In the first two parts of this 3-article series you have learnt about the right way of zeroing riflescopes, the basic concepts, and most importantly pre-zero the optical device. In this final part of the article-series, zeroing at range will be discussed in detail.
After pre-zero stage, your riflescope has been bore sighted. Approximate zeroing of the optical device with respect to gun barrel has been achieved. Now, you have to field test the device at range to check accuracy of zeroing. Most probably, you will have to make certain tweaking to get the perfect setting. Learn about that in the following section.
In the final stage of zeroing a riflescope at range you have to follow the steps given below:
Step 1: Visit an outdoor location where you will get enough space to fire from the rifle and consequently check whether the point of impact has converged with point of aim.
Step 2: Get a bipod or sandbags and put the rifle, on which the scope has been pre-zeroed, securely. Don’t touch the rifle or the attached pre-zeroed riflescope unnecessarily. For that reason try to avoid any kind of body contact with the set-up after it has been securely placed on the bipod or sandbag.
Step 3: Now, load the rifle with bullets and aim a target (by placing crosshairs properly) that is located 100 meters from you. Take a steady shot carefully so that you can judge how much adjustment is required for converging point of impact with point of aim in practical field.
Step 4: Now, you have to check whether the shot you fired actually hit the spot you aimed through crosshair of the scope. Has it hit above or lower the target? What is the extent of difference of the point of impact from the actual point of aim? Best practice is to walk up to the target and look at it. However, presence of too many people may bar you from actually walking up to the target. In such cases checking the point of impact with the help of a binocular or spotting scope will also serve the purpose.
Step 5: Now, you have to make adjustments if there is difference between point of aim and point of impact. Put your eye on the riflescope and look through it carefully. Place crosshairs on target’s center.
Step 6: Hold rifle in a steady manner. Now, adjust crosshairs to the shot’s hole for zeroing the riflescope precisely. Adjust elevation knob as well as windage knob for drifting the crosshair from target’s center to shot’s hole, which was created after you took the shot.
Step 7: After the required adjustments are done, fire again and check whether point of aim and point of impact have converged. If the difference persists, repeat the previous two steps until the desired result is achieved.
Step 8: Now, according to the instructions of manufacturer, remove elevation and windage turret caps after zeroing of riflescope has been achieved. You have to make sure that while taking off the caps you don’t turn the turrets, even a single click. They should now be placed on zero marks.
Step 9: After completing all the previous steps, the riflescope you are using (no matter whether it is a Vortex Razor rifle scope, Vortex Viper PST, other Vortex rifle scopes, Nightforce NXS, Nightforce Competition, or other Nightforce scopes) is now zeroed for a distance of 100 meters range.
These are the 9 important steps to zero your scope.
Circumstances when Zero Setting can Change
However, you may witness change of zero any time. Here are the different scenarios where the change can occur:
1. If you are using an ammunition load that is sufficiently different from the ones you zeroed with, zero setting may change.
2. If the bullet you are using now is lighter or heavier than the one you used during zeroing of scope? If yes, you may witness a change of setting.
3. Different holding style of rifle can also lead to change of zero setting.
4. Having different eye relief or shooting range can also lead to change of zero.
It is convenient for shooters or hunters to get instant return to zero every time, irrespective of the number of elevation adjustments done by you. That’s why it is prudent to choose optical devices that come with Zero Stop feature. Usually, high quality scopes come with this feature. Some of the riflescopes where you will get Zero Stop feature are Nightforce NXS models, Vortex Razor HD Scope, Nightforce ATACR models, Vortex PST Viper, Nightforce Competition, Nightforce BEAST, and many others. Now, you are one step ahead to hunt the beast down. Select your preferred riflescope and go for the kill.