Those who don’t know anything about sniper scope should understand the person who uses this tool is imperfectly accurate. As scopes are wonderful when it comes to precision shooting or quick shooting at longer ranges. People often get confused while mounting scope on their new sniper as most weapons usually have a scope mounted at the receiver’s end.
But in the case of sniper rifles, the scope is mounted a few inches above the barrel to ensure better precision and accuracy. So, if you want to know how to use a sniper scope properly, here is a guide that will help you adjust the scope to zero, how to mount it, and make adjustments for different angles, distances, and wind conditions.
Whether you have experienced a scoped sniper or not, there are always some adjustments that you can use to be more effective while shooting. So, naive or sniper expert, here are some adjustments that you can use to make shooting practice more precise.
Basic Terminology And Parts Of Sniper Scope
Before we dive into the adjustment part, you need to know the different parts of your scope and for what purpose they are used. So, we will begin from the back and then move forward.
- Ocular Lens
It is the rear lens from where you look through the scope. Plus, you should at least do the courtesy to use a scope cap for protecting the lenses and keeping them clean.
- Ocular Focus Adjustment
The gear is responsible for adjusting the focus and clear the image on your reticle in the scope. In some scopes, you have to adjust the whole ocular housing to adjust your focus, while in others, you only have to use the outer section of the ocular lens.
- Ocular Housing
It refers to the eyepiece of every sniper scope, which adjusts the focus between the ocular lenses.
- Magnification Adjustment
This part holds the magnification power of the scopes, allowing you to locate your target from a long range.
Knobs that are attached to the scope body, which are used to adjust windage and elevation. You can cap them or expose them for easy adjustment.
- Scope Body
The entire body of the scope attaches every other part and the tube from where you can see your target.
- Target Focus/ Parallax Adjustment
This target adjustment mechanism brings the image to the same level as the reticle focal plane. Thus, it ensures that there is no parallax (which is a shift in position between two objects) and the target is effectively focused.
Usually, these kinds of knobs are available on the scope body, also known as side parallax or side focus scopes. You might even find these knobs attached to the objective lens, adjusted to clear the focus and bring back both objects on the same level.
The reference point or crosshairs featured inside the scope for aiming. You might find some reticles with busy references for windage and elevation holds.
- Objective Lens
It is the lens that faces the target, and most often, these are bigger. As mentioned above, you should also use scope caps to keep them protected from scratches and dust.
So, now you know the basics of scope parts, and it’s time for you to dive into how to use a sniper scope.
Just like elevated adjustments, the windage adjustment mechanism is also responsible for impacting the bullet flight. In this, you have to zero your scope again and adjust different shooting conditions. Elevation adjustment was responsible for changes in the upward and downward flight of the bullet, while windage adjustments impact the bullet right or left.
That means once you have zeroed your scope, there are rare chances that you might have to use a windage turret. Everyone knows that wind can considerably impact the flight of a bullet, especially when you are shooting from a distance.
But it is recommended that you hold the turret and move it accordingly to the wind direction. And remember to reset it to zero after every shot because people often forget to turn back the winding turret.
Elevation adjustments are required when you are shooting from a distance. You need to adjust the elevation level to shift the movement of the bullet upward and downwards where you need to aim. It is also adjusted when you are zeroing the scope to adjust your angle of shooting from a far distance.
Zeroing refers to a situation when the point of aim is the same as the point of impact, where the bullet will hit the target from a distance. So, it needs to be adjusted and zeroed whenever you mount a new scope on your sniper. When shooting from different distances, you must zero your scope because if you don’t, the bullet will hit the target a little higher or lower than the point of aim.
You should know that the bullet starts to fall from that moment when they leave the barrel of your sniper because there are different natural forces (like gravity force) that are applied to the bullet, which can impact the flight. Even though barrels are tuned slightly upwards to compensate for the drop, which means your bullet travels foaming an arc to reach the target.
All you have to do is turn the elevation turret in an upward direction to impact the flight a little upward. Most scopes feature this setting in which you have to rotate the turret counter-clockwise for upward shots and clockwise in case of lower bullet impact. Before you do anything, you should understand your scope and learn the angular measurements.
Many shooters’ scopes are adjusted with incorrectly focused eyepieces. This is because most people don’t know that there are adjustments specially made for focusing the eyepiece. That also implies that there are higher chances that you might also have unfocused eyepieces.
Even in special training programs, you should know that they often leave out minute details, which can bring a lot of difference in your shooting skills. Most sniper students are not aware of the fact that a focused eyepiece can deal with the problem of blurry reticle and target and keep you from getting frustrated while trying to focus on the target.
If you are not able to adjust your scope focus, it means you have an unfocused eyepiece. So, it is better to adjust the eyepiece until it clearly focuses on the reticle. You must know that the eyepiece is responsible for bringing the target image close to the reticle.
Steps For Focusing The Eyepiece Inside Your Scope!!!
- Once you have mounted your sniper scope correctly, it’s time to adjust the scope to get the eyepiece focused. Again, you can perform this step with your friends as it would be much easier for you to do so.
- Then you should get behind your sniper and adjust yourself in a comfortable position. You might have to move your head in order to have a clear vision through the scope.
- Now, provide your friend a white sheet and tell him or her to hold the paper a foot or two away from the scope. Make sure the paper is visible to you through the scope.
- After that, you need to close your eyes and take a rest for a few seconds.
- Then open your eyes and see through the reticle for two seconds and close them again. Because if you keep your eyes open for too long, it will cause strain while bringing the reticle to focus, and eventually, it will defeat the whole purpose of this adjustment.
- Now ask your friend to adjust the ocular focus by at least ½ rotation in the same direction. As mentioned above, some scopes have a whole ocular housing rotation, while some have an adjustment turret on the ocular lens.
- After that, open your eyes again for two seconds and see whether the image has improved or not.
- All you have to do is repeat the exercise and rotate in both directions until you find a sweet spot where the reticle looks crisp and clear.
If you have executed the process correctly, it means your scope and reticle are aligned and focused to your eye. That means you won’t experience any problem while shooting and feel less strain on your eyes.
Parallax is a bad situation as it results in missing the potential target if both the focal plane and the reticle are not aligned to form an ideal target image. For instance, stretch out your right arm and lift the index finger. Now do the same with your left arm, keep a distance between both fingers, and align their tips.
You might be looking at two fingertips at the same time aligned in the same direction. After that, move your head from right to left without changing the position of your fingers, and you will notice how fingers are not aligned even when you didn’t change their positions.
This situation is known as parallax, and it happens between the target and your reticle. They are misaligned because you have moved the sniper or adjusted the reticle back to the line. So, it would be better for you to re-adjust the angle and align them in the exact directions after every shot you take.
Then, when you move the snipe, you can alter the barrel orientation and thereby impact the path of the bullet. All you have to do is stay focused on the reticle and adjust the target by moving the focal plane until it aligns with the target. Once both reticle and target image are leveled at the same focal plane, it will be a big relief for your eyes because now you have to focus on one focal plane. That means there will be no parallax situation, and it’s a win-win for you.
If your scope features an adjustable magnification mechanism like a rotatable ring, you can adjust your magnification power according to your needs. As you already know that some scopes require complete ocular housing rotation to adjust the magnification.
And when it comes to adjusting the power scopes, the target image will get smaller or larger by altering the magnification. You might also notice that some scopes also increase the size of your reticle, while in other scopes, the reticle remains the same size, and the magnification increases.
There are only two types of scopes: First focal plane and second focal plane. Second focal plane scopes are budget-friendly and better for hunting and training purposes. First focal plane scopes are specially developed for long-range shooting with high precision and accuracy.
Now you know everything about how to use a sniper scope, so get your scope ready and level up your hunting skill through long-range practice.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Is It Better To Have Higher Magnification Scope Or Not?
No, not every time having a higher magnification scope is better. However, you should at least have enough magnification to locate your target because too much magnification will hinder your performance.
- For What Purpose The Parallax Adjustment Is Required?
The parallax adjustment levels the target’s focal point to the reticle’s focal plane so that both don’t shift their head position.
- Does A Bullet Shift Per Click On A Scope?
Although it is not possible to tell how much a change in scope can impact the bullet movement without knowing the particular scope. Your scope might be adjusted in Mil or MOA and maybe in different fractions. So, to understand how these measurements work, it would be better for you to understand the MOA.
- Which Is One Better First Focal Plane Or Second Focal Plane Scope?
Neither the FFP scope nor SFP scope is good. If your purpose is hunting and you want to save some money, you should buy an SFP scope. On the other hand, if you are getting into long-range shooting and require high precision with the advanced reticle, you should consider the FFP scope.