How to Mount and Zero your Rifle Scope

How to Mount and Zero your Rifle Scope

1: Mount the base and rings on the scope.

These vary in price but we recommend buying the best you can afford, as – with anything – the more you spend the better the quality and likelihood that you won’t need to continually adjust it!  It is always best to follow the instructions you get with your base and mount, but we recommend tightening the screws in an X pattern so that the mount is seated squarely and not pulling one way or the other.  Turn each screw in small movements each time until the mount is seated firmly on the scope.

2: Mount the scope on the rifle.

Having removed the top half of each mount (usually via the allen key provided), and loosened the side screws, lay the scope into the bracket (ensure the eyepiece is in the right direction!).  You can use a spirit level to check for the correct level, then replace the top half of each mount and tighten slightly.

Position the eyepiece correctly. Set the distance to your shooting eye so the position is correct when in your shooting position. You can slide the scope backwards and forwards until you have the correct eye relief. Your image should be sharp and clear when you look through the eyepiece, when this is achieved you know you are in the correct place.  Your cross-hair should be level: Imagine a line through the cross-hair that runs directly through the centre of your rifle. You can make further adjustments later, but it's important to get the cross-hairs oriented in the correct position now, before you tighten it down.

Finally tighten the mount screws slowly and again in an X pattern to ensure a level fit.

3: Zeroing your rifle scope (AKA getting the rifle to shoot where you want it to!)

Head down to the Emmett & Stone Rifle Range!

Ideally using a rifle rest, take three to five shots with the rifle. Look through your scope, training the sight on the bullseye. Take 3-5 shots.

Examine your shot grouping to decide where adjustments are required.

Make adjustments using the adjustment knobs on the top and one side of the scope. Each scope will have a slightly different mechanism for making adjustments, but the principles are basically the same.

Examine the adjustment knobs. Most scopes should have two dials/turrets on it, one on the top and one on the side, which are used to adjust the scope and will allow you to zero it, so what you're seeing and where the rifle is aimed will be in line. The top knob is used to adjust the vertical adjustment, and the one on the side will adjust the scope left to right.  (On some older sights, you'll need to use a penny or a small key to turn the knobs gently, though on most sights you can just use your fingers to twist the knob, like a dial).

Once you've made your adjustments, repeat this process. Fire a few more rounds, check the grouping, and readjust. It's a good idea to mark the holes in the target that you've already made, so you don't get confused later, or to use a new target. Some targets come with four or five different bulls-eye, just for this process.

Generally speaking, most marksmen will want to zero the rifle from a variety of different positions, focusing most on the distances at which you'll be likely to fire. The same basic process and adjustments can be made at each position, but you'll probably want to measure from at least two, and probably more like three or four distances.

Start at 20 yards then move out to about 75. Try not to move more than 50 yards at a time, to keep yourself making little adjustments. If you have time and feel like you could still make more adjustments, you can move into the 200–300 yard range and get ambitious. At that point, however, wind will be a big factor.

If you are shooting low turn the top turret in the direction that it says “UP”.

If you are shooting right turn the side turret in the direction that it says “LEFT” or “L”.

Continue making the necessary adjustments until you are hitting the bullseye regularly, then move elsewhere on the range to try from another distance.

Make very small adjustments. On most scopes, each click you turn either dial that moves the zero 1/4", so four clicks of the knob would be about an inch. Read the user manual that came with your scope to be sure about adjustments, but always move little.

If you need any assistance with choosing the correct rifle scope then please feel free to get in touch and we will be able to assist. Our entire range of rifle scopes can be found online (CLICK HERE). These includes Hawke, Minox, Nikko Stirling, MTC, Vortex, Meopta and more.