How to Adjust a Rifle Scope Before Hunting


Hunting is one of the most popular things to do nowadays. Some people do it as a profession, and some only for their entertainment. While most hunters already know about all the important components of their guns, what they might not know (or understand the importance of) is how to adjust a rifle scope.

When you’re using a rifle for the purpose of hunting, precision is one of the most important factors. Nowadays, most people who own firearms tend to use some sort of optical sighting device as a complement to their guns. The main reason for this is the simplicity that it brings.

Through the scope, the shooter has a red dot that can guide him through the complexity of shooting and reduce the chances of a missed or wrong fire.

The importance of using the best 300 win mag scope is highly underestimated by hunters. What they need to understand is that they are likely to hit a target using an average gun and an expensive and high-quality rifle scope but using a cheap, low-quality scope even on the best rifle will not result in precise shots.

How to Adjust a Rifle Scope Properly

Using the best hunting scope can be fairly simple. If your target is lined up with the reticles on your scope, your shot is likely to be accurate. Most of the hunting scopes can also magnify vision and make your target appear closer, which further simplifies the hunting process.

If someone with a slightly weak vision uses a scope, they can improve the quality of their vision by adjusting the reticle focus for their particular sight. Older people who are fanatics of hunting but cannot swiftly switch their focus from rear to front sight can make use of a scope to limit their frustration.

Additionally, the adjustments on a rifle scope are just as important as the scope itself. The windage and elevation turrets may seem like complicated clockwork, but it really isn’t. A gun enthusiast must understand how to use a rifle scope first, before heading out for hunting.



In simple language, turrets are the adjustment knobs that are on both the upper and sideways of a rifle scope. The windage turret supports the horizontal movements and the elevation turret is responsible for the vertical movement. If you have one of the excellent hunting scope available in the market, it is likely to have a side focus as well that can be used to adjust and focus the reticle to suit the shooter’s eyes perfectly.

The elevation turret is usually placed on the upper side of your scope and the windage turret is placed on the right side. This specific placement provides convenience to hunters as the positioning indicates the purpose of each knob – elevation is upwards, and windage is sideways.

The style of these turrets can vary from scope to scope. It can either come in an exposed style or with a shielding cap to protect it from any unwanted movements. The exposed style is easier to work with as it can be adjusted at any point, using only your hands to move it candidly. This also allows the hunter to view the effects of his adjustments instantly as he makes them, leading to more precise results.

The covered style, on the other hand, is much more protected and can retain their adjustments for a longer time. However, the hunter will need to invest some time into unscrewing the cap every time he needs to make even a minor adjustment. Some of these capped turrets are designed with a raised dial that can help the shooter make adjustments with hand. Most of them, however, come with a screw and require a tool such as a penny or a screwdriver.

Read More: Best Long Range Rifle Scope in 2022


While many hunters try to adjust their rifle scope, they usually don’t know what exactly they are adjusting. Knowing the specifics of rifle scope adjustments and understanding what it does is extremely important for hunters. One key point to remember is that any adjustment does not cause changes to the bullet. In any case, the bullet will protrude from the barrel in the same manner. Since the barrel is a static component of a gun, it cannot be adjusted or moved at all. But what you can adjust easily is the reticle of the rifle.

Simply put, the reticle or crosshairs is the red dot you can see when aiming at your target. It cannot instruct the bullet on which direction it should exactly shoot towards, but you can adjust the reticle to see where your bullet will exactly hit.


These adjustments can be either in measurements of MIL or MOA (minutes of angle). Both of these measurements are very simple to understand if you know what they mean. A scope that measures 1/4 MOA represents that each adjustment you make on the turrets will cause a movement of 1/2 inches per 100 yards on the reticle.


Finally, it is safe to say that the elevation turret (placed above the scope) is the most important adjustment tool in your rifle. Most of these turrets are marked with specific Up and Down codes that indicate which movement will cause which change.

At this point, only some basic math is needed to calculate how you should adjust the elevation in accordance to the reticle. Based on the previous example, if your reticle is adjusted at ¼ inch per 100 yards and you want to move the reticle ½ inch upwards, you can simply move the knob twice towards the upper direction.


In case your rifle scope does not include the up or down directions, or you do not remember which knob was which and cannot view them properly in a specific setting, you can always use the bolt example.

It can be easily remembered that when you rotate a bolt towards the right, it tightens or screws down and when it is rotated to the left, it screws upwards and loosens. The exact same ruling is applied to your scope. If you click left on the knob, the elevation goes upwards and if you click on the right, it goes down.

These adjustments will remain the same on both capped and exposed turrets. As usual with capped turrets, you will need to remove the cap and use a small piece of equipment before you can make any adjustments to the scope. Exposed turrets, on the other hand, can be used without any unscrewing or tools; simply with your hand while you’re aiming at a target.

Final Word

After this comprehensive guide on how to adjust a rifle scope, we hope you will be informed enough to invest in one that fulfills all your needs and makes hunting a hassle-free process for you.

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