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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 (97)

  • Dec 22, 2019

    I’m thankful that his type of target exists. I prefer the 36 yard zero with an Eotech, so this works out perfectly. However, I’m having a hard time figuring out how to scale the image. The instructions say scale to 100% but it doesn’t come out right on my mac. Any help with this would be appreciated, thanks.

    — John Williams

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Would shorter barrell length (10.5 in) make any difference in POA vs POI with this 36 yard zero?

    — William L Schmidt

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Hi Ryan,

    I am having trouble printing out the target. Seems my printers scale may be off. Can you confirm what the final grid measurements should be once printed?

    Thank you.

    -Frank G.

    — Frank Gonzalez

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Without knowing the scale or the size of the grid there is no way to realistically print this target accurately.

    — David

  • Dec 22, 2019

    This is really good Shawn. Thank you for putting this together.

    — Eddie James

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Has anyone confirmed what size paper to is to print this out?

    — Jason

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Is there anyway to get the pdf of the 36yd target emailed to me? When I follow the instructions it does not print out as shown on the video. The target is very small when scaled to 100%. If scaled at 200% it looks like the target in the video and takes up the majority of the standard sheet of paper; however, I am not sure doing like that is accurate. Any help would be appreciated.


    Jason Skelton

    — Jason Skelton

  • Dec 22, 2019

    This is awesome and we all appreciate the effort to help a “bro” but seems like everyone is having the same issues printing.

    Obviously the target format does not render as an image. Saving and embedding this in PDF format eliminates the need to do the dance described to print and make everyone happy.

    Thank you!

    — Luis M

  • Dec 22, 2019

    To answer a lot of people’s question about the size of the printed out target:
    If printed properly, each square (4 clicks) should be about 1/2" high and wide. The target is calibrated for 4 clicks (1/2 MOA per click) equal to 2" at 100 yds (at 1 MOA = 1" at 100 yds). So at 25 yds (1/4 of 100 yds) the size of 4 clicks should be 1/2 ".

    — Richard Stroup

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Hello Shawn

    I like this idea and can not wait to zero my rifle at range. I have a question about this target, if I open this image on a new tap, and follow all your instructions to print it, what paper size should I use to have an accurate 36 yards zero? Please let me know, thank you!

    — Justin Zhu

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Thank you for this great info! I’ve been wanting to re-zero my LE9620 and this will work great.

    To help the printout questions:
    Save the BOTTOM image by right click and “Save As”
    When the pop-up open to choose where to save, click on the image name and you can change the extension “Google’s WP” to JEPG, JPG or PNG. then save to your computer.

    Again thank you, Shawn, for the great work on this and the video.

    — Shaun Bennett

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Would this also work with 300 blackout?

    — Dave German

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Great post!

    — RozaWound

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Loved the video but I would like to know how this works for a 1/3 lower co-witness.

    — Leon Guerrero, Ian

  • Dec 22, 2019

    — studybrylon

  • Dec 22, 2019

    I have a 10.5 in barrel, 1 in 7 twist. Do I need to adjust anything for the 36 yard zero?

    — Brett Hale

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Shawn – Works great so far. Zeroed at 25 yard indoor range, confirmed at 25 yards at outdoor range, used rest of 50 rounds hitting steel at 100, 200 and 300 yards with slight hold overs and hold unders.
    Real test this weekend at local 3 gun match from 50-450 yards.
    16’ barrel, Vortex Viper 1-6, Wolf Gold 55 grain chronoed at 2995 fps.

    — ParaLarry

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Would this work for a glass rifle scope? If not what is your recommended sight in distance for a rifle scope on a .223/5.56 rifle?

    — Anthony

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Great Video!

    Where can i find all the different holds shown in the video? I would like to make a silhouette like the one you have in your video.



    — Isaac Chavez

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Thanks for your advice zeroing my AR’s Red Dot(s). Worked well with my 3×9-32 scope too. Used your method on my 10.5" pistols and my 16" carbine. Like you mentioned, “in a perfect world..” There are so many variables that come into play which affect POI. I’m not expecting perfect, I would like something reliable and the 36 yard zero works best “for me :-).”
    Al E.
    USN, HM-1, 1973 – 1981

    — AL EDSON

  • Dec 22, 2019

    At the risk of sounding like an idiot, what is the height of the shooter in relation to the target? Are they directly in line with one another or is the shooter in the prone firing position? Just curious as to what height I and my target need to be at to get this to work the best.

    — Pete

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Fellas, this is a standard 1MOA = 1" @ 100 yards. Which means 1MOA = 0.25" @ 25 yards. As such, 4MOA at 25 yards is 1".

    The grids are at 4MOA. Because the stated optic is 1/2 MOA per click, thus each grid should be 0.5". Use this to scale the print. Printing this at 25% scale worked for me.

    — MZ

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Thank you Sir

    — Mor Zaiderman

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Will the 36 yd zeroing target work for a red dot? It says eotech. I believe it will work because an eotech is like a red dot but has the extra 65moa ring. I just want to be sure though

    — Trey Pritchard

  • Dec 22, 2019

    Thank you for making this target available at no cost and thank you for your service to our country. Planning on zeroing in a little AR pistol I just built this afternoon.

    — Jim Brown

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