It seems like a pretty simple task. Line up the sights and press the trigger, right? Well, not exactly. Sighting your rifle is a bit more complicated than that – but don’t worry, this blog post by Eagle Arms will walk you through the process of sighting your rifle step by step so your riflescope can hold zero. So whether you’re a first-time shooter or a seasoned pro, read on for all the information you need.
What is Sighting or Zeroing the Rifle?
Ranged firearms have a riflescope that helps the shooter shoot with accuracy. It has a reticle, a crosshair used to line up the target. Zeroing the rifle means aligning the reticle with the point of impact on the target so that when you shoot, the bullet hits where you aimed.
Why do I Need to Sight my Riflescope?
If your firearm is not sighted-in, you will not be able to hit your aim. Zeroing is important because it gives you the ability to know how your weapon will shoot. It improves your accuracy, especially at longer distances. Sighting in is also essential because you do not want your projectiles flying around, which can be dangerous.
How Do I Zero My Rifle?
Zeroing a rifle is quite simple and does not require a lot of expensive equipment. You need a riflescope, a firearm, a solid surface to rest your rifle on, eye and ear protection, a target, and some ammunition.
Now that you have those items, you need to follow these steps:
1. Choose the distance you want to zero at. Start from a shorter distance, like 30 yards, and work your way up.
2. Set up your rifle on a solid surface. You can use a shooting bench, bipod, or tripod.
3. Place your target downrange.
4. Get comfortable and align your eye with the riflescope.
5. Slowly squeeze the trigger until the shot breaks—fire three times.
6. Observe where your shot lands concerning your point of aim.
7. You need to adjust the sights if your shot did not land on the bullseye, i.e., adjust the reticle with the elevation and windage dials.
8. Once your reticle is aligned with the bullseye of the target, fire three more times and check your shot placement.
9. Repeat the process until your shots consistently hit the bullseye.
Once your rifle has been sighted in, it will usually hold zero, but sometimes it will lose it. Check for these things if this happens:
You can check to see if the scope has become loose from recoil. You should also check for damage to the riflescope or rings that might have occurred when zeroing. Sometimes it can also be due to the barrel heating up. If nothing helps, then it might be that the scope is defective.
Once you have resolved the problem, you can follow the abovementioned steps to find your zero again!