How to Dial In a Rifle Scope – Step-by-Step Guide with Tips, FAQs, & More

A rifle scope is a handy accessory for your gun. Shooters and hunters use it for long-range shooting. 

Scopes come in different magnifications and having to adjust the scope each time you take aim can be frustrating. 

In order to help you out, here is a simple guide that will help you easily dial in your rifle scope.

Quick Summary

By the end of this guide, we will go through:

  • How to Dial in your rifle scope?
  • How to clean your scope?

Let’s get into it.

How to Dial in a Rifle Scope?

As discussed earlier, scopes are useful tools with fixed or variable magnification. Dialing in the magnification of the scope can be a bit of a challenge at first. You have to be sure that you are zeroing in your scope correctly and that your aim is perfect. 

It requires some level of technical understanding but by following these steps, you’ll be able to dial in your scope with ease

Note: If you want to know a complete guide about scopes click HERE.

Step # 1 – Attach the scope to your rifle

The first thing you need to do is to attach the scope to your rifle. We recommend that you get good-quality rings and mounts for your guns and scopes so that they can last for years. 

To secure the scope to the rail, tighten the screws into the mounts according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Screw-in the scope loosely at first so that you can set the eye relief easily.

Step # 2 – Adjusting the Eye Relief

Eye Relief is the distance between your dominant eye and the eyepiece of the scope. Setting a good eye relief is important as it provides you with a clear image of the target. Additionally, you have to compensate for the recoil.  

To set the eye relief, simply move around the scope on the railing until you can see a clear image of the target through the scope.    

Note: If you want to gain information Where are Monstrum Scopes Made? Click HERE.

Step # 3 – Levelling the Rifle

After you have adjusted the suitable eye relief, put the rifle in a level position. You can do this by placing your rifle on a flat surface such as a table. You can also mount your gun on a bipod

You are doing this to minimize the recoil you will get from your rifle. Studies have shown that up to 95% of recoil is minimized when the gun has been secured to a mount. 

Step # 4 – Aligning the Reticle  

Once your rifle has been placed on a flat surface and is stable, you align the reticle. 

  • Start by rotating the crosshair so it is vertically square in the middle of the scope. 
  • Further, adjust the crosshair so that the horizontal crosshair is parallel with adjustments 

You can make further adjustments according to the wind and elevation conditions. At long ranges, especially 250 yards or more, you have to be careful as above mentioned factors affect your accuracy. 

Step # 5 – Setting the MOA

This step is a bit technical and mathematical. First, you need to set up targets at different ranges. We recommend that you set them at a minimum of 100 yards away from you. 

To set the Minutes of Angle, turn the knob. Each turn increases the MOA increment by ¼ of an inch. So turning it 4 times will increase the increment by an inch. 

Here is an increment chart for targets at different ranges: 

  • 200 yards = 1/2 in.
  • 300 yards = 3/4 in.
  • 400 yards = 1 in.
  • 500 yards = 1 1/4 in.
  • 600 yards = 1 1/2 in.
  • 700 yards = 1 3/4 in.
  • 800 yards = 2 in.

Note: If you want to know How To Look Through A Rifle Scope click HERE.

Step # 6 – Shooting at the Target 

After you have set up the targets and made the necessary increments, it is time to start shooting. Make sure that your rifle has been mounted on a tripod and then shoot at the targets in groups of 3

You can keep making increments according to the elevation and the wind conditions. We recommend that you keep firing your gun until you start hitting very close to the bullseye. 

dial in a rifle scope

How to clean a rifle scope?

We have discussed above how to dial in a rifle scope for accurate shooting. However, your accuracy can deviate if the lens gets dirty.

Cleaning the scope of a gun can be a bit of a hassle. However, follow these instructions step-by-step to make the process easy for you. 

  • Start by wiping the dust off of the scope body. You can use a microfiber cloth for this. A microfibre cloth is recommended as it does not let dust particles scratch the scope.
  • Then, clean the lens using a microfiber or cotton cloth and a liquid solution. Spray the solution onto the cloth and then rub it on the lens. Do it in a circular motion so that any debris is gathered on the edges. 
  • To remove the debris or any other particles, use a Q tip. It can help you clean hard-to-reach areas of the scope. It also has a soft tip, suitable for cleaning glass. 
  • To clean mud stains, we recommend using a brush. Simply soak the bristles in the liquid solution and then apply it to the mud stain. Then wait for the solution to evaporate. 
  • To clean the turret, unscrew it and then clean it from the inside. We recommend that you do this after cleaning the lens as the turret has oils that can damage your scope. 

Repeat these steps if you notice that there are any stains or smudges on your scope. You can enhance the cleaning process by using a lens pen. It has a carbon pad for cleaning dust and fingerprints and a brush for cleaning hard stains. 

Note: If you want to know How to Clean a Rifle Scope Lens click HERE.

Wrapping Things Up 

A scope is a great tool for increasing your accuracy over long distances. But you have to set it differently according to the range. That can be a challenge for first-timers. But by following the above-mentioned steps, you can easily dial in your rifle scope without any trouble. 

With this, we reach the end of our article on “How to dial in a Rifle Scope”. 

We hope that this has helped you. Comment below and do let us know of your experience. 

If you want to know more information about scopes click HERE.


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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