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Rifle Shooting Tip: Sighting In Your Rifle

Mar 7, 2008
Zeroing your sight on your rifle should be something you do during regular maintenance of your rifle. You'd be surprised how it drifts from zero, especially if you are transporting your rifle or if it gets bumped around. Take the time to zero your sight whenever you go to the practice range or arrive at your hunting site.

If you are on an extended hunting trip, you may want to recheck your sight every few days, as trudging through the wilderness can also affect your sight. If you are on horseback, this is more important, and if your rifle is tossed among your gear in the back of a pickup, it is even more important to recheck your rifle occasionally. If you're out hunting and you miss a shot that you think you should have gotten, that is another clue that you may need to adjust your sight.

What is zeroing your sight? You are aligning the crosshairs in your sight so they point where your gun barrel points. If you notice that you've got your target lined up just right in the crosshairs and your shot still misses its mark, your sight is off. With practice you'll be able to zero out your sight easily.
Choose a practice target about 25 yards away. Fire two or three shots, then examine where they hit. Are they close together? If they are within two or three inches, you are ready to adjust your sight. Adjust your rear sight in the direction you want to shoot. So, if you are shooting high, lower it. If you are shooting to the right of the target, move the rear sight to the left.

If you have a scope, adjust your crosshairs in the direction the scope tells you. For example, if you are shooting high and to the right, turn the screws "down" and "left" the correct amount of clicks. Now aim and shoot another two or three shots. Continue to repeat this process until your sight is aligned properly with your shot. To fine tune your rifle sight, once you may want to try again at 100 yards. Once you get the hang of this, you'll be able to do a really fast check to see if you're zeroed out properly, and you'll be able to align it quickly and easily.

If you just want to make sure before you take your shot, it is worth the cartridge to check it out at some point along the trail. Knowing that your sight is accurate will give you more confidence when your target comes into view.

Like anything else you are learning with your rifle, practice makes perfect. Spending the time to learn the ins and outs of using your rifle will make you a better hunter, and make your hunting trips more enjoyable, since you are more likely to return home with a good catch. Practice on your own and with other hunters. You can also learn tips from seasoned hunters that will help you be more efficient when it comes to adjustments and maintenance required on your rifle.
About the Author
Scott Peters is an avid outdoorsman and hunter. For more informaton please see Nikon Buckmaster Scopes.
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