Zeroing your rifle scope might sound like a lot of work, but we’re here to show you how you can do it in the easiest way possible with a few simple steps. Just follow our guidelines and you’ll know how to do it in a blink of an eye.
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Steps Of How To Zero Your Rifle Scope Perfectly
Step 1 – Installing your scope
First and foremost, you need to install your scope. The first part of the first step involves mounting the rings and the base on your scope. The mount is actually the part that will do the most of the ‘heavy lifting’ in terms of durability, so saving up a bit more for a good mount might actually be a better idea than spending more on the scope itself.
In order to properly install the scope’s mount, use a screwdriver to gently tighten a set of screws as per manufacturer’s instructions. An ideal way is to do it in the ‘X’ pattern (diagonally). This will ensure a more suitable fit and a stable base until you complete the process.
We recommend that you tighten the screws a bit lose in the beginning, as this will allow you to easily make adjustments when needed.
Step 2- Mounting the rifle scope
In essence, every scope comes with a set of instructions, and among the first paragraphs, you’ll find details regarding how the specific model should be positioned on the bracket. There are various tools you can use to level it properly.
This is a straightforward step, but it will determine the outcome more than other steps. Make sure that the eyepiece is oriented properly and the rings sitting firmly on the base.
Step 3 – Positioning the eyepiece
The most important aspect of this step is setting the proper distance between your eye and the eyepiece. Position the stock of your rifle on your shoulder and level the rifle with your eye. Make adjustments as if you were in a shooting position – the end result should be a pristine image.
Step 3 – Levelling the crosshair/reticle
Hold your rifle in a firm, steady position, preferably mounted on the stand. Rotate your rifle’s crosshair in a manner that the crosshair’s vertical part is at the very center. Even though adjustments will be possible at a later point, it will make the job immensely easier if you orient the reticle properly before tightening it.
Step 4 – Zeroing in
You’ll need to go out to a shooting range in order to properly zero your rifle scope. It could be done in a variety of ways, although the best way is to shoot your rifle from different positions. Shooting ranges also offer so called ‘bullseye’ targets which are the most suitable ‘tools’ that will help you zero the scope properly.
Start off easy with close targets and start shooting. Ideally, your first target should be at 25 yards – no matter how inaccurate your gun is, small distances will give you a good heads up if something’s wrong.
Aim for the dead center and shoot several times. If you’ve missed it more than once, you’ll definitely need to re-adjust the scope. If you’ve hit center every single time, you’re still not out of the woods yet.
Set a different target at a larger distance – for example, 50 yards this time. Now, 50 yards is a distance where your shooting skills aren’t too much of a factor, but it’s still a great way to determine if you’ve set your scope properly. Repeat the process and check for results.
If you’re absolutely sure that you’ve aimed for the center and the shots are off, if the scope is ‘at fault’, you should start noticing the patterns of missed shots. If you could visualize a line going through the shots, that’s actually a good thing – that means that the crosshair hasn’t been positioned correctly, and simply adjust it accordingly.
However, if you can’t imagine a line going through the ‘missed’ shots, that could mean several things. Either your gun isn’t leveled properly (bore leveling tools could help out), your aim wasn’t accurate enough (which will get better with practice), or the crosshair needs additional readjustments.
Now, in the case, your gun isn’t ‘levelled’ properly and you don’t think you have the skills to do it yourself, you should take it to a professional. This might be a costly option, but it’s better than ruining your gun.
In the case you think your aim was at fault, you should try using a ‘gun rest’. It will substantially enhance the stability of your gun and minimize the chances of inaccurate aiming.
Tips and tricks to zero your rifle scope
Heading to the shooting range is optional, but could be very useful. You could try asking for help from some of the veterans down there, and if they’re willing to lend a hand, the entire process will be simplified greatly.
On another hand, there are numerous ‘levelling tools’ that can be used to make a job a lot easier for you, such as the boresight, for example. There are, in fact, laser sighters that will save you up on ammo cost.
One of the best advice you’ll hear regarding zeroing your rifle scope is repetition. Namely, small adjustments might be necessary over the course, and whenever you think you’ve got it right, try shooting again. If you manage to hit the bullseye several times in a row, you’ll know you’ve done it right.
Last, but certainly not least, consider investing in your scope. Budget scope models might have mediocre ‘tuners’ (turrets), that are either hard to use, or simply unreliable altogether. You don’t need to purchase professional scopes unless you intend to make a career out of it, but the difference between mid-priced models and budget ones is practically palpable in terms of performance.
In case you don’t know which brands are the best on the market, Nikon, Vortex, and Leupold are among the biggest names out there who offer a broad variety of premium quality scopes.