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How do you sight in your guns?

csutton7

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Jan 5, 2001
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1,934
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Omaha, NE usa
I haven't searched to see if or when this has been discussed, but I was thinking 'bout how do guys sight in their guns? Do they use a sled, or bags or shooting sticks, offhand, a bench, off the truck, do you have a level on your scope, how do you hold the gun, how do you control your heartbeat to keep the crosshairs from moving, etc..... Me, I'm a bench and bag guy(mostly) and try to hold the gun tight to my shoulder and use my off hand to just steady the fore end on the bag. I don't squeeze it tight, just enough to keep it from wiggling. I don't have a level on my scope either. I usually breathe in and then let out and squeeze the trigger at the end when my heartbeat has ended and the crosshairs are on the bullseye.
 

VikingsGuy

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Aug 2, 2017
Messages
5,808
Location
Twin Cities
Use both bipod with rear bag prone and front rest with rear bag off bench - no particular preference.
 

TN2shot07

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Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
331
Location
West TN
Bench with front bipod and rear bipod buddy. Used a lead sled for a long time, but found my groups are better for some reason with bipods.
Do you like that rear bipod buddy? I was looking at the rugged ridge, but this one is half the price and looks like a good set up. Currently just use a bag
 

nrpate05

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Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
964
I should invest in better range equipment. I use what I have. Sometimes it is a duffel bag to rest the front on and then a rolled up jacket for the rear. I probably would save a lot of money on ammo if I was a little better prepared...
 

Sytes

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Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
7,845
Location
Montana
As one not big with the enjoyment factor for sighting in, and one who's seen my rifle take spills with me, it's the burden that I deal with to ensure my shots are true.
Off my truck. I have a jacket to perch or use a small sand bag.

25 yard target dialed then ---> 200 yard target. Nothing fancy. At 200 my groups are tight enough to feel good understanding my average range variance.
 

ssmusicman

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
15
Location
West Central WI
Lead sled, controlled breathing. I shoot from 100-500 actual yards and record the ballistics/clicks on the scope and make a cheat sheet to put in my shell holder on the stock.

Update 1: Also use the level-level method on the scope mounting.
Update 2: Also check at 300 yards with different zoom set on the scope, Min/Max to make sure there is no change, (minimal change)....
Update 3: All this is for sighting in the rifle. Actual practice is done in various prone and sitting positions with bi-pod.
 
Last edited:

RG_Adult_Onset_Hunter

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Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
168
Location
Ruch, Oregon
My range does not allow prone shooting for safety reasons, so I shoot from a bench using my typical backpack in front and an adjustable bag (that I also use for precision shooting) in the back. I can dial it in to the point that the gun will sit on a target at 200 without any issue, then it just comes down to being honest with myself about my trigger press.

This brings me to an important tip....do not shoot at the range before you have dry fired. I started doing dry fire at the range prior to any shooting earlier this year, and my goodness does that make a difference in my performance.
 

Happy Myles

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Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
181
Ajustable front rest or sand bags another sand bag at stock heel. Dry fire three times between live rounds or dry fire until the cross hairs do not jump on target after trigger pull. Focus on straight back trigger and follow through.
 

ImBillT

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Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
1,689
I use sand bags and a rear bag on a bench, then shoot off of sticks and prone to double check. Depending on stock shape and recoil you can get an elevation difference between shooting on a bench compared to from sticks and prone. When the rifle recoils on a bench it rides the bags, and moves some before the bullet leaves the barrel. On most hunting stocks, both the fore end and the butt have some slope, and usually cause the barrel to tip up just a little before the bullet leaves. From sticks or off-hand that doesn’t happen, and when prone the rifle usually recoils less because you’re backing it up better. Usually I either so no difference in POI or a lower POI when shooting from sticks or prone. If there is a significant difference, I’ll adjust my zero to be correct when shooting from sticks.
 

Brian in Montana

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Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,719
Location
Ramsay, MT
I'm usually sighting for MPBR so I put a red dot on the target where I want the trajectory to be at 100yds (usually about 2.5" above the bullseye). I used to use sandbags but mostly use a led sled these days. Take 3 fouling shots, let the barrel cool to ambient temperature. Then I make small adjustments with each shot, letting it cool in between, until I've center-punched the previously mentioned red dot.
 

brymoore

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Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
1,463
Location
Idaho
25 yards and then 3”s high at 100 yards. I use a Caldwell rifle rest from a table.

I sighted my last new rifle in three shots.
 

VikingsGuy

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Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
5,808
Location
Twin Cities
Then I make small adjustments with each shot.
Unless you have a very accurate rifle/round/shooter, when fine-tuning (less than 2 inches or so), I would suggest taking 3 shots before adjusting and do so basis their average. Otherwise, you are not so much setting zero as chasing around natural variance.
 

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