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How to Adjust your Rifle Scope for Windage and Elevation

Now, you’ve obtained your sparkling rifle scope but do you know how to properly use this powerful tool? Do you know how to transform it into an effective tool and shoot with precision and efficiency? If you want to be a pro in the use of your rifle scope, one of the ways to go about this is to know how to properly adjust your rifle scope.

So, there are two separate adjustments in form of dials on your riflescope that enable you to enhance your aim by simply moving these dials right, left, up, and down. These turrets or dials are known as windage and elevation. If you’ve ever wondered how you can adequately tune these dials to give you a precise view, then you’re in the right place.

So, let’s discuss properly how to adjust your rifle scope for windage and elevation and more in this post.

 Adjust your Rifle Scope for Windage and Elevation

Let’s Look Into How to Adjust your Rifle Scope for Windage and Elevation

At the upper part of the scope, you will find the windage turret. This turret is responsible for adjusting the height of the rifle scope view. Then for the windage, you can find it on the right side of your rifle scope and this dial has an impact on the horizontal direction of your bullet.

So, your scope can be sighted by simply making some adjustments to the two dials. Now, when you sight your rifle, it implies that once the reticle of your scope is positioned in the middle of your target, you can easily get a good hit of your target.

Left and Right Windage Adjustment

When it comes to doing the necessary adjustment on your windage, it is done on the turret located to your right. Then you will make an impact on the horizontal direction (either left or right) of the bullet.

However, when the rifle scope is zeroed, you only need little to no adjustments. Wind can have some direct influence on the trajectory of your bullet and this will depend on the distance. Sometimes the conditions of the wind can change rapidly so when you want to modify the windage, it normally requires extra time and maneuvering compared to when you use holdover.

Up and Down Elevation Adjustment

We have pointed out that windage makes its adjustment left and right. So, for elevation, adjustment is done up and down. You can find the elevation adjustment at the upper turret or dial of the rifle scope. Unlike windage, more adjustments are commonly done with the elevation adjustment. But the difference between them is that the wind condition does not really alter the elevation.

It is the shooter that determines the clicks for elevation adjustments as your rifle scope is zeroed. Once each bullet moves out of the rifle, the bullet is pulled down thanks to the force of gravity. Zeroing the rifle scope enables you to adjust the reticle to hit the target directly at the distance the scope is been zeroed for.

Shooting at different distances will require you to compensate for the extra drop of the bullet or bullet drop if you’re aiming for a long range shooting. Then the impact of your bullet will higher if you if your aim is closer than the distance zeroed. Compensation is done by adjusting the elevation dial up and down the route.

Looking Into Adjusting the Rifle Scope

Essentially, there are 3 types of adjustments for rifle scope that are required for accurate shooting. Therefore, combining these 3 adjustments will enable the shooter to give a focused reticle in the up, down, forward, backward, left, and right, directions.

Furthermore, apart from these 3 adjustments, an extra adjustment to help you focus your scope is focusing your eyepiece. Also, the dial magnification of your scope will need some adjustments. However, magnification adjustment is only required if your scope has a variable magnification such as 1 – 4x, 3 – 9x, and so on.

So, the adjustment of each scope is controlled by a different dial. Now, let’s carefully look into each of these adjustments below.

Adjusting the windage

You can adjust the scope’s windage knob by simply turning the dial at the right side of the scope. As you turn the windage turret to the right or the left the more, you will get either direction of windage the more. And your point of impact can be moved accordingly. So, your point of impact can be moved either right or left.

Each unit is known as a click and this represents the trajectory bullet which is measured in angular measurement. And the unit of this angular measurement is MOA (known as Minutes of Angles expressed in inches). Therefore, when you have 1 MOA, it is equal to 1.047 inches measured at 100 yard.

Hence, when your rifle scope is adjusted by ½ MOA per click, then your adjustment should be around ½ inch to the left and right at 100 yards.

There is also another angular unit that measures in MRAD or MIL. However, when you have your rifle scope reticle having their adjustment all in the same unit, then that’s an assurance of the best experience.

At 100 yards, the adjustments for the windage are given in MOA or MRAD. On your rifle scope, there will be a reading that will let you know the adjustment process of your windage.

The adjustment for Elevation

Just like windage adjustment turrets, this elevation knob also works in the same manner as windage. However, this elevation turret measures the angle of the bullet in a vertical direction and the point of impact is moved up and down.

Also, note that the technique for elevation adjustment is the same as the windage turret. So, as you adjust your rifle scope the more in either direction, the greater you will have the angle of the bullet to be. This happens as the point of impact is moved down or up while you adjust the middle of the target.

When the elevation at the dial is found at the upper part of the scope, then it will have ‘U’ and ‘D’markings which represent up and down.

Every unit of MOA adjustment will alter the angle of your rifle scope at 100 yards per click by 1/4, 1/2, or even 1 inch and this will depend on the kind of scope you have. Note that the elevation adjustment range is normally given in MRAD or MOA at 100 yards.

Adjusting for parallax

Parallax adjustments are now becoming a common thing in the world of scope that even manufacturers are beginning to set parallax in their scope. These things are even more common in high-end tactical scopes that are normally used for shootings that are long range,

Now, so many scope buyers are now requesting parallax adjustment dials which makes them a regular thing in the market.

Errors with the focal plane in situations where the target and the reticle fall on different focal planes are been corrected by parallax adjustments. Targets are usually out of focus when the crosshair on the reticle appears to move in directions.

Also, the parallax adjustment enables the shooter to make corrections to the focus so that a clean and crisp image can be obtained when the dial adjustments on the left part of the scope are used.

Get Some Knowledge about Focusing the Eyepiece

Another essential dial on your scope is the eyepiece and this part needs to be focused correctly to get an accurate target view. If the eyepiece is not focused correctly can jeopardize your ability to aim and shoot correctly. So, how do you know when your eyepiece isn’t focused correctly and how do you go about fixing this issue? This is quite easy.

Ever found yourself experiencing a clear reticle but a blurry target or a clear target and a blurry reticle? That’s how you’ll know your eyepiece needs to be adjusted when your target is clear but your reticle is blurry. Or you can have a blurry reticle and a clear reticle.

However, if you’re having issues achieving a focused target and reticle, just have your focus on the reticle. You can get an improvement with your shooting once your reticle is focused and clear. Ensure your scope is properly adjusted and aligned and you’ll be able to clearly view your reticle without any need for straining your eye.

So, how do you focus your eyepiece?

This is quite easy and we’ll teach you how. You’ll need to aim your scope at the sky or on a plain white sheet. For instance, when using a plain white sheet, position the paper a few feet from your rifle scope. Then have a peep into your scope for some seconds (about two seconds). Then the scope’s focus should be adjusted in both directions and close your eyes so that the eyes can rest and repeat this process again.

Ensure you do these adjustments repeatedly until the reticle can be viewed clearly and sharply. The viewing of the reticle shouldn’t take long. The reticle should be viewed clearly for only a few seconds. This will minimize eye straining and readjusting.

Therefore, once you can get the eyepiece to be focused for your eye, then you can have an improvement in the accuracy if your aim and speed.

Then for your scope adjustment generally, it basically involves doing the necessary adjustments to your elevation, windage, and parallax. You’ll first need to establish the magnification of your scope at a specified distance before these adjustments are made.

How is Elevation with Turret Adjusted?

You need to know the kind of dials your rifle scope have before you begin to make any adjustments. Take note that these dials can be adjusted either using your hand or by using a tool. So, the dials that need a tool for adjustment will have some indentation which can be turned by simply fitting in the adjustment tool. You can even use coin into this groove.

Now, we have stated that the elevation dial can be found at the upper part of the scope. So, turning the elevation turret down enables the lens to turn and shift the reticle to a lower direction. Then turning the elevation turret in the upward direction enables the focus to become loosened and this tend to focus the lens upward.

How is the Windage with Turret Adjusted?

So, we have the windage dial located at the right side of your scope and its turning is to the right or left direction. Now, turning this windage turret to the right direction enables the length inside to tilt a little towards the right. Hence, the reticle appears to have moved to the right direction.

Then spinning the windage turret to the left direction allows the lens to move slightly towards the left. This also makes the reticle appear to have been shifted to the left.

Also note that the type of scope turret will determine how you can adjust the scope body. The elevation and the windage can both be adjusted using your hand or a tool.

What is the Working Principle of the Rifle Scope Turret?

These days, dials are the standard for every scope. But take note that the various kinds of adjustments dials and turrets serve different functions. These functions are mainly influenced by the manufacturer, the type of rifle, and price. Even the country of origin can have an effect on the scope’s functionality.

So, the turret is primary purpose is to established the zero for the rifle scope and this zeroing process involves reticle adjustments. When you zero the scope, it ensures the point of aim together with the scope has the same point of impact on your target. So, the reticle adjustments is done up, down, backward, forward, left, and right. This is done until you get a total alignment of where the bullet will be hitting the target.

However if you notice the shot you give is hitting lower than where the crosshair shows you, then adjusting the rifle scopes so that the reticle will move higher will be needed.

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