How to Adjust a Rifle Scope

Bang-Inc is reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Buying a new rifle scope is exciting and often expensive. To ensure you get your money’s worth, you need to know how to adjust a rifle scope properly. Otherwise, you will never get to experience its true potential of helping you get the perfect shot. This article will take you through the various adjustments you need to be familiar with.

Mounting a Rifle Scope

To adjust a rifle scope properly, you must first ensure that you have mounted the scope properly. This is basically the foundation that will make adjustments not only possible but also accurate. To properly mount a rifle scope, you must consider the eye box, eye relief, leveling and eyepiece.

Eye Box Adjustment

The eye box adjustment refers to the height of the rifle scope. You want your eye to line up with the eye box accurately so you won’t have to adjust the height constantly. The best way to do this is to place your cheek on the rifle as if you were ready to shoot. Then adjust the eye box so that it is in the correct position. This adjustment will help you shoot comfortably without putting your neck in an awkward position.

Eye Relief Adjustment

Eye relief refers to the distance between your eye and the ocular lens of the rifle scope. In other words, it is how far away the scope is from your eye. If the scope is too close to your eye, you will end up hurting yourself when you fire the rifle, and if it is too far, you will end up straining your eyes.

To get the right eye relief, you will need to loosen your scope and move it backwards and forward while looking through the scope. You will see a dark ring appear and disappear. The correct adjustment is when you get a complete view without the dark ring visible.

Leveling a Rifle Scope

Leveling a rifle scope is critical to make the correct adjustments later on. It is pretty simple to do, and there are scope leveler kits that make it even easier. All you have to do is place the level correctly between the turret adjustments and the rail, ensuring that the bubble is in the level position.

Eyepiece Focus

You want to have a clear view of what you are shooting. Thus, your eyepiece needs to be in focus. To do this, you must turn the ocular lens all the way to the end. Then,  slowly move it back until your view starts coming into focus. If you go too far back, it will start blurring, and you will need to move forward until it clears up again. 

Adjusting a Rifle Scope

Now that your scope is mounted correctly, you can now properly make adjustments that help you zero your scope for the perfect shot.

Elevation Adjustments

The elevation adjustment turret is at the top of your scope. It adjusts the reticle height, which helps you line up your shot. If your shot is too low, you will need to raise the reticle center by moving the turret, and if your shot is too high, you want to lower it. You can adjust the turret in clockwise and counterclockwise movements.

Windage Adjustments

Windage adjustments help your bullet’s trajectory when shooting in windy conditions. However, only a few shooters adjust to the wind as it is unpredictable. The windage adjustment turret is usually on the side of your scope. You will need to move it forward or backwards to move the reticle to the left or right.

Parallax Adjustments

Not all rifle scopes have parallax adjustments, while some may have them built in already. Parallax adjustments will help your target remain in focus even if you slightly  switch angles when looking through the scope. If present, the turret for these adjustments is on the left of the scope.

Magnification Adjustments 

This is the adjustment every shooter is familiar with. You simply increase magnification to see your target closer to get a better shot. The magnification adjustment is a dial just above the eyepiece, and you can move it accordingly to get the desired magnification.


Knowing how to adjust a rifle scope is integral to using it correctly. It all begins with mounting your rifle scope properly to ensure comfort and accuracy when making adjustments. The scope is there to help you get a good shot at your target, and it needs to do the work while you remain in a comfortable shooting position. Thus, knowing how to adjust your rifle scope properly has a significant impact on your shooting.

Leave a Comment