12 comments on “How To Zero The Kalashnikov AK-47 — 7.62x39mm

  1. Excellent information, well thought out and put together. But I just have a few questions. Which muzzle is the best to have on my AK and is it better if I put AR 15 handguards on it.

    Like

    • My personal feeling is that you will be better served by investing your money and time into training, practice, and ammunition, rather than firearm modifications. A muzzle device isn’t going to make you a better shooter until you get such an incredible amount of training and experience that you are better than the gun.

      I don’t have any experience with AK muzzle devices, except for what came stock on my Arsenal 107-FR rifles. I guess they do a pretty good job of mitigating muzzle rise. I’m not sure that if I spent the time to change them out that it would make me a better shooter with the gun. That being said, they do nothing to stop muzzle flash. I have shot them a few times at dusk and early evening, and the flash is quite impressive. Muzzle devices is a subject that I will soon study as I would like to use those rifles for night piggy hunts. I stated that I don’t think that a muzzle device change will help me shoot, except that I can’t shoot very well if I’m temporarily blinded. The amount of flash that they allow is not acceptable. If you are going to ever train or hunt in low light, a muzzle device change might be warranted. Please let us know what you decide on and how you like it. I’ll report my findings and experience very soon.

      As far as the subject of handguards, you can’t install AR-15 handguards on an AK. They are two completely different animals. There isn’t a way to make it work.

      Like

  2. Fantastic article, just what I was looking for.

    Do you have any specific AK74 5.54×39 zeroing instructions?

    Thanks,
    Dutch

    Like

    • I have not published anything yet. It has been on my to-do list.

      Here is some information and some numbers that I have generated, assuming Wolf, 59 grain FMJ fired from a rifle with sights 2.0″ above center of bore, and a muzzle velocity of 2900 FPS. Please keep in mind that I have not shot any of this to prove or disprove it.

      100 meter Zero:

      This caliber is VERY flat shooting. For a 100 meter point-of-aim = point-of-impact with the “1” setting the near zero is going to be 72 meters (78.7 yards). This isn’t going to be a very good setting to initially zero the rifle because the near zero is so far away.

      Expected 100 Meter Zero Trajectory:
      After 72 meters the bullet rises only a few 100ths of an inch until falling back through point-of-aim at 100 meters (109) yards.
      125 meters (137 yards): – .40″
      150 meters (164 yards): – 1.24″
      175 meters (191 yards): – 2.48″
      200 meters (218 yards): – 4.17″

      Summary: The caliber shoots too flat to zero at 100 meters. Use another sight setting / near zero combination. After your rifle is zeroed, when shooting with the “1” setting you can expect your round to touch point-of-aim at 72 meters and ride along it until reaching roughly 105 meters. It will pass down through 2 inches below point-of-aim at 167 meters. Expect hits within +/- the height of the front sight (2″) from the muzzle out to 167 meters (183 yards).

      200 Meter Zero:

      This will be a little easier to zero the with the “2” setting as the near zero will be 34 meters (37.2 yards). You can set up a target at 34 meters, set your sights to “2”, and zero the rifle. You can then verify zero buy moving the sight to the “1” setting and then shoot a target 100 meters (109 yards) away.
      With a properly zeroed rifle and the sights set to “2” you can expect the round to first pass through the point-of-aim at 34 meters (37.2 yards).

      Expected 200 Meter Zero Trajectory:
      50 meters (54.7 yards): + .7″
      100 meters (109 yards): + 2.0″
      150 meters (164 yards): + 1.9″
      175 meters (191 yards): + 1.2″
      200 meters (218 yards): POA = POI
      225 meters (246 yards): – 1.7″
      250 meters (273 yards): – 3.9″

      Summary: The 200 meter has a much better near zero to initially set up the rifle. Also a great “battle setting”. Once the rifle is zeroed, the “2” setting will provide a trajectory that passes within +/- 2.2″ of point-of-aim from the muzzle out to a little past 230 meters (252 yards).

      300 Meter Zero:

      The 300 meter zero looks like a great way to zero the rifle as the near zero is an easy to shoot 21 meters (23 yards). You can set up a target at 21 meters, set your sights to “3”, and zero the rifle. You can then verify zero buy moving the sight to the “1” setting and shoot a target 100 meters (109 yards) away.

      Expected 300 meter zero trajectory:
      50 meters (54.7 yards): + 2.4″
      100 meters (109 yards): + 5.4″
      150 meters (164 yards): + 7.0″
      175 meters (191 yards): + 7.0″
      200 meters (218 yards): + 6.7″
      225 meters (246 yards): + 5.8″
      250 meters (273 yards): + 4.5″
      275 meters (301 yards): + 2.6″
      300 meters (328 yards): POA = POI
      325 meters (355 yards): – 3.12″
      350 meters (382 yards): – 6.9″
      This zero has a great near zero to use for setting up the rifle. The trajectory has too high of an arc to be used effectively as a set-it-and-forget-it battle setting.

      Battle Setting:

      It is my understanding that the battle setting on the AK-74 represents a 400 meter zero. This may or may not be true. I only say this because many people on the internet erroneously state that the battle setting on the AK-47 is a 300 meter setting. Though experimentation I proved that it is actually a 18 meter / 247 meter zero. As with the claims that the AK-47 battle setting is the same as the 300 meter setting, I ask why would you have a battle setting that is the same as one of the other settings? It isn’t the case with the AK-47, so I question if it is actually a 400 meter zero with the AK-74.

      Once you properly zeroed your AK-74 so that it hits point-of-aim = point-of-impact at 100 meters with the “1” setting, 200 meters with the “2” setting, etc, you can set up a target at the 400 meter setting’s near zero of 15 meters, place your rear sight on the battle setting, and fire four or five carefully aimed shots from a rested shooting position and see if your rounds impact exactly at your point-of-aim. Also, for comparison move your sight to the “4” setting and fire four or five more carefully aimed shots. If the bullets strike in the exact same spot, then this will prove that they are the same trajectory. If they strike in two different groups then this will prove that they are different.

      If the battle setting shots do not impact exactly where you aim, move your target a little closer or farther away and shoot a few more shots. Continue until you hit exactly where you aim. This will be your near zero for the battle sight. If you could shoot at 100 meters with the battle setting and measure the distance of the shot group from the point-of-aim, then we can make some calculations and establish the true trajectory of the battle setting and become internet sensations for proving everyone wrong. Once you set up your rifle it would be great if you could take the time to prove or disprove the 15/400 meter trajectory for the battle setting and report back to us. For ease of distance conversion, 15 meters = 16.4 yards. Measure precisely. It matters. Thanks!

      If the battle setting is the same as the “4” setting the you can expect a roller coaster trajectory from both:

      50 meters (54.7 yards): + 4.4″
      100 meters (109 yards): + 9.6″
      150 meters (164 yards): + 13.25″
      175 meters (191 yards): + 14.4″
      200 meters (218 yards): + 15.1″
      225 meters (246 yards): + 15.3″
      250 meters (273 yards): + 15.0″
      275 meters (301 yards): + 14.1″
      300 meters (328 yards): + 12.6
      325 meters (355 yards): + 10.6″
      350 meters (382 yards): + 7.8″
      375 meters (410 yards): + 4.2″
      400 meters (437 yards): POA = POI
      425 meters (465 yards): – 5.0″
      450 meters (492 yards): – 11.2″
      475 meters (519 yards): – 18.0″
      500 meters (547 yards): – 26.0″

      Good luck, and please let us know how this works out for you.
      Chet @ Savannah Arsenal

      Like

  3. In your experience, how accurate are the rear sight leaf settings on an AK? If I zero an AK at 25/200 Meters, how likely am I to be on-target at 100M or 300M if I move the slider on the sight?

    Like

    • There isn’t such a thing as a 25/200 meter zero. There is, however, a 25 yard / 200 meter zero. If you zero your rifle at 25 yards with the “2” setting, the rifle will be dead on at 100 meters with the “1” setting, 200 meters with the “2” setting, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I found this site fascinating and an excellent source of information that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Can you please tell me your source for determining that the BZO setting on the AK is at 247M rather than 300M? I am utterly astounded at how much misinformation is being published online regarding zeroing the AK, especially by experts. It’s refreshing to see someone publishing factual information and backing it up with evidence. Please, keep up the great work! I’ll be sharing this site and visiting frequently.

    Like

    • Hello, Sopater:

      How did I determine this information? I have a lot of free time and have researched ballistic tables and then verified the data on the range. Also, I have tried many of the ways that are explained on the internet and most don’t work. Don’t trust any of us internet commandos. Do, however, go out to the range and verify my findings. Also, try to copy some of the other internet techniques. You will find that your results will differ from what has been advertised. Many YouTube videos are highly flawed, and if you read their comment section you will find many confused followers.

      Your first question: In your experience, how accurate are the rear sight leaf settings on an AK? If I zero an AK at 25/200 Meters, how likely am I to be on-target at 100M or 300M if I move the slider on the sight?

      To answer the first part of your question: The rear sights are dead on if you zero them correctly… better than I can shoot. To answer the second part of your question, if properly zeroed, you will be dead on at 100 meters and 300 meters. 75 million AK-47 rifles can’t be wrong! Also, there isn’t a 25 meter / 200 meter zero. Be very careful of this. With a properly zeroed rifle and the rear sight set to the 200 meter setting, the bullet will first pass through point-of-aim at 25 YARDS (not meters… and yes, it makes a difference!). Therefore, you can zero your rifle at 25 yards with the “2” setting and then verify that it is dead on at 100 meters with the “1” setting. You can also do the same technique at 18 meters (19.6 yards) with the “battle setting”.

      Your second question: Can you please tell me your source for determining that the BZO setting on the AK is at 247M rather than 300M?
      Why should you believe that the “battle setting” is not the same as the 300 meter setting? Don’t believe anything that you read on the internet. Try it for yourself. Set up your target at an easy to shoot distance (25 yards or meters will work…doesn’t matter). I used a 1″ dot on the target as an aiming point. Set your rear sight to the “battle setting” and shoot 3-5 carefully aimed shots from a bench rested position. Next, move your rear sight to the “3” position and again shoot 3-5 carefully aimed shots at the same 1″ dot. There will be two different shot groups on the target. The “battle setting” group will impact the 1″ circle, and the “3” group will impact slightly above the dot. This is the first way to prove that the battle setting and the 300 meter setting are not the same. Don’t trust me. Try it for yourself.

      Why should you believe that the “battle setting” is a 18/247 meter zero? Don’t believe anything that you read on the internet. Try it for yourself. Once you have the rifle properly zeroed (shooting point-of-aim / point-of-impact at 100 meters with the “1” setting), move the sight back to the “battle setting”. Now set up your target with a 1″ dot at 18 meters (19.6 yards) and shoot 3-5 carefully aimed shots from a bench rested position. Your bullets will impact your point-of-aim. These results establish that the “battle setting’s” first zero is 18 meters.

      How do we know that the second zero is 247 meters? With the “battle setting”, shoot 5 carefully aimed shots from a bench rested position at a target 100 meters away. According to the app “Ballistic”, assuming Wolf 121.9 grain FMJ with a muzzle velocity of 2444 FPS, and a 2″ sight height above bore, a rifle zeroed at 18 meters should impact 5.9″ high at 100 yards, or 6.3″ high at 100 meters (109 yards). I shot and verified this data at the range. But wait? What about 247 meters vs. 300 meters? On a dry, dusty day I shot at a steel target that was laser range verified to be 300 yards downrange. With the rifle set to “3” my carefully aimed shots impacted high, and with the “battle setting” they impacted low. I shot this to verify the data and it was spot on.
      On the website I included ballistic graphs showing the difference between the “battle setting” and the “3” setting. They are definitely different. Don’t trust me. Try it for yourself.

      As stated on this blog post, use these cheats when shooting your rifle at different distances:
      Use the “battle setting” for general / defensive shooting out to 300 meters and get hits within +/- 7″ from your point-of-aim. This is your best “set it and forget it” setting.
      Use the “1” setting for shooting at 50 yard and 100 yard rifle ranges.
      Use the “2” setting for shooting at targets known to be in the 200 yard / meter range. It works perfect for 25 yard indoor ranges. Use it as your “set-it-and-forget-it” setting if all of your shooting will be within 200 meters (urban or jungle environment).
      Reserve the use of the “3” setting for when you are shooting at a target know to be at a range of 300 meters.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you very much for this. It’s very helpful for me as a new AK owner. I do have a couple of questions, however…

    In the ‘spoiler’ section, where you suggest zeroing the rifle at 25 yards using the 200 meter setting on the rear sight, the sentence after reads ‘your rifle will NOT be zeroed at 100m, 200m, 300m. Is this a typo. Should it read ‘Your rifle will NOW be zeroed…’?

    Also, a common internet assertion I’ve read is that the battle sight setting is equal to the 200m setting in all applications. Based on your chart (battle sight vs. 100m vs. 200m) I now see this claim is nonsense as well.

    Thanks again.. very helpful!

    IJ

    Like

    • You are absolutely correct! Typo! It is now corrected. Thanks, and good luck. Let us know how it works.

      Also, there is a ton of “battle site” crap on the internet. Do not trust me or anyone else on the internet. Experiment for yourself. Regardless of how your rifle is zeroed, set up a target at an easy to shoot distance (25 yards is fine). Shoot three carefully aimed shots with the rifle rested on a sandbag or rest with the sights set to 200. Next, move your sight setting to the “battle setting” and shoot three well aimed shots at the same spot as before. The group will move, thus proving that they are not the same.

      There is also the YouTube assertion that you can zero the rifle at 25 meters with the “1” setting and the rifle will be properly zeroed. It is interesting to note that the YouTube hosts who make these videos always end up with 100 meter verification shots that don’t hit where they wanted, and they always have a creative excuse for why it didn’t work. They never approve any recommendations that I make in the video’s comment section, but they will be quick to incorrectly answer anyone’s questions and give out more bad advise.

      Be careful with advise that you receive on the internet, including mine. As I stated above, go out and verify it yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

Please feel free to comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s