You’ll surely agree that a riflescope comes in perfectly handy not only for honing your shooting skills but also during actual hunting events, especially if you’re on the learning curve. Even seasoned hunters and shooters use a scope to ensure that they’re right on target on each and every occasion. However, if you’re like most other neophytes, you’d be desperate to shoot right away after installing the scope on the firearm.
If you start shooting directly using the new scope without first adjusting your sighting, chances are that you’ll waste costly ammunition. On the other hand, if you practice on ‘how to sight in a scope without shooting’ you’ll become skilled in/at firing accurately, thereby saving on ammunition. You can go through the following steps time and again in order to zero in on your target without firing.
Sighting in Your Scope Without Shooting
The ensuing techniques pertaining to how to sight in a scope without shooting will minimize the possibilities of unwarranted shoulder recoil, apart from providing you with a standardized starting point to view through the scope. Additionally, once you become a pro in sighting via the riflescope, the risk of misfiring or shooting a game that results in a painful death also diminish. If you have a firearm that allows you to aim down the bore, then it’ll be easier for you to find a target to point at, and thereafter tweak the scope to exactly match your sighting through the barrel.
Visual, optical, magnetic, and laser bore sighting are the 4 techniques extensively used for aligning the bore with the scope which eventually helps in quickly zeroing in.
1. Visual Bore Sighting
Visual bore sighting is the conventional mode of observing through the rifle’s bore without firing a shot, and the technique is quite simple and clear-cut. All you’ve to do is to align the barrel’s centre and your sight. In other words, you simply have to set your sight and the tip of the barrel on the same line.
The entire process should not take you more than 2-3 minutes and doing it correctly will enable you to make the most of your shooting. You’ll need to be much disciplined and patient when it comes to visual bore-sighting. For a start, you’ll have to stabilize the firearm by positioning it on sandbags.
Make sure that your gun remains rock steady all throughout the sighting period. Close one eye and try looking through the bore with the other eye at the target that should be placed at a minimum distance of 100m. Adjust the rifle’s knobs keeping the firearm stable all throughout whereby the reticule (or crosshairs) becomes arranged in a line with the target.
The zeroing in procedure or sighting the scope with the intended target is now complete.
2. Laser Bore Sighting
Laser bore sighting is a sophisticated and advanced system that lets you focus more on shooting instead of sighting. A boresighter is indispensable when it comes to taking advantage laser bore sighting strategy. The boresighter is a special apparatus or tool comprising a telescoping arbor and an optical head that is slotted into the gun’s muzzle.
The boresighter which exploits laser technology substitutes your eye and achieves the task of sighting with greater efficiency. Using a boresighter saves you from the hassle of using your eyes for aligning the scope with the bore that could overstrain the organs of sight. A noticeable advantage of using laser bore-sighting technique is that you’ll be able to set your sights nearer to the core, thus ascertaining 100% precision.
Evidently enough, the process goes a long way in enabling you to save both money and time. Two distinct types of laser boresighter are generally used-cartridge-styled and end-mounted. The cartridge-shaped boresighter goes in through the rifle compartment and the laser beam is directed through the bore to towards the target.
The end-mounted boresighter which is strapped together with the barrel’s muzzle is more extensively used. Both types allow you to focus on the laser tip while you view through the riflescope. The rotary dials on the scope need to be adjusted so that the crosshairs zero in on the laser tip and you’re through once it is done.
A word of advice-detach the boresighter before you take aim!
3. Optical Bore Sighting
As the terminology clearly indicates, optical bore sighting is another traditional alignment technique where you have to use a boresighter. What you essentially do in this procedure is unscrew the bolt in order to expose the breech. Once can you clearly see through the breach, you observe down the rifle’s bore and try to fix your sight on something that is completely steady or still.
Keeping the steadiness of the rifle intact, you attempt to fine-tune the scope and bring it perfectly in line with the barrel so that the former is also pointing on the same target. The idea is to harness the longitudinal axis of the rifle’s barrel (or the bore axis) as the primary reference point that help in working out calibrations with convenience.
More often than not, attempting to see through the boresighter could be an issue, largely due to insufficient brightness and loss of peripheral vision (tunnel vision). These discrepancies are mostly related with long-barreled or double-barreled rifles. Using a collimator which is a device very similar to the riflescope, can help remedy or correct the problem.
The collimator is installed at the barrel end and the viewer places his eye on the receiver of the device for bringing the normal vision and the sighting through the gadget in line. Collimators come with grid patterns that help in resetting the zero mark once the scope sighting is fixed. Again, see to it that you detach the optical boresighter or the collimator before you are ready to fire.
4. Magnetic Bore Sighting
Magnetic bore sighting is one method of ‘sighting in a scope without shooting’ that is somewhat unpopular with majority of huntsmen but is effective nevertheless. As the expression evidently implies, you use a magnetic boresighter for executing the technique. The boresighter firmly attaches to the rifle’s muzzle with the help of powerful magnets.
This method is highly preferred by those shooters who are very particular about keeping the bore of their firearms thoroughly clear and clean. At the same, magnetic bore sighting is a very resourceful way of aligning the scope with the barrel tip as the technique relieves you from the need to use or purchase extra components. The fact that a magnetic boresighter can be made compatible with gauges and calibers also makes the device incredibly versatile.
This process is a time-honored and proven technique that can aid you in sighting your scope in exceptional situations including but not limited to hard drops, post transportation, and excessive usage.
If you’re not sure or do not feel confident about which brand of boresighter will work for you, you can discuss with a professional shooter about the same. Alternatively, you can visit the store from where you bought your rifle and riflescope and request the salesperson or the owner to choose one for you. A good quality boresighter will set you back by $100 at the least but you’ll have the satisfaction of having purchase a device that will hugely contribute towards how to sight in a scope without shooting.