How to Zero Your Rifle Scope

Posted: May 19, 2012 in Weapons
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

When you zero your rifle scope what you are doing is making sure your point of aim equals your point of impact.  The following are the steps I use to properly zero my rifle scope.

  1. Make sure your scope is properly and securely mounted and leveled on your rifle.
  2. Go to the range and set up on the shooters bench making sure the front of your rifle is supported on either a sandbag or a bipod so it is as steady as possible.
  3. Set your paper target out at the 25 yard mark.
  4. Fire three shots at the center of the target to get a representation of how tight the grouping is.
  5. Adjust your windage and elevation to move the sight picture towards the center of the target based on where your original grouping was.  Check the markings on your scope.  If it is a 1/4″ scope every 4 clicks turned either left or right (windage) or up and down (elevation) will move the sight picture 1 inch in that direction.  If it’s a 1/8″ scope every 8 clicks turned either left or right (windage) or up and down (elevation) will move the sight picture 1 inch in that direction.
  6. Determine how many inches away from the center of the target your origial shot grouping was and based on your scope markings move the windage knob (right side knob) the appropriate number of clicks, then move the elevation knob (top knob) the appropriate number of clicks.
  7. Repeat steps 4 through 7 until your shot groupings consistently hit the center of the target.  Once you can consistently hit the center of the target your scope is now zeroed with the rifle.

Once you’ve done this often enough you should be able to sight the rifle in and bullseye the target every time in about 5 minutes.  If you later move the target out to 100 yards only slight adjustments in windage and elevation should be needed.

  1. That was an interesting look down the rifle scope – my first one! You’re very knowledgeable on this subject. Is survival preparedness etc/weapons a particular interest/hobby of yours or are you involved in this or related fields on the work front? No obligation to answer that if you don’t wish to! I frequently avoid answering questions for a variety of reasons 😉 All perfectly reasonable reasons in my opinion! Either way the subject makes for a fascinating blog 🙂

  2. rmactsc says:

    Survival and Preparedness is a hobby of mine along with target shooting using rifles, shotguns and pistols at the local ranges in my area. Other hobbies of mine are writing and Alakan Malamute Dogs. My career involves work in the Financial Software field. Thanks for inquiring 🙂

    • rmactsc says:

      They really are wonderful dogs…..of course you get enough dog hair when they shed to make quite a pile. Reminds me of tumbleweeds from the pictures of the wild west 🙂

  3. Took some time to extract my icy paws from the keyboard they melted into – it’s been ridiculously hot here 🙂 but now I’m here, that was very interesting thank you. Your career and your hobby couldn’t be more different! And your other hobbies are of course very fine and admirable ones! Thought about you the other day actually, was reading a magazine at work about guns and shooting. It had a section on gundog training, in case you were wondering 😉 Totally different field to you obviously but some interesting articles on guns and useage/handling which I’d not have thought to read if I hadn’t been tuned into the idea from your blog! So you see, makes an impact!!

    • rmactsc says:

      I often find I’m pointed in the direction of new interests when reading your blog and other blogs as well. Would be great if my Alaskan Malamute could be trained to be a gun dog however as she is 11 years old, and for a dog I consider her semi retired, her expertise seems to be in lying around and taking long naps whenever possible 🙂

      • Awww! She sounds lovely and you’ve obviously done a great job with her if she’s still going strong at 11 years 🙂 They’re beautiful animals…I saw some awesome examples of the breed at Crufts Dog Show last year. Siberian Huskies are another favourite of mine but I don’t think either breed would make good gun dogs!! You know…the little prey drive problem!!

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