How To Sight In A Scope | Simple Steps To Quickly Hit The Bullseye At Long Range
Every shooter eventually wonders how to sight in a scope. Sighting in a scope isn’t hard, but there is a right way to do it. There are several right ways, in fact. If you want to know how to sight in a rifle scope, then this guide can help. Another key point is that you should start by bore sighting the scope. Our guide will discuss in detail how to accomplish this. Another way to look at this is that a scope is the most important part of a rifle. For example, a scope allows you to hit a target at much greater distances than you could with iron sights alone.
Furthermore, a scope allows you to achieve pinpoint accuracy that you could not accomplish using just your eyesight. If a target is so small that your iron sights seem to cover it from a distance, then a scope is the only way to see that target in more detail. As a matter of fact, almost every shooter understands how valuable an accurate scope can be. But every shooter eventually asks how to sight in a scope.
Sighting in a scope, including bore sighting a scope, is very important. If you install a scope but don’t sight it in properly, then you won’t actually be able to hit anything with it. Moreover, you’ll actually be less accurate than you would be with iron sights! In other words, taking the time to learn how to sight in a scope can make all the difference in your success.
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Sighting in a Scope Is a Simple Process
We will discuss how to sight in a scope in detail in this article. In other words, we will describe each step in detail. To sum up, there are a number of steps you must take in the right order when considering how to sight in a rifle scope. Firstly, you must install the scope without tightening the scope all the way on the rifle. At the same time, you must verify that the eye relief is right for you. In other words, you want to make sure that the distance of the scope to your eye is correct.
Secondly, you need to make sure your rifle is on a nice, level, secure service. In other words, you want to secure the rifle in a bench rest. Moreover, this bench rest could be a formal device or something you improvise. Another key point is that the rifle must be absolutely stable.
Thirdly, you must bore sight the scope. In other words, you have to make sure your cheek weld and eye relief are perfect. Moreover, you have to make sure the crosshairs are aligned with the target at the proper distance. If this is 100 yards, then that is the distance from which you’ll do your bore sighting. When considering how to sight in a scope, you can also use a laser bore sight to help with the process.
Fourthly, while you are sighting in a scope, you must make sure there is no “reticle cant.” In other words, bore sighting a scope is more than just knowing how to sight in a rifle scope. If you don’t pay attention to the details, then your reticle could be misaligned. And if your reticle is misaligned, then all your effort to that point is wasted. At the same time, it is time to tighten everything down when everything is lined up. Finally, you’ll need to start firing small groups from the bench rest to see where your shots are going. By the same token, you’ll want to keep the groups small and make small adjustments as you go.
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The Most Important Part of Sighting in a Scope
Without a doubt, the most important part of the process is patience. If you take your time and make small adjustments, then sighting in a scope is easy. After all, you want your rifle to be accurate. How to sight in a rifle scope is unimportant compared to WHY to sight in a rifle scope. In other words, why are you bothering to go through this process at all? Balanced against any task is the purpose behind it. Inasmuch as a scope is a tool to make you a better shooter, it is well worth the effort. It is analogous to using a better tool for any task.
Take the case of any shooter who wants to make longer shots more accurately. Unless he can get better eyesight, he can’t shoot more accurately with the same rifle. If he can learn how to sight in a rifle scope, then he can make longer shots with better accuracy. As a shooter you are up against a lot of different factors. Firstly, there is the distance of the shot. Secondly, there is the nature of the target itself. In other words, is the target moving? Moreover, is the target small or otherwise obscured? In the final analysis, an accurate scope makes the task of shooting easier. In other words, it makes you a better shooter overall.
If you want to make the longest shots possible, then you need accurate tools. While this may be true, installing a quality scope does nothing for you if you don’t install it correctly. To put it differently, if you take shortcuts installing a scope on your rifle, then it won’t matter if you know how to sight in a scope. In other words, bore sighting a scope or how to sight in a rifle scope are less important than executing the procedures correctly.
To sum up, follow the steps in order for sighting in a scope.
- Firstly, install the scope without tightening it.
- Secondly, make the rifle stable.
- Thirdly, line up the reticle on the target.
- Fourthly, tighten the scope once it’s lined up.
- Finally, fire small shots to see where those shots go.
- Most importantly, you have to make adjustments to move your point of impact to the target. If you do this, then you’ll be accurate.
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How to Sight in a Scope, Step 1: Install the Scope (But Don’t Tighten It All the Way)
If you think sighting in a scope is difficult, then you’re wrong. On the contrary, sighting in a scope is actually pretty easy. While this may be true, many shooters still hesitate when it comes time for sighting in a scope. Do you know how to sight in a scope? If you have hesitated to do it before, then you just need to take the plunge. Every task may seem difficult at first. Before you install a scope, you may be intimidated by the process of how to sight in a rifle scope. After you have studied how to sight in a scope, however, you’ll understand that there’s good news.
Compared to some adjustments, installing a scope on a rifle is pretty easy. Firstly, you determine what kind of rings you’ll need to mount to which kind of mounting platform on your gun. At the same time, make sure that the rifle and the type and brand of scope are good matches for each other. In other words, you want the hardware to be fully compatible. At the same time, it doesn’t hurt to make sure that the scope and the rifle are a good fit in terms of appearance. In the final analysis, the most accurate rifle in the world is less satisfying if it’s also very ugly to look at. At least, a lot of shooters tend to think so.
Secondly, you want to make sure that the eye relief is right for you. In other words, you need to make sure that distance from the scope’s eyepiece to your eye is the right distance. Most importantly, you want to make sure that you can position the scope for this eye relief without interfering with the function of the gun. In other words, if the right eye relief interferes with operating a rifle’s bolt, there is a problem with that setup. That’s just one example.
Thirdly, actually install the scope. In other words, go through the process of mounting the scope and getting the mounting hardware fastened. At the same time, don’t tighten everything down all the way. If you understand bore sighting a scope, then you’ll understand why. In other words, you want to be able to move the scope around during the next step in the process. By the same token, however, you want it tight enough that it isn’t just moving all over the place.
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How to Sight in a Scope, Step 2: Bore Sighting a Scope
Prior to installing a scope, you must make sure the rifle is stable. In other words, if the rifle is moving around during the process, your effort is wasted. From time to time a shooter will try to take shortcuts in sighting in a scope. In the long run, this is a mistake. If mounting a scope to your rifle is worth doing at all, then it’s worth doing right. You don’t want to waste our time and effort when you could be making your rifle a more accurate tool. Moreover, the goal of all rifle accessories is to make your task easier. What is the task of shooting, after all? In the first place, it is to put a projectile downrange. In the second place, it is to do so accurately. Shooting at a target is useless if you don’t actually hit it, after all.
For this reason, your rifle needs to be on a rest. There are a number of ways you can accomplish this at this time. Firstly, you can buy a commercial rifle rest. In other words, you can pay the money for what is essentially a vice that you lock your rifle in. At the same time, there are a number of different rifle rests available at different price points. Sighting in a scope is easy when you have the best possible rifle rest available to you.
Secondly, you might choose a number of improvised or homemade rests. Most importantly, anything you use is fine as long as it keeps the rifle stable and level. In the final analysis, what matters is that the scope stays level, stable, and does not move. Right? In other words, whatever you do that can accomplish this goal will work. This is important.
In the meantime, you should be bore sighting a scope that you want on your rifle. This means that you have the scope installed but not tightened down all the way. Put the rifle in the rest. Thereafter, follow this very simple procedure for bore sighting in a scope. Firstly, make sure the rifle is stable. Secondly, line up the crosshairs on the target at the appropriate range (often 100 yards). Thirdly, make sure that everything is the way you want it. In other words, your cheek weld should be perfect. At the same time, your eye relief should be perfect. Before you move on to the next step, you want to make sure that everything about your scope arrangement is how you want it to be.
How to Sight in a Scope, Step 3: Tighten Up The Scope
Before you tighten up the scope, there is something else to consider. If you don’t take the time to eliminate “reticle cant,” then your work will be for nothing. Firstly, make sure that the crosshairs are lined up for windage. Secondly, make sure the crosshairs are lined up for elevation. At the same time, make sure that the scope is parallel to the target and not somehow off kilter. In the final analysis, what matters is that everything is lined up properly.
The first thing to remember about tightening down the scope is that you might shift the scope in the process. Be very careful prior to tightening to make sure that the scope is aligned correctly. If you’re sure that everything is good to go, then you’re ready to dog it all down. Firstly, carefully tighten everything. At the same time, make sure you perform your adjustments smoothly and easily. Secondly, go slow and be gradual. Most importantly, make no sudden or jerky movements. Finally, make sure as you tighten the scope that it does not shift by even the smallest amount.
At this instant you still aren’t done. To begin with, tightening a scope is only the start of the process. Sooner or later, you’re still going to have to make live fire adjustments. So far, you’ve just been making the process a little easier for yourself. Don’t forget that to assist in this process, you can use a laser bore sighter. This is a device that projects a laser beam down the barrel of the gun from inside the chamber. (It might also be mounted on the end of the barrel.) Using a laser bore sight doesn’t change the process of bore sighting a scope, but it does make the overall process of sighting in a scope a little faster and easier.
How to Sight in a Scope, Step 4: Fire Three to Five Shot Groups
There are a number of things to consider when you get to the point of live fire. Remember that scopes have different adjustments. In other words, a click of your scope’s turret might be one-fourth-of-an-inch at one hundred yards. Depending on the scope, it could be different. Most importantly, knowing the amount of adjustment will make it easier for you to make fine differences in the point of impact.
From time to time you might think that installing accessories on your rifle is boring. Then again, you might think it simply isn’t fun. Sooner or later, however, you’ll get to the fun part. That time is now. Now, it’s time to engage in the process of live fire to test out the scope you’ve just been bore sighting. The first thing to remember is that bore sighting a scope should get you on the paper. If you don’t engage in that process, then sighting in your scope will take a lot longer than it needs to take. Now, though, you get to do the fun part of shooting.
Remember to fire small groups only. These should be three to five shots at most. Firstly, line up your scope on the target. At the same time, make sure you’re shooting from the rest. If you try to sight in the scope without using the rest, you’ll just be adding more variables to the process. From the rifle rest, get ready to take your shots. Make sure your cheek weld is perfect. Make sure your eye relief is perfect. If you did your homework in the earlier stages of the process, then this should be easy. To begin with, the rifle should already be sort of dialed in. This time, you should be making only fine adjustments.
Firstly, fire a shot. Don’t forget that the first shot may be kind of a “flier,” especially if the rifle has just been cleaned. At the same time, try to make every shot count. Most importantly, fire your rifle the same way each time. Don’t introduce any unnecessary changes or variables as you shoot. Go slow and easy. Watch where that shot goes and, most importantly, assess the shot. Should your scope’s point of impact change? In what direction and by how much should it change?
Secondly, take another shot. At the same time, don’t worry if it is a good distance away from the first shot. Most importantly, remember that you’re firing groups. In other words, you’re firing to make an average. One or two shots does not make an average. Thirdly, take at least one more shot. At the same time, remember that you could take one or two more. In other words, your live fire shots should be groups of at least three. If you shoot more, then shoot no more than five.
At this point it might be useful to have a spotting scope. This allows you to assess your shots without walking downrange each time. Firstly, analyze the overall grouping. How tight is it? If you’re shooting from a bench, then the shots should be fairly tight. Most importantly, if your shooting is consistent from the bench, shots should be tighter. Secondly, analyze the position of the grouping relative to the bullseye. What adjustments should you make in order to get your shots inside it?
How to Sight in a Scope, Step 5: Be Patient and Make Small Adjustments
As long as you are patient, this process will be easy. In due time, you’ll get your shots where you want them. Just go slow, making your shots slowly and smoothly. Be as consistent as you can. Repeat the process of making your shots, assessing them, and adjusting the scope in small increments. Most importantly, resist the urge to make large changes. If you make a huge change, then you’ll just spend that much more time getting the shots back on track again. The more patient you are, the more adjustments you make, the more dialed in your shots will be. In the final analysis, this is what it takes to sight in a scope. How to sight in a rifle scope is less important than the methodology you use to execute that plan.
How to Sight in a Scope, Step 6: Enjoy Your Handiwork
In conclusion, when you’re done with the process, your rifle will be a tack driver. If you have paid attention to the steps as described, then you’re well on your way. By the time you reach the end of your adjustments, you’ll be able to see the results of your work. Your rifle will be as accurate as you choose to make it. Once you have a truly accurate setup for your rifle, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a better shooter. Your rifle is a tool whose job is to make you more accurate. Let it do that job for you.