You have bought a long rifle. It has either iron sights (the things on top that you look through to see your target) or you have a scope. You want to hit what you aim at with your gun, so you need to make sure that looking through the sights or scope at your target actually makes the gun point at that exact spot. You need to "zero in" your gun.
The term comes from graph paper, that crap you had to do in high school with math involved. The center of your target is the middle of the graph, and it's called 0,0. move laterally to the right and its 0,1. move up and its 1,0. you want to bring the place your bullet actually goes to the middle of your graph paper, AKA ZERO ZERO. Thus, you are zeroing in.
How do you do this?Edit
There are a million different ways to get this done, but they are all wrong except for this one:
- Figure out how to adjust your scope or sights. If iron sights, there will be a place to use a small tool to loosen, move and retighten the sights. If scope, your scope has an 'up/down' and 'left/right' wheel. They will go click. Click the clicks one at a time when adjusting.
- Set up a bench rest for your raifu so that it is in EXACTLY the same spot for every shot you make.
- Put a target a number of yards away, let's say 25 yards (see note [a]). You can use graph paper if you want.
- Aim at the dead center of the target and shoot it (see note [b]).
- See where the hole is? Good. WITHOUT messing up your bench rest, adjust your sights until they point directly at that hole. Do NOT move the rifle, move the SIGHTS.
- Fire once more to confirm that your bullet hits what you point it at (that first hole).
Done! A few bullets and a little fussy business and that's all you need to do. Next time you aim at the dead center, your bullet will go there!
You'll have to zero your gun every once in a while, most hunters do it at the start of the season, competition shooters do it as a precaution, and of course if you change your glass or put on one of those tactitard ring sights or whatever you'll need to do it again
[a] 25 yards is not very far away. When you shoot at stuff farther away, you bullet will hit higher, and eventually lower. Zero in for your shooting range after you get the 25 yards thing down
[b] if your bullet does not hit SOMEWHERE on the paper at 25 yards, take you rifle back to where you bought it and complain about that fact until they fix it.