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  • Methods of zeroing a scope

    I will soon be mounting and zeroing a new scope on my .338 Mag. and was interested in how you guys zero your scopes and rifles. In the past I have always bore sighted and then made sure I was on target at 25 yards and then moved out to 50 yards and then finished at 2" high at 100 yards.
    I always have made adjustments to my scopes by calculating the proper number of clicks for the range (i.e. at 100 yards a scope with 1/4 m.o.a. adjustments should move the shot group a 1/4" per click). This has worked okay, but I have only had one scope that actually moved the shot group the amount it was suppose to. With the others, I would have to mess with them until I finallly ended up where I wanted, which of course was irritating and a waste of ammo. Is this rare, do others find their scope adjustments to be accurate and consist?
    Also, I was interested in finding out how many of you guys zero your rifles by firing a shot at the bullseye, then lining up the crosshairs on the bullseye, and adjusting your scopes cross hairs to your last shot taken (the prior bullet hole)? I have never tried this method, but it seems like an easier one. Is their any downside to this method over the previous one mentioned? Thanks for the help and advice.

  • #2
    For 30 years, I have zeroed my scopes before firing a shot.

    With the scope mounted correctly and properly torqued in place:

    1. Place a 25 yard pistol or similar bullseye target down range at 100 yards.

    2. Place rifle on a sand bag or similar rest pointed down range.

    3. Remove the bolt from the rifle.

    4. Remove the caps from the scope adjustment turrets.

    5. Look through the bore and move the rifle to center bullseye target in the bore.

    6. Hold the riflein place with the target centered.

    7. Hold the rifle. Looking through the scope, adjust the elevation (horizontal) cross wire of the scope until it intersects the target center. Recheck the rifle bore to target center. Recheck elevation cross wire to target center.

    Note: If the horizontal wire is above target center adjust the turret (U) up.

    8. Hold the rifle, recheck the bore to target center, looking through the scope, adjust the windage (vertical) cross wire to target center. Recheck the bore to target center. Recheck the vertical wire to target center.

    Note: If the vertical wire is to the left of target center, adjust it (L) left.

    Repeat steps 7 & 8 and readjust if necessary.

    9. Replace bolt in rifle and fire one 3 shot group at 100 yards with firm rest and steady hold.

    10. Check target and readjust scope further if necessary. Replace turret covers.

    If this doesn't work, your rifle or scope or mounts need work.

    Generally all scope adjustments are out of spec in regards to the 1/4" or 1/2" per click. With this technique you don't count clicks and don't care.

    Also many scopes need to shoot in. Some shooting will settle the scope to a point that will be stable.

    Only move a scope one axis at a time when adjusting the final POI. Adjust elevation then shoot it and verify elevation, then adjust windage, shoot and readjust. Then shoot the final group. This should leave a good stable setting.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


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    • #3
      I've found that they already come mechanically zeroed. I just mount them and walk in the rounds one shot at a time, if they're hitting paper, then finish with a 3 round group to confirm.
      Now what ?

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      • #4
        I usually use Murphys method to boresight, but shoot first group at 25 yards and then proceed as ak hunter mentioned. Last fall after the standard manual bore sight, I tried the "shoot one group (25yards)then after centering the rifle on the target adjust the cross hair to the group" method. Worked like a champ and speeded the process. Usually finish up ~2" high at 100.

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        • #5
          Use a Laser...

          if your using a semi auto...or the Leupold zeroing thingy...

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          • #6
            I've been loading for quite a few friends lately.

            When I hit the range with their rifle which I've never shot, I usually fire one round at 25 yards to get an idea of the 100 yard impact point. I adjust that impact point for a bulls eye at 25 yards then move the target out to 100 yards and fire three rounds. I move the center of that group to 2.5" high at 100 and start my re-load data collection.

            Another method that works well at 100 yards is to have the rifle in a secure rest and fire one shot at the bullseye. Re-aim your cross hairs at the bullseye then adjust your windage and elevation knobs to the impact point. The scope should be zeroed after that.

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            • #7
              Murphy's zeroing process is basically what I do and I've always found it to work very well, I can usually eyeball the POA within a few iches of the POI @ 100 yds.

              On the repeatability of your turrets, most of the non tactical scopes will not repeat reliably, but if they are a good quality scope, they should be fairly close. You can get good repeatable turrets, but they aren't necessary if your not dialing your windage and elevation corrections.
              "You will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it."
              ~ John Quincy Adams

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              • #8
                Quick question...

                If you hitting low on your POI, you want to move the elevation UP correct? Likewise, if your hitting to the left, you want to move the windage to the left as well, correct?

                & At 25 yards, you should only need to move your indicator 1/4 of the way marked on the scope (usually 1/4" moa click at 100 yds. so then a 2" low 2" left shot group should only be moved X amont at 25 yards)

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                • #9
                  American or European scope

                  [QUOTE=gogoalie;461206]If you hitting low on your POI, you want to move the elevation UP correct? Likewise, if your hitting to the left, you want to move the windage to the left as well, correct?


                  Most American scopes are adjusted as in your quote. If you shoot European scopes the oppisite is correct.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gogoalie View Post
                    At 25 yards, you should only need to move your indicator 1/4 of the way marked on the scope (usually 1/4" moa click at 100 yds. so then a 2" low 2" left shot group should only be moved X amont at 25 yards)
                    If you have a 1/4 MOA scope adjustment you will need to move it 4 clicks for a 1/4 inch at 25 yards. 1 click is a 1/4 inch at 100 yards and 1 click is 1 inch at 400 yards.

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                    • #11
                      [QUOTE]
                      Originally posted by gogoalie View Post
                      If you hitting low on your POI, you want to move the elevation UP correct? Likewise, if your hitting to the left, you want to move the windage to the left as well, correct?
                      Right on the up, wrong on the left.

                      If you're hitting low and you want to move your POI up then click in the "UP" direction as marked on your turret.

                      If you're hitting left and you want to move your POI to the right, the click in the "R" (right) direction as marked on your turret.

                      The dierection arrows on your turret are the direction the POI is moved.
                      "You will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it."
                      ~ John Quincy Adams

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                      • #12
                        Yes, I do it like Murphy does it. Sure saves a lot of ammo.
                        A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
                        THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
                        THE HEART OF A CHILD
                        THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gogoalie View Post
                          If you hitting low on your POI, you want to move the elevation UP correct? Yes Likewise, if your hitting to the left, you want to move the windage to the left as well, correct? No, right.

                          & At 25 yards, you should only need to move your indicator 1/4 of the way marked on the scope (usually 1/4" moa click at 100 yds. so then a 2" low 2" left shot group should only be moved X amont at 25 yards)
                          Actually if one click moves the POI 1/4" inch at 100 yards it moves it 1/16" at 25 yards. So if you want to move the POI 1/4" at 25 yards you would need four clicks.

                          For 2" error at 25 yards (this is the same as 8" error at 100 yards) you would move 32 clicks at 25 yards (for a 1/4" per click scope)

                          Think of this as a cone of movement that starts at the scope at zero and goes to 1" wide at 100 yards, half way out is 1/2" (50 yards) and one quarter out (25 yards) is 1/4" wide. Four clicks is one inch at 100 yards, 1/4" at 25 yards.


                          Is everyone confused now?

                          Marshall and Montana both get little gold stars on their book reports.
                          Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


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                          • #14
                            Ok...

                            Thanks Murphy, I was only doubling my 25 yard adjustments the other day & not quadrupling them...like I should have been...It's clear...

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                            • #15
                              INCH or MOA?

                              Originally posted by Murphy View Post
                              (for a 1/4" per click scope)
                              That was a very good explaining, even I understood it.

                              I think many get 1-INCH and 1-MOA mixed up, they are the same at 100 yards but no other place along the cone. You say 1/4" per click scope but to my knowledge there is no such animal, so you mean 1/4 MOA per click correct?

                              I was taught that MOA and degree are one and the same but never believed that 100% since they have different names I suspect there is some reason for it, like bullets travel in arcs maybe. They are never the less very close as there are 360 degrees or 360 MOAs in a complete circle. The size of the circle does not change the number of degrees or MOAs because they measure the angles not the size, inches do change since they do measure size.

                              So at 100 yards 1MOA is 1 inch, at 200 yards 1MOA is 2 inches, 300 yards 1MOA is 3 inches and so on to give us that ever expanding cone. At 2MOA we get twice the inches. 100y 2MOA is 2” at 200y we get 4” and 300y is 6” and so on.

                              I think we get it stuck in our heads that 1MOA is 1Inch at 100 yards and promptly forget that it’s not at 50 yards or 150 yards. So now we are thinking in inches and not angles that the scopes are built for.

                              Now, I hope I helped more people than I confused with my poor explaining of MOA. :rolleyes:

                              Andy
                              Andy
                              On the web= C-lazy-F.co
                              Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
                              Call/Text 602-315-2406
                              Phoenix Arizona

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