Targeting tips from a rifle coach and hunter

Posted: Thursday, September 07, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Here are some tips on sighting in your rifle from University of Alaska Fairbanks rifle coach and hunter Randy Pitney.

--Make sure the bedding screws, scope mount screws and scope rings are tight before going to the range.

--Get your scope boresighted. A gunsmith can do it or you can do it yourself by placing your gun on the bench rest so it is aimed at the target. Remove the bolt and look through the barrel. If the target is visible, then the sighting should be close.

--Know your bullets and their ballistics. Tables in the back of most shooting manuals tell the amount a bullet will drop over distance, given the caliber and weight of the bullet. Write the information on a piece of masking tape and slap it on your gun for quick reference.

--Use a plain target paper with a simple dot in the middle or some of the rifle-shooting targets with one-inch squares on them. It will be easy to gauge the placement of the shot in relation to where you aimed.

--Be sure you have a solid rest. Beanbags, sandbags, blankets, coats or gun cases can serve the purpose. Some commercial bench rests are available through local sporting goods stores.

--Always hold the rifle the same way you do when you hunt.

--Shoot three shots in each group. If one is high, one is low and one is left or right, then you have a physical or mechanical problem. Two or three off-target shots in the same direction ensures the aim is off.

--Once you have a three-shot group, determine where you are shooting and adjust the sights to bring the group to the center of the target. A group of three shots should be no bigger than a quarter at 100 yards.

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