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The 36 Yard Zero

The 36 Yard Zero Target

In the recent carbine courses we have discussed various yard lines to zero your rifles along with the pros and cons of each yard line.  For those that have attended the courses now know that when it comes to your go-to 5.56 caliber carbine rifle that you would pick because it is best suited for all possible scenarios, the 36 yard zero seems to be the perfect fit.  Of course, this is a matter of opinion, but when it comes to making accurate shots from point blank distance all the way out to 300 yards you really can’t argue that the 36 yard zero makes thinking about your hold overs and unders a breeze, which is especially the case when you’re under extreme stress.  There’s a problem though, the majority of shooters do not have regular access to a gun range where they can get much distance outside of 25 yards.  So how do we get the 36 yard zero with only 25 yards to work with?

I created a 25 yard adjusted zero target for the 36 yard zero based off of a specific set of specs.  The majority of our clients use some type of red dot holographic sight whether it be EoTech, Aimpoint, Trijicon, or Vortex optics.  All of these sights sit approximately 2.5 inches above the bore of an AR-15 rifle.  Most of our shooters are also using basic 5.56/.223 55 grain FMJ for their range ammo, which is also what they zero their rifle with.  I figured somewhere there would be a 36 yard zero target for the 25 yard line but there was nothing.  They have 25, 50, and 100yds but no 36.  So I put the time in, gathered as much info as I could as far as what shooters are using when it comes to optics and ammo, and I calculated where the bullet would impact at the 25 yard line with a 36 yard zero and made a target out of it.

How To Use It?

If you take a look at the target you will see thick gray vertical and horizontal lines that intersect at a black circle.  This is going to be where your point of aim is.  Center your red dot here.  If you look below that you will see thick black vertical and horizontal lines that intersect at another small yellow dot on the 0:0 axis point surrounded by a yellow faded dot.  This is going to be where you want your bullet impacts to be.  With this being said, your impacts will not hit where you are aiming.  The bottom dot on the 0:0 axis is where the bullet would hit if you were aiming at a target 25 yards away with a 36yd zero which is approximately -.72″ below your point of aim.  The bullet is still rising to meet your point of aim at 36 yards, this is why the impact point is low on the target.  The faded yellow circle around the black circle is there for variables such as sight to bore distance and bullet weight.  I use .77 grain for a truer flight, more accuracy, and more knockdown power. The hold under for that round is -.70″, and if your sight sits only 1.5″ above bore then you are at a -.41″ with 55 grain and -.40 with 77 grain.  If your round is inside the gray faded circle you are good.  The dashed circle is for acceptable human error and it’s generous.  All of your rounds should really be at least touching the faded circle.  The numbers on the side are adjustments for a .5 MOA sight.  For example, if my round hits at vertical line marked 16 above the 0 then I need to adjust my Eotech 16 clicks down.

See Image Below

To Print the Target:

  1. Right click on the image at the bottom of the page
  2. Save image to desktop
  3. Go to print set-up
  4. You MUST scale image to 100% for accurate results
  5. Click print

Stay Vigilant,

Shawn Ryan

Printable 36yd Zero Target

Comments on this post (68)

  • Apr 20, 2019

    Thank you for the video and target. This was a big help.

    — Randal Goings

  • Apr 20, 2019

    So if your using an optic thats 3" over bore . so your irons are in the lower 1/3 of the optic . is the math still the same or no . if i read this correctly this is for an absolute co witness or iron sight height . i would love to know the math for lower 1/3 co witness

    — Sean White

  • Apr 20, 2019

    When I print out the Target…what should the outer bold line frame of the grid measure at, to insure I am working at proper scale – if I lay a ruler to it to check for proper scale what is the actual measurement – (? x ?)

    — RTC

  • Apr 09, 2019

    Great video… the 36 yard zero is very solid advice for 5.56.

    Is there a zero that would work the same way for a 300 black out with super sonic rounds in the 120-125 grain range? I’m running a 10” barrel and was wondering what that would translate to with subs in the 200 grain range with the same POA? Any information would be appreciated.


    — Raymond Hull

  • Apr 09, 2019

    The instructions to print the target seem accurate.

    You need to RIGHT CLICK the image BELOW the instructions and save it somewhere using SAVE AS.

    You know you have the correct image if the saved filename is “25yd_zero_Adjusted_for_36yd_zero.jpg”.

    I printed from a Mac to 8.5×11 paper and chose the “scale to fit” printing option.

    The printout seems to be the same margins and size as the target in his video. I’ll attempt this 36 yard zero soon (once my optics arrive) to hopefully verify the printout is accurate.

    — Robert

  • Apr 09, 2019

    Thank you guys for your service before I start talking. I’m wondering will this zero work with a 7mm-08, or 308 hunting rifle. I’m gonna give it a try but what are your thoughts. Also is there a way to email the PDF target. Thanks a lot fella’s.


    — Brice

  • Apr 09, 2019

    Mr Ryan-

    Is this is intended to be printed on an 8.5 × 11 piece of paper w/o margins?
    What is expected size of each square when printed?

    Also to confirm, POA is top circle, and expected POI is lower circle?

    -Thank you

    — 99Oldsalt

  • Apr 09, 2019

    This video is awesome! will it also work for a 300 blackout?

    — Andy Belles

  • Mar 04, 2019

    Looking for some measurements to make sure what I printed is the correct size. I appreciate your help.

    Thank you

    — Austin Ago

  • Mar 04, 2019

    Will a 14.5" barrel work best for the 36 yard zero? I’m putting an exps 2 on a 14.5 barrel. Thanks.

    — S Regas

  • Mar 04, 2019

    I have been unable to save or print the target image. Also, what size paper is the target supposed to be printed on?

    Thanks for the info!!

    — Michael Moberly

  • Mar 04, 2019

    Shawn thanks for the info on 36 yard zero. I can see a lot of time and effort went into your video and work. I have a 556/223 IWI Tavor with Acog 4X32 scope on it would the 36 yard zero work out ok on the IWI Tavor with Acog 4X32 scope on it?

    — Butch Owens

  • Mar 04, 2019

    Quick question regarding this method in theory as long as optic height is same to bore would this theory be the same for a thermal optic of course taking ballistics into consideration for different calibers.

    — Duby

  • Mar 04, 2019

    All the information one needs to make a target is supplied in the last paragraph under the heading “How To Use It?”

    — Mean Bone

  • Mar 04, 2019

    The outdoor range I go to has targets at 50, 100, and 200 yards. How far off is POI from point of aim at 50 yards?

    — Mike

  • Mar 04, 2019

    Also need confirmation on a measurement from center of POA to center of POI so I can verify I have ratios correct. Thanks

    — Joe

  • Mar 04, 2019

    For whatever reason I seem to be having a problem getting the 36 yards zero sheet link to work. Is there anyway you guys can send me a link to click and print I am not very tech savvy though I love the idea of this zero and can’t wait to try it out!

    — Josh Placzek

  • Mar 04, 2019

    What is a similar zero for a 16" barrel AR-10 chambered in 7.62 with a 150 gr. bullet?

    — Jason Trammell

  • Mar 04, 2019

    this is so good!

    — brandon

  • Mar 04, 2019

    Can you do one for the 7.62×32 in wolf ammo? So one could set the AK at the the home position. Thank you

    — Gabi Hanson

  • Mar 04, 2019

    Do you the Information to apply a 50 yard adjusted zero target for the 36yard zero thank you.

    — Michael Firneno

  • Mar 04, 2019

    Combat zero for 7.62×39?? Specifically using a AK. I feel like a lot of people have that gun and they don’t really know what’s up with it!

    — Barclay Matheson

  • Mar 04, 2019

    I only have access to 50 yard range will measuring and doubling the distance from poa to poi be accurate.

    — Michael Firneno

  • Mar 04, 2019

    The site says, “Click on the image at the bottom of the page” but there are no clickable images anywhere on the page.

    — mark

  • Mar 04, 2019

    Sorry Shawn
    The iron sights would go center mass correct with the optic to the lower circle? One rifle I have the matech and the other the Kac. What would I set those to for the iron sight zero using an M4? thanks mike

    — Mike Stanger

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