AR15.Com Archives
 AR-15 Trajectory Graphs
Molon  [Team Member]
5/2/2010 1:10:20 PM






M855 25 yard zero





M855 25 meter zero





M855 36 yard vs 100 yard zero






M855 and M193 25 meter zero






M855 and M193 50 yard zero from 16” barrel





M193 25 meter, 50 yard and 100 yard zeros from 16" barrel






100 yard zero






25 meter vs 50 yard zero, M855 from 16” barrel






M855 300 meter zero






M855 200 meter vs 300 meter zeros





M855 36 yard vs 50 yard zeros







Except where noted, all barrel lengths are 20 inches.
Updated: 05/05/10

yeos  [Member]
5/2/2010 1:16:13 PM
Thanks for the charts!
DansFlash  [Team Member]
5/2/2010 1:19:12 PM
Cool charts, but what is the twist rate for the barrel used and how much would it change for a different rate.
livin_in_sin85  [Member]
5/2/2010 1:20:43 PM
Right click, file save as..... :)
The_Floridian  [Member]
5/2/2010 3:42:34 PM
My head is full of ... mud.

Could someone explain the starting of the trajectory at a negative number? My bullets leave my barrel and go forward almost straight (though it may seem like they go up due to the way my rifle's sights are aimed) though gravity starts pulling on them immediately after leaving the barrel.
Eric802  [Team Member]
5/2/2010 3:52:09 PM
Originally Posted By The_Floridian:
My head is full of ... mud.

Could someone explain the starting of the trajectory at a negative number? My bullets leave my barrel and go forward almost straight (though it may seem like they go up due to the way my rifle's sights are aimed) though gravity starts pulling on them immediately after leaving the barrel.


The bullet starts out below the line of sight, since the sights are set up 2.6" or so over the bore.

Twist rate won't make any appreciable difference whatsoever.
Blacksnake  [Member]
5/2/2010 3:57:49 PM
I always sight mine to shoot 1.25" low at 25 yards, with M193, with the SMALL aperture. Most of mine have BUIS (Troy, ARMS #40, #40L) rather than standard carry handle.

What say you about this practice Molon? Bad habit or OK? Range I normally frequent is 100 yards max.
dbuster  [Team Member]
5/2/2010 4:15:10 PM
tag to save for later. good info
LedZeppelin  [Member]
5/2/2010 4:36:23 PM
Originally Posted By DansFlash:
Cool charts, but what is the twist rate for the barrel used and how much would it change for a different rate.


Twist rate doesn't mean shit as far as ballistic trajectory. Twist rate is to stabilize longer or shorter bullets. Faster twist rates are needed to stabilize longer (generally heavier) bullets, but can cause issues with lighter bullets, increasing the effects of imperfect bullet construction.
Molon  [Team Member]
5/2/2010 4:39:40 PM
Originally Posted By Blacksnake:
I always sight mine to shoot 1.25" low at 25 yards, with M193, with the SMALL aperture. Most of mine have BUIS (Troy, ARMS #40, #40L) rather than standard carry handle.

What say you about this practice Molon? Bad habit or OK? Range I normally frequent is 100 yards max.


Depending upon variables, that's a very good approximation of a 50/200 yard zero.





Blacksnake  [Member]
5/2/2010 7:43:26 PM
Should I continue to use the small aperture or the large? - don't recall whether or not Troy is same plane.

I guess it doesn't matter too much though since I would never use the large one outside of 25 yards or so. These days I hardly ever use the larger aperture.

Other thing is around here there's not too many long shots - close enough inside 200 yards is close enough.

Thanks Molon - always enjoy a moment to pick your brain!
IAFFbuckeye  [Member]
5/2/2010 9:10:39 PM
Thanks Molon, those are a great reference for a noob like myself
Hero  [Team Member]
5/3/2010 5:33:30 AM
Lots of great information there.
jak77  [Member]
5/3/2010 5:38:38 AM
wow that is a lot of very useful info! thank you for sharing. Im liking my choice of the 50 yard zero.
tnw50cal  [Member]
5/3/2010 7:18:08 PM
troy sight is same plane––I use the large sight for man sized targets out to 200 yards with no problems.


Thanks Molon––great info
Blacksnake  [Member]
5/3/2010 7:40:59 PM
Originally Posted By tnw50cal:
troy sight is same plane––I use the large sight for man sized targets out to 200 yards with no problems.


Thanks Molon––great info


Thanks - couldn't recall, probably because of too much
ONETANGO  [Team Member]
5/3/2010 7:46:48 PM
Originally Posted By Hero:
Lots of great information there.


Good stuff!!!
Jailer  [Member]
5/3/2010 8:08:28 PM
Thanks for the posting that info Molon.

What did you use to create those charts?
Islandboy671  [Member]
5/4/2010 3:53:36 AM
I need to print this out for reference. Thanks!
Tweightwee  [Member]
5/4/2010 7:50:51 PM
Where did the data come from?
What was the barrel length of the rifle used?
What kind of ammo was used?
What was the initial muzzle velocity?

Thats the info we need to really make thoes charts repeatable and relevant.
bfoosh06  [Member]
5/4/2010 8:19:25 PM
As usual, Thank You , Molon !
268  [Team Member]
5/4/2010 9:00:00 PM
yes thank you very much, I especially found the 36 yd zero interesting. Can you put the 36 and the 50 together for us to look at?
Falcon09  [Team Member]
5/4/2010 9:12:55 PM
Thanks, very helpful.
Svitty  [Member]
5/4/2010 9:17:31 PM
I printed these out, they are really handy to have, many thanks for the work you put into them!
j_king  [Member]
5/4/2010 9:19:24 PM
Originally Posted By Tweightwee:
Where did the data come from? The OP: Molon
What was the barrel length of the rifle used? One of the charts shows 16" and IIRC thats what the others use as well (from previous posts from him regarding zeros)
What kind of ammo was used? Labels show, M855, M193, Hornady 55, and 75g TAP
What was the initial muzzle velocity?

Thats the info we need to really make thoes charts repeatable and relevant.


Tweightwee  [Member]
5/4/2010 10:14:14 PM
Originally Posted By j_king:
Originally Posted By Tweightwee:
Where did the data come from? The OP: Molon
What was the barrel length of the rifle used? One of the charts shows 16" and IIRC thats what the others use as well (from previous posts from him regarding zeros)
What kind of ammo was used? Labels show, M855, M193, Hornady 55, and 75g TAP
What was the initial muzzle velocity?

Thats the info we need to really make thoes charts repeatable and relevant.




RIF, I suck at it.
Thanks.
MedCpt  [Member]
5/4/2010 11:51:07 PM
Criitical information missing on 8 of the 10 ballistic graphs is the barrel length that goes with the ballistic data in the chart (e.g., the first chart). Only one person posted that particular question later in the post ––-makes me wonder how many people who viewed this really understand what they are looking at. The ballistic graph of a 10.5", 16", 20" and a 24" barrel AR are not going to look the same –– even if they are firing the same M855, M193 round (or any round for that matter). Does the OP have an answer to this question? Thanks, vr dsg

–– *EDIT* Apparently while I was posting my question someone else answered (not OP) and said this was repost of 16" barrel. Would be good for OP (who's data it is) to affirm for the group, particular those who have not seen the original older posts. Any similar graphs for military issue M855, M193 for the AR 20" version like this posted previously? .
SGTCap  [Team Member]
5/5/2010 12:25:28 AM
looks like its time to rezero at 50yards
sst04  [Team Member]
5/5/2010 12:34:13 AM


ChromeLined  [Member]
5/5/2010 12:50:27 AM
Considering more than 90% of armed engagements take place at 50 yds and under I sight in small arperture 50 yds and use a same plane BUIS so no change in POI wether its small or large arperture.
Ranchhand365  [Member]
5/5/2010 10:54:26 AM
Thank You for the charts!

Suggestion: Having a chart with all the data would 'normalize' the Y axis for a better graphical comparison.

Thanks again!
1saxman  [Member]
5/5/2010 1:38:55 PM
Originally Posted By Blacksnake:
Should I continue to use the small aperture or the large? - don't recall whether or not Troy is same plane.

I guess it doesn't matter too much though since I would never use the large one outside of 25 yards or so. These days I hardly ever use the larger aperture.

Other thing is around here there's not too many long shots - close enough inside 200 yards is close enough.

Thanks Molon - always enjoy a moment to pick your brain!


Use the small aperture when target shooting and the large for combat.

1saxman  [Member]
5/5/2010 1:45:48 PM
I like that 36-yd zero because it's still a 300-yd zero. This keeps the ranges on the rear elevation drum relevant. For those not using a rear sight with elevation drum, it really doesn't matter. With a red-dot and BUIS, you have to ask yourself if you're even going to take a shot over 300 yds. If the answer is yes, you can learn the hold-overs for ranges out to 500. I think I'm going to try the 36 yd zero and check the height at 100 - looks like it should be about 3" which would be perfect.
TehLlama42  [Member]
5/5/2010 1:56:21 PM
Same logic, but the reason the 50/200 zero works best for most is because you're never more than 2" off out to 235yd, which is close enough in the area where the vast majority of shots would be taken
1saxman  [Member]
5/5/2010 2:01:26 PM
Originally Posted By The_Floridian:
My head is full of ... mud.

Could someone explain the starting of the trajectory at a negative number? My bullets leave my barrel and go forward almost straight (though it may seem like they go up due to the way my rifle's sights are aimed) though gravity starts pulling on them immediately after leaving the barrel.


The Russians and some other European countries use (or have used) a 'level barrel' drop chart that does not include anything about the line of sight. This is strictly a technical chart showing the absolute trajectory of the round. You must learn to visualize the line of sight as the constant in shooting. With iron sights, you try to first line up the sights perfectly with that invisible line, then adjust the sights so the bullet hits the target. We always use the line of sight method, which produces two 'zeroes' - the 'near' zero and the 'far' zero*. Because the barrel is tilted up relative to the line of sight, the projectile will cross the line of sight close to the gun (near zero), like at 25 yds, rise above the line of sight, then fall back across it at the far zero point, say 300 yds. This is exactly why the standard military targeting is the 25M zero, and why the rear elevation knob starts at 300M.

* there are exceptions where a zero can be selected that has the projectile touching the line of sight at only one place, usually around 100 yards.
MedCpt  [Member]
5/5/2010 2:49:07 PM
Originally Posted By j_king:
[quote]Originally Posted By Tweightwee:
Where did the data come from? The OP: Molon
What was the barrel length of the rifle used? One of the charts shows 16" and IIRC thats what the others use as well (from previous posts from him regarding zeros)
What kind of ammo was used? Labels show, M855, M193, Hornady 55, and 75g TAP
What was the initial muzzle velocity?

Thats the info we need to really make thoes charts repeatable and relevant.


The ballistic trajectory on graph # 1 posted by the OP does not look like a 16" (or M4 14.5") trajectory to me if this is from a 25 meter zero. With a 25 meter zero at 175 meters the peak is about 6 inches on his graph (i.e., looks more like a 20" A4 or A2 and not carbine) . IIRC for M4 (14.5" barrel) firing M855 with a 25 meter zero that peak is about 7 inches. There's 2.5" hash marks on the vertical axis of the graphs and the peak is definitely at or just below 6". The zero is not specified on graph but looks to be 25 meters. This doesn't look like the trajectory of a carbine as was suggested. BTW, ballistics between 14.5 and 16 are very close. Would be interesting to find out if these is first hand raw data gathered by the OP, or from aquired from another source.

zzzspacezzz  [Member]
6/14/2010 6:34:19 PM
Just found this. I think it should be made into a sticky. Great info.
Molon  [Team Member]
7/3/2010 7:05:44 PM




courtesy of zrxc77.

flyfishnepa  [Team Member]
7/3/2010 7:21:31 PM
Originally Posted By Molon:

http://www.box.net/shared/static/xuhqpttxnv.jpg

courtesy of zrxc77.


great explanation. iu don't know how many arguments i got in over this.

––––––––––––-

so what is the recommended zero? mine's zeroed at 50 yards w/ m193 and has a 16in bbl.



Jerad  [Team Member]
7/3/2010 9:19:30 PM
Can you do a 5.56 through a 10.5" barrel with XM193 at 25 and 50 yards? Also, what info do I need to provide to do the same 25, 50 yard zeros for a 5.45x39 with a 10.5" barrel? Velocity?

Thanks for the graphs, those will be very useful!
themao  [Team Member]
7/4/2010 12:16:23 AM
Molon, so somewhere between 25-75 yards lies the "zero distance" for any given barrel length and bullet weight, by which you minimize the max/min deviations in trajectory? I wonder if one could model the bullet's trajectory in terms of a parabola (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parabola). You could then solve for the equation to obtain the exact distance (for any given bullet length and barrel length [or hence, bullet velocity]) by which the bullet's trajectory deviations would be minimized.
Molon  [Team Member]
7/4/2010 10:28:30 AM
Originally Posted By themao:
Molon, so somewhere between 25-75 yards lies the "zero distance" for any given barrel length and bullet weight, by which you minimize the max/min deviations in trajectory? I wonder if one could model the bullet's trajectory in terms of a parabola (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parabola). You could then solve for the equation to obtain the exact distance (for any given bullet length and barrel length [or hence, bullet velocity]) by which the bullet's trajectory deviations would be minimized.


The concept that you are referring to is the proper definition of "point blank range" and is easily calculated using Oehler's Ballistic Explorer.

MikefromTX  [Member]
7/4/2010 10:56:24 AM
Originally Posted By Molon:




courtesy of zrxc77.





Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this chart. It perfectly illustrates the bullet arc.

I have argued until my ears bled that bullets don't "rise" after they leave the barrel, and some people simply can't grasp the concept. I'll bet 50% of the people on AR15.com still think bullets magically fly upwards after leaving the muzzle of a gun.

Pictures worth a thousand words and all that.

.
.
jevonniespapi  [Team Member]
7/4/2010 11:07:41 AM
GREAT INFO....

What zero do guys use to shoot out to 600m?

I just ask, because I have been thinking/researching an SPR type rifle.
woode  [Member]
7/4/2010 11:08:50 AM
Just curious.. maybe I missed it,

Molon, What software are you using that shows trajectory like that? I know it is kind of off topic but I am looking to start gettin into shooting with a scope out to longer distances and am trying to find something better than whatever googles comes up with when I type in "ballistics calculator" lol

Thanks
Molon  [Team Member]
7/5/2010 6:42:33 PM
Originally Posted By woode:
Just curious.. maybe I missed it,

Molon, What software are you using that shows trajectory like that?



Oehler's Ballistic Explorer.

urbankaos04  [Member]
7/5/2010 7:16:35 PM
tiz-zag
Morbidbattlecry  [Member]
7/5/2010 7:40:21 PM
Ok follow me here for a second. I have an Ampoint Comp ml3 On a Larue 150 high mount. How does having the center of the optic another 1/3 above the irons lower the point of impact at 25 Yards. I ask because its what i have on my rilfe and it always seams to hit about 3 inches low to point of aim at 25.
Molon  [Team Member]
7/5/2010 7:51:13 PM
Originally Posted By Morbidbattlecry:
Ok follow me here for a second. I have an Ampoint Comp ml3 On a Larue 150 high mount. How does having the center of the optic another 1/3 above the irons lower the point of impact at 25 Yards. I ask because its what i have on my rilfe and it always seams to hit about 3 inches low to point of aim at 25.


The Larue "lower 1/3" cowitness places the center-line of the Aimpoint approximately 2.925" above the center-line of the bore. Where your round strikes at 25 yards, will depend upon your particular zero. For example, a 100 yard zero would give you a point of impact that is approximately 1.8" low at 25 yards.

Morbidbattlecry  [Member]
7/5/2010 8:45:08 PM
Originally Posted By Molon:
Originally Posted By Morbidbattlecry:
Ok follow me here for a second. I have an Ampoint Comp ml3 On a Larue 150 high mount. How does having the center of the optic another 1/3 above the irons lower the point of impact at 25 Yards. I ask because its what i have on my rilfe and it always seams to hit about 3 inches low to point of aim at 25.


The Larue "lower 1/3" cowitness places the center-line of the Aimpoint approximately 2.925" above the center-line of the bore. Where your round strikes at 25 yards, will depend upon your particular zero. For example, a 100 yard zero would give you a point of impact that is approximately 1.8" low at 25 yards.



Well i usually give it a zero of 50 yards so about 3 inches low would be about right then. Thanks Molon
Molon  [Team Member]
7/13/2010 1:13:13 PM
Originally Posted By Morbidbattlecry:
Originally Posted By Molon:
Originally Posted By Morbidbattlecry:
Ok follow me here for a second. I have an Ampoint Comp ml3 On a Larue 150 high mount. How does having the center of the optic another 1/3 above the irons lower the point of impact at 25 Yards. I ask because its what i have on my rilfe and it always seams to hit about 3 inches low to point of aim at 25.


The Larue "lower 1/3" cowitness places the center-line of the Aimpoint approximately 2.925" above the center-line of the bore. Where your round strikes at 25 yards, will depend upon your particular zero. For example, a 100 yard zero would give you a point of impact that is approximately 1.8" low at 25 yards.



Well i usually give it a zero of 50 yards so about 3 inches low would be about right then. Thanks Molon


In that case, your point of impact at 25 yards should be apprximately 1.3" low.