How to Zero With Iron Sights | Shooting Techniques | Tactical Rifleman
Here at Tactical Rifleman, we wanted a YouTube Channel where operators and civilians could go to get information on how to “Shoot, Move, and Communicate.” So, this week, we are going back to our core basics and we are going to talk about how to zero Iron Sights on a typical rifle; AK, AR, FAL, it really doesn’t matter, as the principles remain the same. I thought everyone knew how to zero Iron Sights, but we have had multiple viewers ask for help; so here we are… ask and you shall receive.
Whenever you are zeroing your sight, irons or optics, always try to ensure you have a stable firing position. That includes proper body position, sight alignment, and a good natural point of aim. Once you have properly mounted your Iron Sights, whether they are built on or “Back Up,”, they should be fairly close right out of the box (on paper at 25 meters).
Whether you zero at 25, 50, or 100 meters; I don’t care. There are pros and cons of each, and we actually cover them in a different video (25 vs 50 meter Zeros). For this video we used 50 meters.
Use a good zero target. You can download them for free all over the internet or design your own. Just make sure they print to scale. I like to use bright orange pasties, but for this video we used the standard military zero target. No matter what target you use, ensure it has a small highly-visible center. This will give you a small point of aim.
We like to zero with 3-5 round groups. I actually prefer 5 round groups, as I’ll cover in a later video, but that would have added 5 more seconds to an already long YouTube video. Seriously… that’s what I get told by the film crew.
What kills people, when shooting Iron Sights, is that they don’t focus on sight alignment. Those sight have got to be perfectly lined up. For easy math, let’s say your rifle sights are 2 feet apart. If your sights are not lined up, say a quarter of an inch out of alignment; that doubles every 2 feet. Quarter becomes a half, a half becomes an inch and then then thing you know, you are missing by 6 inches at 100 meters.
Adjustments (clicks) will depend on the distance that you are shooting at, and the type sights you are using. If you are not sure; look it up in the manual that came with the sights, or Google it on the web. Still can’t find it?... Make bold corrections of 10 clicks, and then measure how far 10 clicks moved you… divide by 10, and you now have the value of each click.
Make your adjustments and repeat. Again, fire another group, mark target, and adjust the Iron Sights as needed. Too Easy.