How to Sight in a Rifle Scope

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

A rifle scope lets you employ the full potential of your hunting rifle at the rifle's maximum range. Before you can use your scope, you must sight it in with your rifle.

Things You'll Need

  • Rifle
  • Scope
  • Bore sighter
  • Ammunition
  • Targets
  • Binoculars or spotting scope

Step 1

Set up a target at a distance of 100 yards. Make sure to set up the target in an area that's safe to fire your rifle.

Step 2

Attach the scope to the rifle. Ensure that the rifle is empty and the breech is open. Install the bore sighter into the muzzle of the rifle barrel according to the instructions that come with the bore sighter.

Step 3

Look through the scope as if you were shooting. Line up the crosshairs of the scope with the crosshairs of the bore sighter. Adjust the elevation (up and down) and windage (left to right) of the scope to line up both crosshairs. Make sure to line up both the vertical and horizontal lines of the crosshairs.

Step 4

Remove the bore sighter from the muzzle and load one round into the rifle. Take aim at the bullseye of the target and fire one round. Using binoculars, determine where you hit your target. If you missed, move the target in at 25-yard increments until you can hit it.

Step 5

Shoot three rounds of several different brands of ammunition at the target. Find the brand of ammunition that provides the tightest grouping of shots. This is the appropriate brand of ammunition for this particular rifle.

Step 6

Fire rounds of the chosen ammunition at the target. Adjust the elevation so the shots hit the target approximately 3 inches above the bullseye. Adjust the windage so that shots are dead on center. Your scope and rifle are now sighted in.