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Visualizing Zeros

Visualizing your zero isn’t always something easy to do. At the high nerd level you’re taking physical measurements, breaking out a pen and paper, and busting out some calculations—and all of that is AOK, especially so for precision shooting. Most of the population, at least the ones that pay some attention to where their bullets go instead of dirt-shooting, will either look at a chart or a pre-fabricated table.

Justin Coulter of Arma Dynamics, a training outfit in Indiana, crafted some visualizations and posted them to the forum M4carbine.net. They can be an effective tool for demonstration and reference. Instead of a graph, Justin superimposed point of impacts relative to zero at assorted ranges, and did so with a variety of common AR-15 barrel lengths and 5.56 loads. To include: 10.5”, 14.5”, 16”, and 18” barrels with 55gr M193, 62gr M855, and 77gr Mk262
Here are some examples (the full array can be viewed here)

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Your zero is an ever-changing thing, and is subject to temperature change, elevation, humidity, and other atmospheric conditions (let alone the general physical bumps and drops along the way). You can use these as a quick reference or compliment to your ballistic charts for a good start. Remember to go out on the range and test it for yourself. As the proverb goes “Доверяй, но проверяй” (Imagine Ronald Reagan saying, “Trust, but verify”)

These aren’t the only visualizations we’ve come across, but the standard IPSC target may be more relevant to your needs than say, a scaled Cookie Monster in a desert. As always, your mileage may vary.

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There’s also a ‘He-Man on Mars’ version of this

You can find out more about Arma Dynamics on their homepage or follow them on Facebook. For some photoporn, check out Justin’s Flikr page.


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