic solver in the rangefinder that matches my Kestrel and phone app dope out to 950 yards perfectly. And it's based on a 100 yard zero. Stellar glass, amazing ranging performance, and was able to pick up a demo model from Cameraland for just $650.
    Thanks for the info! I got my particular RX-2800 TBR/W for a significant discount so I didn't do any research on it or its capabilities and the ballistic calculator was a pleasant surprise. I do agree though it's not close to robust and I'd much prefer being able to set options manually rather than using a "good enough" preset.

    I'll take a look at the Leica 2700-B, I really like the sound of loading a custom profile to it.

    It makes sense to use farther zeroes to reduce average POA/POI deviation for "reactive" shots, but that's not my use case so I'll stick to the 100 yards and either swap out the range finder for one whose ballistic calculator is more robust, or forget the concept entirely and stick to mobile apps and the like. I'm not married to the concept of an "all in one" ranging/ballistics device so it's no big deal in that sense.
     
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    Precision Underground

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    My 300 Norma is zeroed at 200 just because I never ever shoot it at 100 and I shoot it better at 200 for whatever reason. It also has about 45moa between the rings and the rail so the scope has to absolutely bottom out to zero at 100 and I dont like touching the housing with the reticle lol.
     

    Jab826

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    My 300 Norma is zeroed at 200 just because I never ever shoot it at 100 and I shoot it better at 200 for whatever reason. It also has about 45moa between the rings and the rail so the scope has to absolutely bottom out to zero at 100 and I dont like touching the housing with the reticle lol.
    Are your adjustments the same with a 200 yard zero as they would be with 100? Being the zero is different it would it make for different elevagion adjustments?
     

    Precision Underground

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    Are your adjustments the same with a 200 yard zero as they would be with 100? Being the zero is different it would it make for different elevagion adjustments?
    Zero is set at 200 in the solvers so the solutions are different than they would be at 100 but they are calculated and dialed the same way.
     

    Jab826

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    Could you give an example? I dont quiet understand what you mean
    If you zero at 100 and your shooting 5 inches low.at 500 then you're about 1 moa low on elevation. Would the adjustments be the same if you're zeroed at 200?
     

    308pirate

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  • Apr 25, 2017
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    It makes sense to use farther zeroes to reduce average POA/POI deviation for "reactive" shots, .
    What the hell are you talking about? Are you referring to max point blank range?
     

    308pirate

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    If you zero at 100 and your shooting 5 inches low.at 500 then you're about 1 moa low on elevation. Would the adjustments be the same if you're zeroed at 200?
    Why don't you go to JBM Ballistics, run their trajectory calculator with both scenarios, and answer your own question?

    You will learn more than you would if someone just gave you the answer.
     

    Precision Underground

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    If you zero at 100 and your shooting 5 inches low.at 500 then you're about 1 moa low on elevation. Would the adjustments be the same if you're zeroed at 200?
    I think you are confusing what you dial in your scope for what the bullet is doing. The bullet arc is constant. All you are doing with a 200 yard zero is adjusting your aim so the bullet passes high at 100yds and lands true at 200 yards.

    Your zero is just a way to use your scope as a ruler. The ruler has to be calibrated to your bullet path to be useful. A 100 yard zero puts the beginning of your ruler at 100. A 200 yard zero puts the beginning of your ruler at 200. So the solutions for 500 yards will be different for the two but only because the ruler is being held in a different place.