How To Sight In a Rifle Scope?

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How To Sight In a Rifle Scope

Have you ever found yourself in the wilderness, rifle in hand, only to miss your target because your scope was slightly off? In the world of hunting and shooting, a rifle is only as good as its scope.

But what if the scope isn’t properly sighted? A misaligned scope can turn an otherwise excellent day in the great outdoors into a frustrating one.

Sighting in a rifle scope isn’t just about improving your accuracy, it’s about understanding your firearm, and becoming a more confident, ethical hunter or shooter.

How To Sight In a Rifle Scope?

The process can be challenging, often requiring a blend of patience, precision, and practical know-how. But with the right guidance, anyone can master this crucial skill.

In this guide, I will demystify the process, taking you step-by-step through the art and science of sighting in a rifle scope.

I’ll teach you how to transform your missed shots into bullseyes, ensuring your rifle scope becomes your most trusted ally in every shooting expedition.

Proper Installation of Scope

Nowadays, most of the guns are come in the market, having a built-in installation of scopes. So, it’s possible that the gun you have had a piece of pre-installed equipment. But you can customize your gun by yourself through proper installation because every scope fits only in its definite base.

So this step is first and of foremost importance when you want to sight in a rifle scope. You should follow the following steps for proper installation:

  • Match bases with rings
  • Fit your bases
  • Use a thread freezing element to fit your scope completely.
  • Adjust the reticle of your gun properly
  • Make sure to save your eye by adjusting the eye relief.
  • Tight the bolts 
  • Insert a boresight 

1. Maintain an Eye Distance:

It would help if you placed your eye so that you can see the image more clearly and easily found the targeted object. The distance between you and your scope is the most important factor. If you do not maintain a proper distance, then the scope may recoil back towards you. It can result in serious injuries. Make sure your scope has enough eye distance where you see the image completely at the best eye relief.

2. Stable your Rifle’s Level

If you need a complete and proper sight, then you must avail of a proper shooting position. You can fix your rifle on a bench or a stool so that your rifle couldn’t shake. In this way, you will be able to achieve your target easily. The use of a bench reduces the backing scope if you have to hold your rifle in the right position. Many types of mounts are available in the market that is specially made for scope sighting. 

3. Avoid Reticle Cant

In reticle cant, you miss your shot left or right of the target if the crossheads of your scope are not bringing into line. You must check that the reticle of your scope is properly aligned to achieve your goal.

4. Set MOA of your Riflescope

MOA stands for Minutes of Angle. Here you need to set your target at multiple positions. But first, you must have a stable position (you can fix your rifle scope on a bench). Every rifle scope allows using its Minutes of Angle. Mostly provide ¼ MOA increments. The hunters use ¼ and 1/8 MOA. If you are using ¼, you must make the bullet effect move 1 MOA at 100 yards. Check the below list for variation in distances:

200 yards = ½ inch

400 yards = 1 inch

800 yards = 2 inch

5. Fire in three-shot groups

As you have set your minutes of angle now, it’s time to check whether you are holding a proper position or not. You need to fire in three-shot groups, and then you should check where these three shots are targeted. You must know which minutes of an angle you set. So in this way you can set your targets on various distances.

6. Let the barrel of your rifle cool

Once you found that your rifle scope is getting hot. It would be best if you let it cool. You can rest while your rifle is getting cool because it might be possible that you have difficulty holding a warm rifle. And if you hold it while it was hot, so you might encounter some or more injuries.

7. Clean the rifle scope

Once your rifle is cool, clean it. There are no restrictions on cleaning it. But if you found that you have approximately done 20 shots, you need to clean your rifle scope so that you can get the best quality of shooting again and again.

8. Keep tuning

Now you should set different goals for yourself to master yourself in hunting. set your target on different distances and shot on different minutes of angles. You should keep the atmosphere in your mind because with distance and angles; the environment can also be changed if you are shooting at two different times. Like sometimes, there may be a calm atmosphere; at other times, wind may be blowing.

9. Gain zero rifle scope

Zero rifle scope ensures that your hit the aimed completely. There is no fire left or right the target. The only way to get zero rifle scope is to practice again and again. Keep yourself more confident and more active to practice it. One should have the patience and courage to master oneself in hunting. You cannot get it in only one sitting, and you should set your schedule that how much time you will consume in the shooting.

Sighting through a scope is an important skill for a sharp, active shooter and is hopeful for achieving goals. If you follow the article’s steps, you will surely get the confidence to enhance your shooting skills.

Know How to mount

How to mount a scope on rifle

Final Verdict

With every shot you take, remember that practice makes perfect. Sighting in your rifle scope doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

Follow these steps and, over time, you’ll transform your misfires into consistent bullseyes. Remember, the right shot starts with the right sight.

So, don’t wait! Start today and master the art of rifle scope sighting. If you found this guide helpful, share it with your fellow hunters and shooters.

Also See My comparison of Chipmunk and Crickett Rifle


What is sight in a rifle scope?

Sighting in a rifle scope is the process of aligning the scope with the rifle’s barrel to ensure accurate shots at a specific distance, improving shooting precision and consistency.

How far should I sight my rifle?

The distance at which you should sight in your rifle can depend on several factors such as the type of rifle, the ammunition you’re using, and your intended purpose (hunting, target shooting, etc.

For most hunting rifles, the common distances are between 100 to 200 yards. This is based on the average shot distance for most hunting scenarios.

How far can you see with a rifle scope?

The distance you can see with a rifle scope depends on the magnification power of the scope. A scope with a 1x magnification makes objects appear the same size as they would to the naked eye. A 10x magnification makes objects appear ten times larger, and so on.

Is it hard to sight a rifle?

Sighting a rifle can be challenging for beginners due to the precision and patience required. However, with clear instructions, the right tools, and consistent practice, it becomes a manageable task that even novices can master. The key is understanding your rifle, your scope, and how to make the necessary adjustments for accurate shots.

What tool is used to sight-in a rifle?

The main tools used to sight-in a rifle are a stable gun rest or a shooting bench, a boresighter, and targets placed at specific distances. A boresighter helps align the barrel of the rifle with the rifle scope before fine-tuning at the range. The gun rest or bench ensures stability during the process.

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I quit my job as a high-powered lawyer to pursue the outdoors. I spend most of my time fishing and hunting but am also an avid shooter with two years experience writing about firearms related topics.

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