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How To Sight In a Rifle Scope at 25 Yards [Explained]

L.p. Brezny | Updated February 26, 2024 | Why You Should Trust Us | How We Earn Money
How to sight in a rifle scope at 25 yards showing a white and red target paper on cardboard

Sighting in a rifle scope at 25 yards is an easy and quick way to zero your scope for shooting at longer distances. 

It’s a good method because you can easily see where the bullet strikes the target compared to finding the impact at 100 yards or more. So, learn how to do it and get to shooting faster through this guide on how to sight in a rifle scope at 25 yards.

Up next see our article on the best rimfire rifle scopes on the market.

Can You Sight a Rifle in at 25 Yards?

Yes, you can sight in a rifle at 25 yards. This is often the first step in sighting in a rifle to reach much longer distances.

Knowing how to sight in a rifle at 25 yards as the baseline for longer distances means knowing the rifle and knowing the ammunition. Many cartridges that are zeroed at 25-30 yards are also on-target at 100 yards because of the ballistic arc of the bullet in flight.

Here’s how you do it:

Sighting in at 25 Yards for 100 Yard Zero

The key to sighting in a rifle at 25 yards for 100 yards is the same for every rifle. In general, a 25-yard bullseye is going to get you close to a bullseye at 100 yards. It may not have you exactly on, but you can make the needed adjustments for a 100-yard zero easily.

The first thing to do is set your rifle on a stable platform. A gun rest, vise, or other support is best. This holds the gun steady while you make rifle scope adjustments.

A bore sighter is both cheap and very helpful here, as it’ll let you get on paper without shooting. You’ll still need to shoot to fine-tune the scope’s reticle.

If you don’t have a bore sighter, you can remove the bolt so you can look down the barrel. Center the barrel on your target. If you can’t look down the barrel, look down the side or top of the barrel and try to center the gun on the target that way.

Bore sight of a target in grassy field

With the gun held securely in place, look through the scope. Make whatever turret adjustments are needed to get the crosshairs on the center of the target.

Now shoot.

Note where the bullet hit. Make turret adjustments to get the crosshairs over the bullet hole.

Shoot again. Check the bullet hole against the crosshairs’ position.

You may need to shoot a few times to get the crosshairs perfectly aligned.

Sighting in a Rifle at 25 Yards for 200 Yards

Sighting in a rifle at 25 yards for 200 yards is just a matter of finding out how much the bullet drops so you can be on target at 200 yards. You can use ballistic tables for the bullet you shoot to find the drop. 

The tables will not be exact. To get the exact bullet drop, you’ll need to shoot targets at 200 yards.

You may have to make a slight adjustment to windage to zero at 200 yards. This adjustment should not affect your zero at 25 yards.

The major adjustment is elevation. As this will affect your zero at 25 yards, you’ll have to lower the crosshairs, or else you’ll be high at the short distance. How much depends on the cartridge.

For instance, a 55-grain .22-250 bullet has much less drop at 200 yards than a 220-grain .308 bullet.

No matter the gun and cartridge, the bullet will drop. Rifle scopes with a Christmas tree reticle have hash marks that help you pick the holdover. Holdover is when you set the center of the crosshairs over the target to compensate for the bullet drop.

Some scopes with electronics will compute the holdover and the drop for you. All you do is center the crosshairs on the target and pull the trigger.

For more reading, see our articles on what is 1 mil at 100 meters and can you shoot a rimfire ammo in a centerfire gun.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fingers twisting the elevation knob on a rifle scope

Can I bore sight at 25 yards?

You can bore sight at 25 yards (22.8 meters). A bore sighter is a great help when doing this, but not necessary. You can look through the barrel or down the side.

What is 1 MOA at 25 yards?

One MOA at 25 yards (22.8 meters) is 1/4 of an inch. At 100 yards (91.4 meters), an MOA is 1 inch. At 200 yards (182.8 meters), it is 2 inches.

How many clicks for 1 inch at 25 yards?

The clicks you need for one inch at 25 yards (22.8 meters) depend on the scope’s settings. If it has 1/4 MOA per click, you need sixteen clicks. At 100 yards (91.4 meters), you need four clicks for an MOA. Some scopes have a 1 MOA click value. Long-range scopes may have a 1/8 MOA click value.

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