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Three weeks ago I bought my 516 rifle and I took it to the range for the first time a little over a week ago. This is my first rifle and second time shooting a rifle in my life.

Please bear with me with all the questions I may have

I was not too thrilled with the results and grouping I was shooting at 23yrds (deepest as it goes at this range). I was shooting low right for a grouping, I would say it was a 4" - 5" group in a pizza slice. I was switching back and forth between the ghost ring aperture and the peep aperture but still the same low right. Last night I found a very good ARTICLE on how to aim with irons sights on a rifle and that explained a lot to me.

So last night I looked at my sights and noticed the rear sight was not centered, it was physically set to the left and was very surprised the iron sights are not set it up from factory. This would probably explained shooting to the right.

Is this a common thing with rifles? or is it best to set up the irons regardless?

I think the low shooting is my reaction of pushing forward and downward prior to pulling the trigger (this is something I used to down with my handgun) but this was not happening with every shot. I purposely was aiming higher and still low. In total I shot 100 rounds of PMC Xtac xm193 55gr 556.

Now comes the questions lol:

Should I fully break in the rifle before I try to adjust the irons?

When shooting, should I use a soft platform (ex: range bag) or should I use a bipod? (I'm leaning more towards a bipod)

How should I set up the stock? (I have a state complaint rifle so I'm limited to either second or fifth hole on the buffer tube) How important is eye relief with iron sights?

What kind of ammunition should I use? Match ammo or no? Grain weight?
(I read with a 1:7 twist it's recommended to use 62gr to 75gr)

What distance in yards will be ideal to set up the irons to? 25? 50? 100?

I want to learn more and become a better shooter so any and all advice is greatly appreciated

Thank you
 

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When setting the irons for zeroing... make sure the front post is flush with the base, this called "mechanical zero".
The rear should be centered and adjusted accordingly.


As far as a front rest, a shooting bag or pack will be more accurate than a bipod on a bench. If you're prone and can dig in and load the bipod, it will be just as accurate. I use carpet on my bench when using a bipod to avoid "bipod hop". Loading a bipod is important to accuracy. Always use a rear squeeze bag (I like Midway USA brand) to stabilize the rifle and it allows you to easily change elevation by simply squeezing.


Bullet weight for a 1/7 twist... I use 77gr for max accuracy and distance, good 55gr will work too. Match ammo will let you see just how accurate your rifle is... FGMM, Black Hills or IMI Razor Core are good choices... as is Hornady TAP or Match. I avoid surplus bulk 62gr (green tip) because it is probably the least accurate due to being steel core (not as consistant) and designed more for penetration than precision.

Zero distance... I like 100 yard zero for my irons and 50 yard zero for red dot optics. Variable power scopes get a 100 yard zero as well. Just my personal preference.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
 

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I always zero with the rifle supported in either a sled, bipod, or sandbags.

The idea is to take the human out of the equation as much as possible.
 

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I like 50 yard zero with irons and red dot. I'm pretty lucky that I have a range that goes to 1000 yards that I can use.
 

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If your sights were set to the left of your bore then you should be shooting left of where you are aiming. Not to the right. Hold your right arm out in front of you with the thumb up, that is your front sight. Hold your left hand up in front of your face in a peace sign. Sight down the sights. Your right arm is the barrel and your left hand making that V is the rear sight. The bullet goes where the barrel is pointing. Which would be the the left of your aim point. Reverse the arms and do the same thing. Now you're aiming to the left of the bullet path.

You may also want to have an experienced shooter sight it or shoot it to confirm that it is in fact off. Or you can do a little check yourself see below.

I would measure the distance between the center of your bore and the rear iron sight centerline. I would use a ruler and make a straight line with 2 hash marks at the 2 centerlines (the bore and the rear sight height).

Split the upper from the lower. Remove the BCG (bolt carrier group) and charging handle. Tape the "target you just made to the wall. Could be 3 feet away or 10. Kind of irrelevant at this point. Sight down the bore and place the lower target crosshair you drew in the dead center of the bore. Then see where the sights are aiming. They should be aimed at the upper crosshair target center. Adjust the front sight for elevation and the rear for windage. After a round of adjustment sight down the bore and repeat the process.

The main thing you want to do is not touch the upper in between sighting down a perfectly centered bore and sighting down your sights......or scope. The target and the upper should both be level. When sighting down the bore move your head/eye around. The rifling you see in there should also be centered.......there should be an even amount of rifling all the way around that centered crosshair.

Since most 5.56/.223 rounds shot from a rifle are starting to 'fall' around 200 yards. This is a decent way to get close at or for 200 yards. Do not worry about being off at shorter distances. Mechanically you should never be off further than the distance of those 2 crosshairs you drew. Hmmmm well once you've proven the sights at 200 yards that is.

I personally would just do this while aiming at something 200 yards away but I see you are in NJ and I was envisioning that doing so where you live could be a problem.

Might save you some aggravation and a few rounds of ammo. And since I know someone will give me a hard time about this let me clarify this just gets him close.
 

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I prefer a bag but a bipod will generally work OK. Rear squeeze bag is nice but isn't nearly essential. Don't cradle the weapon with your front hand.

Before addressing eye relief you want to establish a repeatable position. Generally nose touching the charging handle. Left side for a right handed shooter, right side for a left handed shooter (not touching the center of the handle). Follow?

Generally with your nose touching the charging handle you'll have enough eye relief. Again you're looking for repeatability (same sight picture). The rear peep should "frame" the front assembly. The front post is the focus point (should be sharp/clear), the rear peep ring won't be sharp.

In developing my position I will settle into the position with my eyes closed. Open my eyes make adjustments in order to attain a solid sight picture, then close my eyes, go through a series of breathing cycles, open eyes and my sight picture should have been maintained with minor adjustment. Once I've developed a solid position my sight shouldn't move off target during a normal breathing cycle. Follow?

Oh, and ideally you want to shoot both eyes open, well my ideal anyway. ;) but don't get too hung up on that just yet.
Hope there was something helpful in there.
 
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