Mastering Precision: How to Sight in a Scope for Accurate Shooting

How to Sight in a Scope for Accurate Shooting

There is no denying the fact that a rifle scope makes shooting a lot easier, more convenient, and quicker for the shooter. The ability to peer through the scope with utmost clarity is paramount for a hunter to make shots with exceptional precision. Choosing a proper scope for the specific firearm and shooting conditions is mandatory, and many hunters are unaware of it. This article will discuss how one can use a scope efficiently by having an incredible sight in a rifle.

What Is a Rifle Scope?

What Is a Rifle Scope

To simplify it, you can consider a rifle scope a special telescope that you place right at the top of your gun. It makes you see the farthest objects in the most transparent possible manner. As a result, the aim you make from your rifle is exact and accurate.

The main feature of this instrument is that it covers the distance you have from the object and lets you make your best shot! The object appears closer and within a comfortable range when you see it through your scope.

However, using the scope may not be as easy as it sounds! Rather, some changes are always required to make it work in your favor. There are certain numbers on its side, and you would need to adjust the scope according to those numbers and the distance/direction of your object before aiming.

This is a tube-shaped device that you get to mount to the rifle you use, hence the name rifle scope! Its magnification feature augments the appearance of the object and keeps it perfectly aligned with your view. Most hunters first make the adjustments needed on the scope and then shoot the fire! This device definitely makes the process of hunting easier for the shooters!


How to Sight in a Scope for Accurate Shooting

Zeroing is an important concept connected to the rifle scope. Also known as sighting in, it refers to the process of simply adjusting the scope to ensure the point of impact comes in the same line as the point of aim. For a layman, it’s basically a method through which the shooter ensures that the bullet hits the aim accurately when it pops out of the firearm. Learn how to zero a scope and it will make your shooting top-notch for sure!

Now, aiming the object using rifle scopes is not as easy as it may sound! You would need to learn all about the scope alterations to make this device work for you. Once the scope adjusts at the right angle, it hits the aim precisely. For that, you would need to adjust the elevation of the scope and the windage settings.

Why Do You Need to Site In Your Scope?

Why Do You Need to Site In Your Scope

No matter whether you are an expert shooter making the shot from a distance of 100 yards or a novice trying your luck at hunting, you would want to site the scope properly to hit the target.

You may think that a newbie learning to hunt from various distances would require it more than a veteran. Well, that’s not true! Even if you are an expert shooter, you would need to sight in the scope and zero your rifle if you are making consistent shots.

Another reason why it’s considered necessary for a shooter to sight in a rifle scope is because it boosts his confidence by making him a better shooter. As a matter of fact, as a hunter, you wouldn’t even need a solid background to use this equipment, even while shooting from a 100 yards distance. All you need to do is insert the scope, make the required adjustments, and start shooting.

Once you start to sight in a rifle through your scope, you would automatically witness a change in your shooting style. You would have a lot more confidence while using the rifles. Hence, it’s a great idea always to have a scope in your gear and mount it to the rifle as soon as you start shooting.

Steps to Site a Rifle Scope

It’s necessary to site a rifle scope accurately and adjust it in order to make it work in your favor. Though most rifle scopes are straightforward to use, others may be a bit of a hassle in terms of adjustments. Here is how you can site the rifle scope properly.

a. Install Your Scope Properly

Install Your Scope Properly

First thing first, you need to install and adjust your scope properly to the rifle for it to work efficiently. Once you are sure that the firearm is unloaded, start the procedure of installation. Most scopes come with the appropriate mounting ring you need to attach to the rifle receiver.

 b. Adjust Eye Distance

Next comes the adjustment of eye relief. It is basically the safe distance between the scope and the eye from where you can look at the target. While you adjust the eye distance, you’ll have to move the scope forward and backward until you can have a clear view of the target.

A proper eye relief is necessary to hit the targets without moving the rifle.

Adjust Eye Distance

c. Get Level

The scope would come with a leveling tool. You can use it to adjust and level the scope and have a sighting in your rifle appropriately. Once you set the scope level appropriately, it will elevate your level of clarity and accuracy while making the shot. Learning how to level a scope helps in ensuring the bullet hits the target every time it is shot!

d. Aligning the Reticle

While setting up the scope, you must align the reticle for a good view. It also matches the point of aim with the point of impact. A good alignment of the reticle reduces the chances of missed shots, even when the objects are at longer distances.

Once you are able to have a good sight in the scope, you will be able to adhere to the ethical practices associated with shooting and keep everyone around you safe.

e. Setting Your MOA (Minute of Angle)

how to sight in a scope

Next comes setting the minute of angle, also known as MOA. It adjusts the scope precisely. MOA adjustments ensure that the bullet drop impact of the gravitational force doesn’t affect the precision of the shooter. Even a slight drop in the bullet impacts the performance of the shooter.

The windage turret is a part of setting the MOA, and it adjusts the horizontal alignment of the reticle. Considering the range of the range of the target, you can determine the required MOA adjustments.

If you are confused about calculating the adjustments, you can use the ballistics calculator for better accuracy. Windage adjustments with the help of the windage turret put the rifle in the right direction.

f. Fire Three-Shot Groups

sighting in a riflescope

A great strategy here is the three-shot group firing, which refers to consecutive shooting at the target with the firearm. This way, you would be able to ensure better accuracy while hitting the target.

You can aim for the same target, for that matter, and check out the accuracy offered by the new scope. Once the shots are fired, keenly observe at what position the bullets hit the object.

g. Keep Making Adjustments

You need to keep adjusting the scope as required until you feel like you can finally use the rifle optics in your favor. Sighting the aim through the scope works only once you think you are pointing at the object precisely.

There could be a need to augment the level of elevation using the elevation turret or move the scope left or right. The scope’s windage and elevation turrets are great players for making the scope help you perform your best!

Remember, the accuracy of sighting in scopes, just like in iron sights, hinges on the scope’s length. On that note, if you don’t know how to use iron sights, learn it ASAP to upgrade your shooting skills!

How to Adjust a Rifle Scope (Which Way to Turn)

Adjust the rifle scope by following some simple steps. For the newbies, a sandbag can greatly help keep your rifle stable. Bore sighting will aid you in aligning the inside of the barrel with the line of sight of the scope. Hence, it would let you have a rear sight with great accuracy.

The bore sighter can be inserted in the chamber. Fine-tune it further to ensure the reticle sighter lines with the target. Once you are able to turn the rifle scope in the right direction according to the requirement, you will be able to hit the dead center of the target accurately!

What Should You Do If Your Scope Loses Zero After Firing?

The scope often loses zero after firing, and it’s not a big issue! Though the whitetail deer that you were aiming for might run away in the process but you can definitely make better adjustments for the next shot.

a. Recheck The Rings

Start with revisiting the entire protocol of positioning the scope. You need to check the rings and mounts attached to the scope and ensure they are attached correctly. If they appear fine, go ahead and observe the reticle alignment. A lot of times, its non-alignment can cause the shots to miss at a longer range.

b. Make Sure Elements Of Riffle And Scope Work Well

Next, you need to check all the parts of the rifle and scope to make sure they are not broken or damaged. Many a time, the sight issue arises from the malfunctioning elements of the instruments as well. Make the next shot only when you are sure that the reticle, scope rings, lenses, and turrets are working fine.

c. Re-zero The Scope

What Should You Do If Your Scope Loses Zero After Firing?

If everything seems fine, it is time to re-zero your scope and sight through it once again. Zeroing might help you aim your targets with higher precision. It may include re-reading the information on the reticle, re-adjusting the elevation turret, fine-tuning the bore sight, and even alternating the windage turrent’s adjustment.

As you zero your rifle once again, you may be able to hit the targets in a better manner!

d. Change The Extreme Environment

One thing that you may need to consider here is the environment in which you are sighting your rifle through the scope. A lot of times, extreme weather conditions affect a shooter’s performance, no matter how many different distances he uses to make that perfect shot and hit the target!

A lot of hunters start sighting in the rifle with much more clarity when they change the place of making the shot. Want to hit the target right in the center? Change your environment!


Hopefully by now, you know how to sight in a scope. Efficient shooting using rifles requires the hunters to be able to sight them accurately. This is only possible through making the required scope adjustments. Alongside this, each and every step involved in it, including installing the scope, ensuring the scope is level, and then zeroing it, is of equal importance.

Happy Shooting!

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