Sighting in a Muzzleloader (Video)
With a muzzleloader, you usually get only one shot at a deer. If you don’t connect, he’s not going to wait around while you reload and shoot again.
This is why it’s vitally important for muzzleloader hunters to be certain their rifle is properly sighted before heading to the stand. Even if a muzzleloader was “dead on” at the end of last year’s season, it can still get “off” during a year’s storage in the gun safe (especially if it has a scope). This is why it’s imperative for a hunter to re-sight his rifle for spot-on accuracy before each new season. Here are some tips for doing this.
- Safety comes first! Make absolutely certain you have a proper backstop when sighting in your muzzleloader.
- Use good range equipment: shooting bench, stationary rest, spotting scope/binoculars, hearing and eye protectors and target. I use election yard signs for sighting in. I add a large target that outlines the bullet hole in yellow for easy seeing.
- Start sighting in at 25 yards. Shoot a 3-shot group to see how the rifle is currently sighted. Swab the muzzle with a “spit patch” followed by a dry patch after each shot.
- After shooting a 3-shot group, make adjustments as needed for “dead on” sighting.
- Next, move target to desired distance and recheck with another 3-shot group. I reset my target at 75 yards and adjust my scope for 1-inch high at this range. This allows me to hold dead-on (no elevation adjustment) on a deer out to 100 yards with confidence that I will hit the animal in a lethal area.