Sight a rifle scope correctly, and you'll complete the most important step for rifle hunters and recreational shooters.
Sighting in, or zeroing, a rifle scope can be intimidating and frustrating for inexperienced shooters. However, there are four steps you can use in order to make this task easy and successful.
1. Bore sight your scope before hitting the range
A bore sighter is a device that you use in order to line up the crosshairs of your scope with a specific point. There are many styles of bore sighters you can choose from.
A common style uses a laser that is either inserted in the muzzle or the chamber of your rifle where you align your crosshairs. The other attaches to your muzzle via a magnet and has an illuminated picture of a target that you align your cross hairs with.
I would recommend going to your local gun retailer and asking for advice in order for you to choose the best bore sighter for your needs and specific equipment. This technique may help you save on ammunition while adjusting your sights at the range.
2. Use proper techniques in order to shoot as accurately as possible
Whether you choose to bore sight your scope or not, it is important that you utilize proper shooting techniques while at the range in order to get the most accurate zero possible.
I would highly recommend shooting from a supported position while zeroing. I prefer to shoot from a bench while placing my rifle on some sandbags or a backpack. You can also purchase a gun vise. Both methods will help to reduce excessive movement of your rifle.
Proper trigger and breathing control are vital to the accuracy of your shot. It is vital to remember that you slowly squeeze the trigger until the rifle fires. Do not rapidly pull or jerk the trigger. This could cause your rifle to move off target resulting in a your point of aim being different than your point of impact.
I often dry fire my rifle a few times to practice my trigger pull prior to taking a shot. Also before taking a shot, you should exhale and hold through your trigger pull and until your bullet has impacted your target. If you breathe while firing, your bullets will impact the target in a vertical pattern. Again, this can result in your point of impact being different than your point of aim.
3. Fire in groups
It is important to remember that while you're zeroing your scope, you should fire in at least three-round groups.
This will make it possible for you to accurately gauge where your point of aim and point of impact are.
For example, if during one of your shots the bullet impacts way to the left, taking two more shots will help to determine if that was due to shooter error -- i.e. jerking the trigger -- or if that is where you need to adjust your crosshairs from.
4. Be patient
Many factors come into play while making an accurate shot. Zeroing your scope can be time consuming and frustrating, especially when a box of ammo costs $25.
Having patience and utilizing the techniques listed above will help you achieve an accurate zero, making it possible for you to enjoy your time at the range or to harvest that trophy buck you've spent all season chasing.
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Featured image via GunDigest.com