Look Through Here

It's Not Rocket Science, But...

With the number of hunters and shooters rising every year, it's probably pretty safe to assume that not all of them know how to sight their rifle.  Understanding how a scope functions is the first step in sighting.  Prior to the hunting season the gunsmiths and shops are filled with a myriad of mending and fixing casualties from mounting and sighting faux pas.   While it's not rocket science, understanding, patience, the right tools and a good workspace are the initial keys to success in sighting your rifle.

How The Scope Works - Basically

Although riflescopes have become more elaborate and sophisticated as time goes on, the fact that there are only four main parts to a scope have remained consistent.  The front lens, or objective lens is vital for an excellent sight picture.  The erector lenses right the image and the crosshair or recticle, provides the point from which to aim.  The eyepiece lens, or the ocular lens, works with the other lenses in a number of functions - magnification, correct eye relief and making diopter corrections.

Like your eye, when light passes through and beyond the front lens, the upside down image that results is sent on to the internal lenses which in turn flip the image to the original position.  The eye lens makes the final magnification and sends it to your eye.  That's basically how a scope works.

First Things First

When it comes to installing the scope, be sure to read the entire handbook which accompanies the scope when it's purchased.  Buying quality mounts, bases and rings is an important factor in installation.  It's better to have quality than forfeit that perfect shot.  First and foremost, ensure the firearm is unloaded before mounting the scope!  Have a workspace that is clean and well-lighted.  A gun vise which will hold your firearm securely is the next step.

Securing The Mount and Scope

In securing the mount, alignment is critical.  An easy way to ensure the scope is aligned correctly is to simply place the scope into the rings and slowly rotate the scope.  If there is any binding or if the scope does not move freely, adjust the rings and try again.  Once the scope rotates freely, keeping all affixing points loose, make sure the crosshairs are straight and decide on the proper eye relief.  Put the gun to your shoulder and look through the lens.  Make adjustments until the field of vision is correct.  If the scope is out of focus, loosen the rings until everything appears clear and then tighten them again.

Now, How's That Working For You?

There are a variety of ways to bore-sight the rifle, one of which is by removing the bolt, steadying the rifle in a resting position and aiming through the bore at the target.  Make the necessary adjustments to the recticle to line up with the target.  The objective is to line up the crosshairs in the grid in the scope.  Set the elevation and then you can head for the range.  The final tightening and adjustments can be made from the range as you begin firing cartridges at the paper to ensure your scope is working well.