Please remember this is only a guide, sighting in your gun
at a range is always the best bet.
are like people and have individual characteristics. Two identical
rifles made by the same manufacturer, although alike may shoot
differently. Every rifle will fire different ammunition brands and
different ammunition grains with varying degrees of accuracy. The
following procedure takes these factors into account as you should if
you wish to be accurate in your shooting.
Tools You Will Need
The rifle and scope you will be shooting
No less than two different types of ammo from different
manufacturers and with different loads. (We suggest you try at
Several paper or cardboard targets.
A bore sighter. (Available at gun shops and sporting goods stores,
an inexpensive item.)
A pair of good binoculars or viewing scope
Tools for adjusting your scope. (See the instructions that came
with your scope.)
A felt marker to identify groupings on the target.
Appropriate safety equipment such as ear plugs or other hearing
protection, and safety glasses or other eye protection
FOLLOW ALL SAFETY RULES WHILE HANDLING YOUR FIREARM. REMEMBER TO CARRY
YOUR FIREARM UNLOADED, BREECH OPEN, AND NEVER POINTED IN THE DIRECTION
OF ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL.
located an appropriate location to fire your rifle, you need to set up a
target at a distance of 100 yards* from your shooting location . You
should use a comfortable gun rest to eliminate as much human error as
Making certain the rifle is empty with no cartridge in the chamber and
the breech open , follow the instructions that came with your bore
sighter and install the bore sighter in the muzzle of your rifle lining
it up with the scope as close as possible.
Now, sighting through the scope as though you were going to shoot you
should see two sets of cross hairs. One set is a plain cross hair (this
is the one in the scope itself) and another set which is graduated or on
a grid (this is the one in the bore sighter). These cross hairs should
line up with each other vertically, horizontally and in complete
alignment. If the vertical and horizontal cross hairs are not parallel
with each other, adjust the bore sighter whatever direction it needs to
turn in order to achieve this.
Next you need to get the cross hairs to cross or meet at precisely the
same location. If they do not do that you will need to adjust your scope
so they do. There are two adjustments on any scope. One for elevation
(usually on top) and another for windage (usually on the side). Follow
the directions that came with your scope for how to access these
adjustments and what tool to use (i.e.. screwdriver, etc.) to make this
adjustment. Proceed to adjust your scope right, left, up, or down until
the cross hairs match. Remove the bore sighter from the muzzle! Make
sure you have removed the bore sighter from the end of the muzzle!! Load
one cartridge into the chamber and close the breech. Take aim at the
target bulls eye and squeeze off one round. Open the breech and be
certain the rifle is not loaded then go check your target close up. If
the one round you fired hit anywhere on the target you have done well.
Don't be concerned that it was not on the bulls eye. That will come
later. You have now completed the first step.
*If you are not hitting the paper target at all in step one, move the
target closer in 25 yard increments until you do consistently hit
somewhere on the target. You cannot make any scope adjustments if you do
not know which direction to make it. Once you initially hit the target
sheet you can make adjustments and then gradually move the target back
out to the 100 yard mark.
2 The next
step is to test ammunition . As was mentioned in the introduction, no
two ammunitions will behave in the same manner when fired from the same
rifle. This may be one of the most important steps in sighting in any
firearm and is the one that is most frequently omitted. Do not bypass
Select one type of ammo and fire three separate shots at the target with
that ammo. Using your binoculars or spotting scope, locate the pattern
for those three shots. (If you do not have field glasses or prefer to
walk out to the target to check close up, always leave your rifle empty
with the breech open and carry it with you to insure against accidental
discharge.) Hopefully, there will be a tight pattern of bullet holes in
one particular area of the target. Use the marker to label this
grouping. Again, it is not terribly important if the pattern is in the
bulls eye or not, but keep in mind the bulls eye is what you are aiming
Repeat this procedure with the other brands of ammo you are testing.
Always fire three shots or more to get an accurate grouping. Two shots
are simply not enough to determine anything. When you have finished with
all the ammo you care to test, you will have marked and identified each
grouping and its relationship to the center of the bulls eye.
Now you can select the type of ammunition which produced the tightest
grouping closest to the center bulls eye. This is the ammunition you
should use with this rifle. This does not indicate that the other brands
and grains of ammunition are not any good, they simply are not the
ammunition best suited for this particular rifle. You have now completed
3 In step
three you will use the ammunition you have selected as the best for that
rifle and make adjustments in the elevation and windage of your scope
based upon the pattern you are shooting. The elevation needs to be
adjusted to provide the most accurate shot possible even though the
distance from you to your target in the field can range any where from
50 to 500 yards, depending on your scope and rifle. To accomplish this
set your elevation so the pattern hits the target about three inches
above the bulls eye. This will not alter closer shots significantly and
will compensate for the longer shots. The windage adjustment should
remain dead on center. Continue to fire no less than three shots to
locate your pattern then make the necessary adjustments to your scope to
achieve the three inch high dead on center pattern. When you are
confident you have accomplished this you have completed step three.
4 The final step in the procedure is to be sure the rifle is not
loaded, no cartridge in the chamber, and the breech open. Reinsert the
bore sighter lining it up by eye just like in the first step. Now, get
in the shooting position and record on a piece of paper exactly where
the scope's cross hairs are in relation to the bore sight cross hairs.
This is a little insurance in case you should bump or drop your rifle
while in the field. This kind of jarring can throw off the accuracy of
the scope. You can use the bore sighter to check the accuracy of the
scope. By referring to this record you made when sighting in your rifle,
you will be able to readjust the scope and be reasonably comfortable
that it is somewhat accurate. This completes step four and the complete