How to Sight in a Rifle

The accuracy of your rifle depends on you, and it is important to sight it properly so you can hit your target every single time, whether it is long distance or tight clusters. Some people have a very difficult time with sighting, but it really doesn’t have to be that way.

As long as you know how to sight in your rifle and zero it properly, you will be able to vastly improve your chances of hitting your targets every single time without fail.

The first step in the process of sighting your rifle is to mount the scope. Take your rifle and mount the scope with mounts that can handle all of the recoil that your rifle delivers. This step is extremely important if you are shooting a 30-06 and you are using a .22 scope on it, because the results can be disastrous.

If you want to avoid your scope flying off your rifle and injuring yourself or someone around you, it is important to mount it properly. The mounts on your rifle should be very tight; use locktite on the screws if you feel it is necessary.

You will need to gather certain materials when sighting your rifle, including padding so you aren’t aching and sore by the time you go home, and it will also help to protect the finish your rifle. A rifle rest or even just some sandbags will work for adding stability and minimizing any error.

Make sure that you are starting with at least a hundred rounds of ammunition. A bore sighter will also be necessary; they can be purchased for about $20-50 and they can make the sighting process a lot easier overall. You should also have some screwdrivers for adjusting the scope on your rifle as well as targets to shoot at.

Get a pair of binoculars to take with you so you can see the target clearly before aiming your gun. If you plan on using a tripod on your rifle, put the binoculars on your scope.

The next step involves bore sighting your rifle. If you are on a shooting range, set your target at 25 yards and 100 yards. Make sure the rifle is adequately secure on sandbags or something else stable.

If you are using a bolt-action rifle, you will need to remove the bolt and look down the bore, aligning it with the target properly. If you happen to be using a single-shot rifle, you will need to pen the action.

Adjust the rifle stand so that the 100-yard target is showing in the center of your view when looking through the breech end. Without moving your rifle at all, adjust the scope that the cross-hairs match up perfect on the same object in the distance. You have just bore-sighted your rifle to 100 yards.

Once you have bore-sighted your rifle, replace the bolt and set your scope so that it is on the highest magnification while still getting a clear view through it. Take a breath and fire one round at the center of your 25-yard target so you can see just how accurate it is.

Unload your rifle and take a look at the target you have hit through a pair of binoculars. Locate the shot grouping on the target so you can find out what you need to do when making the necessary adjustments.

If the bullet you fired hit the bottom left corner of the target, you will have to adjust your scope up and to the right. Keep making the necessary adjustments to your scope until you are able to hit the center of the target.

After the barrel of your rifle has cooled down all the way, get yourself into a comfortable position and fire three shots, aiming very carefully and taking your time.

Check the grouping of your shots on the target and adjust the sight so when it is aimed at the center of the target it hits about 3” above the center. Doing this will provide you with the most effective maximum range. By taking the time to properly sight your rifle, you will increase your chances of accurate shots ten fold.