How to Adjust Scope for Long-range Shooting?

When you’re into long-range shooting, learning how to use scope is a must. You’re not going to hit the target from 500 yards through your naked eyes. Long-range shooting is fun and enjoyable. Furthermore, it is gaining popularity with more scopes for long-range shooting readily available. However, long-range shooting demands that you know how to adjust a scope.

The smallest errors at 100 yards usually turn to big errors at 1000 yards. This means ensuring you achieve a perfect zero before taking any shot. For example, a 0.5-inch zero error at 100 yards usually becomes a 2.5-inch error at 500 yards.

Assuming you’ve already purchased a long range scope worth the money, let’s get straight into how you can get a perfect zero.

Adjusting Your Scope for Long-range Shooting

Have the right rifle

Not all rifles are going to work for long-range shooting. Choosing the right rifle and caliber is a great foundation for any long-range shooting. You obviously need a stable and accurate rifle with an excellent chambering in an aerodynamic caliber. If you walk a lot and climb mountains, then consider a rifle that is lightweight and easy to carry. Here is a list of some of the caliber for long-range shooting to consider:

308 Winchester

The 308 Win has been in existence for years and widely used for hunting. It is a decent performer and one that has been used by the US Army. However, it is not the best when shooting at long ranges compared to the 6.5 Creedmoor. At 300 yards, the trajectory of 308 Win AND 6.5 Creedmoor are almost the same. However, the trajectory for the 308 Win tends to fall at 400-500 yards while the one of the Creedmoor remains flatter. 

The 308 Win is readily available and still the most preferred choice. If you’re at the shooting range with your .308 Winchester rifle, you will need a for the job.

6.5 Creedmoor

The 6.5 Creedmoor has become quite popular for short and long-range shooting from 500-1000 yards. It is a skinny 6.5mm bullet that matches the .308 Win. However, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a lot cheaper and has less recoil. It also tends to send downrange faster and with a good resistance to air. 

You get better resistance of the Creedmoor even at 700-1000 yards.The case design is also sharper at 30 degrees making brass last longer. The Creedmoor is available in big stores and online. 

Here are other calibers to consider:

  • Ruger Precision Rifle
  • 6.5 Creedmoor
  • 6.5 PRC
  • 300 PRC
  • .280 Ackley Improved
  • .300 Win. Mag
  • 28 Nosler
  • 7mm Rem. Mag

These are just a few of the rifle calibers to consider as they are aerodynamic maintaining velocity and downrange energy.

Mounting the scope

Once you have the right rifle caliber, you can then learn how to mount a scope. The scope needs to be mounted properly if you’re going to get a perfect zero. The manufacturer and make of your rifle usually determine how the scope will mount.

However, you need to ensure the scope is in perfect alignment with your rifle. Make sure the vertical crosshairs are in alignment with the vertical centerline of the rifle.

Start practicing and collect data

Now that you have the scope mounted on the rifle, it is time you start adjusting the eyepiece. Every scope comes with an eyepiece. You need to adjust the eyepiece to ensure you have a clear view through the scope. This is another important step that also protects the socket area and eye from injury due to recoil.

If you’re looking at maintaining the same position for a long period, then consider adding a bipod stand. A stand is also quite crucial at creating a steady position for long periods.

Check the scope turrets

Almost all scopes come with turrets making it easier for you to have a clear shot. The turret marking on most scopes is usually 1 click equaling ¼-inch. This is also indicated as 1MOA. It simply means every single click you make moves the bullet impact ¼-inch towards that direction at 100 yards.

So, when shooting at 200 yards, the click will move the impact by ½-inch and 1/8-inch at 50 yards. You can also find turrets marked in mill radians instead of Minute of Angle (MOA).

When making adjustments to the left or right, you need to know how many clicks are needed to get your rifle on target.

Start shooting at 25 yards

You don’t want to make your first shot at 500 yards. Get a paper and set it at 25 yards. Aim and hit the target while collecting data on how far you went off target. Try several times until you hit the bull’s eye three times consecutive. This way, you can be sure you’re making proper adjustments at 25 yards.

Remember, you will make four clicks to get at 1/16-inch.

Get to 100 yards

Next, you need to aim and shoot at 100 yards by following the same procedure. You need to adjust the clicks correctly for 100 yards. How close are you towards the target? Take time and fine-tune everything before shooting again. Keep adjusting until you have three correct shots on target. This again tells you that your adjustments are right on the spot.

Move further out

Since you’re making adjustments for long-range shooting, it is time you go further out at 200 yards or 500 yards. The only difference that comes at long-range shooting is moving your turrets further away. Keep taking shots at your paper and adjusting the turrets until you hit the correct spot.

Use of apps

Nowadays, there are even apps that help with long-range shooting. You can download such apps and use them to calculate trajectory, velocity, energy and bullet flight times. However, before using such apps make sure you’ve followed our steps above and mastered the art of adjusting your scope.

Final Verdict

Long-range shooting using a scope is not difficult when you have the right tools. Zeroing your scope is not hard with proper practice. Be patient and never rush to find the zero. However, once you find the zero, you can be sure of a satisfying experience.

Author: Thomas Tate

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