Ever found yourself doing everything right in lining up a target, steadying your breath, slowly and smoothly squeezing on the trigger, and still missing your intended shot for no apparent reason? You may be dealing with an un-sighted in rifle scope! In this guide, we will show you the fastest, easiest way for how to sight in a 22 rifle scope so that you’re guaranteed to be hitting what you’re aiming for!
items needed for this tutorial
To be honest, you don’t need much more than your scoped 22 and a target…HOWEVER. The process will go much more smoothly and quickly if you reduce all variables (wind, distance, human error) as much as possible. That being said, see below!
Ear and Eye Protection — first and foremost, use shooting glasses and earplugs/muffs. Always protect your senses; you’ll need them later.
A Controlled Range — AGAIN: reducing all variables as much as possible will make your sighting better and easier. If you have access to an indoor range, use it. If not, find a controlled range outside and use it on a calm, windless day; the less environmental factors you have to worry about, the better. Also, make sure you have a good backstop (hill, hay bales, sandbags, etc.); safety first!
A Target At A Set Distance — use a good, solid, immovable target that you know will not be impacted by anything at all besides, well, your round. A target that moves or gets knocked over will be absolutely useless for finding consistency in your sighting. A heavy-duty steel target anchored to a solid stand or wooden post should do the trick, but a paper one will work too (as long as it’s firmly attached.)
A Gun Rest — last time I’ll say it: reduce all variables as much as possible, including the human variable! Your rifle needs to stay as steady as possible when you’re comparing hits, so either invest in a fancypants rifle rest/vice or just fill up a couple of old socks with sand and use them to anchor your gun in place.
A Scope — ahem…I hope this goes without saying since you’re reading this article. But the better your scope is, the easier and more accurate sighting will be, so invest in a scope with at least some good windage and elevation turrets. For our thoughts on the best scopes, click here.
HOW TO SIGHT IN YOUR 22 RIFLE SCOPE...IN TWO SHOTS!
STEP 1 - THE SETUP
Set up your target downrange, and put on your eye and ear protection. Orient your rifle towards the target and anchor it solidly and securely in your gun rest, on a level surface.
STEP 2 - THE FIRST SHOT
It’s time! Focus you crosshairs and ready, aim, and fire your gun dead center at your target. Take note of where your round hits (mark it with a marker if necessary/if it doesn’t leave a noticeable enough mark on your target.)
STEP 3 - THE ADJUSTMENTS
Don’t move! Without jostling your rifle too much, carefully adjust your scope windage and elevation turrets so that your crosshairs are focused onto the dead center of your first shot. Then, recenter your crosshairs BACK to dead center of your original target.
STEP 4 - THE SECOND SHOT
Take a deep breath, exhale, slowly squeeze on that trigger, and watch as your second shot sails flawlessly into the bullseye! If you do NOT hit perfectly on target, you may need to repeat the above steps based on your second shot. Also, you can account for any user error by taking multiple shots (or at least one extra) to ensure consistency and accuracy in bullet-on-bullet placement.
How often should I sight my scope? – In general, you should re-sight your scope any time you notice that your aim seems off and it’s not attributable to other factors like your shaky hands or crappy weather (high winds.) You should also re-sight your scope if 1) it’s been a really long time since you last used your rifle, and/or 2) your rifle has been thrown around, dropped, stuffed into closets, etc.
What’s the best range to sight in a scope? – This depends a lot on what size ammunition you’re using, but since we’re talking 22s, 25 yards seems to be ideal, as you’re much less likely to be hitting small game at ranges higher than that. Many shooters will sight in their scopes at 25 yards and then test again at a hundred yards to ensure accuracy, but this is not recommended for 22s.
What more can I say? It has been said of this method that it is absolutely the clearest, easiest way for how to sight in a 22 rifle scope (I’d say cheapest too, but technically you can get away with sighting without firing a shot by using this handy guide.) Remember: reduce the variables, dial in your scope turrets, and take your time firing and you’ll be shooting on target in no time. Thanks for reading and we hope you found this tutorial helpful!
If you enjoyed this guide you may also like our other guide on sighting in a pellet gun scope.