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I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on how they zero their KS7, if at all. I've seen several YouTube videos about the subject and was quite surprised by the variety of methods. Having spent some time in the military, I had a preconceived notion on how to do it and was quite surprised to see folks zeroing with turkey shot instead of slugs.

I bought my KS7 for home defense. After my first trip to the range I found the carry handle sight very difficult to use in low light. I wasn't too terribly concerned because I'm new to shotguns and always thought of them as a "point and shoot" weapon. However, after a discussion with an army buddy, I was convinced to buy a red dot and some back up iron sights. If nothing else, they would make my range time more fun while I endeavor to become an expert on this weapon.

Once I had my KS7 rigged up, I went to the range believing I could zero my KS7 in a similar method to the way I had done it in the army. Take a look at this link here to see how we did it back then:

https://www.armystudyguide.com/cont...guide_topics/m16a2/zero-and-m16a2-rifle.shtml

I didn't have a military style zero target but my plan was to improvise with just a typical bullseye target. Up until that day, I had only used reduced recoil shells. Despite the numerous discussions in this forum about the KS7's recoil, I was still quite surprised at the kick of a slug. My shoulder is sore. I know it would have been even worse without the extended butt pad.

I wouldn't call my zeroing attempt a complete failure. However, it didn't necessarily go as planned. My range is indoors and the longest distance is 75 feet. Seeing how we zeroed M16s at 25m I thought the distance would be sufficient. My first problem was the difficulty I had in getting a tight 3 round shot group. That never happened. I need to come up with a method to support the KS7 while I shoot. Zeroing in the army was always done from a supported position. However, there are a bunch of YouTube videos where folks are zeroing from a standing position with their shotgun unsupported. I am simply not that skilled to get a tight three round shot group in that manner.

I left the range after an hour with a sore shoulder and the ability to hit "somewhere" on the target at 75 feet. I know I need to go back. Here are the questions I'm left with:

1. What distance should I zero at? Is 75 feet OK? Or, should I zero at the distance I'm most likely to be shooting at - in my case probably no more than 20 feet for home defense.

2. My intended ammo for home defense is going to be reduced recoil buckshot - I've got neighbors nearby and a wife and kids at home. Should I zero with buckshot? That would seem much more difficult than a zero done with a slug.

3. Finally, am I just wasting my time with trying to zero? Is it necessary? In a real life situation I'm probably going to be just pointing and shooting, aren't I? Maybe not.

4. What suggestions do you have on what to use for support while shooting at the range?

5. How do you guys zero? Below is a picture of my setup. I've got the Magpul back up sights and a Sig Sauer red dot. I'm still waiting on my offset light mount from Impact Weapons.

View media item 2214
 

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I wouldn't wast my time trying to zero this weapon the way you were taught to zero an AR-15 in the military. The only exception would be if you intended to hunt Deer with it. Then I would zero it with magnum slugs at 50-75 yards.
I use a Sightmark 12ga red laser boresight,
at about 15 yards. (The end of the longest hallway in my house). Then at the range, based on trial and error (practice), adjust my point of aim to the ammo load I am using. Typically, 1 3/4 in buckshot mini shells (yes, they work just fine in my gun... your mileage may vary).
No red dot either. Fixed HK style iron sights with tritium inserts. At home, a tight beam flashlight on a 45 degree offset picatinny mount.
KS7.jpg
yards.
 

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I personally question the use of shotgun slugs in true home defense situations.
Using slugs at close range is turning the shotgun into a more accurate musket.
That requires precise aiming that slows the shotgun down.
Slugs will usually not shoot to the same center as buckshot, so if you intend to use buckshot, sight in with it.

Shot, including buckshot is a matter of percentages, which is why shotgunner's pattern their gun to see what shape of spread the gun shoots.
To get you on target, just use sand bags or other firm no-bounce support on a shooting bench to shoot.

Sit down and rest the gun on the support to shoot.
Adjust your sights so the pellets are well centered on the target.
This is not like shooting a rifle or pistol.
There is no absolute zeroing because you have a large number of pellets, and depending on the distance you shoot, some pellets may not hit the target at all.

The idea is to have as many pellets in the kill zone as possible, and the kill zone of a human is a 10 inch circle in the middle of the chest.
If most of the pellets are in that 10 inch circle you're sighted in AT THAT RANGE.
Longer distances and some pellets will be outside the circle.
Closer distances will produce a denser pattern that may not be centered.

HOW far to sight in at depends on the maximum range at which it's possible to shoot inside the home.
There's really no good reason for walking out of your house to confront someone. That's why you have police.
Your job is to stay inside the home, blocking entry to intruders.

To decide what range to sight in at, know that the average 18 inch shotgun with an Open Cylinder barrel will usually shoot no more then a 6 to 8 inch circle inside the average home.
Just cut out a paper circle that diameter and tape it to the wall in the area of the home that would give the longest shot possible to see how small that is.

Once you know how far is the maximum distance possible, that's the range you should sight in at.
Also to understand how your specific gun shoots, shoot some at various closer ranges, and at some longer ranges "just in case".

For general information on home defense shotguns you might read my opinions in an article I wrote.....

https://www.thektog.org/articles/the-home-defense-shotgun-updated-2020.34/
 

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I don't care what gun it is, shotgun, pistol, rifle, musket, bb gun, does not matter.
To sight it in, you use the ammo you gonna use when its live, on a target like the real target, at a range similar to the use-case range.
a home defense shotgun, if you gonna use low recoil buckshot, use that to sight it in / pattern it too, and if its home defense, do that at inside your house ranges -- a few yards, 10-30 feet maybe.
at defense ranges, a shotgun isn't going to spread as much as you might think it will. Its gonna leave a ragged about 2 inches in diameter. Buckshot is 10-20 pellets for large to small, and all 10-20 are going to be in a tight cluster at that distance. The only way I know to make this reliably spread out faster so you get wide patterns at short ranges is to cut the barrel off to illegal lengths (which I do not recommend, but it does work). Short barrels interfere with most shotguns ammo tube anyway and I doubt the kel tecs can be modified at all; my full sized one only holds 11 and the extended tube sticks out past the full length barrel a fair bit (and it does not get hit because it spreads out slowly, it has a lot of scorch marking though).

https://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box-o-truth-20-buckshot-patterns/
he managed to find an ammo that got 3 inches at 12 feet with a high pellet count magnum shell. The others got about 2 inch spreads.
pushed out to 20 yards, you see the 10 inch groupings that many think of when they think buckshot, but 20 yards is nearly the length of my house and would be out in the street if I shot from my front door. I personally see little difference between a 2 inch spread and a slug in terms of aiming it and damage done. The slug will do what it does to the next 4 guys coming into your house in a line thru the door. Or it will go thru one bad guy, your neighbors wall, your neighbor, and 2 more of his interior walls. Slugs... are high risk in a populated area. The cheap ones I used to use in 3-gun would cut clean thru a 4x4 and kill someone on the other side and good ones will do even more than this.
 

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(It takes me longer to write, take the dogs out, yada, yada) :D

Like you I see the KS7 as a close range HD gun. With use potential out to 50 yards... maybe, but very unlikely.

Presently I'm zeroed at 25ish yards with 1 3/4" slugs and a red dot in the KS7. At some point I intend to shoot at 50 yards just for giggles. I should be pretty close without touching anything but I'll sight in there. Slugs in a hunting gun might be good out to 100 yards, and when I used them I sighted in at 75 yards. I knew that anything out to 100 yards was in my point blank range. All I had to do was shoot in the middle of the chest and the slug would impact somewhere deadly and I just had to walk out and gut the carcass. But we're not discussing that even though they're both similar. HD at 100 yards or even 50 would be a very special and extremely rare event. I had it happen 2 years ago where a cop killer was running around in the "backyard" and we went out, me with a rifle slung doing chores. Definitely a rare once in a lifetime event (I hope).

OK, where should you zero? BTW, good move on the red dot. If you zero at 50 yards would it be wrong? No. You're still going to be shooting minute of dirtbag at much closer range. So close as to be meaningless, esp' in the heat of the moment. The slug will "rise" from the line of bore up to the point where you sighted in. If that's 50 yards you will never be off more than the offset between the line of sight and the line of bore. You'll be off the most at contact distance where it makes no difference.

Shooting rests... This is what I use presently unless I need a much better shooting position. I use one for the long gun and another on it's flat side to support the butt and my hand that locks the gun to my shoulder. They are extremely lightweight stiff foam.
https://foamactionsports.com/product/foamrest-single-in-charcoal-grey/
But anything can be used; a pillow, a pack full of gear or stuffed with a pillow. Just don't shoot up your good pillow with the short barrel of the KS7 and the offset of the red dot. You won't see the pillow until you shoot the stuffing out of it.

Yes, sight in with slugs, then pattern buckshot 'cause that's what you'll want to use at close range. You need to know exactly what the gun will do because you are responsible for all projectiles that come out of your firearm. If you have a 12" spread at 20' (I just plucked that out of the air, that would be horrible!) that means you need to get closer to be sure, much closer. But patterning it will tell the tale. Too, different brands and loads pattern differently so once you find what works IN YOUR GUN buy enough and stick with it. All guns are not the same and just because something works in mine doesn't mean it'll work in yours. Part of patterning is also to see where the shot column hits to verify that your red dot and BUIS are also OK for shot. Never assume anything with deadly force, but double check. You want the tightest shot spread you can find. Yeah, I know shotguns are pointing guns. But remember the liability of missing. The small spread and use of an aiming point means that all shot goes into and is stopped by the target and isn't where it can hurt an innocent. I can't think of a better use for someone who desperately needs to have deadly force applied than to be a backstop to protect others.

Something else you might want to get is a flashlight or a light/laser combo and sight that in as well. If you need to use the KS7 you want that last second verification of the target and you don't want to count on ambient light. If the light has a tight hotspot it can be used for aiming at close range, if not, that's where a laser comes in. The KS7 being so short can be tucked in at your side and fired from the hip with the muzzle protected by your body keeping it from being grabbed, but don't do that with a prayer. You need an aiming spot of some sort. Remember we're responsible for every projectile and "Whoops!" doesn't cut it if someone unintended dies from an errant shot that didn't hit and stay in the target. The best light mount I've seen so far (but won't have in hand to fondle for another day) is made by HiTech. It has a 90° drop from the pic' rail and any others that I've seen only have 45° angles making the light too high to easily access.

FWIW, for competition I put my laser on as needed with a QD mount. I sight it in to make the red dot and the laser coincide at the distance I need. I know the red dot is right on, so I adjust the laser to it. Just like having a red dot over the bore of the gun a laser can never be 100% sighted in because the distance changes. Just know how much things are off and stay within that range where being slightly off is meaningless or compensate slightly. For instance... I shoot a single projectile in competition and I know that my sight is 3 1/2" higher than the line of bore. So at close range when a head shot is required I can shoot dead on where I want to hit and that will result in a C zone hit. Or, and this is what I do, at close range I shoot at the top of the head and the bullets again impact low giving me A zone hits every time. It works the same way with what you want. BTW, a low hit in the C zone on a dirtbag would still be fatal. Humans have more fatal zones than a cardboard target does. Laser works the same way but probably will have a side offset that needs to be taken into account. Just be aware.

You can practice with inexpensive "on sale" birdshot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I wouldn't wast my time trying to zero this weapon the way you were taught to zero an AR-15 in the military. The only exception would be if you intended to hunt Deer with it. Then I would zero it with magnum slugs at 50-75 yards.
I use a Sightmark 12ga red laser boresight,
at about 15 yards. (The end of the longest hallway in my house). Then at the range, based on trial and error (practice), adjust my point of aim to the ammo load I am using. Typically, 1 3/4 in buckshot mini shells (yes, they work just fine in my gun... your mileage may vary).
No red dot either. Fixed HK style iron sights with tritium inserts. At home, a tight beam flashlight on a 45 degree offset picatinny mount.
View attachment 51150 yards.
Great info. I have a Crimsom Trace light that I will mount as soon as my 45 degree offset gets here.
 

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Well I guess it depends what exactly you intend to use the weapon for. If you are primarily playing with it on the range there are several very good and viable solutions already posted in this thread. If you intend it to be a defensive weapon then I would sight it in at the maximum distance you would presumably fire it at another human being at.

Personally, I have a KSG25 which is meant to be pretty much strictly a SHTF gun. Not my indoor, next to my bed, home invasion scenario shotgun. I put a Romeo 5 on it and zero'd it at 20 yards using 2 3/4" steel slugs. After several hundred rounds ( 00B, slugs, target loads, Turkey loads) it still hits where I point it.
 

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I zero'ed in my KSG the other day at the range. Granted, it isn't an AR15 and never will I get the consistent accuracy and tight grouping as a rifle, but I left the range that day with a big smile on my face. :)

This is how I zero'ed mine.

I purchased a green laser bore-sighter from Amazon (I think it was like 30 bucks) and took it with me to the range. I threw it on my power-drill and spun it against the wall 15ft away before I left for the range. The green dot drew a small circle which told me it wasn't trued. I adjusted the 4 little screws on the laser bore sighter until that circle got tighter and tighter till it almost just spun a single point from the drill.

At the range, I lit the green dot on my paper target and adjusted my flip up sights to "lollipop" the green dot. Next did the same with my red-dot sight and adjusted it till the green/red dots met.

The first few shots it was a bit off but close enough for me to adjust and zero it in to an acceptable amount quickly.

Distance: 25 yards (max at my indoor range)
Ammo: 2 3/4" rifled slugs
My results.
KSG1.jpg
ksg2.jpg



I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on how they zero their KS7, if at all. I've seen several YouTube videos about the subject and was quite surprised by the variety of methods. Having spent some time in the military, I had a preconceived notion on how to do it and was quite surprised to see folks zeroing with turkey shot instead of slugs.

I bought my KS7 for home defense. After my first trip to the range I found the carry handle sight very difficult to use in low light. I wasn't too terribly concerned because I'm new to shotguns and always thought of them as a "point and shoot" weapon. However, after a discussion with an army buddy, I was convinced to buy a red dot and some back up iron sights. If nothing else, they would make my range time more fun while I endeavor to become an expert on this weapon.
 

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When I looked at the ballistics of shotgun slugs, It appears that zeroing for about 30 to 35 yards is optimum. The projectile only gets about 2 inches or so above the line of sight, and is back on target at about 75 to 80 yards, and maybe 3 inches low at 100. Yeah, if you are at 5 yards the projectile is gonna be about 3 inches low, but it will be within an inch by 10 or 15 yards. If you zero at a really close range, like 5 or 7 yards, the projectile could be more than a foot above point of impact at other ranges that you might use, like 20 or 25 yards. If you are an inch or three laterally off of true zero at 30 yards, you are gonna a fraction of an inch off at 10. If you are a quarter of an inch laterally off of your true zero at 5 yards, you could be feet off at a long slug range. Zero for the longest range available, but once you are at about 35 yards, you are pretty much in the sweet spot. (unless you want to zero for the far point, which would be 75 or 80 yards, and that could create real problems getting and staying on paper for a non-rifled firearm.)
 

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Yup, zeroing too close can definitely be a problem due to the line of sight/line of bore offset. FWIW, the effects of offset are even worse with high velocity bullets, not so pronounced with a relatively low velocity slug. Every firearm with such an offset displays the same characteristic. There's no guarantee that one will ever need the shotgun at a distance greater than 10 yards, but I prefer to have the capability and not use it rather than to need the capability and not have it. But I also carry auto insurance, homeowners, and have fire extinguishers with no anticipation of ever needing any of them.

2 years ago I never anticipated going to bed one night and waking up the next morning to having the place crawling with cops, an armored vehicle, K9 unit, overhead fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and a cop killer in my backyard. And going armed with a long gun for 4 days for a potential 100 yard shootout had he chosen that.

Heck, I don't anticipate using a slug indoors either, yet my KS7 is set up for it. :D Heck, I don't anticipate using any of my firearms in an anti-personnel role, but they're set up for it. Someone would need to be extremely stupid or attempting suicide by homeowner to put themselves in such a position.

Yeah, but it happens every day. Look at Jacob Blake, I think that's his name. An open warrant for the rape of a 15 year old girl, with a history of assaulting cops, and threatening them with firearms, then fights with the cops trying to take him into custody. Then breaks away after being tazed and tries to get into or retrieve something from inside his auto. So he gets shot (and now Kenosha is burning and gets looted to commemorate it). My point is that there are really stupid people out there so it could happen.
 
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