View Full Version : Tools for Sighting in a Rifle...what do you recommend?

The Kid
August 2, 2009, 10:27 AM
I guess the first decision I need to make is do I want to use bags or some kind of rest.

I was thinking about the Caldwell 7 Rest Shooting Rest (http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/GNS106-1.html)

but I didn't know anyone who used them. Then a guy suggested bags to me, so I started looking at something like DeadShotâ„¢ Shooting Rest Combo. http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/Caldwell-DeadShot-Shooting-Rest-Combo.aspx?a=506912&kwtid=294994

This Caldwell NXT Steady rifle looks decent as well. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VZ1IJG

So that's kind of where I am right now. I'm shooting a remington 700 adl .30-06 I just want the most stable shooting platform for sighting in my rifle scope at 100 yds. Which one of these is the BEST for holding the rifle the steadiest? Or is there something comparable that another company makes that will work just as well that is about the same price ( < $50).

Thanks all

August 2, 2009, 11:01 AM
A laser bore sight is a handy tool to get on paper at 25 yards and then fine tune from there. After that, I dial it in at the longer ranges. Only other tool I need is a good sling. I zero my rifles in prone. :D

The Kid
August 2, 2009, 11:24 AM
thanks Cort Jestir, but I don't think I'm as good of a shot as you

August 2, 2009, 12:27 PM
Come to an Appleseed! You'll learn to be one. Hehehehe...shameless plug... ;)

Before I started zeroing from prone, I used a sandbag front rest only - like the one in your second photo. I still do from time-to-time. For the kind of shooting I do (I don't do competition bench rest or anything like that), this was fine and I was able to get decent enough groups to zero properly - cheap and easy to take to the range. You can also always improvise with a rolled up jacket or your range bag - anything to steady that rifle up.

The Kid
August 2, 2009, 12:39 PM
Jestir, mind if I send you a PM about appleseed? You guys seem to swear by it.

Also, can you define "decent enough groups?" I'm not trying to be a smart ass, but I was wondering what you consider decent enough? I'd be happy w/ 2". I tried using a Z-Rest sleeping pad, but I don't think it conformed at all to the shape of the rifle and so I was having problems with it.

August 2, 2009, 02:07 PM
PM away! I'll be happy to answer any questions you have re: The Appleseed Project. ;)

Also, can you define "decent enough groups?" I'm not trying to be a smart ass, but I was wondering what you consider decent enough? I'd be happy w/ 2". I tried using a Z-Rest sleeping pad, but I don't think it conformed at all to the shape of the rifle and so I was having problems with it.

Sure. I try to get 'em as small as the rifle and ammo (and me!) allow but 2" groups at 100 yards is acceptable for zeroing, IMV. Your Rem 700 is capable of much better than that.

August 2, 2009, 03:44 PM
i prefer to zero at 200-300 yards is this a bad thing to do?

August 2, 2009, 04:14 PM
Here are the only things you need to get zeroed:

1. A GOOD sandbag rest.
2. A nice long string with a weight (think plumb bob) on the end.
3. Targets at 50 and 100 yards.

First things first....

Mount your scope and place it for the proper eye relief. Leave it loose in the rings.
Next, clear your rifle and go downrange. Hang your targets, and hang your string with the plumb bob at the 50 yard line.
Back to the firing bench. Make sure your rifle is DEAD LEVEL, then sight in on the string. Move your scope until the vertical crosshair covers the string. Check eye relief again, and now tighten the screws securely.

Fire one round at 50 yards. Note the bullet strike. Now, estimate in inches where the strike is. Adjust your scope as required to bring the bullet to the center of the target. Remember, if you zero at 50 yards, double the adjustments.

Your Remington in '06 is capable of sub-MOA accuracy with the right loads. Don't settle on 2", you can shoot better.

August 2, 2009, 05:44 PM
Excellent Powderman. The ammo makers dont like that kind of advice cause you dont shoot up couple boxes of shells to get on paper. I always laugh at the guy that starts at 100 or more with a 12x12 paper target.

August 2, 2009, 07:36 PM
^^ Not to mention you usually need to paste the whole board with 1" squares if you start at 100 yards.

i prefer to zero at 200-300 yards is this a bad thing to do?

If that's the intended yardage for that particular rifle and its application, then no. Zero for whatever yardage is right for your rifle and what it's to be used for. It's ill-advised, though, to start zeroing at 200-300 yards, unless you want to spend the whole day zeroing, wasting ammo and targets. ;) Start at 25 or 50 and dial it in from there.

F. Guffey
August 3, 2009, 07:48 PM
Wall paper better known as butcher paper or I cover the back board with targets and aim at the center first, this technique saves me time and effort, I do not call for a cease fire every 3 shots and I do not go to the range with one rifle and one box of ammo.

Worst day with best rifle, the shooter at the 2nd bench to the right was shooting 25 cal and was asking if someone was shooting .30 cal, of course I ask WHY? he explained he would like to take credit for the group but the holes were too large. I made some serious adjustments moving the group over, with my 'white out target' telling, him I was aiming at the wrong target would have been a difficult sale.

F. Guffey

Uncle H
August 4, 2009, 10:34 PM
The Caldwell is not all that steady for sighting-in work.

It's advantage is it's weight (light) and portability (comes apart for transport).

Disadvantage-flimsey, wobbly with light rifles and extended front adjustment post.

I use one for quick practice runs to the range and grounghog hunting on the hood of a truck (plastic feet don't scratch the paint).

The MTM Varminter (plastic) rest looks a little beefier but I've not tried one yet.

August 5, 2009, 06:40 AM
A few sandbags, a few targets and some ammo is really all you need. Start at 25 yards or so and work your way out. A bore sighter might come in handy but certainly isn't needed.

August 5, 2009, 10:05 AM
Guess I'll throw my 2cents in here. I've been pulling triggers for 50 years in some part of the world, or another. Not once can I remember a "commercial" rest being available to make the shot. Most outdoor ranges have sand bags available--thats all you need as far as a rest goes. Learn to shoot/zero, with as much realism as possible. Be it sandbags, off hand, with sticks, etc. If you are going to be a paper puncher all your life, then by all means load yourself up with all those special "thingy's",, but if you are going to "hunt", then it needs to be all about "you and the gun," no extras--period. In the 30.06 sprg you have the most proven, and versatile cartridge in the world. Your particular rifle (as someone mentioned earlier) is capable of a group under your described 2". But-- let me assure you, if you and your rifle, can consistently hit something the size of a tennis ball (2") at 100yds, you are probably light years ahead of a great deal of the members on this forum. Not to belittle the "members" in any way--awesome folks all around, can operate in my AO any day. Oh yea,, one more thing--zero that rifle with the round it "likes", then stick with it. Ok now that I,ve had my morning "rant, I'll go get another cup of coffee, and check back later to see if I pulled anybodys chain. Have a blessed day, trust in the Lord ( but keep your rifle handy in case he's busy at the moment)

August 5, 2009, 10:23 AM
^^ Well said, gkdir.

Uncle Buck
August 5, 2009, 10:42 AM
A trick I learned was to put the rifle in a vice, check to make sure you have the correct sight picture through the scope and the gun sights (Spend a little extra on scope rings that allow you to use both your scope and the sights on the gun.).
Tighten down your scope and fire a round at the target. DO NOT MOVE THE RIFLE. Move your scope so that is is lined up on the hole in the target. Reposition the the rifle and shoot again.
I have used this procedure to get my scopes on target as well as get the scopes of others who show up to deer hunt with a rifle they have never sighted in. (yeah, they still exist.)
You may have to fine tune a little bit, but by watching your breathing and trigger squeeze, it should put you dang near center with just two shots.