How to Sight in a Rifle with Iron Sights

What do you think are essentials when it comes to good hunting skills? You have probably assumed the obvious ones like a good quality gun, a steady hand, loads of practice, and patience. One thing that you might have missed is one of the most important factors of them all, and it is sight. So how to sight in a rifle with iron sights?

It doesn’t necessarily mean your eyesight, which is a contributing factor, too, I must say. But here, it refers to the telescope-looking tube that is often attached on top of a rifle, and it is called iron sight. Today we are going to learn how to sight in a rifle with an iron sight. You can check the EOTech holographic sight review guide.

What Is an Iron Sight?

You can refer to iron sights as scopes. To aim, you often close one eye and focus on your target using that other eye only.
While using an iron sight, you could say that whatever you are seeing through that tube becomes your sight, hence the naming. It helps you to take a shot over long distances with accuracy and precision that is not possible with the naked eye.

Iron sights have started its journey from the beginning of the technology and still have a stronghold in the market.
Over the years, they have managed to get developed and modernized with new features and designs depending on the type of rifle they are mounted upon, and there is no sign of the iron sights to disappear due to the pressure of new technology or innovations any times soon. Iron sights are sometimes also called open sights.

Iron Sights vs. Scopes

There is no telling otherwise that iron sights, older technology, and scope, latest technology, serve the same purpose, but the question should be, which is better? When it comes to accuracy, both are equally equipped.

You should be able to shoot just as precisely with an iron sight as you would do with a scope, given the fact you have had practice with an iron sight. There is no denying the fact that using an iron sight is slightly more difficult than using a scope.

The shooter can cover up to 1000 yards using an iron sight, which in the average range that scopes can cover. However, you are only recommended to shoot up to 300 yards or even less.

And there are no such limitations when it comes to scopes. You can shoot as far as your eyes will take you. The distance you can cover using an iron sight hugely depends on the quality of the iron sight itself. If it is made from finer iron, then it can get a better sight of the target, and you can aim better and at a longer distance.

However, keep in mind that iron sight will give you great precision, but it will come with time and a lot of practice. People who have been hunting and training to shoot for years still prefer iron sights over any scopes that are in the market. They just feel more confident, and they have gotten used to it.

Iron sights have survived a century in the market, and they are not going to go obsolete any time soon.

Zeroing Your Iron Sights

Zeroing Your Iron Sights

Before you start sighting and shooting, the iron sights on your rifle have to be “zeroed”. It means that you have to make the line of aim that comes out of the iron sight and bullets course together, making them one path.

That is how you can successfully use the iron sight, and it will finally serve its purpose. If you try to shoot something without zeroing your rifle, the only ways the bullet will hit the target is by god’s miracle or your sheer dumb luck.

To zero your iron sights follow the steps below

Find a Flat Surface

You must put your rifle on a horizontally flat surface so that your rifle is sturdy when you calibrate it. If not, then it will cause deflections, and your iron sight will render useless.

Set a Target

You have to set a target at a distance that you want to zero. As you will calibrate and try to hit the target when you try to zero your rifle.

Fire at the Target

Calibrate your rifle shoot at the target to see how far the bullets land. This will give you an idea of how much you need to adjust your iron sights.


Keep on repeating the step above until you can hit your target with a single shot. That’s how you know your iron sights have been zeroed.

How to Sight in a Rifle with Iron Sight

Given that you have zeroed your rifle, that is, you have aligned the path of the trajectory of the bullet with the line of sight and you can shoot up targets in the recommended distances, there is not much left to do then follow the steps below.


Now that you are out hunting or training, take your rifle and set up a target in front of you. How far away you will set your target entirely depends on your experience, confidence, and preference, but if you ask an expert, he would recommend 50 to 100 yards.

Even though you have your iron sights for accuracy, make sure there is nothing that would be fatally injured like another hunter or person around the target. Most importantly, do not forget your protective gear to cover your eyes and ears.

Shoot It

Now it’s just the time to shoot and see for yourself how good you have become and did all the hard work finally pay off. Be focused on your front sight when you are shooting, so that everything is aligned properly.

Adjust and Re-Adjust

If, by chance, you missed your target, that only means that you have had some technical error like you have no zeroed your rifle with your iron sight properly. So you just fix that before you try to take another shot.


See how easy it is to sight in a rifle using an iron sight? Before you play around, make sure you and the people around you are being safe and careful. No fun or experiment is worth a life, so stay alert.
Happy hunting!