Establishing a precise zero is the foundation for effective marksmanship.
The ‘bloom’ or ‘halo’ caused by the laser dot on traditional zero targets make it nearly impossible to determine (with any precision) where the laser dot in relation to the center of the target. Our IR Laser Zero Targets have three features that make zeroing easier and more precise.
First, they have a ½ inch reflective square at the center of the target (point of aim). When the laser is centered on the target the reflective square illuminates dramatically to indicate proper (exact) POA. We have seen a tremendous improvement in shot groups since we started using these targets in our classes.
Next, approximate impact areas (for either different zero distances or mount position, depending on model) are indicated by 4 MOA circles that are printed onto the target. We use the constant offset method, which we recommend for the majority of users/ missions.
Finally, each target has a zero adjustment grid that is designed to match the lasers adjustment increments so that 1 click on the laser’s adjustors = 1 square on the target. On most targets, the grid squares are each 1 cm.
When we're zeroing IR lasers on a 25m range (which we find to be the most common practice, mostly due to logistical constraints), poorly conceived zero methods can create big problems.
With most IR lasers, we have both vertical AND horizontal offset from the bore of the weapon. Vertical offset (and trajectory) should be accounted for with the same basic process we use for our day optics. There are different ways of dealing with horizontal offset, but we have always been proponents of keeping point of aim (POA) at the same distance from point of impact (POI) at all distances, which we call the 'Constant Offset Method'. Our IR Laser Zero Targets are designed around the Constant Offset Method.
Remember that these targets are designed to APPROXIMATE zero at each indicated distance. Once you’ve completed the process with our target, we highly recommend that you conduct live fire zero at your actual zero distance (i.e. 200m). If you have to make adjustments at that distance, it may be a good idea to shoot our 25m target again and note the point of impact. You can then confirm zero on the 25m range by shooting a fresh target and ensuring that point of impact remains in your recorded spot.