82 comments on “How To Zero The Kalashnikov AK-47 & AK-74

  1. 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!



    • 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 2 people

  2. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 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 2 people

  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?


    • 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 2 people

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

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



    • 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


  5. 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.


    • 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.


  6. Maybe a stupid question but I just want to verify I’m aiming down the sights correctly: Do I put the very top tip of the front sight to the bottom box of the rear sight to where I can barely see the front sight post or do I line up the front sight post to where it is flush with the rear box sight?


    • Not a stupid question.

      Line up the front sight so that it fits into the notch in the rear sight and is flush across the top, as seen in the first photo below..

      When you zero the rifle you will want the tip of the front sight post to laterally bisect the center of the target, as seen in the photo below.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. For what it’s worth, the reason why “П” is said to be the same as “3” is because the official Russian AK manual that is used by the military explicitly says so. Here is the text verbatim:

    “Прицельная планка имеет гривку с прорезью для прицеливания и вырезы для удержания хомутика в установленном положении посредством защелки с пружиной. На прицельной планке нанесена шкала с делениями от 1 до 10 и буквой «П»; цифры шкалы обозначают дальности стрельбы в сотнях метров; «П» — постоянная установка прицела, соответствующая прицелу 3.”


    “The rear sight leaf has a mane with a slot for aiming, and cutouts to fix the clamp in the specified position by means of a spring-loaded latch. On the sighting bar, there’s a scale with divisions from 1 to 10, and the letter “П”; digits of the scale designate firing distances in hundreds of meters; “П” – permanent sight position, corresponding to position “3”.

    Now, it may well be that the manual is wrong, but I wonder if perhaps some AKs are just out of spec? How many of them have you checked this setting on? Perhaps it’s a particular country of origin or manufacturer that is at fault?


    • Today we shot at steel targets at 300 yards with an Arsenal 107FR and a Norinco MAK-90. Both had been zeroed the same way and both were shot with the same ammunition.

      “3” Setting:
      With the “3” setting (300 meters) I knew that the rounds would impact slightly high at 300 yards and verified this by observing that you had to aim low on the target (“belt line”) to get the bullets to splash into middle of the target.

      “Battle Setting”:
      With the battle setting we expected an approximate 270 yard zero and knew that we would have to aim high on the target to get the bullets to impact in the middle of the target. Both rifles aiming dead center of the target, or at the same low aiming point as the “3” setting resulted in the rounds impacting below the target. As predicted, at 300 yards with the battle setting both rifles were required to be aimed at the top of the target to get the rounds to impact in the middle.

      I’ll have access to a Russian Saiga in a couple of weeks and will run the same test.


    • Look at the trajectories for the different zero distances and see which one works best for you. If sight can be cowitnessed then simply zero it to that distance. If it can’t be cowitnessed (maybe sits a little high) then we can figure out a pretty close compromise if we know the height of the red dot (probably the center of the sight) above the center of the bore.


      • Thank you so much for helping! I’m using a Ras47 with a primary arms advanced micro red dot. with the century red army standard scope base and mount which was made from century for this ak47. Using wolf fmj 123 grain. The iron sites are zero in by using your website! 25 yards with rear setting at 2. Then 100 meters and rear setting back to 1. But I always use battle setting! Thank you for helping me, I hope to hear back from you soon!


      • The red dot sight can’t be co witness and the measurements, center of red dot sight and center of bore is roughly 2″1/4-2″1/2. I’m no expert but by using a tape measure that’s The measurements. Bullets are 123grain wolf fmj 2350 thanks!!


        • Hi, Justin.

          My apologies for taking so long to respond.

          Using 7.62x39mm Soviet 123 grain FMJ at 2350 FPS and a sight height of 2.5″ above bore I came up with a couple of decent trajectories. I used yards for both. I’m assuming that you are in the USA and think in terms of yards.

          35 / 186 Yard Zero:

          This looks like a GREAT zero for shooting within approximately 250 yards. This zero will provide a trajectory that never rises above or below the height of the front sight from the muzzle out to 220 yards. You will hit anywhere within a 5″ circle out to that point. The Primary Arms Micro RDS has a 2 MOA dot. As you can see from the numbers below, you rounds will impact within (or very close to) the red dot from about 25 yards out to almost 250 yards.

          • 35 yards: POA=POI – Within the sight’s red dot.
          • 50 yards: +.82″: – Within the sight’s red dot.
          • 75 yards: +1.82″ – Bullet impact slightly over the sight’s red dot.
          • 100 yards: +2.35″ – Within the sight’s red dot.
          • From approximately 105 yards to 120 yards the bullet skims along the trajectory’s apogee of 2.4″ – Just slightly above your sight’s red dot.
          • 125 yards: +2.36 yards – Within the sight’s red dot.
          • 150 yards: +1.82″ – Within the sight’s red dot.
          • 175 yards: +.69″ – Within the sight’s red dot.
          • 186 yards: POI=POA – Within the sight’s red dot.
          • 200 yards: -1.08″ Your 2 MOA red dot will be 4” wide at this distance – Within the sight’s red dot.
          • At approximately 215 yards (almost 200 meters) the trajectory passes 2.5″ below POA.
          • 225 yards: -3.54″ – Within the sight’s red dot.
          • 250 yards: -6.75″: The red dot will be approximately 5” wide, so your rounds will impact slightly below the dot. Can you really tell one or two inches at 250 yards?
          • 275 yards: -10.75″: The dot will be approximately 5.5” wide, so you will need to aim approximately one dot width high.
          • 300 yards: -15.61″: Your dot will be 6” wide, so you will need to aim between two to four dot widths high.

          30 / 212 Yard Zero:

          This zero doesn’t provide a trajectory within the red dot like the 35/186 yard zero, but it is still very usable.

          • 30 yards: POA=POI
          • 50 yards: +1.33″
          • 75 yards: +2.59″
          • 100 yards: +3.37″
          • 125 yards: +3.64″
          • 150 yards: +3.36″
          • 175 yards: +2.48″
          • 200 yards: +.97″
          • 212 yards: POA=POI
          • 225 yards: -1.24
          • 250 yards: -4.18″
          • 275 yards: -7.93″
          • 300 yards: -12.54

          17/326 Yard Zero:

          Rob Ski of The AK Operators Union recommends zeroing your red dot sight so that your rounds impact 9″ high at 100 yards. This translates to a 17 / 326 yard zero. Initially I thought that this would be a terrible zero to use, however if you follow the “Soviet method” that Rob and so many other YouTubers refer to and aim at the waistline of a humanoid target then your rounds will hit somewhere in the upper torso out to 326 yards. I ‘m not a big fan of impact of over a foot above point-of-aim at 200 yards.

          Assuming the same ammunition and sight height above of 2.5″:

          • 17 yards: POA=POI
          • 25 yards: +1.03″
          • 50 yards: +4.13″
          • 75 yards: +6.81″
          • 100 yards: +9.00″
          • 125 yards: +10.67″
          • 150 yards: +11.80″
          • 175 yards: +12.33″
          • 200 yards: +12.22″
          • 225 yards: +11.42″
          • 250 yards: +9.88″
          • 275 yards: +7.54″
          • 300 yards: +4.34″
          • 325 yards: +.21″
          • 326 yards: POA=POI
          • 350 yards: -4.93″
          • 375 yards: -11.16″
          • 400 yards: -18.55″


          I’m mounting a 2 MOA Vortex Sparc RDS to a Midwest Industries Gen 1 Universal Handguard. I’m going to go with the 35/186 zero to take advantage of bullet impact within the red dot.


  8. How accurate do you find the graduated ak sight scale? For instance if zeroed at 100 meters on 1 do you find that when you slide it to 2 is is pretty much set at 200 meters?


  9. do you feel it is better to zero on 2 @ 25 yards or 1 @ 100 yards? rifele not accurate enough to tell the difference?


    • Zeroing with “2” @ 25 yards is the best way to initially zero it. You can then verity it at 100 meters with the “1”.

      After you zero it, move the slider back to the battle setting and see if is a 18 meter/19.5 yard zero. The trajectory of that setting is discussed in the article.


  10. Hell Yeah!! Great article, helped clear up some issues I was having trying to get on paper and then zeroed. Thanks!!


  11. Greetings from Finland!

    And thank you for very comprehensive article and instructions considering 7.62x39mm AK/AKM zeroing. Propably the best I’ve red so far.

    Here in Finland nearly 60 years of experience using AK platform and all of our conscripts and reservists are trained to use either Finnish RK62 or 95 variants or various eastern-block AKs.

    With Finnish RKs, the basic battle-zero is 150 meters (164 yds) and I have used this same zeroing distance also for various eastern-block AKs, because mostly all the military shooting ranges are 150m distance. Trajectory is quite close to your 186 yards zero. Quite flat shooting up to 200 meters. Bullet flies up to 4-5cm high from LOS (2″) up to 150m and drops 10-11cm (4″) down up to 200 meters.

    My opinnion is that combat accuracy of standard 7.62x39mm AK/AKM is maximum 200 meters. After that, inaccuracies start to dominate. That’s why I like to use the 150m zero as “set-and-forget” zero and use no other settings on the rear sight. Shooting point targets after 300m is dreaming and distances on the rear sight farther than 300m is ment for area targets I think.

    My standard procedure for zeroing the AK or AKM is to set the rear sight to rearmost battle setting, zero the rifle to 150 meters and fix the rear sight slider to its place by wrapping thin wire cord to first visible notch on the rear sight leaf just in front of the slider and locking the slide to it’s place. Set and forget and shoot everything up to 200m with maximum of 2″ elevation or 4″ drop up to 200 meters.


  12. Robs Russian 100 meter zero target measures at 25cm wide 35cm high.
    What would the target measurements be for 100 yard zero?
    At what height on the 100 yard target should POI be?


    • Hi Luke, and thanks for your question.

      I’m not sure exactly what size you would scale the 100 meter target down to at 100 yards, but you could figure out what percentage 100 yards is of 109 yards (100 meters) and then reduce the dimensions of the target by the same amount. You would also have to know how far the round should impact above point of aim at 100 yards rather than 100 meters (spoiler… with the 1 setting the point of aim and point of impact is mathematically insignificant between 100 meters and 100 yards)… if you really wanted to go to that much trouble.

      I’ve tried the “Soviet way” that Rob demonstrates in his video. I found that at 100 meters it is very hard to line up the top of the black front sight post with the bottom of the black target and not accidentally overlap black on black. It is much easier to zero at 25 yards with the 2 setting and then verify zero at 100 meters with the 1 setting. If your range is only 100 yards it truly won’t matter because with the 1 setting the point of impact will be practically the same (difference measured in a very small fraction of an inch). Honestly, with an AK sights and factory ammunition you aren’t going to see any difference between 100 yards and 100 meters.

      As discussed in my article, the near zero of a 100 meters is 50 yards. After you zero at 25 yards with the 2 setting you could move your target to 50 yards and shoot with the 1 setting, and then to 100 yards with the 1 setting.

      If you are one of those guys that views Rob’s methods as though they are the best way, keep in mind that after I left comments regarding the 25/2 method on his YouTube video, he just made a video demonstrating the 25 yards/2 method, so since he agrees with it, that should help legitimize the procedure.

      IMHO… forget the Soviet method and don’t waste your valuable time trying to scale down the target. Just do it the easy way… and the new Rob way.

      I hope that helps. Good luck and keep us updated with your progress.


      • Hi
        I’m glad I’ve found this gem. I bought Saiga MK103 yesterday and tried to find easy explanation of zeroing procedure for this rifle. Your article probably saved a lot of my time and I want to say thank you. Tomorrow I’ll go to the 25meters range to make first adjustment using the “2” setting according to your advice (I’ll try to set the target at 22,86 meters, basicaly 23 meters – 25 yards).
        Thaks a lot!


      • Right after I sent you my question my rifle had to be repaired. I just got it back and I really want to give this a go. I’m stumped on verifying at 100 yards. In the American zero video poa/poi looks off at 100 yards. How much higher should poi be at 100 yards on setting 1?

        Thanks again


        • Good question.

          With 7.62x39mm Soviet and an AK47 you will not be able to tell a difference at 100 yards or 100 meters. Just initially zero at 25 yards with the “2” setting and then verify at 100 yards with the “1”. You aren’t a good enough shot, and the rifle and ammunition are precise enough for you to be able to tell a difference, which mathematically is a small fraction of an inch. Also, with the “1” setting you should be hitting point-of-aim / point-of-impact at 50 yards.

          I hope that this helps! Keep us updated with your results!


  13. “Shooting point targets after 300m is dreaming and distances on the rear sight farther than 300m is meant for area targets I think.”

    This video proves that theory incorrect: https://1776tv.com/video/2018-ak-files-national-shoot-recap-big-piney-sportsman-club

    Want to see what AK’s can do in a dynamic setting? Come out to one of these events!

    A big THANK YOU to TSAP for all of this great info!!!



    • I totally agree. I can hit manhole cover size steel at 400 yards fairly often, and occasionally 500 yards with iron sights (if someone spots for me… my eyes aren’t what they use to be). I’m am even better with a 2 MOA red dot.


  14. About the 200m effective range with AK. I have to say I disagree with you gentlemen, I say it’s 200 meters, maximum.

    It’s a whole different story shooting steel at the range. In combat, you are shooting targets which are moving… And taking cover trying to avoid not to get hit… And they are camouflaging themselves trying to make themselves as difficult as possible to spot… And you don’t know the distance. You need as accurate rifle as possible to strech the effective range.

    I’m not saying it would be easier with other (iron sighted) rifles, but when you are shooting small, moving and camouflaged targets which are shooting back at you, you need as accurate rifle as possible. With flat shooting (distance estimation less critical) and fast traveling bullet (taking lead less critical). More less you have cumulative factors which make your fire inaccurate, more happier you will be.

    Debatable 200 meters maximum range, I don’t see that as a problem. Practical shooting distances are far shorter in urban or forest area. From few meters up to less than 100m most of the time. Not a problem for trained and dedicated AK operator.


  15. I have a rear sight just like the one in your photo at the top of this page. But I’m a little confused about the settings. In your photo is the sight set at the 100m or is it set on the Cyrillic battle site setting? Thanks.


  16. Thanks for the zero tips! That 35 yard rds zero looks great to use, I plan on using it on my ak. My local ranges only go up to 25 yards though, would you happen to know how low it should be at 25 yards so I can get the 35 yard zero? Thanks!


    • I’m assuming that you are talking about zeroing a red dot at 35 yards…

      On a ballistic calculator, assuming Wolf 7.62x39mm Soviet with a muzzle velocity of 2350 FPS out of a 16″ barrel zeroed at 35 yards, the bullet should impact 1/2″ low at 25 yards.

      Good luck and keep us posted of your progress and results.


  17. Hi
    thank you, your suggestions are very clear but, let me to comment the ballistic charts (200m, 300m…). There is unclear the “x” axis – yards. At first, the ballistic curve begins at 5 yards…strange. At second, see e.g. “battle setting” chart: you write that zero is at 19.6 yards but on the chart you can read cca 25 yards.


    • I think that you are over analyzing the chart. For example, on the “battle setting” graph you are interpreting the middle of the 20 yard column as 25 yards. It is simply showing what the rise or fall of the projectile should be at that distance. What you interpret as 5 yards is simply the middle of the 10 yard column. Maybe I could have made the graphs a little more complex, but the neither the gun nor the round are precise enough to warrant making the graphs anymore complicated than they need to be, and I wanted them to be easily interpreted so as to quickly get the point across to the reader. I hope that helps.


      • Hi
        Thanks a lot, it gives a sense now. I presumed that the data in the chart(s) are accurate.


  18. Great info here! I have an sks “cowboys companion” with a 16 1/2” barrel. It also came with the type 89 scope and mount. The scope is around 2 1/2” from scope c/l to bore c/l. My indoor range is believe it or not 23 yards! Should the procedure be the same as for the red dots? Just wondering if you could give me a couple ideas where to sight at the short distance I’m going to be using. I also have an original Russian Pu scope and I’m thinking of using that instead of the cheap Chinese type 89 setup. It is a better scope overall.I


  19. I appreciate the work you put into this subject. From my experience, American shooters confuse themselves on what ‘combat accuracy’ or rifle consistency is. According to the U.S. Army, scoring a hit from the various distances on a 300m pop up combat range (pop up targets from various ranges from 25m out to 300m) is your bullet striking your silhouette or 3D ‘Ivan’ target anywhere within that space while the target is presented. It doesn’t matter what your groupings measure on that target when you’re on the qualifying range. For regular troops, the only time you’re concerned with a ‘group’ is when you are on the zero range, i.e. shooting 3-shot groups successfully within the 2.5cm circle on the 25m target. I read the commenter from Finland about sight picture and I would tend to prefer a sight picture similar to what Rob Ski describes as the ‘belt line’ method. The center mass method is probably ok for most shooters who have good to great eyesight but for us old dogs who have vision challenges, using a center mass hold past 100m will result in your front sight post occluding at least half your target or occluding your target entirely and that’s a big deal if you’re correctly focusing your vision on your front sight post. I’d rather have some visual on my target as I know that in combat shooting, I’m not striving for a sub 1MOA. I just need to hit that target. Can the AK and M16A2 reach out reliably to 300m? I think so… If you have good vision, lol. Do you need to zero out to 300m? Maybe, maybe not. Personally I’d rather have the ability to stretch out with an acceptable holdover rather than zeroing for very short range (for a rifle) then possibly struggling with the sight adjustment or an obscene holdover.


  20. Hi there, thank you very much for this article, I found it extremely helpful. I am a bit confused on the process for obtaining a 25/200 “2” setting zero. I ideally would like to use the “2” or “Battle” configuration regularly.

    You say set the rear site to “2” and tune at 25 yards.
    Then tune at 100 yards to confirm zero.

    My questions:

    Once I complete the 25 yard test in “2” mode, do I switch to “1” mode when I do the 100 yard verification.

    After I use the 25/200 method to zero my rifle, can I just switch the rear sight position to battle, 1, 2, or 3 modes as needed/depending on distance? Or do I have to re-zero?

    thank you once again!


    • “You can set your rear sight to “2” and zero your rifle at 25 yards (not meters). You can then move the rear sight to “1” and verify the zero at 100 meters (109 yards).”

      Once you have zeroed at 24-25 yards with the “2” setting then you can verify that it is properly zeroed and calibrated by shooting 100 meters with the “1”. It should then be set up to shoot point-of-aim / point-of-impact at 200 meters with the “2”, 300 meters with the “3”, 400 meters with the “4”, etc.

      Let us know how it works!


  21. I have been going over your absolutely fantastic zeroing techniques but there’s something I just cannot figure out. In reference to the battle setting where roughly out to 300 yards the point of impact will be plus or +/- 7 inches.. I get that … But if you are aiming at someone’s belt buckle (using Russian technique) at 300 yards won’t you be hitting around 7 inches below the belt buckle and not even close to torso?

    Thank you again for a fantastic write up!


    • Technically what you are saying is correct and I probably should reword that. At the risk of sounding like a smart-ass (and I promise that is not my intention), can you even see a belt buckle at 300 yards? Just pray that they stand still for you to aim “middle of meat” and take the shot. Even if it is below their belt line, any hit with an AK at 300 yards is a good hit. If they stand up straight and tall, and you hit a few inches below your point-of-aim, I pretty sure that they will not be happy. I’ll look into rewording that. Thanks so much for your input and I’m sorry that it took me so long to reply to your comment.


  22. Could you please give us some info on zeroing a short barreled AK? 12” barrel preferably. Irons and red dot. I have a exps3 on my 104 clone with a 12” barrel. Optic sits about 3.5” over bore. I’m not sure what distance I should zero my irons and optic. I plan to engage 300m MAX and in(more like 15m-200m). I would like to know best zero for both optic and irons for those distances. (7.62x39mm)


    • You will need to provide muzzle velocity and weight of the round that you are using. The muzzle velocity on the ammo box is not what you will be getting from a 12″ barrel. You will need to either chronograph with your gun and preferred ammo, or Google and find out if anyone else has already done it and can provide numbers.


  23. Hi Savannah Arsenal peeps, I created a 100 yard (not meters) target as a pdf. It should be printed on tabloid paper (11 x 17 inches) I think I got the measurements right, the larger target is 9″ x 13″ with a smaller 2×2 target 9″ from the bottom of the larger target. I will print a few and see if the measurements need adjusted. If successful I will send you the pdf so you can post it here.


  24. Your directions worked wonders for my Saiga 7.62.
    Do you have – by chance – any remarks about zeroing a AKS74U (Krinkov) ?


  25. Thank you so much for sharing your info on zeroing your AK. If you follow your procedures you will get hits out to 300yrds with iron sights all day long. Myth is busted that AK is not accurate. Using cheap Russian ammo btw.


  26. Exscuse my stupid question/comment…
    You said that there is nothing like a “25/200m zero” because it’s a “25y/200m zero”.
    But 25 yard are 22.86 meters.
    Can it be said that there is a “22.86/200m zero”? Or for ease of use a “23/200m zero”?

    Thank you for your help.

    Best regards,


  27. I would like to draw an accurate paper zeroing target for 25y zeroing because I have to zero a lot of AK’s in the next month and I have a very limited time for that. I have 2 questions regarding this.
    1. With commercial sight adjustmen tool the one turn is 20 cm at 100 m on both windage and elevation or only on elevation? – I just ask because the commercially available 25 m and 14 m zeroing targets have different measurements for windage and elevation.
    2. If one turn is 20 cm at 100 m then proportionally 1 turn is 4,57 cm at 22,86 m. Is this true or am I get smthg wrong?


  28. Thanks for this info. Just what I’ve been looking for. Do you happen to know where to get targets designed for the 25 yard 100 yard zero? Or how to make them myself. Thanks


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