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Thread: Best Target For Zeroing Red Dot

  1. #1
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    Best Target For Zeroing Red Dot

    It may not exist, but what would you consider the ideal target for zeroing a RDS (shape, color, size, etc)? Also, if you have a picture, link, or printable example, that would be a big help. Thanks.

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    I like the Shoot N C targets from birchwood casey. For my use (100 yard/meter zero, 2 and 3-4 MOA dots) the 6" targets work great out to 100, and I like to refine the zero of the 2 MOA M3 with a 3" bull at 100.

    If you are going with a 50 yard/meter zero, the 3" bull will work with anything 4 MOA or under.

    The 8" "X" targets also work well since they have crosshairs to help center your dot.

    Optimal target size depends on your dot size and desired zero distance. What works well at 100 yards with a 4 MOA dot will not be as good at 50 with a 1 MOA dot.

    You want the target to be slightly larger than your dot so that you can be sure that you are on, but not so large that the dot "gets lost" on the target. Best results come when you can easily and consistently center the dot on the target. Make sure your dot is turned down as low as it can go and still be able to be picked up on the target without strain. This will keep the dot crisp and easier to define the edges of the dot for centering.
    Jack Leuba
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    Knight's Armament Company
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    I actually don't like shoot-n-c targets when I'm zeroing or trying to shoot representative groups because after the first shot or two I feel like I subconsciously shoot towards the point of impact rather than keeping the point of aim constant.

    With a scope I like something that's got a coarse grid pattern, but with a red dot I like a simple dot on a plain piece of paper.

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    i zero my irons, set the dot to the lowest visible level, and drop it onto the FSP. no targets necessary, for the RDS.

    but when i zero my irons, i just stick a dot sticker on a paper plate and put it at 50m.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkb0000 View Post
    i zero my irons, set the dot to the lowest visible level, and drop it onto the FSP. no targets necessary, for the RDS.

    but when i zero my irons, i just stick a dot sticker on a paper plate and put it at 50m.
    I feel like I have a more consistent sight POA with a red dot. There seems to be too much play in the BUIS sight picture. With that said, I feel better getting a good BZO with my red dot and then moving my irons to match it. Same thing in the end though.

    What is the size and color of the dot you put on the white paper plate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Failure2Stop View Post
    I like the Shoot N C targets from birchwood casey.
    Doesn't the red dot in the center of these targets bug you? The targets I was using over the weekend were yellow and red, so my red dot kept washing out on them. I was thinking either black or what would be best, but figured someone else has more insight on the matter.

  7. #7
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    Target for zeroing RDS

    Many years ago while taking Clint Smiths Urban rifle class, he used a simple 1x1" square centered on a plain 8 1/2x 11 white sheet of paper, have been using these ever since. Works well for zeroing irons or RDS and pretty easy to make your own.

  8. #8
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    I use the Birchwood Casey 12" Sight-in Targets. Gives you a center point to get close, and 4 peripheral targets for adjustment. I shoot a new POA on the target after each adjustment once I get on paper with the center aiming point.


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    Do you all find that the dot show up better on black that white? It seems most of you are shooting black targets.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkOne View Post
    Doesn't the red dot in the center of these targets bug you? The targets I was using over the weekend were yellow and red, so my red dot kept washing out on them. I was thinking either black or what would be best, but figured someone else has more insight on the matter.
    The red dot in the center is not seen at distances past 50 yards, as it is about 1" in diameter and I don't have any dots that are under 2 MOA and I do my confirmation at 100 yards.

    I prefer black targets because most target backers are buff cardboard, and I usually use a white piece of paper or paper plate behind the zeroing target. The white plates are a bit too big for me to get a perfect center hold, which is sub-optimal for zeroing. With my dot turned down, at 100 yards my T-1 covers just under 4 inches of the target, which results in a nice even black ring (using a 6" bull) around my dot letting me know that I am centered. Red and orange targets tend to mingle with the dot, making consistency in sight picture hard on the eyes.

    I like the shoot n cs because I can confirm at distance with a less than awesome spotting scope and immediately begin shooting at another bull on the board instead of having to trudge down to the target to confirm. Part of a successful zero is not getting frustrated and fed-up with the time and walking.

    I don't think that the shoot-n-c targets are the best targets in the world, but they are very usable and easily found. What I do for precision optics is different though.
    Jack Leuba
    Military/Government Product Liaison
    Knight's Armament Company
    jleuba@knightarmco.com

    Director of Training

    Jack@F2SConsulting.com
    F2SConsulting.com | FB@ Facebook.com/F2SConsultingLLC
    As accurate as needed, as fast as possible, as many times as it takes.

  11. #11
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    I like to get the biggest friggin target to zero my rifle. That way i don't have to guess where a round could of gone off the paper. I like to zero in on silhouette targets of a person, just my preference though.
    "There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion." Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Failure2Stop View Post
    ...I do my confirmation at 100 yards.

    I prefer black targets because most target backers are buff cardboard, and I usually use a white piece of paper or paper plate behind the zeroing target. ...With my dot turned down, at 100 yards my T-1 covers just under 4 inches of the target, which results in a nice even black ring (using a 6" bull) around my dot letting me know that I am centered.
    though.
    Thanks for the added detail, that helps a lot. You say you confirm at 100 yards; are you using a 50 yard zero and if so, where does that put you at 100?

    From my limited tests, I find the red dot stands out better on black than white, especially when it is turned down low. I like your idea of using a black bull slightly bigger than the size of your dot on the target.

    Following that logic with a 4 MOA dot, does this seem right?...
    025 yards: 01 inch dot: 02 inch bull
    050 yards: 02 inch dot: 03 inch bull
    100 yards: 04 inch dot: 06 inch bull
    200 yards: 08 inch dot: 12 inch bull
    300 yards: 12 inch dot: 18 inch bull
    Last edited by TheDarkOne; 10-15-09 at 14:16.

  13. #13
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    I like to use one of a couple different 25yd off-set zeroing targets to get me a rough zero. I then go out to 100yds to confirm my actual zero.

    You could always use a clearly visible point of aim reference @ 25yds (a 1" square drawn with a sharpie works) and measure the off-set at 25yds to give you the proper off-set for your desired zero:

    Bullet impact 1.12"(approx.) below your point of aim @ 25yd for a 50yd zero

    Bullet impact 1.47"(approx.) below your point of aim @ 25yds for a 100yds zero

    Always confirm your desired zero at the actual distance. (50 or 100yds)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickdrak View Post
    Always confirm your desired zero at the actual distance. (50 or 100yds)
    If I am shooting a 50 yard zero, do I want to confirm and fine tune at a longer distance? I read that it is back on at 220 yards, (if not please correct). Confirming a red dot at 220 seems a little far to me.

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    I use my own 4" X 4" black grid on a standard sheet of paper. The whole sheet is gridded in 1" squares with the black portion being your aiming point.

    The 1 inch grids translate into exact corrections on irons or good optics.

    Last edited by markm; 10-15-09 at 14:39.

  16. #16
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    I like to use a 5" paper plate with a black 1" shoot n c pasty as my aiming point for 50 yards zero done on a 50 yard range. If I only have access to 25 yards, I use two pasters about 1.25" apart, the top being my aimpoint with the bottom being the point of impact.

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    Awesome, that will come in plenty handy today on the range. Just wondering why anyone would do anything but a 50 yard zero. It seems a much flatter trajectory in the 0-300 yard range.

  20. #20
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    A lot of great advice has been given already. Below is just a link I'll pass your way. Just click on the target you want and print away. The 2nd and 3rd targets down work very well for me zeroing irons/red dot/ and magnified glass. Enjoy!

    http://www.mytargets.com/

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