How to Sight in Your Rifle





Introduction: How to Sight in Your Rifle

About: I'm a machine mechanic. My interests are very broad. I'm a skilled archer and marksman. I'm on an airsoft team, I specialize in stealth. I have experience in boxing, wrestling, judo, Brazilian jujitsu and a ...

Sighting in your rifle is an important process that needs to be performed every time you purchase a new firearm, scope or sights. This allows you to ensure accuracy and gain specific knowledge of your weapon needed to maximize effectiveness. How it kicks, what the drop is and how your body reacts to each round fired. Every firearm acts differently, even ones of the same make and model.

What you'll need;
[1+] Rifle (scope mounted)
[2+] Box of ammo
[1] Package of targets
[1] Milk crate
[1] Roll of tape

Ideally you'd want another person with you and you need a safe place to shoot.

Step 1: Firearm Safety

It is important to know basic firearm safety. First, the safety should remain locked until you are ready to fire. The action should remain open on the range until ready to fire. Always point the muzzle up, down or downrange unless there is someone downrange. In the case of someone walking downrange, it should be announced by the person walking into the line of fire. Never point the weapon downrange while someone is downrange. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire. Don't point your weapon at anything you don't want to shoot. Always ensure there are no unintended targets behind your target such as houses. Is wise to shoot into a backdrop so you always see where the projectile hits.
With this being said you are responsible for your firearm and any damage caused by it.

Step 2: Puttin' 'Er on Paper

This step ensures you will at least hit your target when you start sighting. You can skip this step completely, it just saves ammo.

Start by setting a target at 25yds. You can either use a bore sight and adjust to the red dot or you can do three round bursts. Aim dead center, breath in, slowly release the breath and squeeze the trigger simultaneously. Fire three rounds, adjust your sight/scope, fire three more, etc. repeat this until you have a nice cluster of holes dancing around the bullseye or stop when you hit paper.

Step 3: One for the Money!

Now for the big money. Run out 100yds and set up your target. Get into position, take aim, breathe deep with your stomach. When you go to shoot slowly release your breathe and *Squeeze* the trigger. Don't pull the trigger. It moves the rifle. Fire three rounds. run to your target. Make an imaginary triangle out of the holes and find the center. Adjust off of that center. Your scope will have a scale but its usually 1 click = 1/4" @ 100yds. Adjust your scope and cover the holes. repeat this until you're as centered as you'd like to be.

Step 4: Going the Extra Mile

At this Point I start screwing around to learn my weapon. Pace out like 500yds or go big with 1000yds. shoot your target at this distance. With a Savage 270 Win I had to aim 1' above the bulls-eyes with no wind at 1000yds to hit center.



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    20 Discussions

    You didn't even read this. I'm done here. After gun safety before the hundred yard I specifically said 25yd. And I'm sure there's a better shot. There's always a bigger fish. I have yet to meet any of these bigger fish. Have a good one sir.

    3 replies

    My apologies I'm sorry, I should have read all the way through, I was feeling testy when I made those comments it was a good instructable.

    As was I. I've been like that lately. The boss got a taste last night.

    Lol yeah we all have those moments, keep up the good work and post more instructables.

    One box of ammo is not adequate. (Unless you are shooting .22 which comes 50 to a box.) You will need at least 50 rounds. Why? Because you need 3-5 to zero your rifle, then several more fired in groups to see how heat from rapid firing affects your accuracy. Remember, hot barrels warp slightly and sling lead. Knowing what the pattern is will vastly increase your accuracy.

    2 replies

    I use a laser bore sighter at 25 yd to help put the virgin sights on paper after that one box is more than enough. The 7.62x39 I buy come in boxes of 20 and for both scopes it took only a dozen rounds each to zero at 100yd. But quite often it does take more. My old Savage .270win took 3 scopes and several boxes of rounds to zero. It kept freezing the cheap $30 scopes. My dad finally bought me a Nikon(I was 14 when we got the Nikon). When I edit it in the future I'll be sure to add that bit. Thank you for taking the time to read and post!

    To the Author

    A good post and well done! These post aren't for the experts there for the average guy, to that end you have empower people through your knowledge and I for one thank you.

    To Paracordaholic

    You are carrying on like a Prat your not your grandfather dad all uncle, any relationship to these people has no relenvent to this post or reflects your ability to shoot. Please be considerate to the person who has taken the time to teach someone something. It was a good post that will start someone on the right course to be able to sight a rifle and learn from there.


    From Oz

    1 reply

    I woke up from a good nap to find this comment. It made me chuckle a little bit. Thank you for reading.

    Im guessing you were never in the military, I have a long line of military history in my family my dad was in, my bother is in the military, my great uncle was a 2 star general. Sighting in at 25yds is a tried and true method used by the military, for several reasons; one you said a bullet drops, yes it does but the bullet also rises so if you sight in at 25yds by the time it gets to 100yds it is right where you sighted in at 25yds, two as for wind its not going to throw your bullet off unless they are high wind conditions, iff that is the case then you don't need to be shooting and the wind is going to be a little different everytime you shoot, so that argument is useless, three every gun is different but at 25yds they shoot similarly, so you can tell that at 25yds a Ak47 is less accurate than a m4, and lastly there are not many people who have 100yds to practice at, so space is also key. Altogether it is easier, and better to sight a gun in at 25yds, if you go through a gun safety class they will teach you the same.

    2 replies

    I'll give you this, I'd rather sight an m4 or ak 47 at close range. the SKS type56 in the pic has been decked out for ranges between 100 and 300 yards. any closer and I'll use the iron sight through the peep hole in the backplate riser.

    Useing the SKS as a argument is useless, we sight our 300, 270, 30-30, 8mm mouser, 243 and other rifles in at 25yds and they shoot deer dead on at 100+ yards, a SKS bullet is smaller powder wise than those guns, wind wise its gonna be there so account for that. You might be a sharpshooter, but you are second to many don't be cocky. My point here is that if your gonna do it right sight in at 25yds, I've shot a lot of guns and owned quite a few. Sight in at 100yds if you want but don't discourage people from doing at 25yds.

    how do you learn long distance drop? or how the wind pushes your bullet? Sighting at 25 yd your rifle will never hold any serious accuracy.

    I am a hunter I also am the proud owner of an expert markman medal for small bore rifle and have been shooting since I was nine starting with a 44 black powder moving to 30-30 lever and 44 mag at ten. I got my first bolt action at 14 and my accuracy is second to none.

    and I live in Wyoming wind is unavoidable.