If you're a novice or a seasoned pro with an airgun, sighting and mounting your new scope is essential for an enjoyable and successful shooting experience. Whether you plan on hunting or just target shooting, follow these best practices to quickly and easily get on target.
Prepare the Shooting Area
Before you start shooting and adjusting your scope, ensure that you prepare the shooting area. When starting out, chances are you'll be shooting way off, and you'll need to make allowance for errant shots. Ideally, you should shoot into a large dirt bank to make rough adjustments. Start at about 10 to 15 yards back, and ensure that your scope is set to its lowest magnification. You'll see the impact on the dirt and then use the turrets to move the point of impact (POI) to the center. Remember that you turn the turrets in the direction that you want to move your POI. For example, if you're way off to the right of the center, turn the side turret to the left to move the shot to the left.
If you don't have a dirt pile, ensure that you create something in your backyard or find a safe, legal place to shoot. Always be mindful of your environment and know your target and what's beyond. Simple hay bales can work well, but note that if you're shooting something super accurate, you'll create a hole right through the hay behind your bullseye, and your pellets will sail out the back of the bale.
Sighting in Your Scope in Your Backyard
Assuming that you're going to sight in your scope in your backyard, and you have something set up to either stop or capture your pellets, using the Quick Scope Sight-In Target is a great way to be safe and get on target quickly.
The scope sits above the bore, and the barrel isn't in-line with the sight line of your scope. If you try to sight in at 10 or 15 feet, you'll be at a terrible angle for anything other than shooting at that distance. The Quick Scope Sight-In Target has two points: an aiming point and an impact point. The impact point is about 1.75 inches below the aim point, which is the typical height of the scope over the bore. By using this method, you'll get on target quickly and be close enough, at say 20 or 30 yards, to make your final adjustments. You can also use something like the Champion Heavy Duty Pellet Trap or the Silent Pellet trap as a safe backstop.
Note that we're dealing with pellets here and not BBs. If you're trying to sight in a scope on a BB gun, you need to use something that prevents ricochet. Our silent pellet trap would be ideal.
Dialing in Your Scope for Perfect Accuracy
Many of these tips come from years of experience. Here are some essential tips to help you get right on target:
- Square up your reticle. If you're only ever going to shoot at one distance, this part is less of an issue. Some people can get "close enough" with their reticle to be square to the bore and not canted left or right. But, it's more common for folks to have a natural cant to their hold, which in turn then translates to how they see the reticle. If the reticle is canted, then it's not perfectly centered with the bore of your gun. This will cause your shots to wander left to right, depending on how far you are from your initial zero. The Level Right Pro is a tool that works well to take your hold out of the equation and allows you to ensure that you are squared up perfectly before you start the zeroing process.
- Move your average group to the center of the target. Once you have made rough adjustments, shoot a group of shots, and see where they land. Then, adjust the turrets to move the group to the center of the target. Shoot another group to confirm your adjustments, and repeat until your group is centered. Remember that the goal is to move your group to the center, not just a single shot.
- Check your parallax. Parallax is the apparent shift in the position of the reticle concerning the target when you move your head. It can cause the point of impact to move, even if your scope is zeroed correctly. To check your parallax, move your head around and see if the reticle moves in relation to the target. If it does, adjust the parallax knob until the reticle and the target stay in the same plane.
- Use the right pellets. Different pellets will perform differently in your airgun, so experiment with different brands and weights until you find the one that gives you the best accuracy. Also, note that your airgun may not be accurate with all pellet shapes. Flat-nosed pellets tend to be the most accurate, but again, experiment with different shapes to find the one that works best for you.
In conclusion, sighting in and mounting your scope is essential to get the most out of your airgun. Take the time to prepare your shooting area, use the Quick Scope Sight-In Target, and follow these best practices for dialing in your scope for perfect accuracy. With a little patience and persistence, you'll soon be hitting your targets with ease and having an enjoyable shooting experience.
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