Outdoor Articles

How to Sight In A Riflescope

by Pursue The Outdoors on June 1st, 2005 in Maintenance and Preparation

A few months back I had to complete the task of sighting in my scope. I went to the sporting goods store bought a few boxes of shells, some paper targets, and earplugs. I headed to the local rifle range for a task that I thought would take a few minutes to complete. Well, after a box of shells and no holes in the target I found out I was wrong. I left the range in disgust and was ready to just place the rifle in the corner of my closet where it would collect dust until the next time I decided to try again. The process that I was using was not the best one to take. I took a paper target mounted it to a board and placed it out about 50 yards from where I was sitting. I started to unload shot after shot. I would see that the bullet hit the ground to the left so I made the right adjustments just to discover that the bullet hit the ground to the right, I could never get the bullet to hit the paper.

After this very frustrating experience, I decided to look on the Internet to see if I could find some information that would enlighten me. After reading many Web sites and talking to a few friends, I decided I would try a different approach. I went to the local sporting goods store and bought a laser bore sighting system. The bore system will help to get the bullet to hit the paper target. The following day, I went to the rifle range set up my target, fired one shot, made the proper adjustments fired another shot and to my amazement hit the center of the target. So how did I do it?

First, if you do not yet have one get yourself a good sighting vise, this will help you hold the rifle still. You may need to add a little weight to the vise to stop the movement during the recoil, what I did was mounted a piece of lead to the bottom of the vise, this added about 10 extra pounds to the vise. You could also clamp the vise to the shooting table. Get some paper targets, a few boxes of shells, and earplugs. Use the bore sighting system before you fire any shots.

Once you have done this, it is time to go to the range and sight your rifle. Mount your rifle in the vise; and place your target about 25 yards away from you. Load your rifle, and place the cross hairs on the center of the target. When you are ready squeeze the trigger and fire the rifle, then look and see where the bullet hit. The next thing you will need to do is place the cross hairs on the center of the target.


Note: Move the vise not the scope settings. Depending on how much weight is on the vise the recoil may not have moved the vise.

The next step is to move the cross hairs towards the bullet hole until the cross hairs are lined up with the bullet hole. For example if the hole is in the lower left corner of the target make the proper adjustments to the scope, by first moving the cross hairs down then to the left. Once this step is complete find the center of the target load your rifle and fire the second shot, this time the shot should be in the center of the target.

Once you sight in your rifle at 25 yards you can repeat the same process for the yardage you want.

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