Hi I’m Hunter Pilant and today on Starline’s
“The Brass Facts” we are going to look at how to sight in a scoped rifle or handgun.
The first step when sighting in a scoped rifle or handgun is to be sure that the scope rings
and bases are tightened to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Factory mounted bases aren’t
always tightened down properly from the factory so don’t assume that they are. After
verifying that everything has been installed and tightened properly, I will bore sight
the rifle if possible. Over the years, many tools have been produced
to aid in boresighting, such as laser boresighters, but I prefer to do it by eye. For AR-style
rifles separate the upper and lower receiver and remove the bolt. For bolt action rifles,
just remove the bolt. I like to bore sight my rifles in at 100 yards. With the rifle mounted securely, center the
bullseye of a target in the bore. You can then adjust the scope until the crosshairs
are centered in the bullseye, being sure that the bullseye is still centered in the bore.
Smaller bore rifles are generally the easiest to bore sight since you can more accurately
center the bullseye in the bore. The larger the bore and shorter the barrel the harder
it is to boresight. You will also find that it is easier to boresight a rifle with a high
magnification scope than a rifle with a low magnification or red dot scope.
On a rifle that I am confident will be close to zeroed, I will shoot at a large clean target
at 100 yards (closer if it is rimfire) to finish dialing it in. This is where it is
important to know the adjustment increments of your scope. On the windage and elevation
turrets it should be labeled the distance the point of impact will be moved at 100 yards.
If the scope has 1/4″ per click adjustments, you will have to move the scope 4 clicks to
move the bullet 1″ at 100 yards, if you are shooting at 200 yards you would only need
to adjust the scope 2 clicks to move the point of impact 1″. At 50 yards it would take 8
clicks to move the point of impact 1″. Obviously a scope that has 1/8″ adjustments will take twice as many clicks to move the bullet 1″ at those distances. This scope happens to have .1 mil adjustments. 1 mil equals 3.6″ at 100 yards, so each click on this scope will equal .36″, or about 1/3 of an inch at 100 yards. On a rifle that I am not able to boresight by eye, such as lever action rifles, I will
set up a large clean target at about 25 yards and start shooting and adjusting the scope,
keeping in mind that the scope adjustments will only move the point of impact 1/4 of
what they would be at 100 yards. You should adjust your windage to exactly center but
leave the elevation slightly low by 1-2″. This is to account for the bullet path still
being below the line of sight, so the bullet is still rising. You can then move out to
a longer distance and zero the rifle as desired. I prefer to sight most of my center fire rifles
in to about 2″ high at 100 yards. This zero will allow me to hold pretty much dead on
out to about 250 yards while hunting. If you are in an area where you may be shooting farther
than 200 yards or so, a quality exterior ballistics program can really help determine where you
should zero your rifle at based on the distances that you expect to be shooting and it will
show you how high you should hold on
the longer shots. This scope also has a mil dot reticle, so I will actually zero for 100 yards, and then use the aiming points on the reticle for 200 to 500 yards. Thanks for watching, and be sure to check
us out online at www.starlinebrass.com.