News

How to sight in your rifle scope.

The first step to sighting in your rifle scope is selecting the right scope for the job. When choosing the right scope for your rifle, you will need to consider several factors including how you will be using your rifle, your shooting style and your budget.

A popular scope for the average Australian hunter is the 3–9x40mm. This scope offers an excellent range of variable magnification and field of view that suits most types of hunting. 3x power allows for quick target acquisition in wooded areas and 9x power allows magnification for longer range shots.

Now that you have selected your scope we can move onto the process. Sighting in is the process of aligning your scope to the barrel of your rifle. Properly sighting in a scope takes time and patience. However, accuracy and subsequent successful harvests will be your reward.

Before you can begin to sight in your scope, you must check that the:

1.Scope mounts have been correctly fitted to the rifle

2.Mount screws have been torqued correctly.

Most quality rings and bases will have their recommended torque settings printed on the

packaging.

Consider using a type of thread lock on the scope mounting screws, to prevent the screws from coming loose particularly on heavy recoiling rifles.

To correctly sight in your rifle you will need to head to a range. While sighting in your rifle you will need the following tools: sturdy shooting bench and chair, bench rest or sand bags (front and rear), shooting mat, your scoped rifle, ammunition, several paper targets, bore sighter (arbour or laser type), spotting scope, screwdriver, marker pen, masking tape, eye protection, ear protection, dial calipers or a ruler.

Focusing using a locking ring scope

1.Turn up the magnification to the highest setting.

2.Loosen the locking ring (located behind the magnification dial).

3.Fast focus eye piece

Looking at a neutral background (such as a plain interior wall or a clear blue sky) shoulder the rifle and look through the scope. Do not look directly at the sun or a bright light.

4.If the crosshairs are out of focus, turn the eye piece counter clockwise until the crosshairs become clear.

5.Look away from the scope and rest your eyes for a few moments. This will give your eyes time to readjust.

6.Shoulder the rifle again and quickly glance at the crosshairs, then remove the rifle from your shoulder.

7.If the crosshairs are still out of focus, slightly adjust the eye piece until you find the correct setting.

8.Once you are happy with the setting, tighten the large locking ring

Focusing using a fast focus scope

1.Turn up the magnification to the highest setting.

2.Looking at a neutral background (such as a plain interior wall or a clear blue sky) shoulder the rifle and look through the scope.

Do not look directly at the sun or a bright light.

3.If the crosshairs are out of focus, turn the eye piece counter clockwise until the crosshairs become clear.

4.Look away from the scope and rest your eyes for a few moments. This will give your eyes time to readjust.

5.Shoulder the rifle again and quickly glance at the crosshairs, then remove the rifle from your shoulder.

6.If the crosshairs are still out of focus, slightly adjust the eye piece until you find the correct setting. The fast focus eye piece will remain in that position – you do not need to make any further adjustments.

When adjusting the focus on a locking ring or fast focus scope, do not look at the reticle. If you do, your eyes will automatically adjust to the out-of-focus crosshairs. If you stare at the

crosshairs for too long, your eyes will compensate. A quick glance is enough for your brain to recognise whether they are in focus or not.

Sight in your scope (bore sighting) Traditional bore sighting

You will easily be able to achieve a simple bore sighting-in technique by looking through the barrel of your rifle from the breech at a target positioned 25 metres away.

Make sure the rifle is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction.

1.Remove the bolt and magazine from the rifle.

2.Place a target at distance of 25 metres.

3.Place the rifle in a sturdy rest.

4.Look through the breech of the rifle and adjust the rifle until you can see the target through the bore (Figure A).

5.Centre the bore of the rifle on the target as best you can.

6.Look through the scope and try to locate the bullseye. If you cannot find the target, adjust the scope mounts to compensate.

7.Once you have located the bullseye in the scope, gently adjust the windage and elevation knobs to centre the crosshairs on the bullseye (Figure B).

8.Now look through the bore again to make sure the rifle hasn’t moved off the target. If it has, re-align the bore and repeat Step 7.

This technique should have your bullets hitting somewhere on the target.

Arbor bore sighter

Make sure the rifle is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction.

1.Remove the bolt and magazine.

2.Place the rifle in a sturdy rest.

3.Select the correct arbor for your caliber of rifle and attach it to the bore sighter.

4.Place the bore sighter into the muzzle of your rifle and make sure it is centred.

5.Look through the scope as if you are about to shoot.

6.Find the two sets of crosshairs: one set is the standard cross hair of your rifle scope (this is the one in the scope itself); the other is on a grid (this is the one in the bore sighter).

If the vertical and horizontal crosshairs are not parallel with each other, adjust the bore sighter from left to right.

7.Looking through the bore sighter, adjust the windage and elevation knobs until the crosshairs of your rifle scope line up perfectly with the crosshairs on the grid of the bore sighter.

Laser bore sighter

Make sure the rifle is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction.

1.Remove the bolt and magazine.

2.Place a target at a distance of 25 metres.

3.Place the rifle in a sturdy rest.

4.Attach the correct collet for the caliber of your rifle to the laser bore sighter.

5.Insert the laser bore sighter into the muzzle of your rifle.

Note: If you are using a chamber bore sighter, load the case into the breech and close the

bolt.

6.Turn on the unit. Some units will activate the laser once the bolt is closed.

7.Look through your scope and centre the crosshairs on the bullseye of your target.

8.Locate the laser beam on the target.

9.Use the windage and elevation adjustments of your scope to move the crosshairs to meet the laser.

10.Repeat at 50 metres and 100 metres.

Fine tune your shot

Once you have completed the initial bore sighting, you will need to fire a few live rounds to make sure they are hitting the target. The bullets won’t be hitting the bullseye just yet, so you will need to locate the bullet holes somewhere on the target.

If your bullet does not hit the target, you will need to boresight the scope again.

If your bullet does hit the target but not a bullseye, using your spotting scope or binoculars, locate your bullet hole on the target. Use the windage and elevation adjustments to adjust the crosshairs to meet the bullet hole.

Then take several shots one at a time checking the shot location between each shot to ensure it is on or near the bullseye.

Measure your group

A shot grouping is a measurement of accuracy. It refers to the closeness of a cluster of bullets that have been fired at a target. To be an ethical hunter, you must have a rifle, scope and ammunition combination that produces acceptable accuracy.

Hunting rifles should produce a shot grouping of less than 1 inch (25 mm); that is, 5 shots must land within a circle that has a diameter of 1 inch. This is also referred to as a sub-MOA (minute of angle) grouping.

If you are using your rifle to take shots at game out to 300 metres and beyond, the rifle must be capable of shooting a sub-MOA group at 100 metres. If the rifle is shooting a group of 1.5 inches (38 mm) at 100 metres, it will probably result in a clean miss at longer ranges. Worse still, you could wound a game animal. This is considered unethical as hunters must always aim for a clean, one-shot kill.

To measure your group, you will need a pair of dial calipers, or a simple ruler. Take your measurements from the furthest edges of the bullet holes of the group. To find the correct measurement, you will need to account for the diameter of the bullet by subtracting the bullet diameter from the group measurement.

HSSA hopes that this information will assist you in sighting in your rifle scope. The information in this blog is condensed from the NSW DPI Hunter LEAP Sighting in your rifle scope course. HSSA can run this course for interested groups. For more information on attending a course email HuntersShooters@outlook.com.

Scroll to top
0
Your Cart
Your cart is emptyJoin Now
Calculate Shipping
Apply Coupon