Share On:

Training Lesson, Zero Offset

I get asked all the time; “how do I switch ammunition types mid stream like at a competition and understand my offset.”

Just about every ballistic solver has an offset utility, or as some note, a zero offset. It’s not necessary to use to get your initial DOPE, so many people ignore this great utility. Software adds in both in a few cases, a zero offset which is what we are talking about, and a sight offset which is for scopes that are not centered over the bore.

There is more than one way to use this feature with your ballistic solver.

1. True your 100 yard zero
2. When recording suppressor on vs suppressor off
3. Changing bullets mid stream

Ballistic solvers are tools and not toys. They are excellent tools, allowing the shooter to interpret adjustments down range when things are not exactly perfect. Garbage in always equals garbage out.

With the Snipers Hide Online Training we talked about using the Hornady True Range Zero, and in fact, ColdBore also has a valid zero range utility that is often overlooked in the solver discussion.

Ballistic Solvers

Zero Offset
JBM Zero Offset

Truing your ballistic solver is a necessary step in setting up your ballistics when using a computer. There are so many factors that make up our data that we cannot expect the computer to understand every part of it. It only knows what we tell it and often that means information is not available to the software. The shooter for one, this is our biggest point of deviation. Sorry to say, odds are you are the weak link and why the data is not matching your real world results. The incidents of operator error demonstrate that in full color.

How many people take the time to measure the potential offset between their point of aim and their actual point of impact?

Making adjustments to your software to inform the computer is very easy, so stop overlooking it.

Switching Bullet

The question came to me this week now that we are approaching finale time for many of the precision competition series. When a match has targets beyond a typical range how do I switch to a better bullet when my rifle is zeroed for my go to load?

This variation is a prevalent problem and can be solved using the offset tool in your solver.

Measure the difference in your 100-yard zero between Bullet A and Bullet B. Use the Zero Offset dialog to input the value and let the software do the rest. Then just recall the track when needed.

The Solver will now understand where the bullet is impacting and make the appropriate corrections for you. Simply dial up the changes and have no drama hitting your target when switching cartridges mid stream.

In the context of the discussion, I was asked how the shooter could swap to a higher BC (read more expensive Warner Tool Solid) bullet at ranges beyond 800 yards, while shooting the majority of the match with a cheaper hand load.

Make a Warner Tool Track or new Favorite and include the offset between the two zeros. It’s all about prior proper planning.

Suppressors on vs Suppressor Off

Sully Arms Suppressor
Sully Arms Suppressor

I am a huge proponent of suppressors. I have them on just about everything. Not everyone has as many suppressors as I do so they may want to zero a rifle with the suppressor off and where possible add it later. That means a variation in their point of impact.

Different suppressors shift the point of impact in a variety of ways. This change is a given. Hang a weight on the end of the barrel you will have a deviation in your zero. Some move a little, some move both your windage and elevation a lot. The factors are again varying from rifle to rifle. Barrel contour, Threading, Suppressor design, weight, etc. All have a factor in point of impact shift.

I often see guys who have a minimal change just ignore it. I might ignore it given the context of my shooting. However, with the sight offset utility, you can easily square this up.

Measure, record, let the software adjust.

I highly recommend you look at your instructions with your given solver. If you want to read the best instructions for a solver, you want to download the Ballistics AE instructions. Here are links to Ballistics:

Ballistics Instructions 

It’s worth the time to explore your ballistic solver; it might do things you were not expecting. These utilities are super valuable as you advance in your precision rifle training.

Sniper’s Hide Online Training

Zero Range

We only explored a small part of what you can do with software. In the accompanying online training lesson we go into a bit more detail. Each month we add lessons in the Sniper’s Hide Forum.

Simply register in the forum, and you can sign up for these lessons.

Thanks for watching,