Gone Outdoors

How to Adjust Gun Sights

by Jeremy Hoefs

The key to shooting a gun accurately is having the knowledge of how to adjust the gun's sights. Accurate guns can be a pleasure to shoot when adjusted correctly. On most guns there are two sights, front and rear, with two adjustments, windage and elevation. Adjusting the sights can be simple if you follow a process. Before shooting or adjusting the sights, check the gun to make sure it is in proper working condition and find a safe place to shoot.

1. Shoot an initial group of at least three shots at 20 yards to see the point of impact (POI). Use a solid rest and practice good shooting mechanics to get the most accurate group possible. Take note of where the shots are impacting the target.

2. Adjust the sight with the adjustment tool or by clicking the adjustments in the appropriate windage direction. Windage refers to the distance left or right of the POI compared to the intended target. Make an adjustment to the front sight that follows that direction. For example, if the bullet is hitting right of the target, adjust the front sight by moving it to the right. If the sight has an adjustable rear sight, move the sight in the opposite direction of the POI.

3. Move the sight's elevation adjustment based on the POI. Elevation refers to the distance above or below the intended target. If the POI was above the intended target, move the rear sight down or the front sight up. If the POI was below the target, move the rear sight up or the front sight down.

4. Make small adjustments followed by shooting a three-shot group. Repeat that process as necessary until a consistent group is achieved.

Items you will need
  • Sight adjustment tool
  • Target

Tips

  • Familiarize yourself with the specific features of your gun's sights by reading the manual.
  • Start at a close range and gradually move the target back as you get the gun sighted in.
  • If the sight has click adjustments, the minutes of angle (MOA) will be printed on the adjustment dial. A common MOA adjustment is four clicks to adjust the sight one inch at 100 yards.

Warnings

  • Treat every gun as if it was loaded as you adjust the sights.
  • Make small adjustments and always be aware of the direction you are shooting.
  • Always obtain permission if sighting the gun on private property.

About the Author

Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Photo Credits

  • David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images