How to Zero an AR-15 at 25 Yards (Full Guide)

How To Zero An AR-15 At 25 Yards
Alfred Mendoza

Zeroing your AR-15 at 25 yards to improve your shots is a good start if you and your rifle are just starting to get close. Your calibration on your point-of-aim (POA) is related to your bullet’s point-of-impact (POI), and following these steps will help you get to your intended target.

Steps on Zeroing An AR-15 At 25 Yards

1. Conduct Bore Sighting

Look for a place to settle your barrel flat and solid without any type of obstruction, which may hinder your view from the chamber straight to the muzzle. Make sure the sights are aligned with the bore, and if not, make the adjustments. 

Start by removing the barrel assembly from the grip and buttstock. Look through the barrel and see if the sights are aligned on the bullseye; move to the third step; if not, make adjustments. 

2. Make Rough Adjustments

Usually, copes are adjustable using audible “clicks,” but you may not need to count them when you need to make rough adjustments. Instead, hold the boresight on the bullseye while you look through the scope and adjust windage until the crosshair aligns and the elevation turret. 

Your head will only be the one to move while you ensure that the rifle is steady at all times. This requires focus and a lot of practice.

3. Shoot A Group

After completing the first and the second steps, it is time to reassemble your rifle and test it. Having a spotter would help so that you would easily know where your shot hits.

If it does not hit your target, you can either repeat steps 1 and 2 or try a closer target. You intend to land a mark on the paper to determine how many adjustments you need to make to your sights.

4. Conduct Fine Adjustment (Optional)

If you hit your target straight to the bullseye, go to number 5, otherwise do this. Mark the estimated center of your three-shot group and measure the horizontal and vertical distances to the bullseye. Make your adjustments depending on the calculated distances. 

Everything on the scope will be marked, and usually, adjustment values are at ¼ inch at 100 yards. Once your necessary adjustments are done, tap the scope a bit since that helps adjustments settle. Take another shot and repeat number 4 if needed.

5. Find the Optimal Zero

One thing to remember is to zero your scope based on your intended use. If you are shooting on a range at a hundred to 200 yards, zero it to that distance. It will strike 100 yards perfectly but will be short a couple of inches low at 200 yards. After setting it to your zero preference, try to shoot and see where you marked and repeat necessary adjustments until you are zeroed on that distance.

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What To Do When Troubleshooting

What To Do When Troubleshooting

If your hits are all inconsistent even after adjustments and you are definite that the bore sighting [1] is exactly in the middle, you may want to check:

  1. Your AR-15 scope mount may be loose. That is why it wiggles each time you take a shot.
  2. Double-check the barrel or muzzle if it is within contact or anything. Make sure that the rifle is resting on the stock and not the barrel.
  3. Lastly, maybe it is you who has flaws. Flinching? Do you have consistency? There may be a need for you to improve your shooting. Find an expert to assist you.

Zero At 25 Yards: Is It A Myth?

This is absolutely a myth. If you set it to 25-yards zero, this will be 2.5 to 3 inches high at 100 yards, but this would still depend on the caliber you are using.


The popular optimal distance to sight in an AR-15 rifle is at 50 yards which will also set it to zero at 200-yards.

Yes, 25 yards is enough to zero your AR-15 hunting rifle if your target is within 100 yards. You will still be able to hit your target provided that you have a solid base and good accuracy.

The best distance to zero a red dot sight mounted on an AR-15 is at 50 yards. Whether your target is at 100 or 200 yards, this is still a more realistic distance that even a beginner will hit.

Zeroing an AR-15 at 25 yards will make your rifle shoot more accurate because your target is more visible at this distance. It is just a matter of you making the right adjustments on your gun to ensure you are hitting the target.

A rifle zeroed at 25-yard will make you shoot a longer distance, but the most accurate distance is around 100 yards. If your target is at 200 yards, your bullet will be aimed higher, which may not be an accurate shot, and most likely, you will be missing your target.

Final Thoughts on Zeroing An AR-15 At 25 Yards

Zeroing your AR-15 at 25 yards will be an advantage if you can secure your rifle’s setup. The provided steps will help you out, but if nothing improves, that will only mean two things. First, you did not do the steps correctly. The second is you are not shooting correctly.

Dead-on with your target is possible with this distance, and this is preferred by many. Your target needs to be spot on the bore of your scope, and the necessary adjustments will be taken. Also, remember to take note of other factors such as windage and velocity.



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