Having a rifle scope is the easiest part, but when you have one, you need to know how to use it. Follow this step-by-step guide and you will soon be shooting with greater accuracy and from greater distances.
The gunsmith will usually zero your scope for you, however, if you have fitted your scope yourself, this is your first task. Zeroing means that at a set distance, the bullet will land exactly where the reticle (sight) is pointed but what you need is a good rifle scope check out the Best Rifle Scopes Under $300.
Start out by shooting at your target from a set distance. Most rifles are zeroed at a set distance of 100 yards, so use this distance. Once you have shot at your target, you need to work out how far off the bullet lands and adjust your scope accordingly. Most scopes have two adjustment levers. One on the top, called the elevation, which adjusts the bullet’s point of impact vertically and another on the right hand side, called the windage, which adjusts the point of impact horizontally.
Next, work out how to adjust the scope at different distances. To do this, you will need to know the velocity, as this is specific to each rifle. You will also need to know the weight and caliber of the bullet. Most scopes come with a chart that you can use to line up the reticle at different distances, however, you may find it more accurate to create your own. Scopes also tend to have a mil-dot or Ballistic Plex reticle. This lets the shooter line up a shot at distances further than the zeroed point.
It is understandable that you will want to be as accurate as possible, however, most shooters don’t have access to the equipment needed to do exact calculations regarding wind speed and direction. You are better off making rough calculations based on experience. This will come with practice. The more you get used to using your scope, the better you will be at fine tuning the reticle.
Things to Remember
- Distance to the target needs to be calculated for zeroing the scope.
- When not at your calculated distance, you need to take into consideration bullet rise or drop.
- Bullet velocity can affect the amount of bullet drop when shooting.
- The wind will affect how far left or right the bullet goes when heading towards the target.
- Bullet weight needs to be taken into account as a heavier bullet will be less affected by wind and will have a longer range.
- If you are aiming at a target at a different angle to yourself, for example, you are in a higher position than the target, this needs to be taken into account. This is called a shot angle.
- Even temperature needs to be taken into account as this will affect the bullet drop, especially if the ground temperature is higher than the air temperature.
- It is possible to use a computer or app to calculate the exact landing position of the bullet if you input all the information above.
The parallax (this is the difference between the apparent position of the object when it is viewed along two different lines of sight) is extremely important for precise shots, however, if the Parallex is set at 150 yards, then by 1000 yards, the reticle will only be a maximum of eight inches off.
If you can, adjust the parallax according to the distance of the target. Again, this is a skill that comes with practice, but will make you more accurate.
You can cheat the parallax by moving your head and eye so that the area of black around the center of the reticle is even.