How To Adjust A Scope? The Important Thing You Need To Know
The scopes on today’s rifles adjust to point-of-impact specifications. A huge plus for hunters and shooters, accuracy in long distance shooting is greatly improved. The scope has knobs on the top and bottom, both of which have significant impact on the zeroing in your shot. Old timers like me learned to adjust a scope back on Civil War-era weapons. Nowadays, it is much easier, but still takes practice and precision. When learning how to adjust a scope, just follow these steps and mix in a bit of personal feeling based on your weapon.
Getting Set Up
Make sure you have the necessary tools to adjust your scope. Ensure the scope is properly fixed to the barrel, and that you have a trusted rest in place. Equally important is identifying the ammo you’ll use. The ammo that you adjust the scope with should be the same ammo you’re using in the field. Here are the first steps:
- Move the crosshairs. Based on the shooter’s ability to the bore, you’ll want to move the crosshairs so that they are in line with where he or she is at.
- Zero the rifle at short distance. The first real step here is to align the barrel and scope. If you know your rifle, doing this is by bore sighting is doable. Place your rifle in a firm rest, and make sure the action is open. Set up a target that isn’t too far out (less than thirty yards) and preferable with some sort of a central mark or perfect shot marker on it. This allows you to align the barrel of your gun with the mark.
- Note the erector tube. You don’t want the target image to appear upside down when viewed through the scope. This is the purpose of the erector tube. It will contain multiple lenses that adjust the image back and forth within the scope, ultimately presenting it as is. Don’t tighten the rings too much or else the erector tube won’t be as mobile inside the scope as it should be.
Fire Some Test Shots
This is how you’ll test your bore sighting skills. How close was the shot? Don’t worry if it was not even close, especially if this is your first time adjusting the scope on this gun. Make small movements to the scope to get that zero dialed in. Remember that a zero at 25 yards typically goes high at 100 yards, so if 100 yards is the target distance, adjust the scope to be about one inch lower than the zero at 25 yards.
- Make small tweaks as necessary. If you’ve got the scope adjusted perfectly after less than five shots, you must know your rifle pretty well. When I’m working a new gun, I typically allow up to ten shots just so I can get a feel for the give and take.
- Take windage into consideration. Are you shooting at a range, or out in the field? If out in the field, how well do you know the area, and more specifically, how your gun shoots in that climate?
- Check the mounting. If you have continued problems getting the scope to zero and/or to a point of comfortability, it may be a result of sloppy mounting. I’ve had to take off and re-mount the scope on new rifles more than once, which taught me real quick that no two guns are exactly the same. Keep this in mind, and if you remember, double check the mounting before firing test shots.
Use Modern Guns And Scopes
This sounds like a picky thing to say, but as I said above, I grew up adjusting really old scopes and rifles. Today’s technology is so much better than what I grew up on, there isn’t any reason to not use the latest stuff available. Unless, of course, you’re a historian or antique gun fanatic! The scopes on modern guns have two adjustable knobs that make the process both easy and fun.
Variable scopes allow for less adjustment than fixed-power scopes, as a result of an extra cam tube. Referring to the erector tube, don’t force down on the variable scope at all while adjusting for risk of restricting it’s functions. If you have an Ar10, so you can find the best scope for ar 10 to have the good shoot
From there, it’s all step and repeat. With each new scope, I recommend repeating this process to make sure that the scope is a) mounted correctly, and b) zeroed correctly. Just like guns, scopes are all different. Gradually move your testing target further away as you get more comfortable with the scope. Because this is so important, I ask that all readers who enjoyed this article take a moment to share it on social media or with family and friends that are avid shooters. I’m all ears for tips that you’ve found for specific scopes, so feel free to leave a comment.