100 vs 200 yd zero?

Wyobohunter

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Well, after coming to the conclusion that my formerly beloved Swarovski Z6 3-18x50's weren't up to task (a sheared off elevation turret revealing the cheesy plastic internals sealed their fate) I've "upgraded" to a hopefully more rugged Nightforce NXS 3-15X50. In the process of re-zeroing, I'm finding that I am not able to hold the same tight groups at 200 (my usual zero for greater PBR w/o dialing) to confirm a precise zero simply because I can't see the target as well and am not able to hold as precisely on the dot as I could before. The glass simply isn't Swaro glass and I obviously gave up 3X mag. I don't want to go back to a more fragile scope to get the 18X I had before, and any more than that is unnecessary for hunting so I don't want to go up to the 5-22 NXS (and lose low end too) either. Soooooo, it got me thinking...

Do I want to move back to a 100 yd zero where I can see the bullseye better and where I'm able to hold more precisely? I hunt a lot of pigs and have to take a lot of quick shots cause them suckers are always squirming around in thick brush and across canyons. Split seconds matter. Is it worth the time penalty if I have to dial or hold for a 250yd type shot?
What is your group size at 200 yds? Unless you are shooting a pumpkin launcher like a short bbl 45-70 there is no reason to zero inside of 200 yds. If my 200 yd groups were too big to reliably zero with I don’t think I’d have any business shooting much past 100. Just me and my two pennies.
 

Wyobohunter

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My old man and uncles all sighted in at 100. I’m thinking about setting a 200 zero on my 28 nosler.
With a 28 Nosler I’d consider a 250 yd zero. Assuming you are accurate with the rifle. I zero my stubby bbl 30-06 at 225 yds.
 

IM4MOPAR

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I like the 200yd zero, initially start at 3/4-1" high at a 100 and test drop a few at 300yds to complete the setup, bear in mind I'm from FL, hunt the SE and Indiana.
Until last year, never hunted west of the Mississippi. Drew a public land tag in NM, late season, shot a 6x6, first shot 806 ydd, 2nd 920 yds. Gave me a whole new insight on adjustable, calibrated turrets. I've got the long game itch now!!!

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SDHNTR

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You guys are either misunderstanding or not reading. You only zero at 100 to be more precise in the sight in process. Then I’ll dial up a few clicks for a 200yd zero for walking around.

Why would I do it any other way? It’s harder to hold right on the dot at 2 or 300. It’s much easier at 100. And with a good scope that tracks properly, click up a few.

We are all winding up at the same place, my point is it’s much easier to start and be more precise with the 100 yd initial sight in zero. Then twist up to whatever yardage you prefer.
 

Wyobohunter

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You guys are either misunderstanding or not reading. You only zero at 100 to be more precise in the sight in process. Then I’ll dial up a few clicks for a 200yd zero for walking around.

Why would I do it any other way? It’s harder to hold right on the dot at 2 or 300. It’s much easier at 100. And with a good scope that tracks properly, click up a few.

We are all winding up at the same place, my point is it’s much easier to start and be more precise with the 100 yd initial sight in zero. Then twist up to whatever yardage you prefer.
That makes sense... sort of. I read your post and it doesn’t really say that. Though I still can’t imagine not being precise enough to zero at 200 yds. My short barreled 30-06 is zeroed to 225 yds with a 3-9x33 VX-2 and I get predictable 2” groups with that rifle/scope combination at that range. I assume you are testing your 200 yd (actual/walking around) zero after you click up? And testing at 300… 400… whatever your personal max is?

I maintain that if a person can’t hold consistently enough to zero at 200 yds under range conditions there is something wrong (shooter or equipment) and they have no business shooting at big game from much over 100 yds.
 
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SDHNTR

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Of course. But I can also hold that much better at 100, and wind and environmentals don’t have as much of an impact.
 

Rich M

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I took difference to the assumption that folks cant shoot well enough at 300 to use it as a zero. That’s all.

Please check your dope at 200-250-300+ as aplicable so you can fine tune your scope.

I stopped shooting at 100 except when innitially zeroing the rifle. Even shooting a 357 mag rifle w 4x scope at 200-225 yards. It helps me shoot better, im an average guy and need all the help i can get.
 

Stinky Coyote

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haven't read the thread fully yet but I vote for 200 zero on all big game hunting rigs that may do some coyote work also, I've had only 2 rigs zero at 250, one was a faster big game only rig and one was a super fast coyote rig, everything else always 200, as that gets you pretty close you the ideal mpbr zero while being an easy to remember whole number to run for life on your big game rigs, looks good on a speed dial turret etc...and for hunting it's even more paramount to be close to your mpbr as most of your shots will be inside your mpbr anyway so best to be mindless for the 0-250 yard shots, always hold on fur for that first one ;)

and I'm failing to understand how you can't reference the new reticle to the exact same hold? use a different target with the right size center dot or whatever to fit the new reticle for precise centering reference, I'd work on the target end not the scope end...you already know what the rifle is capable of
 

wind gypsy

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What is your group size at 200 yds? Unless you are shooting a pumpkin launcher like a short bbl 45-70 there is no reason to zero inside of 200 yds. If my 200 yd groups were too big to reliably zero with I don’t think I’d have any business shooting much past 100. Just me and my two pennies.

There is plenty of reason to zero at 100 rather than any further and the logic behind it has been discussed on this forum many times. A 100 yard zero is not impacted significantly by atmospheric conditions like a longer zero is.
 

Wapiti1

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There is plenty of reason to zero at 100 rather than any further and the logic behind it has been discussed on this forum many times. A 100 yard zero is not impacted significantly by atmospheric conditions like a longer zero is.
Or elevation. Which for me is more important. A 100yd zero at 700' in Indiana works just fine at 10,000' in Colorado. I only have to compensate for the rest of the trajectory, but don't have to think about re-zeroing the rifle when I get there. Just verify nothing shifted, and commence hunting.

Jeremy
 

Marble

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I zero my elk/mule deer rifles at 300.

It's also a subjective subject since quarry and the type of terrain you hunt will lend to different hunting set ups. Some have more or only timber, some are very open.

In the area I hunt,it is super common to have shots well in excess of 300 yards. Anything 425 and in and I need not to touch my scope. There have been too many times where an animal is moving across a hillside and there is a window from 300 to 450ish where the animal will appear. All I need to know is yardage. I do not want to take my eyes off the animal when there are only sometimes moments of availability to shoot.

For setting zero, most of us are right around 2.7" high at 100. Then after we shoot at 300 to confirm. It's worked really well for all of us for a really long time.

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SDHNTR

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Don’t be afraid to try something new. Read this carefully and you’ll see a lot of wisdom on this thread. There are many guys like me who used to zero at 2 and 300 (For all the reasons guys keep mentioning) who have come to realize there is a better way to do it now with scopes that reliably dial. 100 allows for precision that 2 and especially 300 cannot provide. You can still have ALL the advantages of a 2 or 300 yd zero that guys keep bringing up, yet set your sights with greater precision. Just add a few clicks when you hit the field. It’s that simple.
 
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Stinky Coyote

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Well single rotation and speed dial turrets you’ll want to do the 200 to maximize the ~15 moa of come up you have. You give up 2 moa just like that with a 100 yrd zero.
 
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SDHNTR

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Well single rotation and speed dial turrets you’ll want to do the 200 to maximize the ~15 moa of come up you have. You give up 2 moa just like that with a 100 yrd zero.
Yes, valid point if you absolutely have to squeeze out every last yard. But I think with most scopes that are built to dial there’s plenty of reasonable erector travel. And with canted mount systems, that point is somewhat moot. To me anyway.
 

Reburn

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100 yard zero on everything. Except my 22LR, 300 BO subsonic suppressed. 50 on those.

Here is one of the last times this was discussed in depth.

 

Reburn

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Or elevation. Which for me is more important. A 100yd zero at 700' in Indiana works just fine at 10,000' in Colorado. I only have to compensate for the rest of the trajectory, but don't have to think about re-zeroing the rifle when I get there. Just verify nothing shifted, and commence hunting.

Jeremy

This is the best explanation of why to zero at 100. Good job Jeremy.

Also a 3mph wind at 300 seems like nothing in the wild shooting until you put it in a ballistic calculator and figure it can put you way off at 1k if you zeroed with a left right offeset built in.

You dont see many guys in competitions missing up and down. Always left right. Dont zero your gun with a problem built into it.
 

zion zig zag

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Well single rotation and speed dial turrets you’ll want to do the 200 to maximize the ~15 moa of come up you have. You give up 2 moa just like that with a 100 yrd zero.
Out of curiosity I ran the calcs for a 150 eld-x in my 7mm-08. My scope (credo hx) has 20 moa per revolution. A 100 yard zero got me out to 700 yards with one rev, and a 200 yard zero got me out to 750 yards with one rev.
 

Stinky Coyote

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Out of curiosity I ran the calcs for a 150 eld-x in my 7mm-08. My scope (credo hx) has 20 moa per revolution. A 100 yard zero got me out to 700 yards with one rev, and a 200 yard zero got me out to 750 yards with one rev.
ya and the 1" leupolds always gave 15 moa, I'll give you a worst case scenario with my Trijicon Accupoint 3-9x40 which only gives you 12 moa per rotation and my slow azz 6.5 Grendel shooting factory eld-m ammo at 2386 fps...with 200 yard zero I get to a couple clicks past 500 yards with speed dial turret so at least have the 5 mark on the turret...and I'm really happy with that for the hung up coyotes etc. but I wouldn't want any less possibility, it's about as perfect a match to that rifle/cartridge combo going, no way I'll give up 2 moa on this rig, if it's gonna sit 99% of the time at 200 then zero it there, at least for hunting rigs, if you have a zero stop turret then even more so you'd want it to spin back to that for field work, the more you mess with hunt simplicity out there the more it will catch you out one day when least convenient

I acknowledge most 15 moa per rotation or higher units with most chosen centerfire cartridges you'll get at least 600 yards in a rotation, 20 moa per rotation you're laughin and will dial out well past where most would shoot at game, zero where ya like but it may catch you out when it counts most.
 
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