Category Archives: Zeroing

Slug guns must be zeroed (sighted-in) at a distance where the slug will impact the target while still in the supersonic phase of its flight. Most slugs become subsonic, travelling less than 1220 feet per second, slightly beyond a muzzle distance of 50 yards, thus making 50 yards the ideal zeroing distance. Zeroing at 50 yards also cuts down, by approximately 60%, the chance of adjusting Windage error into your scope setting.

A common shortcut taken by a majority of shooters is the attempt to zero their guns at 100 yards. This is a serious mistake as several significant factors come into play that will prevent an accurate zero at this distance in all cases. When zeroing a slug gun at 100 yards only, you never know how much Windage is turned into your scope setting. Your gun becomes effectively sighted in for that day’s wind only, and your point of zero could be as much as 6 to 20 inches off of where it should be at 100 yards.

Zero your gun at 50 yards, 2-3/4″ high of absolute dead center on your target…no left, no right, simply 2-3/4″ high. You will then be dead-on zeroed at 100 yards because gravity will see to it. Check trajectory data for the brand of ammunition you are shooting and adjust the height of your 2-3/4″ 50 yard true zero as necessary so as to produce a dead-on gravity zero at 100 yards.

Once your gun has been zeroed at 50 yards, you should fire the weapon at a range of 100 and then again at 150 yards so that you can get a feel for how negative factors, such as wind drift, will affect your shot placement. A perfect hold at 100 yards may now produce a target impact as far as 6 to 8 inches off your point of aim, but since your gun has been precisely zeroed at 50 yards, you can be assured that this drift was caused by the effect wind of the day. Wind has more effect than most shooters realize on the flight of a large, relatively slow moving projectile such as a slug. Learning how to compensate for differing wind velocities and angles, especially at extended distances, is a lesson that must be learned if you wish to be consistently successful hunter and shooter with a DSG.

Although any type of DSG with rifled barrels perform similarly to rifles, they are not rifles and cannot be zeroed as if they were. Even the fastest slug is significantly slower than the typical rifle bullet. It is therefore extremely important to apply back-pressure to the forend of the stock with your left hand while you are shooting. Not doing so will result in the barrel of your slug gun jumping into the air off of the front rest, moving your point of aim and ruining your shot alignment before the slug even has a chance to exit the barrel.

Let’s say you have zeroed your gun in this manner at 100 yards, adjusting into your scope setting this muzzle jump as well as Windage error. While in the field you shoot at a deer at 100 yards while holding onto the forend of your gun’s stock. Your shot hits low or, most likely, misses completely. Most would tend to blame the gun or the ammunition, when in reality methodology is the real culprit. Think about it! Learn to properly set up your equipment and you can be confident in your shot when the time comes.


Here is what it takes with a DSG to shoot the “allusive 1 inch group at 100 yards”, but only if the shooter…

  • Can find a lot of sabot ammunition that matches your barrel;
  • Has a good rest to shoot off of and has spent the time necessary to learn how to shoot well off of it;
  • Can find a telescope that will continue to work for more than 100 rounds.  Most slug gun shooters cannot tell when a scope has gone bad;
  • Remembers that riflesare zeroed (sighted-in) at 100 yards and then checked at 200 and 300 yards while DSG’sare zeroed at 50 yards and then checked at 100 and 150 yards;
  • Remembers to always use a range-finderprior to taking any shot longer than 100 yards;
  • Will spend the time to learn the intricacies of shooting slugs at 100 yards.  for example, a 10 mph crosswind moves a slug 5 to 6 inches at 100 yards.  A tail wind causes the impact point of a slug to move up, and a head wind will move the impactpoint down.  It is evident that the slug movement of 6 to 20 inches at 100 yards is common.  To take this a step further, a 15 to 17 mph cross wind, typical of what one might encounter during a November/December deer hunt, will move a slug 9 to 12 inches at 100 yards and a full 24 inches at 150 yards.

After switching to the 3 inch sabot round, the impact shifted abort 3” to the left and about 4 inches high at 50 yds. My question is, is this something to be expected with having one slug having much higher velocities? Thanks and love your guys products, have taken numerous deer with the 2 3/4 well out to 130yds. 

What you are seeing is a normal with a higher velocity, heavier weight, higher torqueing slug. The higher impact comes from the more violent recoil because caused by the same weight slug at a 280ft/sec faster than a 2 3/4″ round. (Simply put the muzzle jumps higher in the air from the increased recoil.)
The slug impacting to the left of the group is caused by the increased torque generated by the higher velocity slug being forced to spin clockwise from an at rest (ZERO) rpm’s to 50,000 rpm’s after traveling down the rifled barrel a distance of only ½ inch of the rifling.
For every action there is a reaction. All of this means the muzzle of the gun jumps higher from added recoil and the muzzle twisted toward  the left. The opposite direction of a right hand twist barrel.
All at once you have a shot 2 3/4″ out of the group impacting about at the 10:00 o’clock position from the rest of the group.
Any time you even let up on your grip with your left hand, even slightly, you will get the same reaction. That’s why your left hand controls better than 60% of your group size with a slug gun. That’s why it is sure disaster to zero a slug gun off of a rest not holding the forearm and then hold on to it in the field while hunting. The two points of impact will be dramatic!

The only way to counter act this problem to hold on to the gun much harder, but more consistence, when shooting hard recoiling rounds.

If you are making use  of Lightfields “SameSite Accuracy System”, you must grip both ends of the gun the same all the time, as if they were all magnums rounds!