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How to Sight-In a Rifle

Let us say you just purchased a telescopic sight and are mounting it on the rifle. How do you exactly align the barrel with the scope?  

Once you have mounted a telescopic sight on a rifle, you need to sight-in the weapon; i.e., make the necessary adjustments to align the optical device and the barrel.  

You may adjust the telescopic sight using a laser, firing a pellet or you may do it the old- fashioned way by just looking through the barrel (bore-sight). 

Bore-Sighting

The old way requires looking through the bore. To that purpose, you will have to remove the bolt that blocks the near end of the chamber. 

1. Place the gun on a gun rest (you can make your own with a couple of socks filled with sand), or use anything that allows you to keep the weapon level.  Place it at 10 yards in front of a wall.

2. Next, place a target on the wall in front of the barrel.  

3. Looking through the bore, move the rifle slightly to the right or left until you pick up the target.

4. Still looking through the barrel, lift the gun to center the target in front of the barrel.

5. Now, that you know the barrel is aiming at the bull’s eye, you must see through the scope. Set the zoom to maximum magnification and adjust the eyepiece until you get a sharp view. 

 

Most likely, the crosshairs do not cross over the center of the target. Use the adjusters on the elevation and windage turret.

Left-right and up-down deviation:

6. If slightly offset to the right or left, adjust it with the windage screws, loosening one of them and tightening the one on the opposite side.  Then adjust the elevation. Some turrets have caps covering the screws, which you have to remove before the adjustment.

Sight-In Adjustments with a Pellet

1. Place the gun on a gun rest (you can make your own with a couple of socks filled with sand), or use anything that allows you to keep the weapon level.  Place it at 10 yards in front of a wall.

2. Next, place a target on the wall in front of the barrel.  

3. Load one pellet, aim at the center of your target on the wall and shoot.

4. Again, most likely, you missed the center.

5. Adjust the windage and elevation screws to place the crosshairs over the hole you made on the target. Make sure the rifle remains motionless.

6. Now, slowly move the whole rifle and aim for the center of the target.

7. Fire again.

8. Repeat the process until you hit the exact center of the bull’s eye. 

Now that you bore-sighted and made a quick sight-in at 10 yards, do the same at 25 yards. 

Then, find a safe site and place the target at 100 yards. 

As a rule, for every inch you miss the target you must adjust the screws on the turret about 4 clicks. 

 

Important:

• Use the same caliber and cartridges you will be using when going hunting.  

• Usually, you want to hit the target about 3 inches high at 100 yards. Aim for the center of the bull’s-eye, but adjust the elevation until you hit above the center. 

Follow these steps and you can rest assured you will recover the game and bring that trophy home whether it stands at 25 or 300 yards.

CVC
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"• Usually, you want to hit

"• Usually, you want to hit the target about 3 inches high at 100 yards. Aim for the center of the bull’s-eye, but adjust the elevation until you hit above the center."

I don't agree with this advice - it is going to depend on the caliber and load on how high above the bullseye the bullet's impact will be at 100 yards.  3" high is just a guess and the shooter should actually shoot and zero the gun at 200 or longer.

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It also depends on how

It also depends on how comfortatable you feel taking shots past 100 yards and out to 300 yards.  I know of quite a few hunters that limit themselfs to shots 100 yards and less and they seam to bring home just as many animals as the rest of us do shooting past 200 yards.  They do it with a knowlege of the animals and thier behavor. 

Also as CVC stated if you plan on shooting at 200, 300, or 400 yards you should set up a target at that range and see just what you can do at those ranges.  It all really depends on the cartrige that you are shooting and its balistics on where it will be shooting at 100 yards if you want a 200 yard zero. 

CVC
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I thought about this a little

I thought about this a little more and there are ballistic charts that will tell you what the difference between 100 and 200 yards is if you're shooting factory loads.

Instead of just using 3" high I would reccomend referring to the ballistic chart instead of guessing.  And really, hunters should practice at the distances they are going to shoot so if you can't zero in at 200, then that is probably too long of a shot to take when hunting.

My scope has hold over points and I zero at 200.  With my .270, I am only about 1.5 inches high at 100 when zeroed at 200 yards.

It will differ for different calibers and loads so the only way to know for sure is to do it.

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