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Most airsoft guns come with aiming sight of some kind, whether it is a set of iron sights, a red dot sight, a scope, or a laser sight. But for you to target an enemy and actually hit your enemy, the sight has to be zeroed in. In this article we will explain the basic concept of zeroing in any sight.
Back in the days of the very first scope, it has a horizontal wire and a vertical wire. The center of the crossing wires, called crosshair, is the aiming point. The following photo shows a traditional crosshair.
Today, with modern technology, we have a lot of crosshair varieties, including a simple single red dot, a green dot with a halo around it, caret with triangle elevation tick marks, etc. In this article, we will call the aiming point, "crosshair, whether it is a dot or something more complicated.
Before we get started with the actual zeroing of a sight, lets understand a few terminologies. Elevation describes the vertical axis of your aiming sight. When you change the sight's elevation, you are moving the crosshair up and down.
On most single point aiming sights, such as a scope or a red dot sight, elevation adjustment is straightforward with a screw. But on a dual point aiming sight, such as front and rear iron sights, the elevation could be on either or both of the sights. Most of the time, however, the elevation adjustment is usually on the front iron sight.
Windage describes the horizontal axis of your aiming sight. When you are changing the the sight's windage adjustment, you are moving it left and right.
Windage adjustment is straightforward with a single screw on single point aiming sights (see photo below). But it is mostly adjusted on the rear iron sight in a dual point aiming system.
To provide the most accuracy and precision, the gun should be set in a vise on a stable table where external factors can be nullified. But if the shooter has strong trigger discipline and is aware of the imprecision that is introduced in freehand, then, by all means, zero it in without a stable platform.
To zero your airsoft gun, place a target at the distance that you'd like to zero. That is the distance where your aiming sight is most accurate to your gun. At any other distance, the aiming sight will be off due to the parallax effect. The distance can be anywhere within the range that your airsoft gun can shoot.
Now place the aiming sight on the center of the target and fire the first shot into the target. If your BB hit the target dead center, then your aiming sight is zeroed. Otherwise, make adjustments and fire again. If your crosshair is too high or too low relative to the hit, adjust the elevation. If your crosshair is to the left or the right, adjust the windage.
All guns have to deal with precision issues that is introduced within the gun and aiming system. That is even more so with airsoft guns. Shot for shot, it is unlikely that your airsoft gun will land the shot in the exact spot every time. Even if you fire 10 shots while your airsoft gun is on a vice, you will likely have a certain spread of hits on the target. That spread is called a grouping. The following photo shows an example of a grouping on a target.
To zero your aiming sight with such imprecision, zero in the sight where the crosshair is at the center of the grouping. In practical terms, adjust your sight on a vise, fire 10 rounds into the target, and see where the crosshair is relative to the grouping. Then repeat and rinse.