“What in the hell is this,” I asked when I first saw the Axeon Second Zero. I won’t lie; I first thought this was some snake oil being advertised. The Second Zero was advertising that a simple lens could be placed in front of your optic and immediately change your zero from a 100 yard zero to a 330 or 530 yard zero. That seemed silly, but I had to know for sure, so I asked for one, and they sent one.
The Axeon Second zero comes in a wide variety of different configurations. This includes variants that mount directly onto your optic and variants that mount in front of your optic. The rail-mounted variants work with most optics, including prism and red dots. The different models give you different Second Zeroes. Currently, the two offered are 300 yards and 530 yards.
I tossed mine in front of a 3X prism optic from Swampfox. In front of a red dot, this could be incredibly handy for taking long-range shots. Longer range shots with a red dot typically require you to apply some guesswork for bullet drop. In theory, the Second Zero would give you an instant holdover.
With the rail-mounted Second Zero, you’ll need roughly an AR height sight to use the optic properly. The rail-mounted model folds down and out of the way when it’s not required. The scope mounted models flip upwards when it’s not needed. They are unintrusive and get out of the way when you don’t need them.
How the Second Zero Works
The Axeon Second Zero is a simple system. It’s a prismatic lens that deflects incoming light at different angles. With the 330 yard model, the angle is 4.3 minutes, and with the 530-yard model, the angle is 11.5 minutes. Essentially once the lens is in place, your reticle is adjusted upwards. The shift creates an automatic holdover based on a 100 yard zero. Once I understood how it works, I shifted my thinking from its snake oil to seeing something special.
The Axeon Second Zero system installs quickly enough, and it can be placed pretty much anywhere in front of the optic. It pops up and goes down with the flip of a lever. It’s quite simple and seems to lock up exceptionally well.
When reviewing optics, or just testing them, there is something known as a scope tracking test. This measures how accurate your scope adjustments are. If your optic proclaims a .5 MOA adjustment value, you test to see if that is correct. I did the same thing for the Second Zero by raising it and lowering it to see how accurate the supposed 4.3 MOA reticle adjustment is.
Believe it or not, it was dead on like scary accurate at exactly 4.3 MOA. Okay, that seems promising.
Let’s Go Shoot With the Second Zero
With the Axeon Second Zero equipped, I ensured my 100-yard zero was dead-on and then walked back another 200 yards. The 330-yard model seems like it boxes you into that range, but of course, there is some leeway. Between 280 and 330 yards is your effective zero with he Second Zero.
So I set up at 300 yards and decided to make my bones there. I set into a good prone position, flipped up my Second Zero, and set my rifle on a sandbag. I took a deep breath and aimed at a torso-sized steel target and used all that Marine Corps table 1 training to pull the trigger slowly.
The trigger broke, and a DING sounded over the echo of the weapon’s report. I scored a direct hit. I didn’t want to run down to the target after every shot, so I fired four more, centered directly on the target’s chest. Dings echoed with every shot. I hauled my bum down to the berm and took a look at my target. The rounds were spread over a group I won’t brag about, but elevation wise four of the five were in the chest area. I dropped one shot.
One round dropped that tells me the Second Zero worked, and I need to shoot more because that dropped round was on me. I went back to the 300-yard line and got a little more practice on smaller targets, including a 10-inch gong that seemed very small at 300 yards. With careful consideration and proper rifle fundamentals, I delivered mostly hits to the gong. Pro-tip be patient and wait for it to quit swinging.
The Second Zero had other shooters, and I tickled. It is incredibly useful. Honestly, it seems so freaking simple, and it’s incredibly affordable. There is no need to re-zero your weapon or use guesswork, or make adjustments. Flip-up the Axeon Second Zero and bam, you have a second, long-range zero.
In my research, I found the Axeon models are the lighter and simpler models of tools used by Snipers around the world. A company called TacomHQ pioneered the technology and makes military models. They made a variant used to make the longest range confirmed kill ever by a Canadian Sniper. TacomHQ partnered with Axeon Optics to develop these more affordable and simplistic options for civilian shooters. Rarely do we see something affordable and useful, and the Second Zero is both.
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