PRO TIPS with USAMU - Setting the Right Zero

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Setting the Right Zero


Specialist Ty Cooper explains the three zero settings for Service Rifle Competition - Mechanical Zero, Yard Line Zero, and No Wind Zero.

Shooting an X on your first shot from the 600 yard line is no easy task. One of the factors to this is having a good solid no wind zero. Today, we’re going to show you how to get a good solid no wind zero on your competition service rifle.


There are three terms we need to discuss before we start. The mechanical zero, yard line zero, and no wind zero.

Mechanical zero is the base setting that all zero’s are referenced from. Run the rear sight all the way to the bottom, and the wind-age is centered with the base. A no wind zero is the sight setting you use when you fire a shot in a no wind condition, and hit the center of the target.

Your yard line zero is the elevation, and no wind zero, that you would use at a specific yard line. The best place to zero your rifle for high powered competition is right here from the 200 yard line from the sitting position.




Before you can start the zeroing process you need to mark your sights. Here’s how you do that. Bottom out the elevation wheel, and come up one minute of angle.

Take an ink pen, and mark the elevation wheel, and rear sight base.

To mark the wind-age knob find mechanical center, and then with one solid line, mark the wind-age knob and the sight base where you can see it.





Now that we have marked our sights and established mechanical zero, we are going to start shooting to establish our yard line zero’s. First, we are going to add 12 clicks of elevation up from mechanical zero to allow for variations in holds and sight pictures between standing and sitting.

Lets take our first shot, and see where we are at. It looks like we need to move the impact of the bullet down about a revolution by following the directions that are on the front site housing. We are pretty close for wind-age, so lets come three clicks right on our wind-age knob.




We will continue to adjust the front site for elevation until we are in the black. Then, we will fine tune our zero with the rear sight. Now that we have our 200 yard line zero established, and we were shooting in a no wind condition, our three clicks right is also our 200 yard line, no wind zero.

Make sure you record all of your zero’s in your data book. Take the time to find your zero’s at each individual yard line. Until next time, stay Army strong.



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