After reading 1st part of this three-article series, you are now aware of the basics of zeroing riflescope and the need of converging point of aim with point of impact. In this article, you will learn about the way of zeroing your new riflescope, no matter which brand (Nightforce scope, US Optics, Vortex Optics, Schmidt Bender, Swarovski, Trijicon Scopes, or others) it belongs to.
1. The first step involves pre-zeroing of the riflescope without taking a single shot from your rifle. It can be done from one’s own house. This step is essentially zeroing of a scope on paper and is considered the first unavoidable step to zero the device on an approximate basis. If you think you can skip this step, think again. This part of the article series about zeroing a riflescope will deal mainly with this pre-zero process.
2. The next and final broad step in zeroing Nightforce rifle scopes or optical devices belonging to other renowned brands is to zero them within a certain range, whose basic importance we have already discussed initially in the first part of this 3-part guide series. This portion will be delved with clarity in the third and final part of the guide series about ‘zeroing a riflescope’.
How can you Pre-Zero your Riflescope at Home?
Pre-zeroing a riflescope is nothing but zeroing the device on paper at home, without taking a single shot to verify whether point of aim has indeed converged with point of impact. There are 7-steps in this pre-zeroing process and they are:
Step 1: In case you are using base system, with the help of rings and proper bases you have to mount the riflescope on rifle. While mounting the optical device, there are enough chances of mounting the scope in a crooked manner. So, be careful while mounting. Otherwise the error will create problems later on. While screwing top ring down, one of the errors that usually take place is over torque. This error can jeopardize the entire setting and resultantly affect the shooting experience. Therefore, you should take proper care at the time of screwing top ring down.
Step 2: Whether you are using Trijicon Accupoint 5-20×50, Vortex rifle scopes, Nightforce Competition, Trijicon ACOG 1.5×24 scopes, or any other high end riflescope, none of them come out of the factory with turrets centered.
Therefore, you have to make sure that the turrets of your riflescope are centered. What you now need to do is take every turret one at a time and turn each of them in a single direction, either right or left. Which direction you turn the turret is immaterial. The only thing that matters is that every turret should be turned in a single direction. Now, turn them back and count the click numbers required to make it hard over. Divide the click number by two and enter the number in the turret for getting the perfect centering. Follow the same process in case of windage turret. By following this step, you do not achieve zero but only center the crosshairs in a perfect manner.
Step 3: Take the empty rifle to a place where you can view a distance of 100 yards or even more. The easiest way to do is to look outside your window. Now, you have to remove both carrier groups (in case of a semi-automatic gun) or simply bolt from a gun. You have to do this for seeing through the barrel.
Step 4: Now, position the rifle and point at a non-living object (say, mailbox) located 100 yards from where you are.
Step 5: In this step, you have to look into the rifle’s barrel and center it on a certain object.
Step 6: This is the most important step out of the seven steps of pre-zero process. After centering the rifle, you have to look through the riflescope that you mounted on the rifle in the very first step of this pre-zero process. If you are watching the same object, located 100 yards from you on which you have centered the rifle, you just got lucky. If this case happens to you, it is surely in the minority and a rare phenomenon. Most of the time there will be mismatch between what you see through the scope and what you see through the rifle. In those cases, you have to adjust windage as well as elevation knobs until you center the crosshair vis-à-vis the view you got while looking through the barrel.
Step 7: Once the centering is done, you will get the same view through the riflescope as well as the gun barrel. When you get this, you have zeroed your scope on paper.
Now, it is time for you to zero the scope for a certain range, which will again depend on the type of rifle along with the magnification-range of scope you are using. If you want to know how to zero your riflescope at a specific range, you have to go through the steps involved in the process that are clearly mentioned in the final article of this three-article series. You can apply the final stage of zeroing to all kinds of riflescopes, whether you have bought Vortex Razor HD scope, Nightforce NXS, Vortex Viper PST, Nightforce ATACR, or Trijicon Accupoint scope.