How to Sight in a Rifle Scope: The Ultimate Guide

If you are aspiring to be an avid rifle hunter or owner, you cannot avoid learning how to sight in a rifle scope. While some people find it easy to grasp the basic knowledge about sighting in a rifle, others find it challenging. Consistency can help you master everything related to the intricate process of sighting in a rifle.

Rifles are used in many areas with hunting as the primary use. Failing to sight your rifle scope increases your chances of missing a target. Once you have mastered how to sight in a rifle scope, everything else becomes easy. Whether you have a handgun, rifle, or shotgun, this simple guide on how to sight in a rifle scope will come in handy.

Steps to Take before Shooting

Every successful sharpshooter attained such a title by learning the basics and having the right shooting tools and equipment. If you are hoping to be accurate when shooting with a long range, you must have a rifle scope. Second, learn how to sight in a rifle scope as this influences the accuracy of your shots significantly. Even though it requires a lot of technical knowledge, there are necessary steps that anybody can follow to learn how to use a rifle scope appropriately and successfully.

CVLIFE 3-9x40 Optics R4 Reticle Crosshair Scope with 20mm Free Mounts
  • Specification: 3-9x40
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Objective Diameter: 1.57" (40mm)
  • Exit pupil: 0.2"-0.67"
  • Length: 12.20"
Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X32, Matte)
  • Truezero fingertip windage and elevation adjustment system
  • Qta (quick target acquisition) eyepiece for fast, easy target acquisition
  • Fully coated, high-quality optics for bright, high-contrast target image
  • 8-Point

Install Your Scope Properly

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Checking whether the scope is appropriately installed should be your first step before shooting. A majority of the rifles come with a mounting system. Not all scope bases can fit in any scope ring. Check whether the scope rings and mount are a perfect fit for your rifle.

Adjust the Eye Distance

Your success at shooting starts with sighting a clear image of your target. Situating your eyepiece well allows you a sharp and clear image. The distance left between your eye and the scope plays a significant role when sighting a rifle scope. You will need to tune the scope carefully to create the ideal amount of relief to your eye.

The ideal eye distance should be far enough to avoid any injuries on the eyes because of the recoil effect.

Level Up

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A sturdy shooting position is necessary when sighting in a rifle scope. You should use a bipod or a shooting bench that has a mount to achieve the right shooting level. While any of these methods can work well, the use of a rifle mount is much preferred since it lowers the recoil significantly. It holds the rifle securely on the target.

Different rifle mounts are available in the market. Choosing a mount that is not compatible with your rifle scope can be disastrous. Thus, you need to be careful to select a mount that works for your rifle scope.

Align the Reticle

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Aligning the reticle is a critical aspect necessary when sighting in a rifle scope. However, not many shooters put this into consideration. Having a canted reticle (a case of imperfect alignment of the scope's crosshairs and the elevation direction or the windage adjustment) is costly for any shooter. It results in missed shots, especially if you are firing 250 yards away from the target.

There are different ways you can align your reticle. The simplest method is to keep the scope pointed at a solid background and try to focus on an object at a distance using your eyes before you can refocus with the scope. This practice should help you determine whether the reticle is blurry or in focus. If blurry, use the diopter to adjust the scope until you achieve a focused and clear reticle.

Bore Sight Your Rifle Scope

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It is advisable to bore sight a new scope after you have mounted it on a rifle before making any shots. Ensure that your gun is not loaded and that nothing obstructs the barrel. Unbolt and fit the rifle securely at a downrange pointing direction. While looking through the bore, move the rifle carefully such that the target is centered.

You can opt for a laser boresight, which is fitted on the rifle's chamber and achieves the same results–to center the reticle in the rifle's direction.

Set Your Minute of Angle (MOA)

The Minute of Angle is an important aspect to master when learning how to sight in a rifle scope. Every shooter should consider the MOA before firing a rifle. The number of clicks you turn the windage knob or the elevation determines the impact move on the bullet. For example, four clicks on the knob result in a one-inch bullet impact move.

Make three-shot groups; these help in determining whether your rifle scope is aligned correctly and whether the shots are on target. The level at which you sight in a rifle scope depends on the application. It is advisable to consider sighting at above 100 yards. It all depends on your preferences. Despite this, you should master your MOA because it helps you make the required adjustments depending on the distance and the target.

How to Sight in a Rifle Scope - Fine Tune It

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It can be challenging to achieve the right focus at once. You should keep tweaking; vary the distances and refocus up to when you achieve consistent hits near the bullseye. Once you master how to focus and make on-target shots, do not relax; practice with far-away targets. However, it is necessary to remember that other factors can affect your shots. For example, the target's distance, rifle scope, and environmental factors, like the direction of the wind, determine your shot's accuracy.

Things To Do When Shooting

Pulling the trigger of any rifle discharges a firearm. While it sounds simple, it is problematic for most shooters, including experienced ones. It is important to be careful when shooting. Here are a few things to do when shooting to make sure you make safe and successful shots.

  1. Position your arm well: It is advisable to extend your arms fully when shooting. However, this does not mean that you lock them. Relax your shoulders.
  2. Align your foot and legs: there are several approaches to position your foot and leg when shooting. You can choose the side-to-side or front-to-back positions. In case you consider the front-to-back option, ensure that you rearward the strong-hand side leg in a range of about 12–18 inches. The exact distance depends on one's strength weight and balance.
  3. If you opt for the side-to-side position, you maintain stability and a high comfort level by leaving a hip-width distance between one foot and the other. You can lock your knees or bend them a little for maximum stability.
  4. Body positioning: Ensure that your torso leans forward slightly. It is not advisable to bend backward, especially at the shoulder, hip, or waist area. Keep the shoulders at a forward position relative with the hips.
  5. Maintain a firm grip: The security of your body is paramount when shooting, and this starts with how you hold the gun. Hold your gun firmly with a proper grip.

Key Tips and Information to Remember

Every rifle hunter or owner must understand how to sight in a rifle scope. Here are a few things to remember which will be useful when sighting in a rifle scope.

  1. Often check the scope mounts for tightness. You should keep them not too tight, as this might break or even strip the screws.
  2. Always ensure that the scope is leveled. A poor or unleveled scope shoots off the paper.
  3. Do not disregard the paper. Shooting off the target is frustrating.
  4. Sight with the same ammunition. Usually, ammunitions differ in terms of their batches. For accuracy of shots, it is advisable to sight in with the same ammo as anything different can lead to inaccurate shots.
  5. A shooter accomplishes several things for a gun to fire. Your role is to pull the trigger. If you do it correctly, you will not experience any movement, and you can be assured of accurate shots. Jerking or flinching when shooting causes an off-target shot.
  6. Always ensure that you hold the gun firmly.

Conclusion

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Every sharpshooter should learn the basics of installing and how to sight in a rifle scope. Make sure you practice regularly to gain the confidence needed in developing the right target shooting skills. Every successful shooter started by learning how to sight in a rifle scope. It takes a lot of confidence and practice to make successful long shots, as this ensures that you know what goes into aligning a rifle scope and what to do before and when shooting. It is important you master the tips highlighted above.

How successful you are at making shots depends on your accuracy in sighting in the rifle focus. Therefore, learn what mounts align with your rifle scope and establish and stick to the same batches you used when sighting. In addition, make sure you sample different rifle scopes to buy the one that matches your rifle and shooting needs.