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How to Easily (and Cheaply) Sight In Your Scope

“I don’t have a bore sighter. What if I’m not on paper? What if I shoot the wrong target?  I’ll look like an idiot.” Those are the thoughts that might run through your head if you aren’t confident in your ability to sight in your scope. Fortunately, there is a fast and easy way to do this. Other than the cost of a few shots, it’s even free. You don’t need a bore sighter, and you won’t waste a bunch of ammo trying to adjust your impact a few inches at a time.

1. For now, ignore your paper target. Find a berm at the appropriate distance for sighting in your rifle. For my Burris XTR II, that was 100 yards.

Sight Scope

2. Pick out, or place, a small target on the berm. For me, that was an old piece of styrofoam. Aim and fire at the target. Using the berm is important because you need to be able to see the impact of your shot.

3. Re-aim at the same target and keep your rifle perfectly still. While holding still, and looking through your optic, adjust the reticle of your scope (or your red dot) to match the point of impact. It is helpful if you have a friend move the adjustment knobs while you look through your optic (making sure not to move the rifle), announcing when to stop the movement of the reticle up / down or right / left. For me, I had to move the reticle up about twelve inches and left about eighteen inches. I easily could have missed a paper target, or worse, shot the target of the person next to mine.

Rifle optic sighted

4. You should now be really close to right on target. You can fine-tune the adjustments on a better target.

This method may seem obvious to some people. However, the world of scopes and guns, particularly on a crowded rifle range, can be confusing. I hope this will save some ammo, time, and frustration.



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