This is a guide for the general zeroing distance and performance for all the weapons in the game. I did a lot of testing in order to get precise, conclusive results.
Zero Range Guide
A quick guide on the weapons ranges (all with scope, all without the zeroing perk):
First of all, the quick and easy way to know where your weapon is zeroed is to look at the stated effective range of the ammunition, this is at the same time the standard zero. (We are using metric here).
All rifles performed well in terms of flight trajectory until they met their effective range. I experienced about 1 ring (at the shooting range, should be about 2,5cm or 1inch) drop per 25m beyond the stated effective range. I did not experience a significant high shooting tendency under the effective range, meaning with rifles your point of aim is your point of impact until you meet the effective range.
Lever action rifles performed exactly the same as normal rifles.
Pistols also perform very well with flat trajectory until they meet their effective range, but experience a much more severe drop beyond, about 2 rings per 25m beyond their effective range.
Bows and Crossbows:
Bows and Crossbows are a bit more difficult. I tested the Bearclaw Lite 60pound Bow and the Crosspoint Crossbow. I did not test the Recurve Bow or the Hawk-Edge 70pound bow. I used 420g Bolts and Arrows. Using a different bow or different Bolt/Arrow Weights might influence the results.
Crossbow with Scope:
The dots in the scope represent ranges of 20m – 40m – 60m from top to bottom, the middle of the in between areas thus make up 30 and 50m, just for reference. The bow hit point of aim at those ranges, but experiences severe drop just 5m beyond its max range of 60m. It does however still hit close to point of aim below the 20m mark.
Bow with Standard Sight:
The standard sight seems to give you a 20m zero. Below and beyond that range I experience about a 1 ring high/low per 5m.
Mark 3 Sight:
The Mark 3 sight has pins for 10m – 20m – 30m top to bottom and again about 1 ring difference per 5m.
Mark 5 Sight:
The Mark 5 has pins for 0m – 10m – 20m – 30m – 40m. Interesting is the 0m Pin, I guess it`s meant for when a Roe Deer decides that to conclusively gauge your hostility it has to give you a lick, for science, and walks up right into your face. Again about 1ring drop per 5m.
With bows especially but also with the crossbows the bolts are much more influenced by wind then bullets are (bullets seemed largely unimpeded by wind). I would also suggest that due to the massive drop in kinetic energy trying to go beyond the zeroing distances for bows and crossbows is not really worthwhile, and you should just lure animals in or get closer yourself.
I did not test the other variants like the 20ga, 16ga and .410.
Slugs hit point of aim at about 50m, and experience a 1ring drop per 25m afterwards.
Buckshot had good results in both shot placement and spread until around 25m, making me guess that`s the intended zero. The results were still acceptable at 50m, but the spread was stretching it a little, and I wouldn`t want to make those shots intentionally.
Birdshot performed similarly to buckshot, meaning it seemed well effective from 0-25m. At 50m the spread is pretty wide, which is a demerit when using it for hunting rabbit, but still works well for birds. In use I have landed a 70m shot with Birdshot on a Canadian goose with exactly 1 pellet. In general against Geese and Ducks I had good successes up until 50-60m, but I would say that`s already stretching it.