How To Sight Rifle Scope For Long Range

If you are a shooter looking to improve your shooting skills, it is a powerful skill to add to your arsenal. The installation process involved in sighting a rifle scope needs a technical understanding.  If your scope is not properly sighted in, you risk missing your target or, worse yet, making a kill that we consider unethical. We want to give you a simple-to-follow tutorial so you can have your scope set up correctly and ready to go because this is such a top priority for a good hunter. Read on! 

How To Sight Rifle Scope For Long Range

So, What Is A Rifle Scope? 

A rifle scope is a crucial shooting gear that enables shooters to hit long-range targets accurately. A reticle and several magnification lenses are used in the construction of scopes. A reticle is a tool that shows the area of the target where your ammunition should strike it. Together, these tools enable more precise shots to be taken at a distance.

Why You Should Get A Rifle Scope 

Most gun enthusiasts today employ an optical sighting system on most of their weapons. They don’t use a scope only on rifles but also on shotguns and handguns. This is for a very good reason: simplicity. One-third of the difficulty of aligning iron sights is fully eliminated when aiming through a scope or red dot sight. When using metallic sights, you must align the target and the front and rear sights. With a scope, all you need to do is align the reticle with the target. Since most rifle scopes also provide magnification, your mark will appear closer, allowing you to fire a more accurate shot. Scopes are also much simpler to learn to use than iron sights.

Why Do You Need To Site In Your Rifle Scope 

Sighting in your rifle scope is the most effective way to get accuracy on your shots. Hence, you need to take time and learn how to sight in your rifle scope because that knowledge will surely improve your long range shooting. The next paragraph will highlight some of the reasons why you need to sight your rifle scope. 

  • Better Accuracy 

When you sight your rifle scope for long range shooting, one of the advantages it gives you is the fact that you won’t be limited by distance. A well-sighted rifle scope can allow you to hit a 100-yard target very easily. 

  • Long Range Shots 

Most scopes come with powerful magnifications. Hence, when you sight your rifle scope, the high magnification helps you hit targets from afar. 

  • Better Confidence While Shooting 

When you sight your rifle scope, there is a confidence boost it gives you. This confidence comes from the fact that you know that you can now hit targets more accurately. 

  • Better Safety 

When hunting at night, you must have a good scope that you can trust. With a well-sighted rifle scope, long-distance shots become easier at night. Also, some scopes come with night vision

  • Competition Edge 

If you enter a competition without using a rifle scope, you put yourself at an instant disadvantage. If you are going to come out tops in a competition, you must use the best rifle scope. 

How To Sight Rifle Scope For Long Range

We have gotten to the important part of this guide. It doesn’t matter if you are using a precision rifle; if you don’t use a good hunting scope, you will be missing shots and wounding your targets instead of giving them a quick, painless death. 

No matter what you are hunting, it would help if you had top-notch equipment. The best rifle scope must be precisely sighted to be ready to shoot any big game. The following paragraph will explain using a step-by-step guide on how to sight your rifle scope. 

Step 1 

The first step is to set up your rifle scope. Hunting optics for rifles are common. A good long range rifle scope gives hunters a great vantage point to assure a quality kill; therefore, it’s in your best interest to use them properly.

The first thing you should do is to check the scope mounting one last time before you begin sighting in your scope. Rings must be torqued and tightened to the recommended levels. Safety comes first; therefore, ensure your eye relief is set correctly to avoid being hit by the optic during recoil. If you don’t set your eye relief correctly, the optics may rebound from the force of recoil and hit you in the eye, causing a black eye. 

Step 2 

The next step is to be boresight. You need to slow down and stop. Before firing a gun, spend some time boresighting a new scope. It will help you save time as you get to work.
Read this guide for full guide to boresight a rifle scope from Accurate Ordnance.

It would help if you started clearing the gun while learning to utilize a bore sight. As you begin, the rifle must be unloaded, and the barrel must be clear.

The bolt or magazine must be removed after you are satisfied that the rifle is clear and unloaded. The barrel will be pointed downrange while you mount the weapon in a safe resting place and continue with the cleaning process. Once that’s completed, you can proceed to the following action.

Step 3

Next, you need to rest, center, and bore the scope. You must set the rifle on a shooting rest to boresight the rifle scope. Most businesses with an outdoor, shooting, or hunting department carry shooting rests. Also, they are often not extremely pricey.

The first thing you want to do is stand behind the rifle and look into the bore or through the rifle barrel once it is set up on rest. The objective is carefully to move the rifle while making small adjustments to center the target in the bore.

Without moving the gun, the next step is to center the sight. The target you are aiming at down the bore should be in the center of the reticle.

Step 4

A boresight isn’t very accurate. Making sure it is accurate enough to hit a paper target at a closer range should be your aim. You will know you are doing fairly when shooting your rifle at 25 yards hits the paper.

There is also the option of using a laser boresight if you’d rather not manually bore sight. It performs the same function and fits into the rifle’s chamber. Making your primary arms precise does make things easier, but it is not required.

Step 5

This step involves you focusing on the reticle. It would help if you focused the reticle, or crosshair, on the sight after it has been tightened. When looking through the scope, you must train your eyes to focus intently on the crosshairs.

Furthermore, you need a stable background to focus the reticle; the sky serves this purpose perfectly. You can start by aiming your scope at the sky, then turn your head to look at a distant cloud or tree. Finally, return your gaze to the long range scope.

It is important to ensure the best long range scope is sharp and focused when you turn your attention back to it. It needs to happen faster since you don’t want to wait for your eyes to adjust. 

Step 6

You are ready to start shooting once the scope has been tightened and the reticle has been focused and adjusted.

Here’s an expert suggestion: whenever you test your rifle, use the same ammunition you want for hunting. You’ll get a fair notion of how it will respond when you’re out hunting from it.

You can start shooting at 25 yards, as bore sighting is meant to get you on paper at that distance.

Use sandbags or a shooting rest to hold the rifle stable to make this simple. Fire a shot while keeping your aim in the target’s center. The shot will be fired, and the gun will recoil. Action open, bring the weapon back to the center of the target.

Hold your rifle steady as much as possible while looking through the scope and setting the crosshair to the point of contact until it’s back in the center and stable. If more shots are needed, make an elevation adjustment, fire another one and repeat the process. Proceed to move out to a different range after the shot is in the center.

Step 5

Please make sure that you adjust the distance. Understanding how to sight a scope at various ranges requires making extremely minute changes that move the scope by one-quarter inch MOA, or minute of angle, for every hundred yards away.

Ensure that your shot is often moved by a quarter of an inch for every additional hundred yards. You can fine-tune for targets that will be farther away once you can consistently shoot grouped rounds close to the bullseye at each distance. Don’t fire too quickly; some rifles tend to “walk” shots as the barrel warms up. Giving your barrel time to cool between bullets will prevent your rifle from hitting the precise target you aim for if you shoot too quickly.

Step 6

You need to set your MOA. A 360-degree clock’s minute hand is a moa or minute of angle. With a reference of 1/60 of a degree each minute, accurate shooting angles are possible. Making adjustments and setting your zero involves several steps. Given that you will need targets placed at a variety of distances greater than 50 yards, you might find it to be the easiest to complete at an outdoor long range shooting range. Additionally, it would help if you had a mount to keep your rifle steady when making adjustments to your MOA.

You are allowed to make adjustments to the crosshairs in most rifle scopes in 14 MOA steps. At 100 yards, this translates to 14″ of movement with each click. The most popular MOA click values for hunters are 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch.

You must crank the elevation or windage knob four clicks for your ammo impact to travel one inch or one MOA at 100 yards. For every 100-yard increase in distance, the click value increases by a quarter of an inch.

How To Fix the Issue Of Hunting Scope Losing Zero After Firing 

Your scope mount can lose zero for several reasons. One of the reasons can include mechanical problems, poor mounting, and blocked barrels. Below are some things you can do if your scope mount doesn’t hold zero after firing. 

  • Start by setting up your long range riflescope and firing your shot. 
  • Hold your rifle still immediately after you are done shooting. 
  • Then, line up your crosshairs with the bullseye. 
  • Next, adjust your scope and line up crosshairs with the target. 
  • Release another shot. Repeat these steps for long range shooting. 

Final Thoughts 

Every good rifle sharpshooter knows the importance of learning to sight rifle scopes for long range. An accurate rifle scope can mean distinguishing between winning a shooting competition and crashing out miserably. Some advantages of properly sighting your rifle scope include better accuracy, more confidence, and becoming a better night shot.