How to sight in scope could be very challenging if you are a first-timer with this. Whether, your objective is hunting or having fun at a shooting range, hitting a target with precision is always of the essence. Shooting becomes extremely exciting when you are handy with a zeroed rifle scope.
Steps to follow for sighting in scope with precision and accuracy:
The following section will facilitate you with step by step information as to how to sight in a scope:
The first and foremost requirement is to know your tool well. In your case, it is the riflescope and you should know all the dynamics of the scope, including its strengths and weaknesses.
This will help you to know which features you could maximize and where you will have to compromise. Some of the key features to know are the magnification capacity, reticle options, weight, eye relief, a field of view, tube size, turret style and night vision, etc.
When you mount your scope for the first time on the rifle then it is ideal to bore sight it first. For that purpose, you need to begin first by ensuring that the rifle is unloaded and there is absolutely no obstruction in the barrel.
Once fully ensured with unloading and barrel being unobstructed, remove the rifle’s bolt and set up the rifle pointing downrange and in a secure rest. Look through the bore, while positioning yourself behind the rifle and center-align the target through the bore by very carefully moving the rifle.
Without moving the rifle, just fix the scope right in the middle of the reticle for the same target in focus. The turret right above the scope fixes the elevation in up and down directions or the reticle. On the other hand, the turret given on the side is used for adjusting the windage, which goes in right and left directions.
Having the boresight setup with precision is not that critical. All you need is to ensure that the bore is close enough for the rifle to hit a target with ease.
Getting it Right on the Paper
If your rifle is in use for a long time, then you must have done this step that long ago. But, if you are a novice user with a newer rifle and scope, then this is a critical step for you to follow. At this point and ensuring above bore sighting step, you are almost ready to shoot. When you are a sight in your rifle before your actual shooting activity, then always make sure that the type of ammunition you use in both the phases is the same.
Some rifles are quite picky than their counterparts. Normally, it is seen that the majority of your shots would go in different directions and varying points of an impact if ammunition is not consistent. The ammunition or bullet with different weight causes that.
First up, try to shoot from a distance of 5 yards and after that, fine-tune the zero for longer ranges. As per the experts, this approach is ammunition and time-saving. On top of that, it also keeps you away from any frustration by avoiding aiming at 50 or even 100 yards, which are less likely to hit the target.
Some users manage to hit bull’s eye with immense success, but not many and certainly not always. It is ideal to employ a dedicated 0-target with a user-friendly grid format, which helps with conveniently determining the required adjustments.
It is critical to sight and shoots from a very stable position. For the support, you can employ some sandbags or maybe a rifle rest specially built for the purpose. Avoid using the rifle with the support of your muscles only as this could compromise precision big time. Once you are fully set and in a stable position, shoot 3 shots right on the center of your target.
This could be done from a distance of 5 yards from the target. From this distance, you might also be able to see the bullet holes through the scope of the target.
No matter, wherever you see the holes on the target paper, do not consider changing your point of aim. It is fine if you do not manage to hit the bull’s eye, as this is expected for the first time.
After you are done with your first group of shooting, inspect the target paper to see that where you were hitting. Take measurement right from the center point of your group to the precise target point.
Adjust your scope accordingly. The majority of the rifle scopes have ¼ MOA variable settings. This means that 1-click would set up the scope for the sake of moving the bullet impact by a reading of ¼ inches for 100 yards. However, this also means that the need is 4X times for the number of clicks to set the bullet impact at the same distance with 25 yards.
As discussed above, the turret at the top side of the scope is used for setting up the impact of the bullet in up and down directions. On the other hand, the side turret is used to move the impact in right and left directions. Therefore, in many cases of scopes, going with the clockwise turning of the turret would help in moving the impact of the bullet right or up. This very much depends on the fact that which specific turret you are targeting to adjust.
After making all the required adjustments, go for another group to hit at the bullseye. If this group shoot meets the expectation of your aimed target, then you are set to move to 100 yards target or any other range you prefer. If not then you need to make the adjustments again for the scope and keep trying until the rifle is synchronized with the scope at 25 yards.
You need to fully ensure that you are giving an ample amount of time to your barrel to get cooled down between groups. Many rifles are seen shooting at a varying point of impact when the hot barrel is employed.
For fine-tuning, you need to employ the same method discussed above, by shooting first for a group at 100 yards. As you have already zeroed your rifle for the target distance of 5 yards, so at worst, it would be hitting the paper target with precision for 100 yards distance. You are required to measure and calculate the distance from the bull’s eye to the center point of your group. Make the necessary adjustments of the scope, as required.
Just remember that in this case now, 4-clicks is equal to 1-inch for a distance of 100 yards.
When you are going for the zeroing setting at a distance of 100 yards, then you need to have your windage spot on. There is a debate however that where exactly your shots should be targeting in terms of the elevation.
In shorter range, it does make sense for adjusting your rifle-scope so that you know that the ammunition is hitting precisely at 100 yards. Every rife is different and so is the ammunition being used. There are at times that you will find yourself taking a shot at the target with precision and not making any adjustments in the scope or also in the point of aim.
In case you are using flat-shooting ammunition and have plans for longer range hunting, then it is ideal for you to sight with a 200 yard zeroing done in your rifle. This is even easier in case, you are in a long enough range and you could simply take a 200 yards target and set up your scope appropriately.
If the range only extends to 100 yards only for you then you need to check that how much elevation your shots are gaining, when targeting 100 yards with zeroing of 200 yards. This is the information that you can get from the product label of the majority of the ammunition boxes. If not, the ballistic calculator could be employed for such adjustments required.
Once you are done with all your final adjustments, then this is the time to go for another group, just to confirm the adjustments. If you can see the group hitting the required targets with precision then you are done with the job. If not, then you need to go through the groups shooting stage again, while making the necessary adjustments again.
As we can see above, sighting in scope is an approach that you could master with practice. You need to have good information about your scope in use and then you can start with its bore sighting and making the other fine-tuning adjustments. Patience is of the essence and to avoid frustration with the adjustments, there is no short cut than the things discussed above.