Tip of the Week: Sighting In
It is absolutely necessary to sight in your deer rifle before you go hunting. You owe it to the deer to make certain your rifle shoots where you point it. Even if you just bought a rifle and the store bore-sighted the gun with a collimator, you still need to shoot it and fine-tune the point of impact. Bore-sighting can be precise and can make a rifle shoot close enough to hit a paper target at 25 yards, but it’s not meant to be a substitute for sighting in the rifle on a range.
Twenty-five yards is where you should start shooting when you take a new rifle to the range. You can get a friend to sight in your rifle for you, but I do not recommend doing so. You need to know how to make adjustments to your sights, no matter if you shoot a scope or open sights.
If your sights get knocked off while you’re hunting, you’ll have to resight the rifle yourself, and you need to know how it works. Besides, the more you shoot your rifle at targets, the more likely you are to make an accurate shot on a deer.
Take your rifle to a range where you have a solid bench to shoot from. Use sand bags to create a solid rifle rest.
Most popular deer rifles that shoot slightly low at 25 yards will be about 2 inches high at 100 yards. Hunters who take shots out to 200 or 300 yards usually sight in a little high at 100 yards. If you never take a shot beyond 100 yards, sight in to be dead on at that distance.
Any time you put a rifle on an airplane, you should shoot it at a target before you hunt. For that matter, you should fire at a target every now and then throughout the hunting season.
Once sighted in, most hunting rifles are very reliable, but even the most accurate rifle can be “off” if it’s knocked around enough.
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