Last updated on October 11th, 2018
A rifles scope is a magnificent shooting accessory designed to help you see your targets more clearly. However, it takes knee deep technical understanding to get the best out of your optics. The following tips will elevate you from a beginner to an adept hunter.
Best 5 Tips of Rifle Scope
1. Proper Installation
Let’s face it; an innovative scope mounted poorly on the finest rifle is useless. Installation of the rifle optics is often overlooked but it could mean the difference between taking your target down and a missed shot. Besides, it can destroy the rifle’s receiver & bolts or even worse, damage the scope.
Modern firearms are equipped with ideal scope mounting system. Whether it’s a grooved rail system like the Picatinny and weaver rail system or the tapped or predrilled holes, always ensure the rings and mounts of your optics are designed to fit the style properly.
The installation is so critical that some hunters prefer to pay a gunsmith to get the task done. Professional installation is incredible as it gives you the peace of minds knowing the critical links are properly done. However, if you feel the process is not worth the fee, you can install the scope by yourself. If you prefer doing the aggravating process yourself, always ensure the scope is installed as low as comfortably imaginable.
After the installation, check to confirm the eye relief. Ensure there is enough distance between the eye and the lens. If the scope is properly installed, it should not whack your nose.
2. Reticle Alignment
The alignment of the reticle is a critical consideration when zeroing in the rifle scope. For instance, ballistics are designed to operate based on the horizontal reticle. To get the best out of your optics, you must ensure they are properly mounted on the rifle. You must make the necessary adjustment to put the reticle in a perfectly horizontal position.
In the case of a canted reticle (a case where the crosshairs are not aligned to the wind age adjustments and the elevation direction), your shots will miss either left or right of the target. Canted reticle distorts the relationship between the actual bullet trajectory and the target (at 250 yards or more), leading to missed shots.
If you are using a high-end scope with illuminated reticle, do not switch it on when ranging. If you switch it on, the illumination will cause blooming, thereby thickening the size of your reticle. This alters the focus required for proper ranging.
In addition, if your scope has the Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC) reticle, it becomes easier to use it thanks to its precalculations. However, you should remember that such reticle are designed for a specific caliber and unique bullets at a particular elevation. They work optimally on an average load instead of the specific load. For this reason, you will be required to shoot the specific load and decide the actual drop with respect to the hash marks of the reticle.
3. Eye Distance Adjustment
Eye relief is often not understood by many hunters, especially those new to the game. In fact, many hunters even the adroit will bravely narrate incidents when they were smacked or scoped by their optics. Many can’t comprehend why it happened, but the reason is as simple as the specification of the scope design called the eye relief.
Eye relief is defined as the distance between your eye and the rear lens of the scope. This is an important component that not only affects sighting but is also important for your security. An ideal eye relief is the distance your eye should be from the ocular lens to view your target clearly. In addition, the scope should be far enough to prevent the scope from coming into contact with your eye as a result of the recoil when taking a shot.
Eye relief varies between models and brands. Depending on your brand, check the specifications and make the right adjustments for optimal results.
4. Body Behind the Scope
Taking advantage of your rifle scope is not solely hinged on the specification of your rifle nor the optics. Your positioning can also help you to leverage the capabilities of your scope. If you watch many hunters/shooters, especially the newbies they make a critical error by positioning their body at an angle, behind their scope.
The rifle optic is designed to deliver accuracy and efficiency. To put your scope to best use, you must stand behind the rifle to offer a more dependable base to accommodate the recoil. Squaring your body off behind the rifle enables you to remain on target even after recoil, thereby helping you to take accurate follow-up shots.
5. Master the adjustment dials
Many hunters ignore this point and end up missing shots at an alarming rate. Taking accurate shots is a critical multi step process that is dependent on how well you understand your scope.
How much does each click of adjustment move the point of impact? Are the measurements in Minute of Angle (MOA) or mils? The knowledge about these increments should be at your fingertips if you want to get the best out of your scope.
For instance, most rifle scopes allow ¼ MOA adjustments of the crosshair. This means every click of adjustment moves the impact of the bullet by 0.25 inches. Therefore to move the impact by one inch, you will be required to turn the knobs four clicks. The farther the target, the more the turns/adjustment will be made.
Stagnating in your skill level as a hunter or shooter is lethal to your career. Learning to maximize your scope is a giant step towards becoming a sharpshooter. Although the scope is the most highly utilize hunting gear, many don’t know how to optimize its capabilities. It’s not surprising that many shooters operate at mediocre levels yet they own magnificent scopes and stunning rifles. All they lack is the knowledge to take advantage of their combination. If you follow the tips we have outlined, there is no denying, you will gain confidence to propel yourself up the ladder.