Hooked on HuntingPa
Back To Top
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NW Pennsylvania
Re: How should I sight in my rifle?
How should you site in your rifle?
If you have a rifle range at your disposal, I would go to the rifle range on a day with little to no wind.
Set up a target at the 100 yard mark.
Read the owners manual for the scope, not all scopes has 1/4 inch clicks.
Shoot 3 shots at the 100 yard target.
Disregard the first shot. Make sure to use a spotter or spotting scope and if you use a spotting scope - use a 2nd target and a marker to mark where you hit the target after each shot.
So lets say the gunsmith that set up your rifle did a really good job and your scope and rifle are on the target at 100 yards. That is good.
You then need to take the average of the 3 shots and figure out how far away from dead center you are. You then need to remove the caps from the adjustment knobs and move the adjustments slowly in the direction that your scope needs to go to get closer to dead center.
So lets say your scope has 1/4 inch adjustments at 100 yards. You are 3 inches low and 4 inches to the right.
Our first adjustment would be to move the scope 12 clicks up and move the scope 16 clicks to the left.
Replace caps and shoot 3 more times.
Now lets say your scope is 1 inch high and 2 inches to the left. We now want to move the scope down 4 clicks.
Shoot 3 more shots. Take the average of the 3 shots and measure the center of the pattern to the center of the bulls eye. Lets say it is 1/4 inch high and 2 inches to the left.
We would now want to move the scope 3 clicks to the right.
Hopefully at some point, we will find a happy medium.
As you could see, for the third adjustment, we only moved the scope in one axis - the same as we did for the second adjustment.
Now lets say you shot 3 shots and did not hit the paper.
We would then move up to the 25 yard line and take 3 shots at the target. Lets say the scope is 6 inches high and 6 inches to the right.
Because we know that your scope adjusments is 1 MOA at 100 yards and one MOA equals 4 clicks at 100 yards.
1 inch at 25 yards = 16 clicks.
1 inch at 50 yards = 8 clicks.
The goal here is to get the scope as close to center as possible, but not waste a bunch of time at the 25 yard target - because it is not going to mean as much to us - once we get to the 100 yard target.
If your scope is more then 12 inches in any one direction from the center of the target, your scope mounts - not your scope will either need to be shimmed or adjusted, depending on the manufacture of the scope mounts and the quality.
Not all scope mounts are created equal.
You never want to move a scope more then 40 clicks beyond the factory setting. The factory assembles the scope so that it is set on center. Lets say the scope has 120 clicks from stop to stop. The scope will be on 60 clicks.
The reason why I am telling you this is because many people who thinks that they know how to site in a rifle and has sighted in rifles all their lives doesn't always know this.
When you go beyond the center of the scope adjustments - it is bad, because the scope is not designed to be used with the mirrors and parts inside adjusted all in one direction.
This is what causes most problems with new scopes.
If you get your rifle sighted in for 25 yards, you can then try to shoot at a new target at 100 yards.
When sighting in a new rifle, never worry about wasting targets or ammo.
Also - never mix ammo.
I know your idea is to start out with a cheap load and then work up to the more expensive load, once you get the gun on target with the cheap load.
My advice is - not to waste your time.
All factory ammo will shoot a little different then the next. There is no way for us to predict how your rifle will react to either round or which round will work best in your rifle. Your best bet is to sight in your rifle with which ever ammo patterns best and not worry about which brand of bullet or which bullet design is used in the factory ammo. Any game load offered for a 30-06 will kill a deer as long as the load is designed for shooting whitetail deer.
So if you follow the manufactures reccomendation for break in for the rifle barrel and you follow my advice as per how to sight in your rifle, your rifle should be as close to the center of the target as you wish to get - as long as the rifle is of a quality that allows it to be accurate.
Not all rifles are accurate, some new rifles won't hit the broad side of a barn. Believe me - I have seen it.
My advice is to use a 150 gr bullet and practice often.
Once you feel confident shooting at 100 yards, you can move a new target out to 200 yards and check your zero.
If your rifle has a acceptable amount of accuracy, you could sight it in for 200 yards if you so desire.
Just remember that 1 inch at 200 yards equals 2 clicks on your scopes adjustment - if your scope is calibrated at 4 clicks / 1 MOA at 100 yards.
If your scope has a friction type adjustment such as the Leupold Rifleman, my advice is to take it back, because you will waste good ammo after bad trying to adjust the scopes adjustments to get the rifle zero'd in. Those scopes are junk and should be avoided at all costs.
Good luck and come back and ask more questions - if this advice does not work out for you!