How to Sight in a Rifle Scope

How to sight in a hunting rifle with a scope.

It does not require an entire box of ammunition to sight in a rifle scope. Many people shoot a group with their rifle at the bull's-eye, adjust the scope a few clicks, then repeat this process several times. Unless you are a competitive rifle shooter, this is a huge waste of time and bullets. The fact is almost everyone that shoots a rifle does so for hunting purposes. It is nice to have one inch groups at 100 yards but most people do not have the skill required to do that or a weapon that is capable. It is better to spend time practicing form in real hunting positions than it is shooting from a range rest that can not be duplicated in the field. This method will quickly get the rifle scope on the bull's-eye.

You will need a steady and repeatable rest. Sand bags and led sleds work perfectly for this. It is important that the rifle position can be duplicated on every shot. Set the target at 50 yards when sighting in a new scope. Remove the scoped adjustment covers. Lay the forend of the rifle on the rest. Do not lay the barrel on the rest. Bore sight the rifle. This means to aim the barrel at the target's bulls-eye. Adjust the scope so that the cross-hairs are on the target's bull's-eye.

Hold the stock securely. Center the rifle scope's cross hairs on the target's bull's-eye. Fire one shot. If the bullet did not hit somewhere on the target move the target to 25 yards. Fire another bullet. If the bullet did not strike the target this time either cut the distance in half again or use a larger target, then fire one more bullet. Reposition the rifle so that the scope has its crosshairs on the bull's-eye. Adjust the rifle scope so that the crosshairs cover the bullet hole in the target. Do not move the rifle when doing this.

Set the rifle scope's cross hairs on the target's bull's-eye and fire one bullet. The bullet should hit near the target's bull's-eye. If so double your distance and fire one bullet. Adjust the scope to the bullet hole. Continue to do this until you have reached the distance that you want your scope zeroed in at. Once you have reached that distance shoot a three shot group. Adjust the scope so that the crosshairs are in the center of the group. The rifle scope should be sighted in.

Follow this method for sighting in a rifle only when checking the scope for zero. Hunters should spend their time shooting from hunting positions without the aid of items that will not be available in the field. It is also important to follow the ten commandments of gun safety ( see link https://knoji.com/the-ten-commandments-of-gun-safety-rules-to-live-by/ ) and never forget to wear eye and ear protection.

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Dustin LaBarge
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Posted on Apr 13, 2010