How to Sight In Your Scope Without A Laser 008

Kicking It Old School: How to Sight In Your Scope Without A Laser

Wild Ones Blogger – Fay Walker - Fay-vorite PastimesNorth Florida  COORDINATES XY:   Anywhere, Florida

I have a few scopes. They are not the best but they are the best I could buy for the money I had at the time. At the time of purchase, I knew little to nothing about scopes so I allowed the local gun shop to complete the installs on both my Knight Muzzle loader and my .308 rifle.

Being new to the hunting industry, I was quite ignorant of the basics of gun care; maintenance, and sighting in my scope. Eager as always to take on a fresh challenge, I adopted a “can do” attitude and took my accessorized weapons to the local public gun range to acquaint myself with their new dynamics.

Now, I must preface what happened next with a note that in my “young married days,” I would occasionally shoot an open sight .22 rifle. I like to think I was a pretty good shot. My targets, which consisted of beer cans at 50ft off the back porch, rarely out maneuvered my barrage of baby bullets. Oh yes, I was a regular Becky Boone…that is, until the scope incident.

Now if you follow my posts, you know that I didn’t become a hunter until later in life. When I began to incorporate hunting into my other outdoor activities, I started to take a little more seriously, the necessity for scopes.  As it was explained to me, I would need a scope if I wanted to hunt the elusive white tail. After the local gunsmith installed my awesome deadly accurate scopes, I assumed that I could shoot the ticks off of a dog at 100 yards – at least that is what I was led to believe.

In an effort to beat the crowd, I arrived at the outdoor pubic gun range early – in this little town, 5 people at the gun range is 4 too many. My hometown gun range has three ranges: 2 – 50 yard ranges and a third 100 yard range. The 100 yard range was full so I chose to sit at one of 50 yard ranges.

I set up my targets and immediately began hitting the bull’s eye – that is, if I had placed said bull’s eye at the very top of the 50ft dirt embankment (aka: the “wall of China”) at the far end of the range. I could clearly see that while I was aiming at the target, the dirt at the top of the mighty wall was getting all of the action. If there was any doubt, I could also hear the bullets ricochet in the trees beyond “the wall” to the accompaniment of snickers and the occasional “WTH?” from the range next door. Wow – was I getting old? Had my eyesight gone to heck? What was wrong?

I was informed that I was a bad shot but in reality, my tree killing tendencies weren’t a result of poor aim; being a girl, or declining eye health in my dotage – it was that I was not properly educated on how to sight my scope for maximum effectiveness. I went home after that, dragging my weapons and my spirit behind me.

It wasn’t until much later that I was able to corner my cousin-in-law who taught me the basics of sighting in a scope in a manner that gave me a measure of independence.

Now that I am older and wiser, I would spare another gal from the same embarrassing fate. Here are some basic tips for sighting in your scope. These days, a laser sight is considered one of the more cost effective ways of sighting in a scope but ensuring the bullet hits what you have aimed at is paramount so a little bit of “Old School” scope alignment is necessary.

Let’s take a look at the basics of proper scope alignment and put an end to the shame of poorly sighted scopes.

If you are not at a public gun range but you have access to property where you can safely sight your scope in, then: •Set up your target area by placing new targets. Pace off 25 yards from your target area. • Set up a small card table and chairs at the 25 yard mark to more easily make adjustments to your scope.
If you are not at a public gun range but you have access to property where you can safely sight your scope in, then:
• Set up your target area by placing new targets. Pace off 25 yards from your target area.
• Set up a small card table and chairs at the 25 yard mark to more easily make adjustments to your scope.
What you will need (minimum):  1. Card Table/chair 2. Front rest or Bean bag – to secure rifle 3. Target sheets and a staple gun  4. Ear plugs  5. Shooting glasses  6. Ammunition 7. Weapons  8. Needle nose pliers
What you will need (minimum):
1. Card Table/chair
2. Front rest or Bean bag – to secure rifle
3. Target sheets and a staple gun
4. Ear plugs
5. Shooting glasses
6. Ammunition
7. Weapons
8. Needle nose pliers
Using the bean bag and front rest to stabilize your weapon, shoot your target.  • Don’t forget your eye wear and hearing protection.
Using the bean bag and front rest to stabilize your weapon, shoot your target.
• Don’t forget your eye wear and hearing protection.
Check the hole in the target to determine how far you are from the center or bull’s eye. In this case, you can see that the scope skews the shot approximately 2 inches lower than the bull’s eye – where I aimed.
Check the hole in the target to determine how far you are from the center or bull’s eye.
In this case, you can see that the scope skews the shot approximately 2 inches lower than the bull’s eye – where I aimed.
Unscrew the cap covering your scope dial and read the language. In this case, “ 1 Click ¼” means that you will need to turn the dial 4 clicks to the left to adjust the scope up 1 inch.  • The dial on the side is used to make changes left or right. • The dial on the top is used to make changes up or down.  In our case, we need to raise our aim by 2 inches so, we will need to turn the dial left 8 clicks.
Unscrew the cap covering your scope dial and read the language. In this case, “ 1 Click ¼” means that you will need to turn the dial 4 clicks to the left to adjust the scope up 1 inch.
• The dial on the side is used to make changes left or right.
• The dial on the top is used to make changes up or down.
In our case, we need to raise our aim by 2 inches so, we will need to turn the dial left 8 clicks.

 

Sometimes the dial is too small and it is easier to use pliers to make the adjustment.
Sometimes the dial is too small and it is easier to use pliers to make the adjustment.

 

After you have made the required adjustments to the scope, shoot at the target again. Be sure to use the bean bag to stabilize the weapon.  This time around, it is extremely important to ensure that your weapon is stable. You don’t want to over-correct. If you do not achieve a bull’s eye after the first adjustment, then continue to make small incremental adjustments to the dial. If you consistently miss your mark, a suggestion is to have a friend shoot the target to eliminate the possibility of human error.
After you have made the required adjustments to the scope, shoot at the target again. Be sure to use the bean bag to stabilize the weapon.
This time around, it is extremely important to ensure that your weapon is stable. You don’t want to over-correct.
If you do not achieve a bull’s eye after the first adjustment, then continue to make small incremental adjustments to the dial. If you consistently miss your mark, a suggestion is to have a friend shoot the target to eliminate the possibility of human error.

Once you have achieved a good measure of accuracy at 25 yards, then move the target back to a 100 yard distance and test your aim again. Distance will affect the velocity of your ammo and your scope’s resulting accuracy. It is good to get a feel for how your weapon will fire both close up and further out. If you have trouble seeing the target at 100 yards, then use the zoom in and focus functions located toward the front of the scope.

While there are more ways to sight in a scope than I have room to write about in this publication, this method seems to be the easiest to perform that will achieve the best results.

I would like to send out a huge thank you to my cousin-in-law, Mike who graciously agreed to assist me with this simple guide.  I hope you enjoyed this article and will find it useful.

 

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4 thoughts on “Kicking It Old School: How to Sight In Your Scope Without A Laser”

  1. I’d add one more step. Shoot your rifle under hunting conditions. You may be spot on with a table and rest, but for some people, shooting stick, kneeling and sitting can put you off target. You can either correct the sight for hunting or know the hold off from your target sight.

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