Every hunter should know how to sight in a rifle or be able to pick up the skill. Although simple in theory, the process can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Sighting in your weapon is important for both obvious and less obvious reasons. Whether you're going hunting or to the shooting range, striking your target will be more enjoyable with a zeroed scope.
What Is the Purpose of Sighting a Rifle?
The purpose of sighting in is to align the rifle's sights and bore. When a gun is appropriately sighted in, its shots are consistently fired at predetermined distances. Even a rifle with built-in accuracy needs to be sighted in before use in order to hit the target.
Steps to Sight In a Rifle
Some people may feel a little apprehensive when sighting in a rifle for the first time. But if you have a few pieces of equipment and a decent shooting range to practice at, anyone can do it themselves in just a few easy steps. The following are 9 quick and easy ways to sight in your rifle:
1) Equip Yourself With the Right Protective Gear
Credit: MCR Safety
Before using a gun, take a moment to collect the necessary protective gear. In this circumstance, wearing eye and ear protection is essential. You'll be shooting a few shots when you sight in a gun, so use earplugs, muffs, or a combination of the two to protect your hearing. You can protect your vision against flying items by wearing eye protection.
2) Setting Up a Rifle Scope
Hunting optics for rifles are common. They give hunters a great vantage point to assure a quality kill, therefore it's in your best interest to use them. Make sure your scope mounts on your rifle and that it is bore-sighted.
3) Use a Shooting Rest
Credit: Outdoor Life
You should always strive to minimize human error as much as possible when sighting in a rifle. Mounting a gun to your shoulder complicates the shooting process. The slightest shake could cause inaccuracy in your shooting. That will make it very difficult to zero a firearm. To avoid this from happening, use a shooting rest or shooting bags.
4) Start Close to the Target
One of the best ways to start sighting in a rifle is to start shooting close to the target. Basically, by reducing the distance between the target and yourself, you considerably enhance the likelihood that the rifle's bullet will hit the target.
Place yourself approximately 25 to 50 yards from a target with a noticeable bull's-eye, such as the EasyShot shooting targets, so you can clearly see the bullet hole. Fire three precise shots towards the bullseye.
For this first adjustment, you can also bore sight a rifle, which will make things much easier. This can reduce the amount of guessing involved in sighting in a rifle and save a lot of time (and ammunition) and improve your rifle's accuracy.
5) Check the Shot Location on the Target
Credit: Deposit Photos
Check the shot location on the target. The target should now have a "group" of three shots that are somewhat close to one another. The target's center may not contain this particular group. Identify the group's center. Determine what modifications are necessary to move the point of impact toward the center.
6) Use the Scope Adjustment Knobs
It is now time to make the necessary changes to your scope so that your point of impact will be closer to the actual bullseye.
A rear sight should be moved up, and down so that your rounds will travel in the desired direction. To find out whether a scope's adjustments are 1/4, 1/2, or 1-inch at 100 yards, check the manual it came in.
If you are firing from only 25 yards, you will need to click four times in order to obtain the same difference in impact because these modifications are based on 100 yards.
7) Fire Again and Fine Tune Your Point of Impact
Credit: US Navy
Fire a second group of three shots. Keep your shots slow. Give your rifle's barrel some time to cool. The velocity of a hot barrel differs from that of a cold barrel. You might need to make additional scope adjustments after this second group. Continue firing three-shot groups and making adjustments until your three-shot group is centered at 25 yards on your point of aim.
Repeat the method while moving the target out to 100 yards. Many deer hunters choose to leave it at this distance since it is their ideal firing range. You might want to keep extending your range out to 200 yards or more while sighting in a rifle for western hunting.
8) Clean Your Gun
Don't forget to clean your gun once you're through at the shooting range. It's a good idea to clean the bore of the barrel after firing several rounds through it before storing it.
Credit: Sporting Rifle Magazine
It takes practice and dedication to improve your shooting accuracy. You will feel more comfortable with the firearm you will be hunting with as you practice shooting it at various ranges. Additionally, you will become more aware of your limitations as you move further.
As long as you don't cut corners, sighting in may be an easy, joyful activity that gives you confidence when you enter the field. You will save time and money by treating the process carefully and patiently, and you won't have to worry about where the bullet will land when you press the trigger.
Check out EasyShot targets if you require shooting targets to practice sighting in your rifle.