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Old May 23, 2009, 07:30 PM   #1
mcraig8377
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What is the best way to sight in a new scope without a bore sight?

all versions of doing this needed.
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Old May 23, 2009, 07:35 PM   #2
Fat White Boy
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This is how I do it for a bolt action rifle.

Take the bolt out of the rifle. Put the rifle on a stable rest. Put a target out at 50 yards. Look through the back of the barrel out the front, move the rifle until the target is centered in the barrel.

Don't move the rifle. Look through the scope. If it isn't centered on the target- adjust it until it is. This should put the first few rounds on the paper....
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Old May 23, 2009, 08:13 PM   #3
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Or if you cannot remove the bolt to look through the barrel just use a bigger target and keep the range close for the 1st shot. 25 yards or so.

Using a bore sight tool is a waste of time and money. With a bolt action I am always closer on the first shot than with the tools, and with any other type of gun it saves me exactly 1 round of ammo.
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Old May 23, 2009, 08:14 PM   #4
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Yep, but one tip here. Something round as a target is preferrable. Experiment with sizes and distances until you get the target at least 50 yds away and it appears to be roughly half the size of the barrel as you look through it. That way, it is easy to center in the barrel as you look through it. With something large caliber (like a muzzle loader) a basketball works nicely.

I like to center the crosshairs about an inch below the apparant center of the line-of-sight of the barrel. That gives me a head start in getting it sighted in the way I like it (a couple of inches high at 100 yds).
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Old May 23, 2009, 08:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Experiment with sizes and distances until you get the target at least 50 yds away and it appears to be roughly half the size of the barrel as you look through it.
A door knob at closer ranges works well for me. I personally like the object to fill up the majority of your view through the barrel.
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Old May 23, 2009, 09:18 PM   #6
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Start short. Most new setups will hit a 2X2 target @ 50 yds. Dial into zero and go to 100, dial in some more. Continue until you are happy.
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Old May 23, 2009, 09:40 PM   #7
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Sighting something in makes me happy!! It means I have a new toy!!
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Old May 23, 2009, 09:55 PM   #8
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Place the largest target you can get out at 20M/25 yds...fire one (1) round and see where it hits on the paper...calculate the number of clicks to move it to a point 3" above the X ring and now fire two (2) rounds very slowly and correct if necessary after the first of the two by observing point of impact (POI)...move target out to 50 yds and fire the first of three (3) shots at that range and keeping it 3" high still...now move it out to 100 yds and fire three more rounds again for 3" high...

Here you have a decision to make...are you going for a single point of aim (POA) with a trajectory that will be in the kill zone to 300/350/400 yds with maybe a little holdover or will you sight dead on the X ring at 100 yds and use click adjustments from a computer generated chart to get "come ups" to specific ranges like the snipers and 1K benchrest (BR) shooters do...

If it's the first, you're finished, except you'll have to figure what the different drops will be beyond 100 yds...If it's the second, fire three more rounds, alter calculating the clicks necessary to bring it to the X ring and now fire for group size...

If you can bore sight using a proper tool that slips into the muzzle before firing the first shot even better but it isn't necessary but if you do have one note where your 100 yd POA is on it in case a knock misaligns the scope and you have to reset it...

The reason I say three inches is twofold...first there is a general rule of thumb about 3" high at 100 yds is a killing shot with center hold on deer sized game to 300 yds but more and a simpler reason, it makes you use your turrets to adjust your POI and if they don't work then you're screwed, aren't you!
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Old May 23, 2009, 10:04 PM   #9
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Start short. Most new setups will hit a 2X2 target @ 50 yds.
While probably true, the occasional setup may be many feet off at 50 yards. I have watched it happen and you don't want to send a round over the berm. As suggested above, start shorter, say 25 yards, to verify that you are safe before moving back.
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Old May 26, 2009, 11:09 AM   #10
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I had a friend drill and tap a mossberg pump for a 2.5 scope, as I was stationed in a shotgun only zone in Maryland. Neither of us had a way to bore sight. I was not looking forward to getting beat to death at the range trying to dial it in.

I took a small mag-light that would fit in the barrel, wrapped enough duct tape around it to hold it in place. The shape of the flashlight bell let me get it pretty close to centered on the barrel. I took it in the basement and used the mag-light in the dark to get the scope close.

Went to the range and finished it up. I was on paper at 50 yds with my little jury-rigged system.
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Old May 26, 2009, 12:25 PM   #11
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Using a bore sight tool is a waste of time and money.
+1 to that.
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Old May 26, 2009, 12:32 PM   #12
Mike Irwin
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What I've done in the past is really bed the rifle in good in sand bags.

Then, at 15 or 25 yards, sight at the bullseye and fire a shot.

Then, with the crosshairs on the bullseye I hold the rifle tightly in place and have a friend dial the scope until the crosshairs align on the bullet hole.

Then I fire another shot to make sure I'm in the ball park and move the target back and do it again.

Doing that at 25 yards will normally get you close to the bull at 100 yards.
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Old May 26, 2009, 01:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Using a bore sight tool is a waste of time and money
Not nearly as wasteful as shooting several rounds of premium ammo which today starts around $45 for a box of 20 and goes up from there, and we all know that one sights in with their hunting ammo if they know what their doing. A laser bore sight can be had at Wally World for less than twenty bucks and with it's use and 2 shots later one can be sighted in. That bore sight tool just paid for itself on the first gun it was used on and is ready for the next one.

If I don't have a bore sight with me I use Mike Irwin's method at 25 yards. If you don't have a second person to help, bungee cords will hold the gun in place while you adjust the sight/scope yourself. If you have a ballistic calculator you can come very close to a sight in at the intended target range you want by just shooting at the 25 yard line. For example if I'm shooting the Winchester 30-06 180 grain RNSP and at 25 yards It prints at +.30 inches I know it will be pretty close to dead on at 250 yards with a maximum 4 inch rise. Of course the final check is to shoot at a 250 yard target to make sure it is printing as desired.

Last edited by Gohon; May 26, 2009 at 01:57 PM.
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Old May 26, 2009, 01:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
What I've done in the past is really bed the rifle in good in sand bags.

Then, at 15 or 25 yards, sight at the bullseye and fire a shot.

Then, with the crosshairs on the bullseye I hold the rifle tightly in place and have a friend dial the scope until the crosshairs align on the bullet hole.

Then I fire another shot to make sure I'm in the ball park and move the target back and do it again.

Doing that at 25 yards will normally get you close to the bull at 100 yards.

x2 on that.....thats how i was taught and it works every time
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Old May 26, 2009, 01:55 PM   #15
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Back before I retired from the Army I used a pair of binoculars (govt issue 10x Steiners) to bore sight M2 .50cal BMG's. I would pull the butt plate off and remove the bolt assembly. Then I would put the side of the bino's with the reticle against the back of the MG. Then center the reticle through the barrel on a 1000 meter (yes 1000m) target. From there I would adjust the peep sights and reassemble the weapon. More times then not it would hit the target on the first round.
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Old May 26, 2009, 02:07 PM   #16
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Mike Erwin and I do it exactly the same way. Fast and positive, but we use a lock-down rest.


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Old May 26, 2009, 03:28 PM   #17
Mike Irwin
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"It works every time..."

Well, it works every time until you get it reversed and hold the cross hairs on the bullet hole and dial up to the bullseye...

Invariably the next shot is "Where the hell did my bullet go?"


"Mike Erwin..."

Who he?
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Old May 26, 2009, 03:59 PM   #18
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Mike Erwin is the one five places ahead of Mike Irwin in the alphabet.

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Old May 26, 2009, 06:20 PM   #19
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So that's who's been getting my mail...
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Old May 26, 2009, 06:39 PM   #20
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Yeah, he was asking if you really want all of those parking ticket notices.

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Old May 26, 2009, 06:40 PM   #21
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take bolt out and look down barrel and align to some reference point (I like those replacement patches for the shoot -n- see targets on a white wall). I usually do this at 10-15 feet.

then shine a bore light down the throat of the barrel on the target and turn off light and adjust scope to the dot. will get you close at 25.

go to range with ballpark close scope as mentioned above. then shoot at a 100yd scope zeroing target, but have it set up at 25 yds. Do a 1 shot, to warm/dirty barrel then 1 more shot and point cross hairs at center of target/bullseye and adjust them to the second shots impact on the paper. take 1 more shot to verify zero then move to 50 and take another shot. Depending on the trajectory of the bullet you may be low or high at 50, adjust accordingly. then move target to 100 and shoot 1 shot. adjust to where you want your scope zero'd and then shoot a 3 -5 shot group.

let gun cool off, clean bore and then shoot another foulding shot and make sure it hits close to zero. let gun cool off then go and shoot another 3 shot group. All 3 shots should be where you want the gun zero'd.

me I like to zero at the 200 - 250 mark on my faster shooting calibers (my 700 VSSF in 22-250 with a burris Signature series 6-24x44 has a 300 yd zero for those long out yotes that won't come into the calls). Also, it is a good idea to experiment with you gun and the loads you are shooting. This is so that you can guesstimate using only your crosshairs and not have to mess with the turrets if you have to take a 400-500 yds shot on an animal that might move out of range or not give you another shot if you mess up your turrets (have seen folks move their turrets in the wrong direction when excited). me I can accurately use the turrets (was an m024 shooter in the service and had lots of practice at distance) .
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Old May 26, 2009, 07:20 PM   #22
jmr40
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Gohon,

If you learn how to sight in a rifle you do not need a bore sight tool. With a bolt gun I promise I will be closer to the bull with the 1st shot than with anything I stick down the barrel of my gun. Either use graph paper or measure how far you are off and count clicks on your scope and you are set.

I fire exactly 1 shot at 50 yards. It is usually within 2" of the bull. I then make adjustments and fire the 2nd shot at 100 yards and adjust my scope again. My 3rd shot with a new scope is close enough to go hunting with 99% of the time at 100 yards. I usually move to 200 yards before I start fine tuning my rifle then go back to 100 and 50 just to see where it is hitting at those ranges.

With a rifle that I cannot see down the barrel on it MIGHT take 1 additional shot. Just use a bigger target or start closer.
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Old May 26, 2009, 07:52 PM   #23
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The ruler is your friend.

Even at 10 yards if you measure your single shot as precisely as possible in its relation to the bulleyes.

A regular 1/4 moa click scope at 10 yards will instead of 4 clicks to the inch be 40 clicks to the inch.

Say for instance at 10 yards I fire my rifle at the bulleyes. The bullet impacts 2 to the right and 2 and a quarter down.

Here is the trick though. I adjust 80 clicks left but on my elevation .......I keep in mind that scope line of sight over line of bore at 10 yards can average about 1 and a half inches.

This means I only want to bring my point of impact up 3/4 inches instead of 2 and a quarter. 30 clicks.

Go out and shoot for a typical zeroing at 50 yards or even a hundred and you will be suprised at how close you are to a zero.

At least it works with me.
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Old May 26, 2009, 08:12 PM   #24
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jmr40, to each his own and I certainly do know how to sight in a rifle. If I have my bore sight device with me I use it. Some do and some don't but just because you can't get one to work right don't chide those of us that know how. My main point was I can accomplish the sight in job using far less ammo than you do so the broad statement that it is a waste of time and money is not true at all. For those times I don't have a bore sight tool I use the 25 yard rule. Again, to each his own.
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