Battlesight Zero (BZO)

The Battlesight Zero (BZO) method described in this guide is our go-to for the AR15/M16 for a variety of reasons. The most important is that it allows for a well-rounded zero capable of being accurate at the majority of distances and ranges that people will be engaging their targets from.

It allows for individuals to build off this zero and utilize holds and other tools most modern optics now have which allow for the shooter to engage even beyond what their rifle is zeroed at.

Zeroing your rifle/firearm/optic is a very important first step everyone needs to take when using their new piece of equipment. There’s a lot of information and opinions out there on the best way, distance, and application to accomplish a correct zero. There are a ton of factors that go into such a decision, such as platform or firearm type, caliber, bullet/grains, and personal shooting styles & skills.

@angel_the_gunslinger is one of the main proponents we have seen that pushes for one rifle to be able to perform a variety of roles, and the BZO method allows for this practice or philosophy to become an effective reality.

Having a bunch of different rifles and setups for different roles sounds great but is unrealistic for many. Costs will start to mount up very quickly and aside from the financial drawdowns from this; missions change. Quickly.

Having the ability to adapt and having the tools and skills readily available allow you to change as circumstances do.

Hope you all get something out of this, and for those who have utilized this method before, I hope this acts as a refresher and an aide to help teach these skills to others. Like, share, and save this so we can get this information out to as many people as possible.

As @angel_the_gunslinger always preaches: Prepared Citizen, Preparing Citizens.

Again, huge thanks to @angel_the_gunslinger for helping us get this together. Make sure to check out his page for everything a sound and well-rounded tactical mind needs.


Zeroing a new rifle, or optic should be the first thing anyone does.

A multitude of factors go into choosing the right zero reference point for your firearm/optic (caliber, barrel length, bullet size (grains) type of optic ((max magnification, etc.)), and personal variances/preferences when shooting)

Lots of people also have different opinions when it comes to what is the best range to zero your rifle at.

For this guide, we will be specifically speaking in terms of Battlesight Zeroing for the 5.56 round, specifically the M855 62 grain.

It is our opinion that this option allows for the widest variance and success for the majority of ranges people will be effectively engaging at with an AR15 rifle.

Terms & Definitions of Zeroing

Point of Aim

Where your sights are lined up on your target, center of aim point

Point of Impact

Where the round strikes the target

Line of Sight

An imaginary line drawn from the center of the eye through the optic and to the target

Line of Bore

Direct path/line from the center of your barrel to the target

Ballistic Trajectory

Flight path of the round, rounds do not shoot in a straight path/line

Max Ordinate

The highest point of a round’s ballistic trajectory


Maximum Point Blank Range: maximum distance I can point/aim at a target and hit it

Why Battlesight Zero (BZO)?

Per the USMC and Army Field Manuals:

Proper Battlesight Zero allows for the engagement of targets from point-blank range (zero distance) up to 300 yards without the need to adjust elevation on their sights/optics.

This allows for quick accurate shots within a predetermined and acceptable range of rise and fall from my point of aim to point of impact within a 0-300-yard range.

Aim center-mass on a target with an estimated range of 300 yards and knowing my point of impact will be within 3-5″ of that aim point when shooting M855 62 grain ammo, hitting in the lower portion of a target’s torso.

Knowing your holds allows for even more accurate shots at this range and further.

How to BZO

Zeroing your rifle at 36 yards (25 meters) is what will get you your BZO at 300 yards.

An easy Google search will get you the target that you will need to accomplish this zero.

This is due to the ballistic trajectory of the 5.56 round.

The bullet will remain on the same line of sight at both distances.

It first crosses the line of sight on its upward path of trajectory at 36 yards, and again further down range at 300 yards.

Simply set up your target at the 36-yard or 25-meter range, set your point of aim at the center of the target, and adjust according to your sights/optics manual to walk your rounds to the center point of that target.

At this range, a keyhole or as close to that should be expected with proper marksman fundamentals.

Bullet Path/Ballistic Trajectory

Battlesight Zero (BZO)
Battlesight Zero (BZO)

Battlesight Zero (BZO) Target Example

Battlesight Zero (BZO)

Final Thoughts

Thanks for making it to the end of this guide! If you got some value from this please make sure to like, share, and save it for later. We make these to help give people a baseline when making decisions for their next firearms or gear purchases.

Give @angel_the_gunslinger a follow if you don’t already for some of the best advice and knowledge when it comes to being the well-rounded rifleman we all strive to be.

Be sure to read our other guides here!