How to Sight in a Rifle Scope

Even though it is still summer, hunting season is quickly approaching in some parts of Europe and Australia. To make the most of the forthcoming hunting season, gear must be properly maintained and stored. Learning how to sight a rifle is a must for any shooter serious about improving their aim. While installing and learning to sight a rifle scope does require some technical knowledge, anyone can learn to use this important shooting device by following these simple steps. This article explains how to sight a rifle with a scope, which is how most modern hunters prefer to do it. Carry on reading!

How Do Rifle Scopes Work? 

How Do Rifle Scopes Work? 

Targeting prey like whitetail deer of about 100 yards with the naked eye is a difficult task as precision isn’t guaranteed. A rifle scope is an essential piece of shooting equipment that enables shooters to accurately shoot straight at a distance. A reticle and several magnification lenses are used in the construction of scopes. A reticle is a tool that shows the area of the target wherever your ammunition should strike it. When used concurrently, these instruments provide more precise shooting aids.

What Do “Zeroing” and “Sighting in” a RIFLE Mean? 

Sighting is the process of adjusting the reticle (a compartment in a scope used to set a target; usually “crosshairs,” but sometimes an iron sight, red dot sight, holographic sight, or reflex sight) so that your point of reference is on the target surface at a certain distance. The procedure of zeroing a rifle is very straightforward, despite its somewhat complex name.

Components Necessary for Scope Sighting 

You ought to know the fundamentals of your optic before we can get into how to handle each scope modification. Adjusting both the elevation turret (the knob on top of the scope that moves up and down to account for bullet drop) and the windage turret is needed to sight in a rifle scope. When employing iron sights, notably on an AR-15, the rear sight moves left and right to compensate for windage, while the front sight moves up and down to compensate for inclination.

Elevation Turret 

You can increase or decrease the force of your bullet by using the scope turret at the top of your scope. A term for this is “elevation.” There will be an orientation arrow on the elevation turret (the knob you turn to change the reticle’s height), but this arrow will indicate the direction of the bullet’s impact. If the set of shots you fired was below where you had intended to fire them, you would adjust the elevation scope turret higher.

Windage Turret 

Windage scope turrets are typically found on the right side of the scope and allow you to shift the bullet’s path to the left or right. You aim it by pointing it in the same direction as the target, just like an elevation turret. Therefore, the windage turret is adjusted to the right if the set of shots is centered to the left of the target.

Why Is It Necessary to Sight in with a Scope?

The best possible shot from your rifle cannot be taken without first sighting in the scope. Learning how to use a scope properly is time well spent since it can help you hit your target more often. You should scope your prey for the following reasons:

  • Shots at targets at a greater distance are possible thanks to a scope’s strong magnification power. 
  • Greater accuracy—the distance won’t be a factor in your shot’s efficiency. Longer distances say 100 yards shots can still be accurately made. 
  • Enhance your shooting confidence by knowing that you can hit the target regularly. This will make you feel more at ease taking on hurdles or competing in events.
  • Gain a competitive edge by using a scope. Not doing so immediately puts you at an unfair disadvantage. Using a scope is a crucial skill if you wish to outperform your rivals because it will enhance the sight picture. 
  • Enhanced safety—If you hunt at night, a scope could make it easier for you to confirm that you are looking at the right object. Some scopes have night vision as an extra layer of security. Check the list from experts at Accurate Ordnance for more detail on night vison scopes.

What Varieties of Scopes Are Available? 

It’s just as crucial to know how to set up your scope properly as it is to have the right scope for your handgun. The demand for a precise shot and the shooting settings can change dramatically from one circumstance to the next.

You can further increase your shooting accuracy by using one of the following scopes:

1. Night Vision Scope: This type of shooting scope is designed to aid night vision. It is great for shooting at night when there isn’t much light.

2. Competition Scope: This type of scope has a very high magnification, is less sturdy, and is usually used in contests. 

3. Tactical Scope: They are uniquely customized for a certain type of shooting, like military shooting.

4. Long-Range Scope: These are classified as very powerful scopes. Any scope with a magnification of more than 10x (100 yards or more range visibility) is regarded as a long-range scope.

5. Fixed Scope: A simple scope with a fixed amount of optical zoom.

6. Sniper Scope: Made for snipers, it has reticles that show important information.

A good sniper scope is a high-powered telescopic sight used by snipers. It allows them to see their targets at long range and make more accurate shots.

Most sniper scopes have magnification levels of 10x or more, which makes them ideal for long-range shooting. They also have special reticles that help the sniper estimate distance and wind speed.

Sniper scopes are a vital tool for snipers, and they can give them a significant advantage in combat situations. With the right scope, a sniper can take out targets at extremely long range, making them a very dangerous opponent.

7. Hunting scope: It can stand up to seasonal changes and is made to last. This can be used for longer distance shooting too.

8. Red Dot Scope: This type of scope has the least amount of magnification and shows a red dot on the object inside the scope.

9. Variable Scope: It allows you to adjust how much you can zoom in.

10. Scout Scope: They are great choices for both the military and hunters in thick forests.

How Do You Accurately Focus a Rifle Scope on a Target? 

Having the right knowledge, tools, and concern for safety is essential if you want to understand how to sight in a hunting rifle scope. Your shooting practice will benefit considerably by properly setting up your scope. Any shooter can benefit from these seven rifle sight tips.

  • Ensure Proper Installation of Your Scope 

The majority of contemporary rifles come with a bearing surface for a scope. Your rifle might feature rails with grooves like the Weaver or tapped holes for sight bases. You should ensure that your scope mount and rings suit your rifle style properly. Only certain kinds of scope bases and certain kinds of scope mounting rings are compatible. These elements must match for it to work.

  • Adjust Eye Distance 

Ensure you have a sharp, clear view by adjusting your eyepiece. The scope needs to be adjusted, and the ideal level of eye relief needs to be determined (the distance between the scope’s end and your eye).

When sighting in your rifle scope, eye relief is a key factor. You must keep in mind that there is adequate space between your eye and the scope so that the recoil from shooting a shot won’t hit your eye. Depending on the type of gun and ammo, muzzle velocity (recoil) could cause the gun to bounce back and hit you in the eye, causing serious damage.

  • Reach Level 

You require a secure shooting position to correctly sight the scope of your rifle. You have the option of mounting your weapon on a shooting bench or using a bipod. Either way will get the job done, but a rifle mount will keep your gun steady on the target and cut up to 95 percent of the recoil.

  • Alignment of the Reticle 

When zeroing in their sights, most shooters do not take into account the aligning of their reticles, but it is a crucial stage in shot planning and shouldn’t be neglected. Reticle cant is the term used when the crosshairs of your scope are not exactly coordinated with elevation direction and windage changes. When targeting an object at a range of about 200 yards or more, a sloped reticle can cause your bullets to miss the object to the right or left.

  • Your MOA (Minute of Angle) Configuration 

MOA stands for “minute of angle,” which is the same as the minute hand on a clock. It has 360 degrees. Precision shooting angles are possible since each minute represents 1/60 of a degree. It takes several steps to set your zero. Given that you’ll need targets placed at a variety of distances greater than 70 yards, an outside shooting range might be the place to do it. Additionally, a mount is required to keep your rifle stable while perfecting your MOA. The crosshairs can often be adjusted in rifle scopes in steps of 1/4 MOA. When sighting in at 120 yards, this translates to one-fourth of a movement each click. With every 120 more yards, the click value increases by a quarter of an inch. Turn the elevation or windage knob four clicks for every inch or MOA your ammo moves at 120 yards.

  • Make Three-Shot Groups Available 

Shoot in groups of three, and then write down when each shot hits the target. Depending on the scenario, you might want to aim slightly high at 120 yards and dead center at 250 yards. If you know your MOA, you can shoot at targets at varying distances, but if you don’t, MOA adjustment should be made.

  • Continue to Make Adjustments 

Until you can regularly shoot grouped shots that are very close to the bullseye, try out various distances and practice. Once you’ve mastered that, you can practice hitting targets farther away, taking into consideration that each shot will require accounting for the rifle bore sight, the target’s distance from you, and external conditions like the wind.


1. Does Magnification Affect The Eye’s Relief? 

Additionally, keep in mind that, depending on the magnification setting, eye relief varies slightly. To get the best eye relief at any resolution, divide the difference between the high and low eye relief numbers on the verified and validated. 

2. How Can I Remove A Black Circle From My Eyepiece? 

Bring the scope up near your eye. By doing this, you’ll have a wider field of vision and no longer see the black ring inside the telescopic sight or bore sighter.

3. What Can Be Done if, After Firing The Scope Loses Zero? 

Numerous factors, such as mechanical problems, improper mounting, travel, or broken and clogged barrels, might cause a scope to lose zero. What you should do if your scope does not maintain zero after firing is as follows: Set your scope; then shoot; hold your firearm steady after firing; ensure that your crosshairs are perfectly aligned with the target; align the scope’s crosshairs with the target, give it another try.

4. On A Scope, Is Clockwise Up or Down? 

Turn the screw counterclockwise to “up” it. To slide the screw “down,” crank it the other way around, clockwise. 

5. What Do You Call the Scope’s Top and Side Control Knobs? 

Turrets are the name for the control knobs on rifle scopes. These knobs help in the adjustment for a clearer bore sight.

6. What is the Ideal Distance Between Your Eye and the Scope? 

Eye relief is the distance your eye has to be from the rear lens to see the entire scene. When bore sighting, a fixed-power scope typically has a diameter of three and a half (3.5) inches. When you crank up to maximum amplification for the majority of factors, you’ll start there at the lesser power and roughly 2.5 inches.

7. What Do You Call it When A Scope Grazes Your Eye? 

Make sure your eyes are well rested before shooting. A “scope bite” occurs when the scope strikes your face during a shot. When using powerful rifles like the 308 or bigger, this frequently occurs.

Key Takeaway 

With any luck, this article has taught you the ins and outs of sighting modern rifles with a scope. Your shooting ability will increase as you put into practice the information presented here. If you’re going hunting somewhere other than your backyard, double-check that you’re back at zero before you start walking around. While it is uncommon for a well-mounted scope to drift out of zero during transit, it can happen. You should ensure the adjustment of your eye relief to a comfortable distance that will let you shoot more accurately at a distance without straining your eyes.

How Does Thermal Imaging Scope Work?

Not everyone is cut out to be a daytime hunter. Some of us prefer the night sky looming over us as we set up base and prepare ourselves for thrill of the kill. Or perhaps some of us prefer sleeping in and have no need to wake up early in the morning for a hunt. Then there’s some of us who may not objectively have an issue with hunting during the day…but we can’t for health reasons (think eye sensitivity to the sun’s beams, or perhaps hypersensitive skin).

All of these reasons are perfectly fine; we all comes from different slices of life, after all! But you can’t just automatically leap into the life of night hunting with no clothes on, so to speak. There’s equipment that you’ll need in order to make sure your hunt goes off without a hitch. I’m talking primarily of some kind of tech that allows you to see in the dark, such as a night vision scope or thermal scope. Take a look on these blogs for a comprehensive guide for thermal scope.

If you want my honest opinion, I think you should go for the route of thermal imaging!

Fascinating, What is Thermal Imaging?

Thermal imagery, also known as thermography, is the study of infrared images. It’s similar to a night vision scope, though differs in a few aspects. While night vision collects wandering light particles in the area, thermal imaging collects radiation waves, such as infrared or UV, and wandering heat. And while night vision is mainly used for night time hunting or surveillance, thermography can be used in all sorts of fields, ranging from security, law enforcement, medical, archeological, and more.
Also, hunting.
Lots and lots of hunting.

Niiice, So How Does It Work?

So now that we know the difference between standard night vision and thermal imaging, we should talk about the means in which thermal technology is able to pick up images with such ease, even in the brightest of days. The way this magic comes to life is first through the special lens that is engineered to zone in on infrared radiation. Once the lens picks up on the infrared signal, it’s scanned by the len’s built-in heat detection hardware. Once the scan is complete, it creates a unique pattern known as a thermogram.

The thermogram is essentially the collection of heat data saved by the thermal tech. Once it’s created, its then converted into electrical impulses. Soon after, the impulses are transferred to the signal-processing unit, which is a circuit-board that converts the heat data into pixels which form the final picture. And once that final picture is formed, that’s when we get the famous Predator colors plastered onto our screen. Depending on the colors of the objects, it can determine the intensity rate of the infrared energy (hint, red usually means a high amount).

That’s pretty awesome, isn’t it? What makes thermography so much more interesting is when you think about all the different fields who make use of it. For example, thermal imaging is used in medical practice for the purpose of scanning over areas of the patient’s body. This is done to reveal areas of the body that may be at risk for illness or may already be afflicted with deadly forms of cancer. This is often used in human medicine AND animal medicine.

How awesome is thermal imaging?!

My Guide For Choosing A Quality Rangefinder for Hunting

Whenever I’m looking for a new piece of gear to take hunting u make sure that I’m not wasting money on the item and that I’m not wasting space in pack that can be better utilized by some other piece of equipment. I don’t want my pack to be too heavy but I also don’t want it to have a bunch of stuff in there that never gets used. In short I want to carry with me exactly what I need and nothing more. This obviously gets tricky but I think I do ok when I’m out hunting.

One area that I’ve noticed can really take up a lot of space and not provide a lot of value is the wrong rangefinder. I’m not saying all rangefinders are bad and not worth the money – that’s not true at all.

What I am saying is that if you buy the wrong rangefinder, it will just take up space and weigh you down. I spent a lot of time looking for the best rangefinder for hunting when I was looking for a new rangefinder.

The answer isn’t as cut and dry as I would have liked because there are so many on the market and have so many different features depending on your needs. Maybe focusing on the best rangefinder isn’t as good of an idea as finding the one that best meets your needs.

To do that, we need to sift through all the features that are common on different rangefinders and figure out what ones do meet our needs. First, you need to start with what type of hunting you do most often.

Archery vs Rifle Hunting Rangefinders

One of the biggest differences in terms of rangefinders has to do with the features that the unit come with. There are rangefinders with angle compensation systems (though each manufactured calls them something different). What the angle compensation tools do is help hunters try and determine the actual distance the animal is away from you, while accounting for you being above or below the target.

Example: Lets say you’ve found a group of elk and chased them over a ridge. You move to the top of the ridge and have a peek over, and you can see them about 40 yards down the ridge. If you were to put your bow in and pull back for a 40 yard shot – you’d miss and the arrow would go below your elk, who would then run off. This is because since the animal is at an angle below you, that changes the distance you actually need to be at to hit the elk. Now, an angle compensation tool will help you determine what pin to use in this situation (It should be about a 36 yard pin). That way, you can head back to the truck hauling elk quarters, instead of with a near miss story.

Now, these features aren’t really worthwhile if you dont hunt archery, as you wouldn’t use them much (if at all) if you were rifle hunting. However, they do cost quite a bit and could be a great thing to pass on if you’re not interested in bow hunting.

What Max Range Do You Need?

Another feature that needs to be considered to find the best rangefinder for hunting is the maximum range of the unit. If you typically do most of your hunting from a tree stand, you’re not really going to need a rangefinder with a 1,000 yard + maximum range – you wont be able to see that far through the trees even if the unit you bought had the capability to do so (and even then, you couldn’t be sure you were ranging in your target and not a tree). I haven’t done much hunting in the trees like that, but a friend of mine that took me out had a rangefinder that had a max range around 600 yards, and said that it was more than he would ever need.

I live in the west and hunt a lot in Wyoming, so when I’m out hunting for antelope, there could be a couple hundred yards between me and the antelope when I first see them and when I can actually figure out a way to get on them close enough to get a shot off. A good rangefinder with a maximum distance of 800-900 yards was something that I found a lot of value in when I was looking for a new rangefinder.


Good glass is what will make or break your rangefinder. Getting good glass with good coatings is crucial to helping you get the best picture you can while ranging in your targets in the field. Good glass will make the picture on your unit clear when you’re ranging in that white tail that’s 440 yards away. A clear picture will do a lot of good in helping you determine what shot you need to take and how to get close enough to take that shot.

As one of the guy from that I’ve hunted with before says “dont skimp on optics – you’ll pay for it in the end”. I agree with him wholeheartedly, and think that you should get the best rangefinder that suits your needs and that you can afford. They are expensive, but they arent worth the constant missing that having a low quality rangefinder could set you up for.

Other Things to Consider

We’ve gone over what we think are some of the more important things to consider when looking for a rangefinder. Those arent the only things that come with a rangefinder, so there are a few more things to consider when getting a new rangefinder.

Magnification Level

Personally, I think 6x a great magnification level and will suit about 90% of hunters. That level of magnification will help you easily see a target clearly at 500+ yards, and will help you get a good eye on the size of the animal as well as the sex of the animal. Keep in mind that a rangefinder doesnt make it easier to range in your target with more magnification – it just makes the target easier to see through the viewing window.

Size, Weight and Hand-Feel

One thing that doesnt often get considered when making a rangefinder purchase is the hand feel. What I’m talking about here is how the unit fits in your hands, and how easily that you can operate the unit with just one hand (as that is what you’ll probably be doing a lot). If the unit is uncomfortable or difficult to operate with just 1 hand, then you probably wont end up using it often as you’ll find that it’s more trouble than it’s worth and stop using it because of that.

While they are minor concerns, size and weight should also be noted. Most rangefinders weigh pretty close to the same amount, with the difference between the lightest one and the heaviest one not being more than 1/2 a pound. Not significant, but still something to consider. Every pound helps when you’re quartering out elk over 3+ miles.

Rangefinders come with a lot of bells and whistles, but typically they arent usually that heavily used when you’re actually out in the field. Get a rangefinder with the highest quality optics you can afford, and you should be fine. If you’re looking for the best, check out this hunting rangefiner reviews from Eric . This is a great suggestion Now, those are just some of the things we look at when we are thinking about the best rangefinder for hunting. What are you looking for in a new rangefinder?