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.

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