How to Sight in a New Scope in JUST ONE SHOT

Introduction: How to Sight in a New Scope in JUST ONE SHOT

About: Become the Ultimate DIY Hunter & Fisherman!

We’ve all been there, in The Sticks or at the range with a new rifle and/or a new scope, wondering how many rounds you’re going to have to burn through just to get this scope ready for your next hunt. Well, next time you’re sighting in your scope, why not only use one round to sight it in, then use the rest to have some fun or work on improving your shot?! That’s right, you’ll be able to sight in a brand new scope in as little as one shot.

The common misconception is that we have to move the barrel of the gun to where the reticle is aimed. Aim the scope at the bullseye of your target, take a shot, measure how far off you are, guess as to how many inches up/down and left/right you have to adjust the turrets, then take another shot and see how far off you still are, and repeat. What if I told you instead of going through this process countless times, we’ll instead move the reticle to where the barrel of the gun is already aimed, saving you a ton of time, money, and very often, a bit of frustration? Check it out-

The first step in this process is key. If, for example, you have a bolt action rifle, take the bolt out of your rifle to allow you to see down the barrel of your gun. After placing your gun on your rifle stand or sand bags (which is essential to have for this process, see the image above for an example) look down your scope and the barrel of your gun and line them both up to be aimed at the bullseye of your target as best as possible.

Once your barrel and scope are lined up as best as possible, both aimed at the bullseye of your target, you’re ready to get going. Place the bolt back into your rifle, load your rifle with a couple of rounds in your magazine, and get your scope aimed right in the middle of the bullseye. Once you’re ready, and your scope is locked in on the middle of your bullseye just as if you’re about to take a shot while hunting, go ahead and take a shot.

Now that you have a bullet hole somewhere on your target, this is the important part. Aim your scope back at the middle of the bullseye just as it was before you took the shot. In this view in your scope, you should also be able to see the bullet hole you just made somewhere on your target. With the reticle still locked in on the middle of your bullseye, hold your gun as still as possible, use the turrets on your scope to adjust your scope to move the reticle from the middle of your bullseye to where your bullet hole is that you just made. It is ESSENTIAL to keep your rifle completely still while you adjust your scope to move the reticle from the bullseye to your bullet hole.

Once you’ve moved the reticle from the bullseye to your bullet hole, it’s that easy, you’re rifle is sighted in. You have just successfully adjusted your scope to align with the barrel of your gun, a much easier process than the inverse. Go ahead and take another shot or two if you want to confirm this worked, but as long as you held that gun still as you adjusted the scope’s turrets, you should be ready to hunt!

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    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    At what distance should the Sight-in-a-New-Scope-in-JUST-ONE-SHOT be please.

    This is very interesting, especially the relative You Tube Video.

    Thanks and regards, Happy Easter and Keep Safe.


    4 years ago

    fantastic way. save me many $$$ on ammo


    6 years ago

    I built a gun vise for this. Also, I replace your first step with using a laser borsighter to do the initial scope setting then like you mentioned, put the crosshairs of your scope on the bullseye. Depending on the caliber when you take a shot, you might have to put the crosshairs if the kick of the gun nudges the crosshairs off the bullseye before adjusting the scope to be centered on the bullet hole instead of the bullseye. It might take one or two more shots to get the level of precision you want but this works like a charm.

    The Sticks Outfitter
    The Sticks Outfitter

    Reply 6 years ago

    Good idea with the laser bore sight, that would speed things up and make sure you hit somewhere on that target on the first shot, thanks for the tip! Distance and caliber (and grain for that matter) definitely all add more variables to the process. Funny how easy this sighting process can be, and how many of us just figure we have to guess at the inch adjustments from target to turret and try another shot! Glad you liked the video/instructable, thanks for the comment and following!