Shooting a Rifle Zeroed by Another Shooter

Myth – “Someone else zeroed this rifle but I still have to completely rezero because shooters look at the sights differently.”

Fact – Assuming both shooters are competent, the difference in zero will be small.

FM 3-22.9, Page 5-15
“When standard zeroing procedures are followed, a properly zeroed rifle for one
soldier is close to the zero for another soldier. When a straight line is drawn from target center to the tip of the front sight post and through the center of the rear aperture, it makes little difference whose eye is looking along this line. There are many subtle factors that result in differences among individual zeros. The similarity of individual zeros should be emphasized instead of the differences.”

There are some differences between shooters in how they hold a firearm and perceive the sights but these differences are minor. In one test conducted among Smallbore competitors using an iron-sighted match rifle mounted in a target box there was only about 1/6 MoA difference in Point of Aim, despite differences in dominant hand and eye and with some of the testees needing spectacles of varying amounts of correction.

Total difference in Point of Impact is rarely more than one or two MoA between shooters. That is, the difference in sight adjustments to zero different shooters with the same M16A2 will normally be less than one or two clicks on the front sight and two to four clicks of windage on the rear sight. There will probably be some difference, just not an astronomical amount. This assumes both shooters are competent and capable of consistently applying the fundamentals.

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