Recently Ski wrote a very informative article for Shooting Illustrated titled Zero Distance for a Home Defense AR-15.
AR-15-style carbines are the most popular long arms in America these days, and many people are buying or building their own for competition, hunting, varmint control and more often than not, self-defense. While many folks invest in professional instruction on how to operate and employ their new carbine, others wish to go it alone and train independently or with friends and family. A common question for new AR owners and even some more experienced shooters is, at what distance should the AR-style carbine be zeroed? To avoid any confusion, the term “zero” means the point at which the path of the bullet intersects with the shooter’s line of sight (LOS).
My intent is to provide the “80-percent solution” for people who may have limited range facilities and are concerned about placing accurate fire on bi-pedal mammals of the outlaw variety. Also, I am totally committed to keeping things as simple as possible when planning for encounters with an armed threat in your own home or on your property.
The Long Answer
The long answer is (as usual), “that depends.” What does it depend on? A number of factors: Intended use, type of sight, caliber, type of ammo and barrel length, to name a few.
For our purposes, let’s keep it to the following specifications: The carbine itself is chambered in 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem. with a 16-inch barrel. The sighting device is a non-magnified red-dot/reflex sight, as such units are most appropriate for short-range, CQB-type shooting—engaging targets quickly while under duress. Ammunition will be limited to 55-grain and 62-grain FMJ loads, as they are the most prevalent. The intended use of the carbine is for home and self-defense in an urban environment for target distances of less than 200 yards, particularly less than 20 yards.
We also need to establish what an acceptable level of accuracy is for human targets within 200 yards of the shooter. In most cases, placing rounds within 3 MOA should be sufficient. This equates to all rounds impacting within 6 inches at 200 yards, 3 inches at 100 yards and less than 2 inches at 50 yards.
Two terms we need to understand are “holdover” and “holdunder.” The first refers to the act of placing the point of aim (POA)—red dot, crosshairs, front sight, etc.—ABOVE the place where you want the bullet to go. The second is just the opposite, aiming BELOW where you want the bullets to go.
The Short Answer
The short answer to the “At what distance do I zero?” question is, in my opinion, 100 yards (or meters). Here’s why:
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: http://www.shootingillustrated.com/index.php/23123/zero-distance-for-a-home-defense-ar-15/
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