OK for all you neophytes and not so neophytes… you really wanna know the easy way to sight in your scoped firearm? Here it is…
1) Make sure your gun is clean and made safe by practicing the ACTS & PROVE method! (if you don’t know what this is you need to take a safety course!)
2) Use a bench with sand bags or preferrably a gun vice such as a “Caldwell Lead Sled”!
3) Start by bore sighting your firearm or having it bore sighted at the local gunstore! This will save you a ton of money on ammo! ( With bolt actions you can do a reasonable job of bore sighting by removing the bolt and looking through the bore at the target, then adjusting your scope to the center of the target as well!)
4) After bore sighting put a standard large target up at 25 yards ( Caldwell Orange peel or similar targets show the impacts well! ) Then put your gun firmly in the vice and point it at the center of the target. Make sure the power setting is on a low enough setting to see the target clearly at 25 yards. And make sure your cross hairs are focused using the eyepiece adjustment and your Objective lens is focused if you have an adjustable Objective!. NOW Squeeze don’t pull or jerk the shot! Always let your firearm cool down completely in between shots… five minutes is good… if it is a hot day you may need to put the gun in the shade and wait longer!
5) Check where your impact is on the target in relation to your center point of aim… If for example the bullet hole is three inches high and six inches to the right of center, you will need to move the scope adjustments three inches down and six inches to the left. Start with the Elevation Knob which is on the top of the scope, take the covers off both the windage and elevation and put them in your pocket!!! Now look at the exposed knob and see which direction you turn it to move the point of impact down! It will usually have an arrow that points at the word “up”. You will be turning it the other way for “down”. ( You are in effect moving the point of impact down when you move the dial down! ).
6) Now center your firearm back on the center of the target again, and while holding it there ( this is where a buddy comes in real handy! ) you or your buddy can turn the elevation dial in the downward direction (Use the proper sized screwdriver for this action ). All the while holding the firearm firmly and watching through the scope as the crosshairs move up until they intersect the bullet hole!
7) Now we need to adjust the windage we need to move the point of impact to the left so we determine which way is left on the adjustment knob. Make sure the firearm is firmly in the vice again with the vertical crosshair on the center point of aim and the horizontal crosshair on the bullet hole as you have already moved it up to the hole. So now get your buddy or yourself to turn the windage knob as you watch the crosshair move to the left until it intersects the bullet hole. Now your crosshairs should be both centered on the bullet hole.
8 Take another shot at 25 yards and check to see if your adjustments were correct. And make any minor adjustments as neccesary.
9) Move your target out to 100 yards and repeat the same process except you should fire a three shot group before making any adjustments! “Never” I repeat “Never” adjust your scope after only one shot! Your firearm may be only capable of a three inch group at 100 yards so it is imperative to shoot a three shot group minimum! Remember to let your firearm cool down in between shots!
10) Find your three bullet holes and then find the center of that group of shots then adust to this point only. When adjusting it is a good idea to count your clicks at 100 yards and check them against the specs for your scope. A quarter minute adjustment scope will move one inch with four clicks, an eight minute adjustment scope will move an inch with eight clicks. 10) If your firearm is shooting nice tight groups you may want to set it for an inch or two high at 100 yards and then check the point of impact at 200. REFER TO THE MAXIMUM POINT BLANK RANGE ARTICLE FOR SIGHTING IN FOR LONG RANGE!
I hope this helps you folks for your sighting in chores… we call this method WALKING THE CROSSHAIRS TO THE HOLE!
GOOD LUCK AND SAFE HUNTING