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Discussion Starter #1
What is your approach to Sighting in the the Factory Iron sights on a new M14/ M1A the first time you take it out? Favorite target types for sighting in on? Best ammo for basic sighting in? Etc. Thanks
 

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Ammo is whatever that rifle is going to shoot the most of, if possible.

Target is a large clean piece of paper without a lot of markings on it.

I place a 2" sticky dot in the middle of the target and set it at 25 yds. Center up the rear sight for windage and shoot one at the dot. Then move the front post to get close and move elevation a little to be within about 1-2" of the dot.

Then I move the cleaned up target out to 100 yds and put a 6" sticky dot on the paper. Shoot one to see where I am. Move elevation and front post to get closer. Shoot one or two more doing the same thing.

Then I shoot 3 shot groups and adjust only the rear sight until I am real close. Then I shoot one or two 5 shot groups. If I like all that, I am done. They are as close as I can ever shoot open sights from unsupported positions. Good-to-go!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
FootSoldier... Thanks that sounds like a pretty good procedure. do you shoot from standing, prone, bench rest, sand bag?
 

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Ball or good ammo.
Set rear sight to center of receiver / mechanical zero
Set front sight to center of windage travel.
Sight (rear) elevation +3 clicks form bottom / NM sight notch down (if you have one)

Clean SR target and backer / 100 yards
Fire and spot target and adjust FRONT sight to zero windage impact.
(Do not adjust rear for windage )
Adjust rear elevation as desired.

Once you have mechanical zero I use nail polish and make an index mark on my elevation knob and on the face of the sight body for windage reference. Once dry you can bottom out the elevation and count the clicks from the bottom of travel to you zero and write it down. Run the windage to extreme left or right and count the number of clicks ad write them down. Save the numbers for your mechanical zero reference. I usually put it on a piece of paper inside the butt-stock door and in my log book.
 

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FootSoldier... Thanks that sounds like a pretty good procedure. do you shoot from standing, prone, bench rest, sand bag?
You're trying to find the rifle's POI and adjusting its sights accordingly, so you'll want to remove yourself from the process as much as you can. Use a bench and bag if you have them. Once the rifle is zeroed, then you can adjust your own hold and body positioning to get the most repeatable shots on target.
 

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You're trying to find the rifle's POI and adjusting its sights accordingly, so you'll want to remove yourself from the process as much as you can. Use a bench and bag if you have them. Once the rifle is zeroed, then you can adjust your own hold and body positioning to get the most repeatable shots on target.
This is what I do. Like 4Quangs said, you want to remove as much "outside" influence from the process as possible. You are trying to get to a mechanical zero for the rifle. Bench it up and get full support in the rear.
 

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Get a 7/64 Allen wrench at ACE Hardware for the front sight. You just may need it!
I had to move mine quite a bit to the left to move the POI to the Right. Pretty much on now!
 
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I posted this up a week or two back, probably worth repost instead of a link, Everything is based on NATO ball shot with a sling from prone, but it should work for other positions as well. Use a 1-2 inch dot or square on some graph paper to shoot at. I don't touch my front post unless I really know its a problem:

Here are a few suggestions for you.
I do not know if it is a new rifle or a new to you rifle, but you really can't trust the marks on the sight. Even if it was fixed and fired from a sled for accuracy, how your head and eyes work with the sights will be different.

You have a good idea for how to start, but try this, zero at 25 meters if possible. Use a simple 6 o'clock hold. That is, the target should sit right on top of the front sight, like a pumpkin on a post. Fire 3-5 shot groups and adjust elevation until you feel your groups and elevation are zeroed in. Pay no attention to the numbers on the dial, this is your personal zero. Usually, this 25M zero will be about the same for 200 yards.

Now you are set for 200 yards and 25M. Make note of the dial's position. Then count the number of clicks it taked to bottom out the dial. Now, no matter what happens, you know how to get a 25/200 yd zero from a bottomed out sight.

To get a 100 yard zero, come 2-3 clicks down on your dial from the know 25M/200yd position. That will be the approximate 100 yd zero. I know you are not shooting at 100, but until you do, you won't know if that come down should be 2 or 3 or maybe even 4. Just be aware, tables do not take into account the length of your neck or your own personal cheek weld position, so there really is no substitue for the actual distance. Still, I am sure the tables probably show come up/downs you might need, but with a 25M/200 yard zero, you will be ahead of the game and really starting to get a feel for the rifle.

Also, now that you have a known zero, you can then loosen the set screw and make sure the 2 on the dial really is at the proper calibration for you. Here's a not so great video on the procedure, but I think if you feel up to it, you can work it out. Otherwise, just know your clicks.
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIKnTPeZbKQ[/ame]


If you get a chance, get a GI sling and maybe try an Appleseed shoot to really hone your skills with irons.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks all. Awesome advice. It is both a new, and new to me SAI. I know I should be Chastised for not going USGI, but can't afford it at current prices. Hoping this thing will shoot like Beauty for me anyhow. Really appreciate the good advice. Other than the 7/64 allen, what would be a good list of tools to have on hand for working with the rifle (including perhaps replacing a stock someday)?
 

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Quick question when you are adjusting your front sight. If you have the rear windage centered and are finding that you end up scooting the front sight all the way to one side to center the shots though the post is dead center in the aperture, is that saying something about the build?
 

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Some guys have posted that the Barrel needs to be indexed. Others have said it makes no difference and to just move the front sight like they did on their M14s. Others said they don't like the way it looks!

I have my sight almost all the way to the left. I don't care how it looks.
With it this way even I can get some nice groups since the rifle is more accurate than i am.
3 in one hole while adjusting the front sight.
This photo is just before i finished moving it. It hits center now.
 

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Appreciate the feedback. Good illustration of how much change you can expect from center to one side. I'd also says its more cosmetic since it was designed to be windage adjustable up front. The indexing did seem the likely contributor, but must not take enough to be visually obvious when you eyeball it on the receiver end.

Nice thread, good to get the various ways to set the irons.
 

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Thanks all. Awesome advice. It is both a new, and new to me SAI. I know I should be Chastised for not going USGI, but can't afford it at current prices. Hoping this thing will shoot like Beauty for me anyhow. Really appreciate the good advice. Other than the 7/64 allen, what would be a good list of tools to have on hand for working with the rifle (including perhaps replacing a stock someday)?
When zeroing, have a pencil handy. Draw a vertical line on the front sight down onto the base. Now, if you have to make a windage adjustment with the front sight, you have a gauge to show how far you moved it.

Get a GI combination tool. Take it with you, either in the range bag or in the stock. This will let you access the gas piston, or move the spindle valve, in case you have problems when shooting.
 
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