How To Sight In A Rifle Scope

Whether you are hunting small game animal, big game animal or you are simply practicing target shooting, preparing your equipment is the first step towards success. You should learn how to sight in a rifle scope.

You need to ensure that your rifle is in good condition and can undertake the task at hand.

It is also essential to ensure that it is perfectly sighted for an ethical and quick kill.

A will sighted rifle scope guarantees you get relevant results regardless of your hunting rifle.

It also empowers you for any hunting session having in mind that you have the right rifle for the task.

Ensuring that your rifle is well sighted and zeroed correctly enhances your chances of hitting your target.

It is an essential requirement for both sessional hunters and professionals.

However, knowing how to sight correctly is a process, and it requires a lot of concentration for you to learn. Sighting your rifle scope can be a frustrating experience especially for first-time hunters.

It takes time to master the sighting process as well as guarantee that you have zeroed the scope for a perfect shot.

These videos explain further




What Is Sighting In A Rifle Scope?

If you are new to hunting or this is your first rifle scope, then the biggest question to you could be what sighting is?

Sighting-in is a method of adjusting the sight properly for an accurate shot at a target from a certain distance.

Therefore, there are several factors that contribute when it comes to sight-in your rifle scope.

Why Is Sighting A Rifle Scope Necessary?

Bullets don’t travel in a straight line, so, when you sight, it becomes easy to increase your chances of hitting your target.

However, what makes sighting important varies from one shooter to the other depending on their expectations. Some essential reasons for sighting your rifle scope include:

  • Helps you build confidence and ability to shoot
  • Allows you to detect your rifle accuracy at various distance
  • Prevents possible injuries while shooting
  • Makes your shooting precise

Requirements for Better Sight-In Process

For you to sight in your rifle scope accurately, there are a few things that you must have to enhance accuracy.

With these essential items, you are guaranteed that the process will be easy and convenient for you, especially if you are a first-timer.

Additionally, with these items in place, you need to do appropriate planning on the day and ensure you have sufficient time. This is especially when using the best long eye relief scope.


With a rangefinder or binoculars, it becomes easy for you to spot where the bullet lands at a 50 yards setting.

Therefore, it becomes easy for you to adjust your rifle settings where possible to attain a perfect shot.

Rifle Rest

Shooting at 50 yards can be challenging, and it is essential to ensure that your rifle is secure.

Having a rifle rest eliminates possible errors while sighting-in for accuracy.

However, although having a rifle rest is not mandatory, it is highly recommended to eliminate human errors.

Laser Boresighter

The first few shots are often filled with errors regardless of the distance. With a laser bore sighter, it becomes easy to set the scope into rough alignment.

Therefore, it ensures to bring accuracy in the first few shots hence saving time and ammo.

Ammunition and Gear

Whether you are practising or shooting on a real target, quality ammunition is essential.

Using the same ammunition in shooting target and hunting guarantees that you get the same trajectory setting.

However, if you bring different ammunition to zero your rifle then use different ammo for hunting, the results will be different.


Checking on the weather is quite ideal for sighting your rifle scope.

Before you start the process of sighting-in, ensure to watch the forecast and pick the ideal day.

Ensure that your day of choice has little or no wind, and it’s not too hot or cold and also dress accordingly for the day.

How to Sight In a Rifle Scope without a Boresighter

A boresighter is a device used to help speed up the process of sighting.

However, when you don’t have one, and you are working on a budget, sighting becomes a little complicated.

Therefore, it is essential to learn other sighting techniques that will enable you to achieve the same quality results even with a boresighter available for use.

Ensure It Is Properly Installed

If you are using a modern rifle, then installing a scope will not be a problem for you as it comes with a scope mounting system.

Therefore, the process will be easy and straightforward.

However, for those who use other rifle, ensuring that the scope is mounted correctly is key.

You have to ensure that the scope mount and rings fit properly to avoid the scope shaking.

Although the mounting process is the same for all the scopes, not all of them are a perfect style for your rifle.

Therefore, it is essential to take time and check the design of the scope mount and rings to find the most appropriate for your rifle.

This also applies to those rifles that come pre-drilled or with tapped holes for scope.  

Additionally, ensure that the eye relief is set properly as well as the reticle focus. This ensures that you have a clear view of your target hence making it possible to make an accurate shot.

Reticle Alignment

When zeroing your rifle scope, putting reticle alignment in consideration is key. Proper alignment of reticle guarantees you can spot your target and achieve the appropriate shot. However, the alignment might differ from one range to the other, and you can miss either to the left or right depending on the distance.

Set Your Minute of Angle (MOA)

This might sound easy, but it gets complicated as you practice on an outdoor shooting range.

It knowing your MOA makes it easy for you to evaluate your shooting skills and ability to get on target.

Start by finding a rifle mount to keep your rifle stable and on a secure surface, then set a target on multiple distances.

For most rifle scopes, you can adjust crosshair in ¼ MOA increment, which equates to ¼” movement per click. However, most hunters use 1/8” and 1/4” MOA click value.

For you to get accurate shots, and ensure that every bullet counts, adjust the setting by moving the MOA up by ¼” for every 100-yard distance increase.

To ensure that your sight is correct, repeat several shots on the same distance and mark the outcomes on a paper.

This will help you evaluate your scope sighting and shooting skills for enhanced performance while on an actual hunting adventure.

Do Manual Boresight

This depends on the time of your rifle. Manual boresight works perfectly on bolt guns.

If you are using pump models or semi-auto, this practice might not be convenient for you.

Take your bolt gun and remove the bolt from the rifle to see down the barrel.

Position the rifle towards the target, then position your head to see down the barrel through the scope.

This technique helps you save time and ammo as well as guarantee you get a perfect first shot.

Keep Tweaking

Of course, you don’t expect to get the expected results with a few shots.

It takes time and consistency for you to achieve the desired report and guarantee that every bullet counts.

Try shooting from different distances and angles then compare the results.

Evaluate your shooting consistency and identify how close you are to bull’s eye on every shot.

Once you are satisfied with the results, adjust the distance, and move to a more challenging range.

Repeat the same and evaluate your accuracy consistency before advancing to another higher range.

Additionally, ensure to consider all environmental variables while sighting your rifle scope.

When the weather is too windy, your setting will vary from when the weather is clear. It is also essential for you to sight-in when you are comfortable and can be out for a couple of hours and remain comfortable.

How to Sight In a Rifle Scope at 50 Yards

Sighting your scope at 50 yards can probably take more time than you expect, especially if you are doing it for the first time. However, to avoid making mistakes while sighting, at this range, there are essential steps to follow and particular items to use. This will help you achieve your goal and also enhance your chances of making accurate shots while hunting.

An essential aspect is to ensure you follow the above guide effectively.

Also, ensure that you are using the right ammunition for your rifle to find an appropriate shot.

For any enthusiast hunter, shooting at the bull’s eye is a great achievement in the hunting career. Bullet weight also plays a significant role when it comes to sighting your rifle scope.

Therefore, when zeroing in your rifle scope at 50 yards, getting the bull’s eye shot gives you a better rating. Use grid format as a dedicated zero target to find your adjustments.

Also, ensure you are shooting from a secure spot with reliable rifle rest.

However, you should not depend on your human muscle to hold the rifle in place as you might not be accurately in position.

For consistency, ensure that you have a whiteboard where all your shots are recorded with every attempt.

This helps you to monitor your progress and also align you’re your scope and make necessary adjustments.

How to Sight In a Rifle Scope at 25 Yards

If you can correctly sight in your rifle scope at 25 yards gives you an assurance that your rifle is set for efficient shooting between 100-200 yards.

Average hunters work with target shooting to approximately 150 yards.

However, for starters, it is essential to accurately sight in your rifle scope at a close range before moving to high distances.

Therefore, it is essential to start your sighting at a convenient range and gradually improve as you master.

This also helps in giving you consistency in shooting and achieving the same accurate results. Start with ensuring that your rifle is placed on a stable surface, where possible, use a bench.

You also need to consider the design of your rifle and the adjustment probability.

For instance, if your rifle is a hunk of metal with a groove, you can use Kentucky windage for different planes. Also, ensure that you use your best ammunition to enhance your performance.

Your comfortability as the shooter is also essential while sighting at 25 yards.

Ensure you get the right rifle that perfectly fits your expectations and meets your shooting needs.

Additionally, ensure to work with a rifle that allows you to adjust and spot your target easily effectively.

Location is another essential aspect to consider when sighting your rifle scope for 25 yards. Ensure your location has proper lighting to illuminate the range fully.

If you don’t identify the best location for your range shooting, even if everything else is perfect, your shooting will always differ.

Once you get your location checked and have sufficient light, then sighting your scope at 25 yards should not be complicated.

Additionally, if you are shooting indoor, ensure to treat every shot the same as to when you are target shooting in an outdoor setting.


Sighting your rifle scope can be both an exciting and complicated adventure. The process is similar for both sharpshooters and beginners.

Therefore, your consistency and how keen you are on instruction is what determines the results you get in the long run.

Additionally, the above information can also help you sight in your rifle scope at other distances including 100 yards, 200 yards, etc.

Store your rifle in a stable and convenient position to maintain the settings and avoid having to sight-in from time to time.

However, depending on the manufacturing material of your rifle, it may not be possible for the scope to maintain the same sighting setting for a longer period.

Therefore, always ensure to check your scope sighting every time you consider going for a hunting adventure and adjust the settings where possible.

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