Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sight In That Rifle Before Deer Season

As deer season is right around the corner I am going to post a couple of articles in the next weeks about sighting in a rifle and using enough gun for the game you're hunting.  In my years of guiding hunters two of the most common reasons for missing shots at game are rifles that are not sighted in properly and using a rifle with too much recoil.  Many believe they can have a gunsmith boresight a rifle and go hunting, that is not properly sighting a rifle.  The other group think they have to have the latest super magnum to be accepted by the group at the deer lease.  I shoot a .243 most of the time and the game on the pole along with the shots I make prove it up year after year.  Above all be safe with your firearms, don't mix alcohol and guns, take a kid with you hunting and have fun. I hope you enjoy the following article on sighting in your rifle and just maybe learn a little. Wild Ed

A gentleman sent me an email asking if there was an easy way to sight in a rifle. He said he had gone through several boxes of ammo to sight in his rifle. I have heard this many times and always wonder what is wrong to take so many shots. Remember the scope must be mounted correctly and all must be tight in order to sight in properly. I won’t go into that here. If you do not know how to mount a scope correctly have someone that does help you the first couple of times or have a professional gunsmith do it for you. Do not let some kid in a box store mount your scope. I have had to remount lots of scopes for clients through the years. Bore sighting a firearm means it might be on the paper, It does not mean you have a firearm that is sighted in properly. Bore sighting will usually get the shots on the paper but not always. I have seen lots of people miss with a gun that has been bore sighted, if I had known that they had not sighted in the rifle properly I would not have been hunting with them. Every barrel and different ammo will impact differently and must be shot in properly on a target.
 Remember that if your rifle barrel has been cleaned since firing or it is a brand new rifle to fire a couple of fouling shots before sighting in. Many rifles will not shoot to the same point of impact with a clean oiled barrel as they will with a fouled barrel.

Here is the fastest and simplest way I know to sight in a rifle. I usually start at 25 yards so I will be on the paper. Even a bore sighted rifle may not be on the paper at long range. I get a solid gun vice or some way to hold the rifle in place where it will not move. A cardboard box with two v cutouts to rest the rifle across can be used in a pinch. I fire one shot at the bullseye and then make sure the cross hair is lined up on the center of the bullseye. Making sure not to move the rifle adjust the elevation and windage until the crosshair is exactly centered on the bullet hole where the shot you just fired hit. This means move the center of the reticle to the actual center of the bullet hole of your shot. Next carefully fire a second shot at the bullseye. If you did not move the rifle while adjusting the scope and you can shoot, the second shot should be in the bullseye. In reality most will need a few more shots for small adjustments to get into the center of the bull, but this is a lot faster that most other methods and uses a lot less ammo.

Now move to the one-hundred yard target and finish sighting in with whatever small adjustments are needed to get you where you want to be on the target. Have a great season,Wild Ed

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