There’s a lot to like about a gun. The way it feels, the way it stays balanced in your hands, and even the way it looks – often, we choose a gun based on a combination of these factors.
Gun lovers like a sleek-looking piece, and one that is designed to feel right and perform right every time it is in action. But there’s one massive factor that plays a role in how well a gun is received and how well it fulfills the owner’s expectations.
Accuracy – it’s the deciding factor for many guns. A gun can look like it belongs in an artillery catalog and have more attachments than you could count on one hand. But if it doesn’t have an accurate shot, it is worthless in the field.
But sometimes there is some work to be done to make the gun more accurate. This process involves setting up the sights on a gun to make sure they provide an accurate frame of perspective for aiming. This process is also known as sighting the gun.
Why the .22 Gun is Great: And Why Sighting It Matters
The .22 round is a staple of gun culture. It is lightweight, easy to find, and because of its readily available nature, it is affordable. Gun lovers appreciate value in their shopping endeavors, too!
The .22 caliber is so popular that we have seen it in both rifle and handgun variants. To be precise before we move forward with this guide, we’ll be talking about the handgun variety. Pistols may not be used for the same type of long-range shooting as rifles, but accuracy still matters.
You could be shooting at a stationary target you set up in a field, or one that was set up for you at a local gun range. But if the weapon isn’t sighted properly, you’ll find your bullet goes somewhere other than where you aim it. Even if it lands in the general vicinity of your target, for those who aim to hit the bullseye and take pride in succeeding, close doesn’t cut it.
There’s also those who depend on their .22 handgun when they’re in combat situations. It is a popular sidearm for many police departments and military units, meaning knowing how to sight one can be a matter of life or death in these instances.
There are plenty of popular .22 handguns on the market, and all of them can benefit from being sighted more efficiently. Every little bit matters, and millimeter differences in sighting can translate to you being inches closer to your target.
Knowing how to sight a .22 gun properly can help any person get more out of their weapon. Better performance, improved accuracy, and less frustration – that’s what you can expect when you sight your weapon properly.
Now let’s go through the basic steps of how to sight your gun. Even if you know how to fire it, or even service and clean it, you may need a little help with this important aspect of firearms maintenance.
Sighting a Pistol: Setting Up to Sight Your Weapon
Sighting a pistol, also known as sighting it in, can be a complex and intimidating task from the outside. If you’ve never done it before, making those minor adjustments that have massive effects can be intimidating.
But never fear – zeroing in on your target is easy if you follow these simple steps. Once the weapon is sighted in correctly, you won’t have to worry about having your bullet go somewhere other than where you aim it. As long as your eye is trustworthy, your gun shouldn’t negatively affect your aim.
For starters, before we delve into the materials you need and the steps you need to follow, let’s give a brief overview of exactly what we’ll be doing here.
As most people know, guns often come with built-in sights. To sight a gun involves tweaking the positioning of this component either up or down, or left or right. These minor adjustments are often made by the process of elimination.
When we see a gun isn’t shooting as accurately as it should, it is often an experiment to fix it. We need to move the sight slightly, then retest it, then repeat the process until it is correct. It can feel like a cumbersome process, mainly because it requires so much repetition of the same simple motion in many cases.
Let’s start with what you need to sight your .22 gun –
- A Target: A paper target is preferred here. You’ll need something that shows you exactly where your shots are landing. If possible, mark your targets if they aren’t already – that way you’ll know where the center is and how close you are to hitting it.
- Good Ammo: You need ammo that is reliable and makes a clean impact. If you have a brand you’re comfortable with, go with that. If you aren’t sure about which option to try, go with brass rounds.
- Allen Wrenches: You’ll need a tool to help you make the small adjustments, and Allen wrenches are the right solution. Just make sure you’re going with the small ones – the big ones will be massively oversized for this task.
The only other things you’ll need are the basic safety equipment solutions you use when it comes to shooting – eye and ear protection. Even if you don’t regularly use it, it is never a bad time to start.
Sighting a Pistol: A Step-by-Step Guide to Better Accuracy
Now that we know the equipment we’ll be needing, we can go through the individual steps to sighting your gun.
For starters, you should fire at your target from about 25-yards out. This will give you a good objective metric to go off of when you’re adjusting the sight. You should also pick a spot on the target to shoot for – preferably the center, though it is up to you.
Once you fire a test shot, gauge where it landed in relation to where you aimed. This will tell you which direction you need to make the correction in. While some handgun sights can be adjusted in one-off click increments like rifle scopes, you may need to use your wrenches.
Think firearms – and more specifically, think firearms that have a widespread level of appeal.
Fire another test shot after you’ve adjusted the sight and see where it put you. You may need to go about making more adjustments in the same direction, or even back the other way if you went too far in your initial adjustment.
You may find that the type of .22 handgun you use seems like its sights are harder to adjust than others. Some guns have unique needs, so see if the manufacturer has any video tutorials on their site to help you with those more difficult tasks.
Why Learning to Sight a .22 Pistol is a Good Experience
Whether you’re a veteran shooter or a novice, you need to make sure your weapon is sighted properly. But for the firearms novice, is it a good idea to start out learning this skill on a .22 firearm?
The answer is yes. While the 9mm handgun or .44 magnum may be more powerful and even more popular because of it, there is something good about being able to use an underpowered pistol for sighting. You won’t have to worry as much about recoil or jerk causing you to miss your target and thus making it harder for you to adjust accurately.
While it has more than enough power to be useful, its lack of firepower when compared to the competition makes it a good “test gun.” Not only does this mean it is a favorite for beginners, but it can be a favorite for those who are also new to gun maintenance.
There’s a lot of people who love shooting guns, and even take good care of their firearms, but have just never delved into the act of sighting one. But learning how to do this is a valuable skill to have, and can help you get more out of your weapon.
Learning how to zero in your weapon may seem like a cumbersome task, but it is worth it for any gun owner to learn.
How Often Should You Sight Your Gun?
Sometimes there are instances where a gun needs to be sighted badly. A .22 gun may need a setup after it is first bought or after years of use. But how about frequency – how often should this be done?
While we’d all like to blame our misses at the target range on poor sighting, this issue won’t always be the problem. And it is worth noting that different guns may need to be sighted more often than others. Sighting a weapon isn’t a tough task, so if you shoot regularly you may consider doing it every few months.
Whenever we use a gun, it affects that gun. While guns are often designed to be durable, a good sighting in is something every .22 gun may need every so often.