There are many websites devoted to hunting and shooting, like aussiehunter. I am starting to forge links with a few of these other sites. There will be some selective sharing of our content and an opportunity to view other perspectives on various topics. Following is a guest blog post from Chris Browning.
How to zero your sight
What does it mean?
Light travels in a straight line and aiming is also done like this. In the meantime, the bullet leaves the barrel in an upward trajectory, that curves when gravity kicks in.
The point of aim and the point of impact should be the same, that is when you have a “zero.” Depending on the distance from the shooter, the point of impact will be higher or lower than the actual aim.
When do you need a scope?
There are several reasons to use a scope in the first place. The first is simplicity and commodity, instead of lining rear and front view you just put the crosshairs on the target. The second reason is poor eyesight since the scope magnifies, even those wearing glasses or older shooters can get an accurate shot, eliminating discomfort. Third, the scope makes the target appear closer, therefore you can see details and perform better, even during nighttime.
Scopes are best for long range hunting. If you are just starting, think of it as more of an issue of good enough approximation than actual pinpoint accuracy. At the end of the day, you want to hunt the moose or get out of danger, not do it with a surgeon’s precision.
If you still need a great scope, you can find a great scope reviews resource here.
Installing the scope
When you install your scope be sure to check the recoil power of the gun and select appropriate mounts. These should be able to withstand the shock. Don’t be cheap on this, since you or your hunting party can endure serious injury caused by a scope flying off the gun. Use quality mounts and screws. Even consider adding a bit of Loctite on the screws to ensure a tight, firm grip.
Tools and materials
Zeroing your sight takes some preparation, so only attempt this when you have enough time to fine-tune it to get it right. Also, before you start, get the following items to help you:
- Padding, such as a thick blanket, since you will be lying on the ground and so will your gun.
- Gun support for support and stability, like a rifle rest, sandbags or even an improvisation from a backpack will work. No part of the gun should lay on a hard surface.
- Laser bore sighter, binoculars, and screwdriver for scope adjustment.
- Cardboard targets.
- At least 100 rounds of the ammo you intend to use after zeroing the rifle. The distance and ammo types influence significantly the zeroing process. You need to repeat the steps for each new ammo type, change of distance or new scope.
Getting a zero at different points
As you can see from the example picture, different zeros yield different results when shot from other distances.
Zero at 25
Make sure your gun is set and secured in position, and you can touch it without moving it from the shooting spot. Set up a clear target at 25 yards. Depending on the type of gun, you will either remove the bolt and look through the bore, making sure you have the target in sight or use a bore laser in the barrel for auto-loader rifles and pump rifles.
After you have the target centered like this, adjust the scope until the crosshairs are spot on the target.
Fire a shot, which should lend on the target. The best targets have 1-inch marks to help you adjust the scope. Measure the vertical and horizontal deviations and change the scope in the opposite direction of the deviation and fire another shot. Repeat the adjustments until you are satisfied with the results. When you shoot in the center, fire a succession of 3 shots to ensure consistency.
Zero at 100
Don’t attempt this until you first make sure you let the gun cool down. Get in the position, with your body behind the gun, focus, breath and take three clear shots. For long range (+100) you want to hit the target 3 inches above the bullseye when you aim for the center.
Tips and tricks
When zeroing your gun always start with a clean and cold weapon. Before shooting use a bore snake to clean the barrel. A good rule of thumb is no more than 20 shots before cleaning. Also, don’t let it overheat as dirt and temperature modify the trajectory and impact the results.
Even the slightest change an offset a zero, therefore if you have set the gun at home and traveled to the range be sure to run a test round to ensure accuracy. Any touching of the gun or scope can ruin the delicate balance.
Adjust your scope on only one of the axes at a time to make sure you are getting as close as possible to the desired result.
Depending on the shooting situation you can select the proper adjustment for your scope. If you are going for the large and dangerous game, you will need to be as far away as possible so start the zeroing directly at 100. To get an even longer range, just try to get a higher point of impact, anywhere between 2 and 3 inches above the center will get you a good shot of something located between 200 and 225 yards.