Zeroing, or sighting in, means aligning the sights - the scope - on your rifle so that you can accurately aim at the target. Here is how to do it.
- It is only the sight that can be adjusted, not the rifle itself.
- Decide on the range that is best for your purposes.
- A bullet follows the bore axis out of the muzzle and flies nearly parallel until gravity does its work. Gravitational force will pull the bullet off course as soon as it leaves the rifle
- When zeroing, you adjust the sight so your straight line of vision intersects the bullet’s parabolic path not far from the muzzle.
- The parabolic path then travels below your line of vision until the two merge at the zero distance.
- Bullets do not rise above the line of bore during their flight.
- Your line of sight dips below bore line and the bullet’s arc.
Advice on choosing a rifle and scope
One of the most common causes of damage to a scope is that of poorly made or misaligned scope mounts.
Instructions for zeroing your rifle
- Set your rifle on a proper bench rest, making sure it is stable and secure so it will not move
- Line up the cross-hairs in the centre of the target and squeeze the trigger
- Once you have your bullet strike, move the rifle so the cross-hairs are covering the centre of the strike. Make sure the rifle is steady and secure again.
- Now, using the scope turrets, move the cross-hairs back to the centre of the target – the next shot should go where they are pointed now.
The above is a quick way to zero a rifle and works best for rimfire models. You will always need to fine-tune them to make sure that they are zeroed exactly. Your bench rest must be solid and secure, and your target must, of course, be in a safe position.