Having the ability to sight in is an ability that you should be able to have. For starters, you can use a bow stand, but as you can’t always carry it with you, it’s recommended that you should also know how to do it without it as time passes and you learn more.
What does it all mean?
Because of the obvious reasons, sighting in a scope is often referred to as zeroing a scope. Because it is so vital, it becomes quite inconvenient when something goes wrong – and you know from personal experience how frequently things may go wrong. Do not be concerned, as we have prepared some pointers to ensure that you will have no difficulties when it comes to participating in this activity.
In a scope, what exactly is the value zero? Simply put, it is when you line the position at which the scope is pointing with the point at which the barrel of the gun you are using is pointed. It doesn’t appear to be too difficult, does it? Despite the fact that it isn’t rocket science, there is still a lot of practice required before you can claim to have mastered this skill.
Before you begin using the scope in this exercise, you must first install and configure it to the right specifications for the task at hand. Following that, you’ll need to make an educated guess as to how far away you want your scope to be sighted in at with your rifle. When you first begin, sighting in at a distance of approximately 50 to 100 yards will be the most convenient alternative because it will be easier until you understand the “how-to.”
However, even if you want to sight in at a longer distance (such as 250–300 yards), we recommend that you execute the initial sight-in at a much lower distance to begin with. After you’ve completed this step, you can adjust the scope so that it can reach the longer-range zero point.
Use a stable platform
Shops are stocked with a variety of instruments designed to assist you in sighting in a scope, so let’s concentrate on one in particular: bore-sighting. This is something that can be accomplished quickly and without the use of any specialized equipment. As you can probably anticipate, if you choose a stable platform, you will achieve extremely efficient results and will have a greater chance of things going according to plan overall.
The majority of shooting ranges have a sturdy shooting bench, which is, of course, ideal – as long as it is not one that moves about the facility. You’ll also need a sturdy rifle rest to keep the gun steady. For example, you can use a gun vice or shooting bags, but make sure that these items are stable when you use them so that everything runs smoothly and efficiently.
It is necessary for you to look down the bore (or more commonly known as barrel) of your gun in order to line the scope with the gun when bore-sighting. If we’re talking about a bolt-action rifle, all you have to do is remove the bolt, which will provide a pretty nice view down the barrel, allowing you to get things done quickly and easily.
For those of you who are using an AR-style rifle, you must ensure that the bolt is pointed forward. You’ll then need to remove the two pins that are holding the higher to the bottom and pull the two halves apart. Last but not least, you must remove the bolt. At the end of the process, you will have an upper receiver that does not have a bolt, which allows you to see down the barrel clearly.
Working with the target
As soon as you have the rifle or upper on the rest that you have decided to use, you must point it in the direction of the target that you have decided to use. Use a larger target with great contrast, such as the NRA SR-1, to see if you can obtain better results. This font has a dark center on a light backdrop, which should make it much easier to see the zero in the equation.
When the handgun is in the rest and the target is at the distance that you choose, you’ll have to look directly through the barrel to see what you’re shooting at. Start looking around once you’ve started going through it to make sure you’ll be able to find the target. As soon as you set it on the target, you must align the center of the target with the bore center so that it seems to be on the target center.
A major reason why you should choose the type of target we specified is because the dot is dark and large enough for you to focus on, allowing you to bracket it exactly in the middle of the bore, which will improve your accuracy. When you’ve achieved the proper alignment, you must proceed with caution so that you don’t accidentally move the gun around.
Because the bore has been aligned with the target, you’ll need to align the scope as well, which will take some time. Make sure you don’t touch your rifle or upper receiver, and try to look through the scope so you can see exactly where the reticle is pointed. In addition, because you won’t be able to move the gun, you won’t be able to put your face in the traditional down position used for shooting.
Fortunately, you’ll be able to see through the scope while wearing it. It’s time to make adjustments to the windage and elevation of the scope while looking through it. Continue to do so until the reticle of the sight is perfectly aligned with the center of the target.
There is a good probability that you will have to repeat the task a couple of times because even if you are an expert, you may find that the position of the rifle when adjusting the scope is somewhat different from the first time.
After you’ve centered the reticle on the target, you’ll need to glance through the bore to make sure it hasn’t moved and is still aligned with the target. If it has moved, all you have to do is re-align the barrel to the target and adjust the reticle to compensate. Simply repeat the process until both of them are aligned on the same location as they were before they were aligned.
Once you have the bore-sight in the proper position, reassemble the upper and lower receivers or reinstall the bolt as necessary. A bore-sight will almost certainly never be flawless, but it exists so that you can be directed in the direction of your intended target. After that, you’ll be able to make more accurate modifications.
Shoot and reposition
Afterwards, fire a shot down range to finish. Make any necessary changes based on the information provided by the markings on the scope (R stands for right, while U is used for up).
This means that if you miss by one inch to your right and your scope offers 14 Minute of Angle per click adjustments, moving the windage by four clicks in the direction that the L is pointing will most likely move the point of impact to your left, improving your aim.
Carry out many tests by firing a couple of rounds after each modification you make to ensure that it will travel in the direction you like it to move.
After everything has been resolved, the next step is to zero out the dials because they have moved away from the 0 markings. This can vary depending on the scope type that you are using, so you’ll need to consult the handbook to be certain of what you should do at this particular point.
Nonetheless, in the majority of cases, the scope will have a few screws that can be used to rewind the clock (by turning them loose). Once again, it is necessary to return the dial to the 0 positions; however, you must be careful not to disturb the adjustment you have made beneath it. After that, you must reinstall the screws and tighten them again.
A useful tip
We’ve created a tiny tip for you to utilize in order to ensure that everything goes as intended. Use it to ensure that everything turns out as anticipated. This advice is especially valuable for beginners, but you may find yourself referring to it even after you’ve achieved mastery of the craft for a long period of time.
So, without further ado, here’s what you need to know in case you have trouble with the rounds on paper. That being the case, you might want to consider clustering a handful of targets together to increase the overall impact area of your projectile. As soon as you’ve seen the hole, you’ll be able to tell which direction you need to make the adjustments in order to center the scope. Wishing you the best of luck!
Charles Reynolds is an engineer from New York University with a passion for fishing. His earliest memories of fishing go back to the days spent on the lake with his grandfather who taught him the sport. Reynolds spends a large part of his holidays fishing with his son and passing on the skills to the little one.