How to Adjust a Rifle Scope?

If you’re new to shooting or haven’t used a rifle scope before, it’s important to know how to adjust it so you can get the most accuracy possible. Scopes come with a number of knobs, called turrets, that allow you to make adjustments up, down, left and right.

Each “click” of the turret corresponds to an angular measurement– typically MOA or Mil/MRAD.


A rifle scope is designed to help you make precise shots. To do this, it’s important to understand how to adjust the scope. A well-adjusted scope will give you a clearer image of your target, a crisper reticle, and more accurate results.

The first step is to level the scope. This is done by placing a flat object between the scope’s turret adjustments and its rail. It’s a simple process and shouldn’t take much time, but it’s crucial to get right.

After you’ve finished leveling the scope, the next thing you’ll want to do is adjust the turrets. These are knob-like parts that jut out from the scope body and make fine-tuning the elevation and windage of your shots easy.

You’ll need to remove the caps on the turrets to adjust them, so check the manual for instructions on how to do this. If you’re having trouble, ask an experienced shooter to assist you with this task.

If you’re shooting at a long distance, it’s also a good idea to adjust the parallax setting on your scope. Parallax occurs when the reticle and target appear to be on different planes in your scope, which can make it difficult to aim.

Once you’ve gotten the parallax adjustment set correctly, turn on your rifle scope and focus it on your target. If you have an illuminated reticle, this is even more critical.

After the reticle and target are properly focused, you can make any other adjustments you need to. Depending on your needs, you might need to adjust the magnification power of your scope, or perhaps tweak the ocular focus for optimal accuracy.

The most common method of making adjustments to a scope’s windage is by removing the caps on the turrets and turning them forward or backward. This will allow you to see where the bullets are hitting.

Some rifle scopes come with diagrams that show how to adjust the windage and elevation. These are helpful because they can tell you which direction to turn the adjustment mechanism (screws, knobs, dials, etc.) for the best result. They may also show you the MOA or Mil that each adjustment will effect at 100 yards.


There are a lot of different knobs on a rifle scope that allow you to make adjustments. These knobs can be used to adjust windage, elevation, parallax and more. If you know how to use these knobs properly, it will make your life much easier and you’ll be able to make better scope adjustments in the future!

The way that your rifle scope’s elevation is set up can have a huge impact on your accuracy. It can also affect how well your reticle will appear on the target when you shoot. You want to be able to see the reticle clearly and accurately. If your reticle is blurry or not at all clear, then it might be time to adjust the elevation of your scope.

To do this, you need to find the turret that is on top of your scope and rotate it in the appropriate direction. This will change the point of impact (POI) on your reticle to match where the bullet strikes.

You’ll hear a clicking sound as you turn the turret. Each click signals an angular measurement known as the Minute of Angle (MOA).

This MOA can vary from scope to scope, but it usually represents one quarter of an inch at 100 yards per click. This means that if you’re off an inch at 100 yards, you’ll need four clicks to zero your scope.

Once you have your POI matched exactly to where the bullet hits, you can then adjust your elevation. This will allow you to compensate for the extra drop that every bullet undergoes as it exits the barrel.

Many scopes have resettable turrets, which makes this process easier. This feature is especially nice when you’re adjusting your scope for a specific shot. Having this feature allows you to make adjustments to your scope without having to count the number of clicks that you’ve made with each turret.


Parallax is a feature found on some rifle scopes that allows you to change the focus of the reticle. It’s a relatively easy way to improve your image quality at longer distances, especially if you’re shooting at extreme ranges and need an extra edge for precision bullet strikes.

If your scope has a parallax adjustment, it is usually either on the front objective or a knob on the opposite side of the windage adjustment (left side of the scope). To adjust the parallax, you can slowly move the knob while looking through the scope from side to side and up and down until the crosshairs are no longer moving.

A scope without a parallax adjustment will usually have a factory-set point of zero. This point of zero will be determined by the exit pupil size of the scope and is usually placed at a mid-range distance within the scope’s focal range.

This zero-point will be marked on the scope’s ring or turret for future reference and will allow you to return to that point time and again. You should also keep your eyelined up with the optical axis of the scope for every shot you take to avoid any issues with parallax as this is a key part of getting the best possible picture from the scope.

Another common parallax adjustment option is to use an AO or side focus. Using an AO is a popular choice for hunters who want to minimize the time it takes to correct parallax issues.

With an AO, you can quickly and easily set the AO to a specific distance where it won’t cause any parallax issues. This will save you time and frustration in the field compared to fiddling with the magnification and parallax setting.

Unless you’re planning to do serious plinking, I would recommend saving the AO for long range, deliberate, and intended shots only. Fiddling with the AO for each and every shot can be time-consuming and may even lead to missed shots or worse.

If you’re not a plinker or aren’t planning to do serious long range hunting, I would highly recommend avoiding a scope that has a parallax adjustment. It is a very fine line between having a scope with a parallax adjustment and having a scope that you don’t need, so I suggest narrowing down your options to find the one that will suit you best!


Increasing the magnification on your rifle scope will make it easier to get an accurate shot. It will also allow you to see the target clearly at longer distances.

To increase the power of your scope, simply turn the zoom ring until you achieve the desired level of magnification. Some scopes have a throw lever that makes the adjustment process faster and easier. Others have a fiber optic indicator that allows you to easily see what magnification you are at.

Magnification is a function of the objective lens and the ocular lens on the scope body. The ocular lens is the one closest to your eye when you look through the scope, and the objective lens is the lens that faces the target.

The scope body contains a number of knobs called turrets that you can use to adjust the various aspects of your riflescope. The elevation turret adjusts the impact of the bullet vertically, and the windage turret adjusts the impact of your bullet laterally, left and right.

As you increase the magnification of your scope, some reticle markings will become larger or smaller. This is called first focal plane (FFP) or second focal plane (SFP). FFP scope reticles magnify along with the image, while SFP scope reticles remain the same size at all magnification levels.

A reticle is the graphic or marking on your scope that you use to aim at your target. These marks are typically either mil or moa, and can be used to measure the distance of your target at any magnification setting.

You may be able to adjust the reticle for your eyesight using a locking diopter on your ocular eyepiece. This should be set once during the sighting in of your scope, but you will probably need to do it again as you shoot at different distances.

Parallax is a phenomenon that occurs when your reticle and the target are not on the same plane, which can cause your target to appear blurry. This effect can be corrected by changing the reticle’s position on your scope’s eyepiece, or by adjusting the parallax knob on your scope.