How To Do a 50/200 Yard Zero at 10 Yards [in 4 easy steps]

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.

50/200 yard zero
A U.S. Navy SEAL fires a MK18 rifle at a range during exercise Sea Breeze 21 in Ochakiv, Ukraine, July 8, 2021. Sea Breeze 21 is a U.S. and Ukraine co-hosted multinational maritime exercise held in the Black Sea designed to enhance interoperability of participating nations and strengthen maritime security within the region. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Patrik Orcutt.)

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.

RELATED – Best Laser Bore Sight for Every Gun

Boresight Target

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.

Downloadable Target

50/200 yard zero
This is not to scale. Click on this image for the printable PDF version.

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.

50/200 yard zero

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.

RELATED – FREE Printable Shooting Targets

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.

External Ballistics

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.

55-grain M193

50/200 yard zero
courtesy of the Winchester Ballistic Calculator

62-grain M855

50/200 yard zero
courtesy of the Winchester Ballistic Calculator

77-grain BTHP

 

50/200 yard zero
courtesy of the Winchester Ballistic Calculator

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.

RELATED – M855 vs M193 Face-off: Which One Wins?

Best Laser Bore Sight For This Process

I’ve had the best luck with the Wheeler Professional Laser Bore Sighter.

Wheeler Professional Laser Bore Sighter – Green

$139.99
at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

The only downside to this laser bore sighter, is that if your muzzle device is not metal it won’t adhere to it for the boresighting process.

If that is the case, I’d recommend something like the Sightmark Centerfire Boresight with Red Laser.

Sightmark Centerfire Boresight with Red Laser

$29.99
at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

Conclusion

This 50/200 yard zeroing method at 10 yards is a game-changer for AR-15 owners.

Whether you’re constantly tweaking your firearm or just looking for a quick and efficient way to zero, this method offers simplicity and speed.


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