How To Use a Rifle Scope

If you want to increase your accuracy when firing at long distances, you can use a scope to enlarge the image of your target and provide you with a reticle that shows exactly where your weapon is aimed.Using a rifle scope requires the same basic practices of shooting with iron sights, but replaces the rear sight and front sight tip with a single magnifying component that may resemble a small telescope.Depending on the model, you can get anywhere from 1 to 50 times magnification of your target.It is important to practice strong fundamentals while shooting a rifle scope, because a stronger magnification does not make you a more accurate shooter.

Step 1: Purchase the correct mounting equipment.

Most modern rifle scopes come pre-drilled and tapped for a scope base.You need to purchase mounting hardware that matches your scope.The body of the scope will be mounted inside the ring if you purchase one with the correct inside diameter.If you are unsure of the hardware you will need to mount your scope, ask the retailer to help you choose the right mounting hardware.You won’t need to purchase any hardware if you bought your rifle with a factory installed scope.If you don’t want to do it yourself, gunsmiths can mount and bore sight your scope for you.

Step 2: The eye relief needs to be adjusted.

The image on the lens of the rifle scope shows where the weapon is pointed.There are many variations of a cross, including circles, exes, and a number of others.When the mounting rings are loose, you can use the scope until the cross is aligned like a plus sign.To make sure the scope won’t hit you when the weapon recoils, adjust the distance from your eye to the lens.If you want to be certain you won’t hurt yourself or damage the scope, mount it an inch further forward.You can change this distance later.You should be able to see the reticle in your normal firing position.

Step 3: You should be familiar with the different parts of the scope.

Most of the rifle scope manufacturers use the same basic components.You should know what each piece of your scope is called before you shoot it.A rifle scope consists of a body, eye piece, objective lens, shoulder, and windage.The objective lens creates the magnification of the target when you look through the eyepiece.The objective lens is held in the shoulder of the scope.The elevation knobs can move the reticle side to side.Parallax knobs affect the movement of the reticle in relation to the target.

Step 4: Do you have a single or variable power lens?

A variable power scope has a ring that allows you to choose between different magnification levels, whereas a single lens scope only provides one level of magnification.If you don’t know which scope you have, look for a power ring past the shoulder of the rifle scope and before the objective lens.You can choose between different levels of magnification with this ring.If you have a variable power lens in your scope, keep it on until the scope has been properly zeroed.Variable lens scopes should be set to the lowest magnification power to allow for the widest field of view.

Step 5: Determine the magnification of your scope.

The strength of your scope can be determined by looking at its model number.The level of magnification and the diameter of the objective lens are two elements in the scope model numbers.A scope that is 4 x 30 means that an image will appear to be four times larger through the scope than the naked eye can see.The diameter of the scope’s objective lens was indicated by the 30.The higher the magnification, the darker your target will appear to be because of the amount of light that can pass through it.The larger diameter lens allows more light to enter the scope.The higher the first number in your scope’s model number, the stronger the magnification it provides.You can adjust between four and twelve times magnification with a variable power scope.

Step 6: The distance from the scope to the eye relief is determined.

The distance from your eye to the eye piece is called eye relief.If you want to see your target through the scope, you need the magnification to be stronger.The closer you are to the eye piece, the better the picture you will get.The eye relief rating for many scopes is 3-9x.The eye relief is between 3 and 9 inches from the eye piece.Be very careful.The scope may hit you if you keep it too close to your eye.If your scope doesn’t have an eye relief rating, you can determine it yourself by looking through the scope and adjusting it until you have a good sight picture.

Step 7: Establish a good picture.

If you don’t have a scope, a good sight picture can be achieved by aligning the rear sight with the front sight tip on the barrel.A good sight picture with a scope is centered in your field of view and positioned over your target.You should see a circle at the end of the scope.The weapon should be adjusted until it is centered if there is more black on one side.It may be difficult to maintain a good sight picture depending on your shooting position.Placing the weapon on a table will give you an opportunity to get a good sight picture.It is more difficult to get a good sight picture with a high magnification scope.

Step 8: Changes are made based on the impact of your rounds.

When firing rounds at the target, be as consistent as possible.Look at your grouping after you fire three to five rounds.Each round should hit the target in the same area if you are firing consistently.If that area is to the left of your intended target, you will need to adjust the windage.You can lower your elevation if you hit the target too high.The impact point of your rounds on the horizontal axis will always be adjusted by the windage knob.The aiming point on the vertical axis is adjusted by elevation knobs.Refer to the manual for your scope to know how far each click of the windage and elevation knobs will affect your aiming point.

Step 9: If necessary, adjust the parallax.

The third variable in the scope is the parallax.When you move your eye away from the center of the eye piece, it’s called Parallax.The target may appear to be on different optical planes due to an issue with your parallax.For a long time, almost all of the scopes came with an established and non-adjustable parallax.Most of the time, you won’t need to adjust the parallax.If you have the necessary knob, you can adjust the parallax by looking at the target through your scope.As you adjust the parallax knob, move your head up or down.Continue adjusting the knob until the target doesn’t seem to matter anymore.

Step 10: To zero the rifle, use these tools.

You can zero the rifle if you know how to make adjustments to the aiming point of your rifle scope.Zeroing a rifle involves choosing a set known distance and setting up your scope so that the rounds impact your intended target.To eliminate variables you introduce as the shooter, you must unintentionally move the weapon due to things such as heart beats, breathing, and muscle fatigue.As you fire rounds to establish a zero, using a bipod or firing table can help you keep the weapon still.The elevation can be adjusted vertically by using the windage knob.If you want to practice proper breath control, you should breathe in, then out, and fire the weapon in a natural pause between your exhale and the next inhalation.After firing a round, hold the Trigger in the fire position for a second by squeezing it in a slow steady motion.To bring the impact points together, aim at the exact same point with each round.

Step 11: When not in use, place covers over the lens.

If you don’t use your rifle scope for a while, place a lens cover over the front and back of it to prevent it from being damaged.Fire arms and sporting goods stores have replacement lens covers.When not in use, you can purchase sleeves to protect the scope.

Step 12: The lens brush can be used to remove dirt from the lens.

It is best to use a lens brush when cleaning your rifle scope because a non-optical cloth may cause damage to the lens itself.The soft bristles of the lens brushes are designed to not damage your scope’s lens.You should not use cloth to wipe the lens unless it is specifically designed for it.It is possible to wipe fingerprints or smudges from the lens of your scope with wipes made to clean eye glasses.The lens cleaning fluid can be used to remove smudges.You can buy lens brushes at sporting goods stores.

Step 13: Don’t store the scope in hot places or in direct sunlight.

The internal lubrication of your rifle scope can be affected by extreme temperatures.You can’t replace lubricant that has been cooked by extreme heat because Scopes are permanently lubricated.The magnification of the objective lens can burn the inside of your rifle scope if it is exposed to direct sunlight.Store your scope in a vehicle’s trunk, gun cabinet or closet to protect it from the sun and heat.You don’t want your rifle scope in the passenger compartment on hot days.

Step 14: It is necessary to clean your rifle scope.

Most rifle scopes are sealed and don’t need internal maintenance.To clean your scope, simply use a soft dry cloth to wipe away any smudges or fingerprints on the body.If you want to clean your rifle scope, don’t submerge it in water.Anti-fogging optical wipes can be used to clean the lens of your scope.When cleaning the scope’s body, use a dry cloth.Don’t adjust the windage or elevation settings while cleaning the rifle scope.