How to Adjust Shotgun Sights

••• Aimed shotgun, with depth of field image by cdbdi from

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Items you will need

  • Target

  • Sight adjustment tool

Knowing how to adjust the sights on your shotgun is important. Accuracy is paramount to shotgun firing. Front and rear sights can be found on most shotguns. Find a safe place to shoot and ensure the gun is functioning properly. Adjusting the sights on a shotgun can be simple if you complete the following process.

    Fire off three shots at a target that is 20 yards away. Observe the point of impact. Ensure you use a solid rest to get the most exact grouping possible.

    Adjust the sight by using an adjustment tool. You can also click the adjustments into the proper windage direction. Windage is the distance right or left of the point of impact in relation to the intended target. If your shot pattern is hitting the right side of the target, move the front sight to the right. If your shotgun is equipped with an adjustable rear sight, move it opposite to the direction of the point of impact.

    Adjust the sight's elevation adjustment in relation to the point of impact. The elevation refers to the space below or above your target. Move the rear sight lower if the point of impact was higher than the target. Move the rear sight higher, or the front sight down, if the point of impact was below the target.

    Fire another three shots. Make any additional adjustments. Repeat the process until the target is hit the majority of the time.


    • Try shooting from further away from the target as you fine-tune the sight.

      Minutes of angle (MOA) are printed on the adjustment dial on some guns with click adjustments.

      Read your gun's manual to get more familiar with the details of your gun's sights.


    • Get permission if you're sighting the shotgun on someone else's property.

      Treat every gun you use as if it were loaded each time you adjust the sights.

      Be aware of the direction you are shooting as you make small adjustments.


About the Author

Phillip Woolgar has been a reporter since 2008 in communities throughout western Canada. His work has appeared in Canadian national publications such as the "Globe and Mail" and the "Vancouver Sun." In 2009, he received second-place recognition in the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association's Excellence in Arts and Culture writing category. Woolgar graduated from the Langara College Journalism Diploma program in 2008.

Photo Credits

  • Aimed shotgun, with depth of field image by cdbdi from