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How To Zero A Rifle Scope

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Alpen 4045

How to Zero a rifle scope

Once you have the scope properly, and securely mounted onto the rifle you must zero the sights in order to hit the desired targets. In order to do this properly you will need a safe area to fire your weapon, a few paper or cardboard targets, and you may also want to use sandbags to rest the rifle on to prevent it from moving around. Also you will probably need anywhere from 10-30 rounds of ammunition to fire and adjust the sights properly.

Once you have those things prepared, these are the steps to follow:

1. Draw 2 dots on your cardboard or paper target. One dot towards the top and the other 6.5 inches directly below that one. Many gun stores also sell paper targets used for zeroing that already have measurements made on the paper.

2. Arrange the sandbags on the ground and flatten them out to make for a smooth firing surface. You can fire from the prone firing position, or place the bags on a higher rock or other sturdy object to support the rifle. It is important to have a stable surface to prevent moving around.

3. Place the target 25 meters from the point you will be firing from. You will be aiming at the top dot on the target. Fire 3 rounds at that dot. It is important that while firing you aim at the dot through all 3 shots and do not adjust your sight picture throughout the sequence of firing. You should not expect the rounds to hit the dot in the beginning. The object with the first 3 rounds is to keep them all together with a tight shot group. You should try to get them all within a 1 inch box. If you can not get them that tight you will not have an accurate starting point to adjust from.

4. Once you have gotten three rounds into a tight shot group you will know where to start. With the top dot being your target still, you want to adjust the sights to move the shot group closer to the dot. The adjustments are done by the knob on the top and right side of the scope. The top adjustment point is the elevation and changes the up and down measurement and the side point is the windage and changes the side to side. It should say which way to turn the knobs on them. The first adjustment you want to make is the windage, or left to right. Depending on how far off the first shot group is, you will make the desired amount of clicks to adjust. 

5. After making the first few clicks you will fire another 3 shot group. Aiming at the same top dot, you will want the shot group to have moved closer in line with the 2 dots. If the group is not directly below the dots, make the needed adjustments and fire another 3 shot group until the grouping is closer in line. This may take a few times, so just be patient and do not rush it.

6. Once you have gotten the windage adjustments correctly in line you can focus on the elevation. The procedure is basically the same. Make the adjustments in the proper direction and then fire a 3 shot group to see if the adjustments are correct.

Once you have the scope zeroed at the 25 yard target you can extend the range out to 100 yards. The adjustments should only be very minor if any. The range from which you are planning to fire your rifle the majority of the time will be the best range at which to zero your sight.
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