How to Sight In a Rifle Scope? 5 Easy Tips
Whether you are going hunting or you want to just boast your shooting skills in front of your friends or you are planning for a fun activity with them, you definitely want to hit the thing you’re aiming at its bullseye without having to burn those extra rounds. If you really want to be this good, there are a few things you will need to work on, like how you aim your target before taking a shot and how you measure the distance between you and the target and how do you adjust the turrets before taking the shot.
Sighting in, which is also referred to as zero, can help you with long-distance shots and it is something that requires you to have some technical comprehension. But if you are new to shooting and you want to learn how to sight in a rifle scope then here are a few steps you can follow to master zeroing.
1. Always make sure that the scope is mounted properly
All rifles come with a mounting provision, where you can mount the scope. Always make sure that you have mounted the scope properly. On the screws, always use the lock-tite just as an extra precaution. There are different scope rings that you can try depending on your shooting style. But just remember that not every mount ring fits every scope base. So make sure that before you invest in a new scope ring, you see if it is compatible with the base.
2. Always bore sight your rifle before using your rifle for hitting the actual target
Bore sighting is important for aligning all the cross-hairs of the scope with respect to a specific point. There are many ways you can bore sight your scope. You can use the laser that is already there in the muzzle or in that part of your rifle where you align the cross-hairs.
If you are a beginner and don’t know how to bore sight your rifle, you can go to a local gun store and take the retailer’s advise on how to best bore sight your rifle and what equipments you will need to bore sight. This can be a good thing to do if you don’t want to waste those extra rounds.
You can start bore sighting at 50 yards. As a beginner, it’s always best to start with 25 yards to make sure you get the rifle zeroed at a short range and you might also end up saving up a lot of ammunition.
3. Make Your Decision About the Load You Want to Use, The Distance and The Point of Impact
After you are sure that your rifle is approximately in scope and before you proceed to the zeroing process, make sure you decide the load you want to use also decide the distance between you and the target and the point of impact.
When you have to decide about the distance, it’s best to zero at 100 yards. People who are really good at shooting can zero even at 200 yards and even more than that. But when you are just getting started, sight in at 100 yards to minimize human error and other effects like the wind that might affect your shooting range.
Rifles offer different accuracy for different bullets, propellants, etc. When you are just starting to learn to zero, it’s always best to load and shoot in groups of three. Even if they don’t land on the target, it’s okay. Your motive here is not to shoot on the target, but to determine the load that best suits you and the one that has the most accuracy.
After selecting the load, decide where you want the point of impact to be, at a distance of 100 yards. For shooting at a long range, you might want to increase your point to be higher than what it would be for close or short range situations. Don’t keep the range too high or too low for long-range shooting. Anything that is approximately 2.5 inches high should be fine.
4. Using The Right Technique
If you want to get the best zero, make sure to eliminate as much human error as possible. To do this, you need to get a good rest that will let you have very minimal contact with your rifle. Using shooting aids that are recoil-absorbent or padding yourself can be a good way to eliminate human error. After resting on the bench rest properly, concentrate on the target, and then press the trigger and adjust your sight and repeat this until you find the perfect zero.
5. Make Sure Your Rifle is Clean and The Barrel Isn’t Too Hot
Even the very best rifles can give you the most accurate shots when you shoot in groups of three or maximum four. After that, you will have to wait till the barrel cools down and also clean your rifle depending on how many shots you fired. It’s always recommended to clean the rifle after 20 shots to make sure you always have optimum accuracy. After cleaning the rifle, fire a few dummy shots to make sure that the zero and the point of impact are the same.
Before going for hunting, if you want to check the zero one last time, you can use a bipod. A bipod will make sure that you have zeroed in perfectly. You can fire a few shots when using a shooting aid like a bipod and you’ll notice how better your zero gets when you are using this.