It doesn’t matter what you are hunting, your equipment must be working correctly and dialed in. This means making sure that your rifle is properly sighted in with the hunting scope that you will be using with it. A scope that is not sighted incorrectly will cause you to miss your target, or worse, wound an animal instead of killing it. Since this is so important, let’s talk about how to sight in a rifle with a scope!
1. Mount the Scope Correctly
While mounting a scope to a rifle seems straightforward, it has many things that can go wrong and cause problems down the road. The scope rings should be tight and torqued down to the recommended specifications. Too loose and the scope will move around, and too tight can damage it. The eye relief should also be set up correctly to make sure you don’t hit yourself with the scope when the rifle recoils.
2. Bore Sight the Rifle
The next thing you need to do is boresight of the rifle. Using a bore sight, line it up with the scope and center it on your target. Make sure your rifle is steady and on rest. Line up the scope with the center of the target as well, and ensure that the scope is tightened down properly once again.
3. Test and Shoot the Rifle
After a rifle has been bore sighted, it is now time to actually shoot and test it out. Bore sighting will get you close, but now it is time to see where it is actually hitting and make some more adjustments. Send a group of three rounds downrange, aiming for the same spot every time. See where this group is hitting and identify any patterns.
4. Adjust for Distance
The first thing you will want to do is adjust for distance. If your first group of bullets hit low, then you want to raise up the area that you are hitting. This is done by adjusting the distance on the scope. Give it a few clicks up (most scopes are labeled to help you know which way to turn it) and try another group of bullets to see where you are now. Remember to start small at first, as even the smallest adjustments will have a major difference downrange.
5. Adjust for Windage
While the distance is adjusting for up and down, windage is adjusting for left and right. This process is exactly the same as before, except for going left or right. Again, only make minor adjustments at one time, and then test it with some shots downrange. Once you have both your distance and windage dialed in, you should be hitting the bull’s eye every time!
Sighting in a rifle is super important, and should be constantly checked before every hunt. You can’t kill what you are after without a properly sighted rifle and scope, so hopefully, these steps will help you get the process down!
For more great ideas on how to fish and hunt from the experts, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Hunting & Fishing Blog for more great tips & tricks.