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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a Springfield Armory M1A Scout squad 6+ years ago. It came with a reprint from a 1997 issue of American Rifleman that explained how to zero the sights. It was good but one thing really confuses me. I have looked for answers on the Internet but cannot find anything to answer my questions.

There is a table that shows how many clicks to move a sight that has been zeroed to 100 yards/meters for approximate zero at longer ranges. The confusing part is that for adjusting to 200 it says to go -1 click from 100 zero then for 300, use +2 from zero or +3 from the 200 yard position. I am a novice at trajectory knowledge. It is counter-intuitive to lower a sight for longer range. Then raise it for even longer range. If this was a recent article I might think the table was wrong, but it is 20 years old, its an excerpt from a book, and it is being distributed by the rifle maker. I trust it but do not understand it.

The only explanation I can think of is the initial settings they provide when setting zero at 100, 8-12 clicks up from the bottom, are pushing the initial intersection of the bullet and line of sight out to 100 from the normal 25+-. I didn’t think this was possible, but I cannot think of any other explanation.

If that is true, the second intersection, that would normally be considered “zero”, is somewhere between 200 and 300 and lowering the site pulls the second intersection back to 200. If the sight is kept at the 100 zero you would need to hold low when shooting at 200 yards and high for 300 yards!

Is this something unique to the M1A/M14/M1 rifles or the sight they use? Is it just a technique used by the writers of the book the article was taken from? I imagine it might have something to do with allowing the sight to be adjusted for longer ranges. Or am I just stupid and missing something. Could anyone please explain what is going on in this sighting process.


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