Zeroing in the AR-15 & Learning About the Sights

first bullseye

So I bought the new Del-ton AR-15 and a Magpul rear flip sight. It was time to sight it in.

Since I didn’t have any experience in this particular area, I expected the proceedure to be similar to checking the sights on my pistol. That my friends, was not correct. Although it was fun to get educated, it wasn’t automatic.

I was shooting American Eagle ballistic tipped 50 grain varmint .233 rounds. They fly at around 3350 feet per second. I would like to say that there was some scientific process to the purchase of the ammo, but they were simply the right price, at $8 for 20 rounds.

The first group of shots I took was from 20 feet (see picture above). There were four holes grouped together 3 inches directly below the bullseye. At that point, I was thinking that something is wrong with the sights.

I then backed up to 50 feet. Right on the money. One was directly on the bullseye! Little proud of that one. So then I was wondering, “What happened on the previous distance?”.

Next was at 125 feet. Again I was consistent, and above the bullseye about 3 1/2 inches (and about 1 1/2 inches to the left). Then it began to dawn on me as I saw the pattern play out. At least in terms of elevation, the sight was crossing with the line of the barrel at around 50 feet.

I almost started messing with elevation on the front post, but decided to talk to someone who knew what they were doing first. My FFL Dealer (former military and current law enforcement trainer) soon told me that everything was perfect. That’s how the platform was designed.

The bullet is supposed to cross zero at 50 feet. Before that will be low, past that will be high until gravity pulls it back down to earth. The projectile reaches the top of the arc at 100 yards and then comes back to zero at about 225 yards.

Makes sense when you think about it. Let’s face it, the amount that I would be off at the point blank range of 20 feet (for instance) would not make much difference if I’m aiming at center mass. The elevation differences at varying distances (even out past 50 feet) are negligible for the intended purpose.

Hope this helps. It taught me a thing or two.


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