How to Sight in a Rifle Scope

Bang-Inc is reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

For any shooter intending to improve their accuracy, acquiring the necessary knowledge on how to sight a rifle is an indispensable skill to master. The object and way of your hunt are insignificant if the shooting gear or tools aren’t in optimum working condition. If you aim to hunt big game, you must ensure that your rifle scope is sighted perfectly. If you don’t sight your scope properly, it may result in an unethical kill, or you may just miss your target altogether.

Setting up and learning how to sight a rifle scope entails some technical understanding. Because of this, this article will teach you how to sight a rifle scope properly.

Setting Up a Rifle

When it comes to precision shooting, one of the most important things that most hunters overlook is setting up the rifle in a perfect position. Several hunters make use of rifle scopes. The rifle scopes are very beneficial for hunters as they provide a good vantage point to set up aim and make the perfect kill.

Before beginning to shoot, you must ensure the rifle scope is set up and mounted properly. The ocular lens is in near proximity to your eye, so it’s imperative that you make the focus adjustment perfectly so that the optic doesn’t cause obstruction when the gun recoils. An improperly set up eye relief might cause damage to your eye area under recoil.

You must adjust the knobs and the reticle in a way that doesn’t mess with the wind control and elevation. You should follow specific instructions that come with the manual when tightening the rings.

Boresighting the Rifle

Boresighting a rifle is important, and you need a stable space to do so. However, before boresighting your rifle, it’s important that you clean it out along with emptying the barrel. This step is strictly done before putting any ammunition in it. Also, removing or detaching the magazine is done in the same step.

Move the boresight in an almost parallel way to the scope’s reticle. If you don’t do the boresighting in advance, there’s a high chance that you’ll miss your target or hit elsewhere, wasting a round of ammunition.

To boresight precisely, you must move the windage turret to one side or direction. Then, you count how many times it revolves when you move the turret in the other direction. Apply the same precision when turning it midway. The elevation turret follows the same steps.

Accuracy and Boresighting

The easy point about the whole boresighting exercise is that it doesn’t have to be precise. We aim to ensure it is precise enough to smash a paper target at a shorter distance. We’re doing attractively well if we try our rifle at 25 yards and smash the paper.

If automatic boresighting is your preference against manual, there is also the choice of employing a laser boresight. It is enclosed in your rifle’s chamber and performs the same function. Bushnell’s 74333 Boresighter is an exceptional illustration that works well for a range of rifles. Undeniably, it does make life stress-free to ensure that your gun is accurate, but it is not indispensable.

You can fire everything up as soon as you fix the boresight and arraign the reticle or red dot with the target. Be careful not to shake or transfer the scope or sight to keep it zoomed on target.

Concentrating the Reticle

After tightening, concentrate the reticle on the rifle scope so that we can easily focus on it when using the tool. 

Focusing on the reticle has to be quick, meaning you should not even need a minute to adjust your eyes on it; rather, it should happen instantly by default. 

To make sure that happens, here is what we recommend. Start by looking at a farther distance, preferably the sky. We aim our scope at the sky, look distractingly at a cloud or any other object in the expanse, and return our eyes to the scope.

Returning our eyes to the scope helps ensure that the reticle seems instantaneously sharp and accurately focused. As a result, you don’t have to wait for your eyes to fine-tune.

If the reticle appears a little fuzzy, regulate the diopter adjustment next to you. From this point, it is only a question of adjusting till you see the reticle instantly clear upon watching through the scope.

Moreover, ensure to keep the reticle parallel and flawlessly united to elevation and windage so that it appears to be spot on when looking at it. 

Needless to say, getting the reticle right when taking closer shots later helps with longer distances. 

Shooting Starts

After tightening the scope and adjusting the reticle, it is time to commence shooting.

For starters, we recommend testing with the same ammunition you intend to use for hunting. This helps you understand it’s working before you’re out in the wild. Because boresighting is projected to get us on paper at 25 yards, we’ll use this point to commence shooting.

First, set up the support pieces to grasp and stabilize the rifle. You can utilize sandbags or a shooting rest for the purpose. When done, aim for the target and shoot. Once again, make sure the rifle is stable and aiming for the center with the action open. 

Now, adjust the reticle on the target while looking through the scope. Hit one more shot and replicate the process a couple more times if needed. As soon as the shot is in the center, we proceed to a further range.

Modify the Distance

When understanding the process of sighting in scope at variable distances, you need to understand the adjustments very carefully. They are very slight and move by one-quarter inch MOA for every hundred yards out. MOA here stands for ‘Minute of Angle.’ 

Normally, a quarter inch adjusts the shot by an inch per hundred-yard.

When we can keep shooting clustered shots near the bullseye, that’s when we can adjust for further targets. Do not shoot too quickly, or your barrel will heat up, slowing down the shots, which makes them less impactful. Therefore, let your barrel rest for a few minutes to cool in-between shots.


Sighting in scope may seem like what only experts trained for years can pull off. But this is different; if you follow the simple guide we provided in this article, you will figure out the tricks quickly. Don’t forget that practice improves, and in the long run, if you focus on getting better every day, your focus level will improve. So, keep practicing, and you’ll be able to sight in a scope effortlessly.


Leave a Comment