Green Beret: How to Zero Your Rifle in Five Minutes

***Warning, language in video is NSFW***

Back by popular demand, here is another excellent tutorial from GunsAmerica contributor Clay Martin.

In the video above, Martin shows us a quick and pragmatic way to zero your rifle while at the range.  If my math is correct, I think he got it done in around five minutes.

For a more traditional and in-depth look at the process , you can check out this article: Optics Buying Guide: How To Properly Zero Your Scope

About the author (in his own words): I served in two branches of service, the USMC and the Army. In Mother Corps, I was in the infantry, a Scout/ Sniper, and a Recon Marine. I spent my last year on the all-expenses-paid-cruise-ship USS Nassau, culminating with the invasion of Iraq.

In the Army, I was a Green Beret, with most of my career spent in 3rd Special Forces Group. I was an Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) Communications SGT, Intelligence SGT, and finally Team SGT. I was in a Direct Action unit, and I spent time on both the assault and sniper sides of the house. My last assignment I taught Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat and Low Visibility Operator for 3 years. I retired in 2013.

In addition to blasting peoples’ faces off, I have shot a lot of paper/steel as a competitor. I have shot most of the major 3 Gun matches on the circuit, and currently hold a Master Rating in USPSA production. I don’t shoot IDPA because they don’t make a fishing vest in Barrel Chested Freedom Fighter size. When I’m not writing for GunsAmerica, I teach gunfighting through my company Off The Reservation, and occasionally run my mouth via Facebook.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Bronzebruce November 18, 2017, 8:21 am

    Good technique for zeroing..I agree that the laser bore does make it somewhat easier..Too bad that people are offended by the language..It bothers my wife too, but she’s never been in the Army..

  • David Fry, DVM August 15, 2016, 5:08 am

    Good informative video made even better by the down to earth Sgt. Martin. I will look for his videos, blogs etc. Due to his no B.S. style and obvious knowledge and skills. I lost my first cousin in Afghanistan who was a green beret. To Captain Holbrook, Sgt.Martin and the others just like you – Thank you sirs for my freedom!

  • David Fry, DVM August 15, 2016, 5:00 am

    Excellent video made better by the down to earth Sgt. Martin. Thank you sir and others like you for my freedom!

  • Glenn61 August 14, 2016, 8:10 am

    If you want to show up at the range with your .223 rifle already sighted in on the iron sights/scope/red dot sights,,,
    Then just spend 8 bucks on Amazon and buy a .223 bullet bore sight laser. Uses 3 little watch batteries (included) and looks like a bullet.
    Just point the red dot across the room on the wall and adjust your sights to center on the dot.
    When you go to the range, you’ll be 4 or 5 clicks at most from a zeroed in rifle.
    Also works with 7.62X39, 30-30 and 308 , just buy the laser that fits your bore….. 🙂

  • Mike August 12, 2016, 1:00 pm

    You jackasses who are offended by foul language…. Go get a fucking life. This guy has protected YOU so you didn’t have to use potty mouth on a battlefield. BTW you ‘tards, the article WARNED you first… Look up the abbreviation ‘NSFW’.

    Green Beret=tough bad ass mofo
    Marine=tough bad ass mofo
    ‘Nuff said

    • larry August 17, 2016, 9:56 am

      defended us from what, exactly? my rights are only under attack from Washington, D.C. and I haven’t seen any assaults launched against it.

  • Boss August 12, 2016, 10:25 am

    I haven’t been able to zero a rifle like this lately, but .357 and 44 mag revolvers are even easier.
    At a 100yds shoot at a 12″ plate, watch where the dirt flies and adjust till you consistently hit the plate.

    Liberals: If the shoe doesn’t fit, make everyone wear it. – Ann Coulter

  • rex dickerson August 12, 2016, 9:58 am

    Very good vid and technique. I’m not a prud but the locker room language is a distraction.

  • ECH 3 August 12, 2016, 9:07 am

    Nothing new about this method–I’ve been boresighting as a first step for a long time. It gets rounds “on paper” fast, and lets me dial in quickly and efficiently. Clay Martin brings a certain “real world” sensibility to his videos that I can most definitely appreciate.

  • Mike Price August 12, 2016, 9:04 am

    I find it much easier to shoot target at 25 feet and put the bullet 2″ over sight crosshairs. Quick and simple and its on the money within 2″ at 100 yards. You can sight gun in at 25 ft in about 6 rounds and 5 minutes and you don’t need anything to see the target. Couple click adjustments at 100 yards and you good to go.

    • Deloy Baker August 12, 2016, 11:06 pm

      If your 2″ high at 25 ft. Your probably 2′ high at 100yd. Better practice more and comment less.

      • ice August 13, 2016, 10:12 am

        Maybe you should learn the difference between “your” and you’re before you handle a gun.

  • mark August 12, 2016, 8:53 am

    Son, you need to clean up your language. There is no point in the four letter words and no one will think you are smarter or tougher by using them.

  • Memo August 12, 2016, 8:09 am

    I’m hopeful that “most” shooters are aware of simplified/fast sighting-in, but who knows? I’ve been using the 2-3 shot zero method for about 20 years, i.e. since I read an article in Precision Shooting magazine on the subject. It pertained then primarily to bolt-action rifles, because AR15s were seldom equipped with optics, but the bore sighting comparison to the optical picture (or iron sight picture, to be sure) is the key.

    I’ve used this technique to zero even at 600y (to begin an F-Class match) when I was using a new rifle/scope setup and hadn’t had time to go to the practice range. To reiterate: #1 Put your rifle in a steady position with the bolt out so you can see through the bore. #2 Align the bore picture with your target, ideally with the bullseye below center (because bullets drop, people). #3 While keeping the rifle in that position (much simpler in a benchrest, for example), peer through the sight(s) and adjust as necessary to put the aiming point on the bullseye.

    #4, fire the first shot. #5, assuming the shot is not exactly on point of aim, hold the rifle/sight in the same position as before, and then adjust the sight so the aiming point is on the first bullet hole. #6, fire your second shot, and you should be very close to being on the money. Fine tune with your third shot.

    And to conserve ammo, learn what the ballistics of your round are and what MOA and your optic adjustments correspond to. Forget having a buddy guide you with BS instructions like “Um, you’re low and left.” Use a target grid or some other means when possible/practical and get dialed in by using the basic arithmetic.

    If you’re rifle (or you) cannot shoot groups, then the above is probably a waste of time.

    • david hamilton August 12, 2016, 7:37 pm

      informative video. that’s pretty much been my method of sighting in for anything with a viewable bore since about 1980, when it was covered at an leo rifle class put on by the fbi. beats the heck out of chasing the bullseye from a 100yd bench, as done by many/most? all my ar rifles are 100 yard zero, for which the 50yd method is ideal. hunting rifles are 200yd zero. i’ve never found it necessary to include the 100yd part where he shot at the clays. although, shooting into a clean dirt bank is my preferred method of quick checking a zero. i appreciate the time and effort put into the video, but it is a good example of how things get ‘rediscovered’, given enough time. heck, i recall when my nieces ‘discovered’ the beatles.

  • Preston Thompson August 12, 2016, 6:41 am

    I like the video but I could not understand anything the man said. I get my understanding from just watching. To be an informational video he really should speak in a way we all can understand.

  • Michael Foy August 12, 2016, 5:49 am

    Good video. A heads up for the foul language would be appreciated next time.

  • Tarheel Realist August 12, 2016, 4:53 am

    Great video…very succinct. As a Jarhead, I appreciate Mr. Martin’s KISS approach to getting your weapon zero’d. I also like the fact Mr. Martin speaks English…he says it like it is w/o a “PC” filter.

    Thanks and make this guy a regular contributor…

    • Pamlico Dad August 12, 2016, 9:27 am

      Well said Tarheel. Too many underwhelming gun writers out there.

      Mr. Martin is efficient and entertaining.

  • Will Drider August 11, 2016, 12:42 pm

    Good vid. I would add that you need good consistant ammo. Know that there are guns AND Shooters that far exceed 1MOA: these may require 3 shot groups and adjust the “group” to center. Any lazer you can shine through the bore will be more precise then the eyeball for initial boresight if you have one. After a few shots, recheck your optic mounts or you could be chasing your tail all day.
    I like OTR’s stuff.

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