The Easy Way to Center a Rifle Scope

November 1, 2020


The Easy Way to Center a Rifle Scope - November 1, 2020

Optically centering a scope is not a big deal but all of us need to know some nuances to complete this process successfully. Here you can read a piece of advice on how to do it properly and save time. 

Trying to find out why your shooting is inaccurate? Reduce the time you spend at the range? But have you bought your firearm to enjoy the process or to limit yourself? The answer is obvious and we are here to help you to save your precious time and find answers to the most common questions. To begin with, resetting your scope to factory zero is an important first step for using a new firearm or a firearm that you haven’t used for a long period of time. What does it mean? Everything is simple: It means to tune-up settings to the point of its company settings. That's why in today's article we feel the responsibility to tell you the easiest way on how to optically center a rifle scope. We’ve gathered some common questions, useful advice to help you gain an even greater understanding of the above-mentioned optically centering scope. Let's start!

What Is the Optical Center of a Scope?

First, let's reveal what is an optical center of a scope. The reticle and the field of view are closely connected with the optical center. An optically-centered scope has zero reticle movement against a distant backdrop when the scope tube is rotated in a full circle. It is a significant step to zero your scope because 10 minutes you'll spend on this process can save you hours when you need your rifle to be centered.

Why Need To Center My Optic?

If you use numerous programs on one scope it is important to center an optic. The way your optic is zeroed affects the range of adjustments between weapons. Rifles with various barrel lengths and calibers take an impact on this process.

The quantity of adjustments improves the accuracy and increases the distance you can shoot.

Now, let's reveal in which situations you need to zero your scope.
  • If you want to change scopes between rifles
  • If your optic holds zero badly
  • If you purchased a used scope and want to reset it to factory zero
  • If your reticle is not stable
  • If you will experience major regulations for minor turret changes.

How to Zero a Scope: Different Methods

Let’s take a quick look at a few methods that we think everyone, not just hunting professionals, should be familiar with:
When we are talking about centering a scope we mean using one of these methods: the Mirror, the Counting, or the V-blocked one. However they are different, they both are easy and simple to do. So, no matter which one you choose the main thing is to follow the instructions.
First, unmount your scope from your rifle. Zero the weapon and optic will make the process of centering the optic faster, safer, and simpler. Please, don't ignore this step.

Mirror method

To use this method keep sure that you have a good-lighted room and a mirror.
This method won't work if your reticle has turned on illumination because the mirror reflects the light and it makes you see nothing.
What will make the process maximum effective is placing the scope flash in front of the mirror. Afterward, observe the crosshair through the scope. Now you can have 2 developments. When your scope has a zeroed reticle you will see only the reticle. If your reticle is not optically centered you’ll see its shadow in the reflection.
What is the next step? Simply twist the turrets until they lie on top of each other. Your goal is to blend this shadow mesh with the real mesh. To do it follow the advice below.
1.Adjust the towers for height and horizontal.
2.When your shadow mesh disappears from the mesh itself means you've done it and your optics are now zeroed.

Counting system

You don't need to be good at math to succeed in this method. What is more, it is not needed to have good lighting in the room or mirror. Using the counting method you can optically center your rifle anywhere, even in the dark.
When starting, elevation or windage should be centered and turrets spinned in one direction. But be careful not to overturn the turrets! You will feel that moment when the resistance become too big.
Now all the counting begins! Turn the same turret in the reverse direction and count the clicks.
At the end of rotation divide the number of those clicks in half. For example, you've counted 62 clicks, so the number will be 31. Now turn the turret in a direction you did the first time (but only for 31 clicks). Congratulations, you optically centered the scope!

V-block Method

First, take a V-block out of wood or choose a V-shaped cardboard box. Afterward, take anything with a grid that can be used as visual markers.
When you are ready to center your scope, clamp the V-block in a vise and point the scope at a pattern. Turn the scope in a such way that the intersection of the crosshairs stayed in the same position during the process. What you need to do is to tune the windage fine and elevation turret.
Orient the scope commonly and take note where on the X-axis of your "victim" the crosshairs rest. Then rotate the scope 180° and pay attention again where the crosshairs end up on the X-axis relative to the previous spot. Now adjust the windage turret to a created midway point between those two points.
Repeat this process until the spot on the X-axis ends up in the same place when you rotate the scope 180°. Do the same with the Y-axis and stay sure that your scope's range is set correctly. This will help to prevent the crosshairs orbiting.

There is a great difference between optically centering by yourself and at the factory. The first one is not going to be as accurate as what the factory does. This is due to the expensive and rare optics gear that is used by professionals. However, the methods we got you acquainted with are the closest. One of the greatest benefits is you can do it everywhere: at home, in the backyard, in the field.

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