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Fast and Easy Sight In with your Hunting Rifle

If you want to hit your mark during the hunt, you need to make sure your optics are zeroed. After you’ve properly mounted your scope, you absolutely have to head to the range to sight in.

Remington-Model783-Mia-Anstine

Mia and the Little Gal is sponsored by Remington.

A bore sight can save you some time by getting you on paper, depending on the size of the target. However, it’s imperative to take the time to hit the bullseye of your target before you pursue live game.

I’ve had many friends complain that sighting in is a costly and time-consuming process. Expensive…and the price of ammo doesn’t appear to be going down any time soon. But if you have time to hunt, you better make time to consider the destination of your shots.

In light of those facts, let me share a quick way to get your crosshairs on target that requires minimal shots fired.

Years ago I had a friend who would fire a couple shots, then click-click-click move the minutes of angle horizontal or vertically. Then there would be another few shots fired, and another click-click would follow. The process was repeated numerous times, until the chain of bullet holes finally hit the bullseye.

Of course, moving the minutes of angle up or down is always required when sighting in, but there’s no need to produce so many holes in the target.

Quick and Easy Sight In

You will need the following:

  • A rifle with a properly mounted scope.
  • A shooting bench and rest. I use a Caldwell Lead Sled.
  • One box of ammunition, in the grade you intend to hunt with.
  • Paper targets.
  • A binocular or spotting scope.
  • A friend. (Not required but comes in handy.)

*Always follow safety rules when handling firearms.

rifle, sighting, hunting, sight, lead sled

The Caldwell Lead Sled

Start off with your targets mounted downrange. I suggest zeroing your hunting rifle at 200 yards. This distance can be adjusted according to your preference. Make sure your shooting bench is sturdy and your shooting rest is resting squarely upon it.

Place your rifle securely in the shooting rest and load one cartridge into the chamber. Place the crosshairs directly on the center of the bullseye and fire one shot. Use the binocular or spotting scope to check the location of impact on the target. If the impact is 3 inches high and 5 inches right, make note of it. Then repeat the shot, for accuracy purposes, to find a shot grouping. Again, place the rifle securely in the rest and fire one round at the bullseye.

If the second shot is in the same area of the target as the first, you’re ready for scope adjustment. If not, continue the process of aiming at the bullseye to find the location of the shot group. (Do not compensate by moving your crosshairs on the target.) If you cannot determine a shot group, clear your gun and head back to the shop to double-check your scope.

Once you have a shot grouping, this is where a friend comes in handy. First, remove the adjustment covers on the scope. With the rifle still in the shooting rest, look through the scope and place the crosshairs on the holes you’ve shot in the target. In this case we’re looking at approximately 3 inches high and 5 inches right.

Hold-on-existing-holes-adjust-scope-to-bullseye-Mia-Anstine-photo

As you peer through the scope, at the holes in the target, have your friend move the windage and elevations of adjustments, down and left, until your crosshairs come back to the bullseye. Do not move the rifle during this process.

Scope-Turrets

The dials on the turrets show the direction you’re moving the bullet’s impact.

Now your scope’s crosshairs are on the bullseye. You’ll need to fire two more shots, to double-check the accuracy, but you should be dialed in and good to go for the hunt. If all goes well, you’re looking at four shots fired. You may want, or need, to fire additional rounds for fine-tuning.

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Now that’s how you sight in a rifle!

Now you’re all set for the hunt. Don’t forget you always need to double-check the accuracy after you’ve traveled with your rifle, even if you’ve had it securely stowed in a hard case.

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