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Rifle bullets don’t travel in a straight line. They travel in an arc, formed by the pull of gravity. “Sighting-in” is a process of adjusting the sights to hit a target at a specific range. Deer hunters, for example, often sight-in their rifles to hit the bull’s-eye at 100 yards.

Sighting-in your rifle is important because it:

  • Makes accurate shooting possible.
  • Helps determine the farthest range at which you can hit your target.
  • Improves safety by helping you know where your rifle will shoot.
Typical bullet trajectory

All rifles should be sighted-in before every hunt using the ammunition you plan to use, especially rifles with peep or telescopic sights. Guns you sighted-in prior to your last outing could have been knocked out of alignment by a single jolt. That misalignment could mean the difference between a successful hunt and a disappointing experience.

Other than ensuring accurate shots, sighting-in a rifle has other advantages:

  • Forces you to practice
  • Helps determine problems with your shooting technique
  • Builds confidence in your shooting ability