Properly Sighting your Hunting Rifle for better Accuracy

Before you go out on your first hunting trip, you’ll need to sight in your rifle. This is essential for any hunter who wishes to take accurate shots, and can help you get to know your gun better. That is aside from buying scopes at today. In most cases, you can sight in your rifle at a local shooting range; if one isn’t available, you can go to your property or lease and use a target for this purpose.

Clean Your Rifle

Before you sight in your hunting rifle, you’ll need to make sure it’s clean and free of damage. You can purchase a hunting “cradle” from outfitters like Bass Pro Shop to keep your gun steady and in a downward position while you clean. You’ll want to use a solvent like Hoppes No. 9 and an abrasive such as Gold Medallion to make sure the gun is in tip-top shape.

Set Up Your Target

If you decide to use a shooting range, they will have a wide variety of targets to use to sight in your hunting rifle. In most cases, you’ll want a target that is 20-25 feet away. Some shooting ranges have targets that are specifically designed for different guns, while others will have standard targets that can be used with any weapon. Just make sure that you have adequate room and that the target is well within your line of vision.

Steady Your Gun

Regardless of where you decide to sight in your hunting rifle, make sure that you have a rest on which to steady your gun. This purpose of this is to eliminate extraneous factors, such as shaking in your hands or an uneven stance. When you rest your gun on a steady surface, you ensure that the accuracy of your shot will be determine by your rear sight and scope.

Take Three Shots

Some hunters prefer to take as many as five preliminary shots, but three should be sufficient for the first round of sighting in. After you’ve fired off those three shots, check the target to determine where you’re beginning. The shots should be no more than two inches apart, and you can tell how accurate your gun is by how far the shots landed from the center of the target.

Adjust Rear Sight and Scope

Now that you have an idea for the accuracy of your shots, it’s time to adjust your rear sight and scope. It works backwards of what you might think; if your shots are too low, you need to adjust down; if they’re too far right, you’ll need to go left. This requires a little bit of guess and check, so don’t move too much until you can tell what the affect will be on your shot. Continue shooting in three-round intervals until the shots are accurate.

As you can tell, it isn’t difficult to sight in a hunting rifle, but it pays to take the time for this important step. Don’t assume that just because your gun was accurate last year, it will be right on target this year. Corrosion, dirt and other contaminants can change the sight of your rifle significantly over a period of just a few months.