Gun Sights: Zeroing Targets and Sighting in Scopes

zeroing and sighting in scope

What is Zeroing?

Zeroing is when you simply align your rifle’s sights for better accuracy. This is not magic to manipulate your rifle or your bullet to fly perfectly where you want it to, it’s basically adjusting your rifle to help you with your aim. Most rifles and handguns come with sights that are designed for you to align with your target for better accuracy. Basic iron sights sit atop your rifle and when you look down the barrel, you should align your rear sight to your front sight and the better and more consistent you do this, the better you accuracy should be.

How to sight in your rifle and handgun with generic iron sights

sighting in rifle and pistol

This post on has quite a bit of descriptive information about sighting your rifle or handgun.

Here are the simple rules for adjusting your iron sights:

  • Front sight post goes down, point of impact comes up.
  • Front sight post goes up, point of impact comes down.
  • Rear sight aperture moves left, point of impact moves left.
  • Rear sight aperture moves right, point of impact moves right.
  • If rear sight aperture can move up, point of impact moves up.
  • If rear sight aperture can move down, point of impact moves down.

Let’s go through the step-by-step process of sighting your rifle or handgun, now that you know the basic adjustment rules (above).

So you’re actually ready to shoot and adjust your sights or scope. Make sure if you’re using a rifle that you set it up on a level surface and in a position that will be easy to set up consistently for the future. If your using a handgun, put your body in a shooting stance that’s most comfortable and again- consistent so after you set you sights it will continue to be accurate in the future. Here’s a step by step to set your sights.

  1. Place a target downrange about 25 yards (10 for handguns).
  2. Fire three rounds (a grouping of three).
  3. Based on how far your grouping is from the center of the target, adjust your rear and front sights to now aim at the target.
  4. Now make another set of groupings and continue to adjust your sights back to the center of the target until you feel your groupings are as accurate as possible.
  5. Congrats! You are now zeroed!
  6. Now increase yards to 50 yards (or 25 for handguns) and repeat until you are at your desired distance! *corny smile, thumbs up, tooth sparkle*

Pistol Sights

We’ve found three different types of sights for pistols for you, it’s just up to you to pick the right one. Or buy all three, if your a dueshbag (we didn’t mean it, just jealous).

  1. XS Sights– this American company claims to have the “fastest sights in any light.” At an average price of about 137$, this company makes 24/7 Express sights that do rapid target acquisition in almost any lighting condition, under high-stress conditions. You basically “dot the i”. video
  2. A company called Advantage Tactical makes these extremely easy to use sights in which you simply “complete the triangle”. They begin at a lower price of 98$
  3. Another American company called Burris makes the Burris Fastfire II (a red dot sight) for 198$. Red dot sights use laser lights, not to illuminate the target but to display a hologram for the shooter. So it makes shooting very subjective and more accurate for the individual.

Rifle sights

Don’t leave your rifle out of the party, here’s three sights we recommend for your rifle.

  1. For those with a little more money in their pocket and a little more seriousness when it comes to accuracy, we recommend the top rated Vortex Viper PST Riflescope, from Vortex. Video
  2. Leupold makes the VX-3i Riflescope which uses state of the art technology and epic materials (such as a diamond coated lense for scratch resistance) to make a a killer scope perfect for hunting or perfecting your accuracy from quite a distance. These scopes are made to go to hell and back thanks to a full lifetime guarantee and the Leupold designers thought of everything to perfect your scope experience.
  3. Simmons Optics makes an incredibly affordable riflescope that would be great- better than great for someone looking to get their foot in the door with riflescopes. The Simmons TruPlex Reticle Rimfire is under 100$, and comes with all the basic features of a scope including QTA (quick target acquisition).

Best ways to sight a gun

sighting in a gun

Many people believe using a bore sight to sight your gun is the oldest and truest method. It’s basically a process in which you use a bore sighter (or collimator) to insert into the rifle’s muzzle, and then you align the sights of your rifle to it.

Modern technology counteracts the “old and true” statement with a laser sighting. This cuts out the guessing and makes sighting your gun a whole lot easier.

It’s hard to tell what would be better for you to use, but D&C really believes in community, and we recommend that you go to your local range or firearms retailer and ask them about what would be best for your rifle or handgun. 9 times out of 10 they will know your firearm, and what equipment would be best to sight it. Bonus, they might actually help you with this also, and give you the truth about price points and what is necessary and what isn’t.

Sighting your firearm will uncomplicate your accuracy, boost your shooting confidence and prepare you for anything. Taking the time to do this will pay you back in full. Yes, we’re going to pull a mom quote and tell you that the more you put in with your firearm, the more you will get out of your firearm. Jump on the new technology bandwagon, let it impress you! Invest in a high power rifle scope, or a simple handgun scope for the possibility of a tricky situation. It never hurts to be more prepared.

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