How to Sight in a 22 Rifle with Iron Sights

How to Sight in a 22 Rifle with Iron Sights?

Open sights or popularly known as the iron sights are perceived by many as old-fashioned and lack accuracy. But, the sights offer more than telescopic sights can provide. One is that the worst weather conditions do not impact iron sights.

The iron sights are also inexpensive, pretty durable, and lightweight. Iron sights can also help you aim even on a very thick cover. Before going out in the field, you have to sight in your rifle’s iron sights properly. This post is for you if you don’t know how to sight in a 22 rifle with iron sights.

What You Need?

To ensure the sighting-in process is smooth and fast, you have to prepare the needed tools first. Here are some of the tools that will help you complete the process:

Ear and Eye Protection

You need to consider first your safety and protection. Protect your ears with quality earplugs/muffs, and use shooting glasses to protect your eyes. It is a must that you keep your senses protected as you will need them later.

Controlled Range

It is crucial to reduce all variables as much as possible to make your eyesight better and easier. If you can use an indoor range, you can opt for it. If not, look for a controlled range outdoor, and utilize it on a windless day. The fewer environmental factors to think about, the better. It is also essential to have some backstops like sandbags, hills, hay bales, etc. Safety is essential.

Gun Rest

You need to position your .22 rifle steadily when comparing hits, so you can either purchase a rest/vice or create one using sand and use them to put your gun in place.

Target Positioned at a Set Distance

You don’t have to buy an expensive target. You can use a solid, immovable target that will not get affected by the weather, wind, and other factors. A not stable target or easily gets knocked out does not help find consistency in your sighting. You can use a target made of a heavy-duty steel target on a solid stand or wooden post. But, a paper target firmly attached to a tree or stand would be enough.


Do not forget your rifle. You would not be able to sight in your rifle without it. So make sure you bring it along.

How to Sight in a 22 Rifle with Iron Sight

How to Sight In A .22 Rifle with Iron Sights?

Now that you have everything in place, we can now start with the process:

Step #1 Put On Your Safety Gear

Again you have to protect yourself for your safety. Put on your earplugs and eyeglasses before you start with the process. Once you are done, you can proceed to the next step.

Step #2 Setting Your Target

Most of the time, the target is set at a distance of 100 yards. Check the area behind the target. Make sure there are no structures or roads nearby. We suggest you do the sighting in front of a small hill or rise in the landscape to shield stray bullets.

Step #3 Setup The Shooting Area

Position a tripod or sandbag or rest/vice in the shooting area. This will help keep the rifle steady as you sight in your firearm accurately. To begin with, load your .22 trifle with three cartridges.

Step #4 Positioning

Place the front post on the rifle’s end at the rear notch’s center or V sight. Make sure it is aligned perfectly within the V and also on the center of the target.

Step #5 Test Fire

Fire 3 to 5 shots at the target, carefully squeeze the trigger for each shot. Avoid pulling or jerking the trigger, as this will affect your accuracy. It will also help if you keep the rifle in the same position for the three shots.

Step #6 Check Your Target

Inspect your target to determine where the bullets landed. If you did not hit the center of the target, do not worry, as you can try again. Return to your shooting area and adjust the sights. Move the sight slightly to the right if you notice you missed the target on the left and vice versa. If the shots were too high, adjust the sight downward. Therefore, if the shots were too low, move the sights upward. Make slight adjustments and do the test-fire again.

Step #7 Replace the Used Target

Replace the used target and do the test-fire again. Make three to five shots again from 100 yards. Then repeat step #6 if you still haven’t hit the center of the target. Adjust iron sights until your shots are 1 or 2 inches away from each other and a few inches away from the target’s center. Make sure the shots are within the spot you are aiming at.


If you have a .22 bolt-action rifle with iron sights, you can sight in more easily through bore-sighting. Follow the steps below:

Step #1 Positioning Your Rifle

Position your rifle firmly on a tripod or sandbag and remove the bolt. Peek through the open barrel from the back and aim at the target’s center.

Step #2 Adjust Your Iron Sights

Do not move your .22 rifle while adjusting your open sights so you can aim it accurately at the target’s center.

Step #3 Return the Bolt

Replace the bolt and fire three to five shots at the target. Check if you are hitting the target a few inches away from the target’s center. Then, repeat steps 1 to 3 until you fine-tune your sights by firing again three to five shots.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How often can I sight in my .22 rifle with iron sights?

You can re-sight any time you notice your aim is a bit off, and it is not due to other factors like bad weather and shaky hands. It is also best to re-sight your optics if it has been a long time since the last time you used your gun or if the rifle has been dropped, thrown, stored in the closets, etc.

What is the recommended range to sight in a scope for .22 rifle?

It depends on your ammunition size, but since we are dealing with a .22 rifle scope, the recommended range is 25 yards as you are most likely to hit small games at ranges higher than 25 yards. You can also sight it in as far as 100 yards.


The steps above on how to sight in a 22 rifle with iron sights are the easiest and fastest way. Keep in mind the following factors when sighting in – reduce the variables, be patient, take your time, dial in your scope turrets, and you will be hitting your target accurately in no time. If you want to share your thoughts about the topic, feel free to comment below.

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