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Are You Chasing Your Zero?

Are You Chasing Your Zero?

Three Shot Average Zeroing Method

I learned some new techniques for sighting in while filming with Shawn for Vigilance Elite Patreon last range session. 


The most notable takeaway for me was to shoot in volleys of three in order to triangulate an average point of impact.

Shawn Ryan Zeroing

Unlike Shawn, I personally hate the process of zeroing. I’m impatient and often find myself chasing my zero. His technique of using the average of three shots helps minimize that issue.

I’ve always used the four shot zero method when zeroing my long guns to get close enough and never really take it any further once confirming minute of dude level accuracy at varying distances. 

Let’s be real, if your zero is good enough to consistently ring torso sized steel offhand at 100 yards and in, it’s probably good enough to impress 90% of shooters on the range. I know Shawn probably just cringed wherever he is as I finished typing that last sentence. This shows the difference in priorities between an operator and a marketer. 

While filming this video, I realized the optics on most of my rifles are probably not as fine tuned as I should want them to be.

Shawn Ryan’s Zeroing Process

Set your natural point of aim on the bullseye → Take your time and shoot a three shot group → Draw a triangle with the three impact points → Mark the center of the triangle to establish your average point of impact → Adjust your sight accordingly to move that point of impact to the bullseye → Make bold adjustments → Shoot three more shots to confirm

Shawn Ryan Comprehensive Guide To Zeroing Your Rifle

The Main Takeaway

Zeroing is where you build your confidence with your weapon. This is where you calibrate the settings to your eyes and verify the point of impact first-hand. You will gain peace of mind by personally calibrating your system that will eliminate doubt in a serious situation.


Next time I’m zeroing, I’ll be trying the three round volleys of fire and then making adjustments based on the average triangulated point within the group. Normally I’d use the four shot zero to get close and then I’d blow through way too much ammo trying to stack rounds on the bullseye. 

I could tell after seeing Shawn’s methodology in action that taking the three shot average would have helped me conserve ammo throughout this process because it gives the shooter a better idea of where to make adjustments.

In an ideal world, I’d be stacking every group but, real life isn’t exactly like the movies.

Jon HowardDirector of Marketing | Vigilance Elite

Comments on this post (3)

  • Nov 24, 2020

    Verify the sight is properly mounted and torqued down
    Put the weapon in a very secure rest
    Remove the bolt so you can see down the barrel
    Aim the weapon at an object 36 yards away or what ever zero you prefer
    Adjust the sight to the chosen target
    You should be bad close
    Brutus. Just another reader

    — Brutus

  • Nov 24, 2020

    I’m “new” to shooting long guns. Shot as a kid, and casually as an adult, but the guns were already zeroed for me. Now I have my first AR, and I’m responsible for setting it up a zeroing it.

    I first zeroed it about 5 months ago, and went through about 150 rounds to do it. I set up at 50 yards away, sat with my rifle on a homemade bench, and had some binoculars. I’d shoot one or two rounds, look through my binoculars, guess at the correction, then click off a few MOA and shoot one or two more. After about 5 corrections, I’d walk down and mark off the old holes, and do it again. After about an hour of chasing my bullet holes, I pasted up a new target, shoot three or four, get “close” then call it good enough.

    Deep down inside, I knew that was a piss poor effort in zeroing my gun. Watching Shawn’s video on zeroing, made the whole process click. Not only is the process solid, but it let’s you know that you really need to square away your marksmanship fundamentals. Everyone wants to get to running and gunning, but it all comes down to the fundamentals.

    — Derek Ferguson

  • Nov 22, 2020

    I recently bought an Eotech xps-2 from a friend. The sight is way off. It’s very far too the left. Is there a way to zero it to be able to zero it, if that makes sense.
    Thank you,

    — Ted

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