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How to Sight in a Scope: 6 Pro-Backed Steps

how to sight in a scope
Written by Erik Himmel

Irrespective of the game you are after, it essential to put your scope in order. A scope that is position and sighted accurately increases your chance of taking down a game. And when the scope is not sighted correctly, it could lead to missing a target or other forms of danger. This article is a written guide on how to sight in a scope.

How to Sight in a Scope -Improve Accuracy on Longer Ranges

Setting Up Your Rifle Scope

Setting Up Your Rifle Scope – Step-by-Step

About 85% of hunters use scopes for hunting since they provide them with a perfect aim and ensure a good kill at sight. So it is vital to ensure the scope is properly used. Mounting the scope is yet another significant factor to put in place before sighting through it. All the rings on the scope need to torqued and tightened properly, although there are some specifications we recommend regarding this as you read further.

It would be best if you also considered sighting up the eye relief correctly to avoid being affected by the optic that positioned close to the recoil.

Step 1: Bore-Sighting Always

Slow down and take a deep breath. You will need to take out some time to boresight a new scope before using it on a rifle.  Doing this will help save time.

Clearing the rifle is the first step when you want to boresight. It Important to unload the rifle and ensure your barrels are unobstructed before getting started.

Once the rifle is completely cleared and unloaded, the next thing is to remove the bolt or magazine. Now you can mount your rifle securely on a resting point with your barrel targeted downrange while cleaning the rifle. Once that is achieved, you get to the next step…

Step 2: Resting & Centering Your Bore and Scope

This time, you will need to boresight the rifle before positioning it on the shooting rest. You can easily get a shooting rest from an outdoor store or place an order online.

Now once the rifle is completely at rest, you will need to stand behind it and view it through the barrel.  The gun has to center a particular target directly on the bore; if this is not, necessary adjustment simply by moving your rifle carefully.

Now you will also need to make an adjustment on the scope and move it to the center; do this without changing the position of the rifle. Your aim is to center your reticle directly on the target you see using the bore.

Step 3: Precision and Boresighting

Boresight doesn’t have to be one hundred percent precise. This time, you should center your focus on trying to get to hit the paper target at a very close range. If you make at attempt with 25 -30 you and you ran a bullet straight through the bull’s eyes, it’s a sign of remarkable progress.

You can use a laser if you prefer not to boresight manually. Lasers are designed to fit into the chambers of your rifle and it’s a technology that makes life much easier and helps you with more precision.

Perhaps the reticle of most of the boresight and the red dot sights are arranged within the targeted area, although you can tighten it up if you want too. While doing this, it is important to take caution and avoid the scope, if you intend to keep the rifle on target.

Step 4: Aligning The Reticle

Once the scope is fastened correctly, the next phase is to center the crosshair or reticle.  Focus your eye closely directly on the reticle when viewing the scope.

If you want to position the reticle properly, you will require a solid base. Here, the sky will serve as a better option. You will need to point to position the scope directly to the sky and look away at the trees or the cloud at a distance and bringing the eyes again into the scope.

Once you bring back the eyes into the scope, the image must be sharp enough and it should be focused on rightly.

Aligning The Reticle

If you observe that the reticle is a bit blurry, then make the necessary adjustment on the diopter.  The diopter is pretty easy to access. Once this is achieved, make more adjustments until the reticle appears when viewing across the sight.

You will need to verify to ensure the reticle is paralleled and aligned correctly for the proper windage and elevation. It needs to have a perfect cross whenever you view across the scope. Positioning the reticle properly is important if you intend to shoot over a distance.

Step 5: Start Shooting

Once the scope is fastened properly and the rifle reticle is focused and adjusted well, it time for you to shoot!

Step 6: Adjusting for Distance

You will need just a little adjustment when you intend to set your scope on different distances. Most times, you might need a small move like a minute or a quarter-inch move for a hundred yards.

Essential Tips

Here is a tip on how to go about this like a pro. It is important to use the ammo you intend going on a hunt while carrying out a test on the rifle. This will help you while hunting.

rifle scopes explained-essential tips

Since you can only target a distance of 25 yards with bore sighting, you can start from that range and make huge progress over time.

Make the entire process easy and fun, use a rest or a sandbag to position the riffle steadily, this will help you aim at your target correctly. Your rifle will automatically recoil itself, and the shot will take place. Ensure the action is open and return the rifle directly on your target. Once it is steadied and centered, hold it properly and view across the scope once again this time you will need to make some adjustments on reticle directly on the impact point. Do this without shooting. Now fire back and repeat again and again if need be.  Once you get the shot at the bull’s eyes, it’s time to progress farther for more range.


Once you can consecutively shoot at the bull’s eye from any distance then you can progress to get a proper tune for more targets that are a bit further away. Do this at an average pace; don’t be too fast or too slow. There are rifles that “walk shot” once their barrel heats up.  And this can affect distance shooting, so it’s best to allow the barrel for some time before shooting. Doing this will help cool off the rifle.

About the author

Erik Himmel

A Part-Time Firearm Instructor

Hi, this is Erik. We all know firearms are dangerous, but only when one doesn’t know how to use and care for them. I have 15+ years of experience with different types of guns and for the last 10 years, I have taught numerous people how to hold and shoot a gun while staying safe and keeping the surroundings unharmed. My neighbors are some of my biggest admirers who enjoy talking to me about their guns, firearms safety and maintenance.

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