Does it matter what distance you zero at with a mil dot scope?

Forums Optics, Scopes, Rings, & Mounts Does it matter what distance you zero at with a mil dot scope?

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    sharroff
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    Larspawn,

    The green numbers are turret clicks (I have a 1/8 MOA click scope) from zero apex.  I have about 73 clicks in one full turn of the turret.  The green zero corresponds to my apex at 28 yards.  If you look at red 42 yards, that is 10 clicks backwards.  50 clicks is at about red 66.5 yards.  Green 60 (~71 yards) and green 70 (~76 yards) are continuing to turn the elevation turret and green 80 (~81 yards) is one full turn of the turret plus I’m guessing 7 more clicks past the green 0.  I use these for yardage when I’m using Strelok or Chair Gun to calculate the shot.  Up to 68 yards, I don’t need those programs, but after that I use clicks and I’m marked to 120 clicks (~ 97 yards) which is about as far as I’d ever expect to shoot my .22 Airwolf in the field.  128 clicks is 100 yards.

    I’m not sure what you are referring to as the second set of black numbers?

     

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    cally88
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    “sharroff”Yep, that is a remote controlled rock crawler that I adapted to carry a target around in the the woods you see out that window.  It’s way easier that moving the target around manually (look to the left of the bottom left red dot and you will see my manually placeable target)  and is great practice for figuring out distance, ranging the scope correctly and taking shots at random distances.

    
Accuracy +1 

    You are my hero, that is a brilliant idea!  Here I am learning from you and zebra and you go an blow my mind.  Tell me do you have an accurate way to measure the 1 yard increment. JK.  

    My ideas was since I didn’t have a 39 yard range when I zeroed ,my mutant I used chair gun to calculate the zero for 39 yards and used -1 mil dot as my zero poi.  It has worked well for me, but most of my shooting is less than 50y.

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    sharroff
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    Cally88,

    Thanks for the compliment.  For FT shooting,  the ‘trick’ is to use to scopes sidewheel / parallax to figure out how far away the target is (attempting to get 1 yard accuracy) then set the vertical turret and take the shot to hit within the knock down zone.  If I miss while practicing, I use a Nikon Forestry Pro (it measures accurately within 1 foot or 1/2 yard) to verify the distance  to target.  If I’m hunting, I’d use the Forestry pro to get the correct distance for the shot and not use the side wheel as the side wheel method starts to lose resolution around 50 yards.

    https://www.nikonsportoptics.com/en/nikon-products/rangefinders/forestry-pro-laser-rangefinder%252fhypsometer.html

    List is $399 but you can get them around $330.  What is really nice about the Forestry Pro is that it not only shows you the distance to target accurately, it also shows you the angle up or down to the target so you can feed that into Strelok or Chair Gun for a precise shot.

     

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    kmd1984
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    “sharroff”

     

    
I like the idea. Actually, I had the same idea, but never put it into action. From the looks of it, it might be this crawler right here:

    https://www.amazon.com/Redcat-Racing-Everest-10-Waterproof-Electronics/dp/B00O9MTP06/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481585568&sr=8-1&keywords=redcat+crawler

    Anyhow, I am thinking about building a mount that allows me to aim my gun remotely. That way I do not have to sit in the cold anymore, in order to shoot some Magpies. : )

    Kmd

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    jaybo
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    Since I primarily hunt, I have used the same formula for zeroing my guns, both air rifles and powder burners.  I first decide how big a target I want to hit regardless of the distance.  Let’s say I decide on 3 inches diameter.  Then I find at what distance the pellet strikes at 1.5 inches low, then at 1.5 inches high, then at 1.5 inches low again.  I zero my scope at whatever distance will give me this grouping so that when I hold at “zero” I will always hit within the target diameter.

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    kmd1984
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    “jaybo”Since I primarily hunt, I have used the same formula for zeroing my guns, both air rifles and powder burners.  I first decide how big a target I want to hit regardless of the distance.  Let’s say I decide on 3 inches diameter.  Then I find at what distance the pellet strikes at 1.5 inches low, then at 1.5 inches high, then at 1.5 inches low again.  I zero my scope at whatever distance will give me this grouping so that when I hold at “zero” I will always hit within the target diameter.

    
Sounds like a great way of doing it to me… 

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    Willie14228
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    I am sure there are some fellow builders and construction workers here that will attest to this.
    The issue with a close in zero is the small amount of deviation that you can’t see till you shoot further out.
    In the same manner you can’t really use a two foot level to get a 12 foot beam perfectly level…..you can’t zero 20 yards to get a 100 yard or even 50 yard perfect mildot zero . You might only be a 1/16 inch off in elevation or windage @20 yards but at a 100 that be almost an inch off. I like to use a 20 yard zero then fine tune out to 50 then I check my drop and drift at different yardage out to 100.

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    zebra
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    “Willie14228”I am sure there are some fellow builders and construction workers here that will attest to this.
    The issue with a close in zero is the small amount of deviation that you can’t see till you shoot further out.
    In the same manner you can’t really use a two foot level to get a 12 foot beam perfectly level…..you can’t zero 20 yards to get a 100 yard or even 50 yard perfect mildot zero . You might only be a 1/16 inch off in elevation or windage @20 yards but at a 100 that be almost an inch off. I like to use a 20 yard zero then fine tune out to 50 then I check my drop and drift at different yardage out to 100.

    
I’ve thought about this issue and I think you can see what you need to see even with a 20 yard zero. 

    Once you zero at 20 yards, that isn’t the end of the process (at least not for me). You do some tests. First, you shoot a large group. If you’ve done the job correctly, all the pellets should land in the same hole. Importantly, for this step, I don’t just aim to keep the group tight, I actually aim for something (like the bullseye) to make sure I can hit it consistently.

    assuming I am happy with my zero, I can then test it at 50 yards and 75 yards so I wouldn’t miss anything from the shorter zero distance. You don’t have to zero at 50 yards to shoot a 50 yard target to make sure it works.

    If I zero at 50 yards then there will be some variation in the poi no matter what I do. There is 1/2″ on a good day with the best air rifles. In other words, I could choose a zero based on the poi average at 50 but it could still end up being wrong at 25 yards. Air rifles aren’t capable of  precision within 1/16″ unless zero at closer range. 

    Regardless of the distance I zero at, I still have to map the trajectory with air rifle, scope and pellet combo

     

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    gamyrick
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    I use my air rifle for hunting; point and shoot. Unless the quarry is closer than 15 yards or more than 30 yards away, I simply point and shoot. I know that the pellet will hit within 1/8 inch below or above my crosshair from 15 to 30 yards. Please look at the attached graphs and pay close attention to the purple kill zone line at the bottom of each graph. You can see that if I sight-in at 30 yards my kill zone changes and I loose the 1/4 inch kill zone from 19 to 28 yards. Yes you can use a much larger kill zone but 1/4 inch has worked well for me. When I sight-in, I use the distance that will keep my pellet in the kill zone for the greatest number of yards. 

    https://goo.gl/photos/vPNaaETr2TEGdh2g9

     

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    zebra
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    “gamyrick”I use my air rifle for hunting; point and shoot. Unless the quarry is closer than 15 yards or more than 30 yards away, I simply point and shoot. I know that the pellet will hit within 1/8 inch below or above my crosshair from 15 to 30 yards. Please look at the attached graphs and pay close attention to the purple kill zone line at the bottom of each graph. You can see that if I sight-in at 30 yards my kill zone changes and I loose the 1/4 inch kill zone from 19 to 28 yards. Yes you can use a much larger kill zone but 1/4 inch has worked well for me. When I sight-in, I use the distance that will keep my pellet in the kill zone for the greatest number of yards. 

    https://goo.gl/photos/vPNaaETr2TEGdh2g9

     

    
I understand what you are saying. Any distance you zero at will make the center of the cross hairs match the poi for a range of distance (assuming there are no angles in your shot). 

    When you go outside that range, you use your mil dots. If you changed your zero, would it really matter to you if you used the next dot down instead of the center of the crosshairs?

    Perhaps I have gotten more used to making corrections using my mil dot reticle because so many of my shots are at steep angles (squirrels like hiding in trees). 

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    gamyrick
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    Zebra, you are correct, any mil-dot can be used as your zero point. I like using the cross-hair and I’ve become accustom to it. I know that a one mi-dot holdover is 12 yards and 40 yards, a two mil-dot holdover is 10 yards and 48 yards. Angles are more difficult and I learned which mil-dot to use through experience. 

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