Over the last year, I’ve found an incredibly efficient way to boresight and zero AR-15s, which has been a game-changer for me.
Given my frequent use of various AR-15 rifles and pistols, I often need a quick and reliable zeroing method due to the regular changes these firearms undergo.
What makes this method stand out is its ease and speed. It involves a straightforward target design featuring two dots with a 1.9-inch separation.
The top black dot is your aiming point, while the lower gray dot, positioned 1.9 inches below, indicates where your shots will land. This setup simplifies the process of aligning your point of aim with the point of impact, essential for an approximate 50/200 yard zero at just 10 yards.
Remember, while this method offers a great starting point, it’s always best to verify and fine-tune your zero at the range.
Also, keep in mind that the effectiveness of this 1.9-inch offset can vary slightly based on your optic’s height above the bore, but it generally aligns well with the average AR-15 optic height.
How to Boresight Your AR-15 for a 50/200 Yard Zero
Step 1 – Place your target at 10 yards. How far is 10 yards? Roughly 30’. Most of us have 30’ to work with inside our home, so this can be done indoors.
Step 2 – Use the black dot as your point of aim. In other words, put your red dot on that black dot.
Step 3 – Adjust your red dot sight for windage and elevation until your boresight laser is on the gray dot. The end result should be your red dot on the top dot and your boresight laser on the bottom dot.
Step 4 – Head to your local range and verify at 50 yards.
the boresight target used for the 50/200 yard zero is extremely easy to use. You can either download the target created by Jerking the Trigger or make one yourself using a standard-sized piece of paper.
Make Your Own
To make your own boresight target for the 50/200 yard zero, all you need is a standard 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, a sharpie, and a digital caliper.
Open up the caliper to 1.9 inches and mark the two points on the center of the piece of paper. The dots can be up to 1 inch in diameter based on your personal preference.
You can opt to use a ruler to measure the 1.9 inches, but since I already had the digital caliper, I wanted to be as precise as possible.
Why Choose a 50/200 yard Zero?
While the 50/200 yard zero may not be perfect at both distances, the deviation of the impacts is so small that, for combat-effective hits, it’s a moot point.
There is some argument as to whether or not you want to zero at 50 yards for 200 yard accuracy or zero at 200 yards for 50 yard accuracy. Either way, the deviation is going to be within roughly 2 inches depending on the type of ammo you’re using.
I’m not using this zeroing method to get competition-like precision, I’m using it to get quick effective hits at the most common distances you would be engaging a threat with an AR-15.
See the following external ballistics charts (for common 5.56 loads) to prove my point.
The best way to visualize this is by looking at the flight path of the bullet from the muzzle to out past 200 yards. This shows us just how viable a 50 yard zero at 10 yards can be.
Before heading out to the range though, we’re going to use a boresight target made specifically for the 50/200 yard zero to ensure we’ll be on the paper when we send our first rounds downrange.
Depending on your rifle, ammo, and other variables, you may or may not need to make any adjustments when you verify your zero.
Looking at the above ballistics charts, 55-grain M193 and 62-grain M855 have deviations of roughly 1.6 inches to 2.1 inches.
The 77-grain BTHP has a slightly larger deviation of 3.7 inches. Regardless of this larger deviation, you’re still going to get combat-effective hits if you’re point of aim is the high torso area.
Again, you’ll want to verify your external ballistics at the range with the ammunition you’re using. Your mileage may vary.
Best Laser Bore Sight For This Process
I’ve had the best luck with the Wheeler Professional Laser Bore Sighter.