Best Distance To Zero An AR 15? The Hard Hitting 50 Yard Zero…

red dot with iron sights

If you’ve ever asked the question: What’s the best distance to zero my Red Dot? Then I this is the article for you…

Even though there are a lot of fantastic shooters out there that like 25-yard zeros or 100-yard zeros…

I highly recommend that if you’re running a red dot on an AR 15, you zero your optic at 50 yards…

So, today I going to give you my TOP 3 Reasons why the 50-yard zero outperforms all others…

Reason 1: The 50 Yard Zero Is Incredibly VERSATILE At Several Shooting Distances…

best distance to sight in AR 15Here’s a SECRET…

Don’t tell anyone, but the 50 yard zero is sometimes called the 50/200 yard zero…

This is because a zero at 50 yards, while not being exactly the same, is pretty darn close to a 200 yard zero.

Now, just how close is largely dependent on your particular rifle and ammunition choice.

So, you always want to experiment with your own equipment to be sure of where your rounds are hitting. However, despite this, the 50 and 200-yard zeros should be hitting in nearly the same spot.

Now practically speaking, it’s extremely difficult to zero a red dot at 200 yards.  It’s just too far away to consistently see your target and shoot groups small enough to know exactly where your rifle is hitting.

However, zeroing a red dot at 50 yards is incredibly manageable, even for a beginner. So logically, you’ll want to place your target at 50 yards and dial in your shots.

What Happens When You Shoot At 100 Yards?50/ 200 zero target

Even when you’re shooting at 100 yards, a 50-yard zero will still impact fairly close to your actual point of aim.

In truth, you’ll probably be hitting about an inch high at this distance…

…but for most practical sized targets, this means you can aim directly at your target and still make solid hits.

What About At 25 Yards?

At 25 yards, a 50-yard zero will continue to impact close to your point of aim.

You’ll probably be hitting about 2 and a half inches low at this distance, but if you need to, it’s actually incredibly easy to hold slightly over your intended target when your shooting at close distances.

In addition to that, practically sized targets at 25 yards appear ENORMOUS when you’re shooting at them and are naturally very easy to hit.

So, shooting at 25 yards with a 50 yards zero doesn’t create any major shifting when your rounds impact, which isn’t true with some other zeros.

Reason 2: 50 Yards Is An Extremely PRACTICAL Range To Shoot…50 yard zero target

Most gun owners rely on their weapons for self-defense.

They know bad things happen to good people and often feel duty-bound to protect the ones they hold dear.

Now, I SINCERELY hope you never have to…

…but if you were ever forced to use your firearm in self-defense, with a 50 yard zero your rifle would be ready to go at any reasonable distance.

Just take a moment to consider what a real-life self-defense shooting distance would be.

For example, if a criminal broke into your home in the middle of the night and you had no choice but to engage them, the distance would probably be less than 25 yards, unless you’re home is extremely large.

The truth is that in most self or home defense scenarios, you won’t be shooting past 100 yards. In fact, the likelihood of shooting past 50 yards is actually quite small.

So, your rifle needs to be set up with these considerations in mind, and as I mentioned in the first section of this article, a 50-yard zero allows you to simply aim and make hits at several distances.

Reason 3: The 50 Yard Zero Is ATTAINABLE For Most Shooters…

50 yard zero at 25 yards targetShooting a red dot accurately at 50 yards is possible for you, even if you’re a beginner…

…however, this might not be the case at further distances.

For example, at 100 yards a small target becomes fairly difficult to see.

Even when you’re using an optic with a precise point of aim like a 1 or 2 MOA dot…

…it can be challenging to really focus in on a small aiming point, and this problem becomes even worse if you’re like me and have less-than-perfect eyesight (I wear contacts).

The result of all this is that your groups may not be small enough to really know where your rifle is hitting. And if you don’t know that information, you can’t effectively zero your red dot.

Luckily, at 50 yards the target isn’t really too far away.

So, if you stabilize your rifle and choose a high visibility target, you shouldn’t have a problem seeing well enough to shoot small groups.


50 yard zero at 10 yardsAim at the smallest area of your target that you can consistently see.

For example, if your target is made up of a grid of one-inch squares…

…don’t just aim at the one inch square in the center of your target.

Aim at one of the corners on that one-inch square!

This small adjustment can help shrink your group sizes. However, it does require an optic with a small MOA dot size (1 or 2 MOA) to get the precision you need.

Aside from that, if you’re having trouble shooting small enough groups at 50 yards to zero your optic, I recommend you check out my article discussing How To Improve Your Shooting

Also… Check out my FREE Guide – 7 Step Trigger Pull Exercise

trigger pull exerciseIn 7 Step Trigger Pull Exercise, I reveal HOW TO improve your accuracy without leaving your home or spending a dime!

It’s the method I personally used to improve my shooting, and I still use it today to keep my fundamentals sharp.

It’s 100% Free – Get Access To My 7 Step Trigger Pull Exercise Here

It should set you on a path to being able to zero your optic at 50 yards without too much trouble.

To Conclude, The 50 Yard Zero Is A WINNER for YOU Because it’s…

VERSATILE as several shooting distances…best red dot sight

PRACTICAL and REALISTIC for self-defense, and…

ATTAINABLE for inexperienced shooters.

So, get out to the range and start dialing in your red dot at 50 yards!

Farewell, and have fun at the range!


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