- Zero your .22LR caliber AR15 style rifle, or AR15 with .22LR conversion kit at 25 yards.
- From approximately 13 yards out to approximately 89 yards the bullet’s impact will be within +/- 1″ of where you are aiming.
- At 100 yards you can expect the bullet to impact between 2″ and 2.5″ below your point-of-aim.
- If you don’t have the patience for a detailed explanation, then you will still be well served by the information above. If you want to know more, keep reading.
.22LR In The AR15:
The shortage and rising prices of ammunition has made dedicated .22LR AR-15 rifles, and conversion kits for 5.56mm/.223 caliber AR-15 rifles very popular. Unfortunately the recent shortage of .22LR ammunition has made it hard to feed them if you didn’t already stockpile (hoard) .22LR ammunition. If you are lucky enough to have access to .22LR ammunition then the dedicated .22LR AR-15 rifles or the conversion kits for your 5.56mm/.223 caliber AR-15 rifles are fun for target shooting and plinking, and can be a great tool for teaching new shooters without the loud noise and high price of full-size center-fire ammunition.
What Distance To Zero For .22LR Ammo With AR Style 2.5″ Tall Sights:
A friend recently acquired one of Colt’s .22LR M4 rifles made by Walther Firearms and asked if I would help zero the sights at the appropriate distance. I had recently written about my research regarding What Distance To Zero Your .22LR Rifle, but I had never really taken dedicated .22LR AR-15 rifles seriously until I was asked to help zero this rifle. Any traditional .22LR rifle has its sights mounted close to the bore, and traditionally red-dots are always mounted as close to the bore as possible. I couldn’t see how you could have anything but a terrible .22LR ballistic trajectory with AR-15 sights that are 2.5″ above the bore.
Having been granted the opportunity to play with this rifle for a few days I ran a few zero distance calculations through an iPhone/iPad application called “Ballistic” using data for CCI’s 36-grain Mini-Mag ammunition, and I couldn’t believe how ignorant I had been. You can achieve very flat trajectories from .22LR ammunition and 2.5″ sights. I played with several distances and tweaked it until I found the optimum zero distance of 25 yards.
Benefits of a 25 Yard Zero:
Firing .22LR from a rifle with sights 2.4″ to 2.5″ height above bore (such as with an AR15), the 25 yard zero will give you the flattest trajectory out to 100 yards.
Note the graph above. From a distance of 13 yards from the muzzle, all the way out to approximately 89 yard, the point-of-impact of the bullet will never be +/- 1″ from point-of-aim. This means that you should be able to hit a 2″ target without any hold-over / hold-under correction anywhere within 13 yards to 89 yards!
The highest distance above point of aim is exactly 1″ at 50 yards.
At 100 yards you can expect your point-of-impact to be 2.37″ below your point-of-aim. To give you a visual, you will make hits below the point-of-aim less than the height that the sights set above the bore. This is pretty impressive, especially considering that you might be using a red-dot optic, such as the Bushnell TRS-25, with a 2 minute-of-angle dot (dot that appears 2″ in diameter at 100 yards).
Dedicated .22LR Rifle:
If you have a dedicated .22LR rifle then you have a simple task of zeroing your rifle’s optic and / or iron sights. Zero it for 25 yards and you are done. Congratulations!
AR15 With CMMG .22LR Conversion Kit:
If you have a CMMG conversion kit and want to accurately and effective use 5.56mm NATO ammunition as well as .22LR ammunition with the CMMG conversion kit, check out:
- Savannah Arsenal’s Rimfire Ammunition Page
- Savannah Arsenal’s Rimfire Optics & Accessories Page
- Savannah Arsenal’s Rimfire Conversion Kits Page
- A Great Red-Dot Optics For .22LR Rifles: Bushnell TRS-25
- Bushnell Trophy Red-Dot: No-Go!
- Make A New Storage Tube For Your AR-15 22LR Conversion Kit
- CMMG Brand Conversion Kits For AR-15 Rifles
- Gemtech’s Subsonic .22LR Ammunition = WIN!
- What Distance To Zero Your .22LR Rifle