How to sight in an air rifle scope

Written by edwin thomas | 13/05/2017
How to sight in an air rifle scope
Find your target with an air rifle scope. (Randy Hayashi/iStock/Getty Images)

Air rifles fire plastic or rubber pellets, and have a maximum target range of about 64 metres. You might think that such a short range would make the use of a rifle scope on the gun irrelevant but, in fact, at this distance a scope is necessary for a good shot.

How to sight in an air rifle scope
Air rifle shooters.

Hold the rifle by placing your primary hand on the grip and your secondary hand forward on the stock. Put the rifle butt squarely into the shoulder.

Tilt back your head so you can look into the scope using the eye that is closest to it. Close the eye farthest from the scope.

Adjust the scope for magnification, if possible. Some air rifle scopes come with only one magnification. For other scopes, the exact setting will be determined by both the range, the size of the target and the capabilities of the scope. But as a general rule you do not want to strain your eyes to see a target through a scope because it is too small.

Adjust for wind and pellet drop. A good scope will permit adjustments for these two factors. It may seem unnecessary for such a short range, but air gun pellets move at slower speeds than bullets. That lack of velocity simply means they suffer from wind sheer and drop sooner. The horizontal knob will make small adjustments to correct for wind, while the vertical knob will correct for pellet drop or the ballistic parabola of a shot.

Things you need

  • Air rifle with scope
  • Cardboard box
  • Brick or other weight

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