How to Fix a Scope that Won’t Adjust – Step-by-Step Instructions with Tips

Stuck with a scope that won’t adjust?

You are at the right place.

This article is all about a scope that refuses to adjust and how to adjust it.

Without wasting any time, let’s get started!

How to Troubleshoot Your Riflescope Zeroing Problems

How to Fix a Scope that Won’t Adjust

A rifle should always be zeroed before shooting. To do this, you need to take your rifle out of its case, remove the scope, put it on a bench or table, and use a laser sight (or other types of aiming device) to get the gun zeroed.

Then, if you want to change the elevation of the bullet, you must adjust the elevation of the barrel. This means that you must pull back the bolt, turn the screw counterclockwise, then push forward again.

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

Problems with the Scope

Adjusting the scope rings and knob externally doesn’t work. You should adjust them internally.

Bore Sighting Isn’t Boring

Before firing your first shot, bore-sighted your weapon. Mount the firearm in a vice or cradle to prevent movement. Remove the bolt from the gun and peer down the barrel to make sure it is centered. Turn the turrets until the reticule is centered over the target. Now, without moving your weapon, aim at the target and pull the trigger.

Boresighting is important because it allows you to adjust the scope for your shooting distance. When you shoot at long distances, you need to make adjustments to the scope to get the right point of impact. For example, if you want to hit a target at 100 yards, you must adjust the scope so that the bullet goes into the center of the target. This is called boresighting.

Why do you need a gun? Because you want to shoot someone. Your barrel is angled upward slightly. You throw your bullet up. It goes across the line-of-site at about 30 yards. At 100 yards it hits high, at 150 yards it hits even higher, and at 200 yards it drops lower.

Bullets do not rise above the bore axis. Gravity pulls them down as soon as they leave the barrel. Colder barrels cause higher recoil. This causes bullets to fly off target more often. A hot barrel makes bullets travel straighter and faster.

A sniper rifle should be adjusted mechanically after every shot. You need to do this because you’ll never get better if you don’t practice. Your scope needs to be calibrated properly before each shot. You need to know what type of ammunition you’re using. And you need to adjust your sights properly.

A simple cardboard box notched for a rifle will suffice for first bore sighting. Weight the cardboard box to minimize movement. Zeros the target down the barrel with the bolt removed. Adjust the scope turrets until the center of the crosshairs over the bullseye, then record in slow motion for a real tell. Do a bunch of dry firing if you don’t know you are doing this, and record in slow motion for an authentic tell.

Your first 100-yard shot must land high, but not too far left or right. You shouldn’t try to correct it. Instead, take three shots and average them together. That’s how you’ll know if you need to adjust your scope.

Note: If you want to gain information about How to Sight in a Leupold Muzzleloader Scope Click HERE.


The specifications chart for any riflescope will list the scope’s total range of adjustment for both elevation and windage. Range of adjustment is an important attribute of any scope.  

Adjustment Knob

The adjustment knobs in riflescopes allow you to adjust the focus point for each eye independently. This allows you to quickly switch between close-up and long-range shooting.

Adjustment Range

Adjustment range refers to how much movement the scope has from center to edge of the reticle. The higher the number, the less movement the scope has. A riflescope should have at least 1/4 inch of adjustment range for hunting.

Note: If you want to know Who Makes Leatherwood Scopes? Click HERE.

Coarse Windage Adjustment

Coarse windage adjustment refers to the ability to adjust the elevation of the reticle for windage. This feature allows you to compensate for any errors in the scope’s internal windage mechanism. The reticle itself may be adjusted using the fine windage setting.

Scope Adjustments

Scope adjustments are used to adjust the magnification of the scope for different shooting conditions. They allow you to change the power setting from 1x to 10x. The higher the power setting, the greater the magnification.

Adjustable Rings 

Adjustable rings in riflescopes allow you to adjust the magnification of the scope. This feature allows you to change the power of the lens depending on the distance between the target and the shooter. The higher the power, the greater the magnification. Range of adjustment is a very crucial step in riflescopes.

Note: If you want to know How to Sight in a Nikon Buckmaster Scope Click HERE.

What’s Your Click Adjustment?

Determine how much each click shifts the point-of-impact by. Then, adjust the elevation turret accordingly.

You should be very careful about adjusting your scope. Don’t worry if you didn’t get it right the first time. Just try again.

Barrels need to be cleaned regularly. Cleaning them too often will make them go out of alignment. Dirty barrels will affect accuracy. Don’t adjust turrets after the first shot.


Ammunition affects the accuracy of the rifle. Bullets should be chosen based on the gun’s caliber and the amount of power needed. A heavier bullet may not fit into the chamber of a smaller caliber weapon.

Filling the Scope with Nitrogen

Nitrogen is used to make sure there is no moisture or other contaminants in the scope. Scopes have nitrogen injected into them before they are sealed. You can buy a new scope if you want to replace it. Rebuild the scope through a nitrogen-filled bag. Wear gloves when doing this.

The Scope Isn’t a Good Fit for the Rifle

Some rifles aren’t made to support large scopes, but if you use a smaller scope, you won’t have any problems. You can try another rifle with a larger scope. If that doesn’t work, you should take your scope to a repair shop.

This scope is definitely defective. You should get another one.

Final zeroing should be done using the support device you are more likely to use in the wild. One of the advantages of a sitting/kneel-height portable bipod or tripod is that it is constant support for most hunting terrain. Ron Spomer There is a couple of ways to reduce erector tube/turrets sticking while zeroing. The first is to “rap” the cap.

After you turn in your adjustments, tap the turret top several times with a plastic or wooden screwdriver handle. You are trying to mimic recoil to jolt loose the sticky screw/tubular joint. The second trick is to memorize your turret setting (number) then dial a complete rotation past the number, then return, then dial the correction again.

Let’s investigate other scopes with zero problems.

You should always count clicks before adjusting the range. It’s easy to miss a click when counting. Also, make sure you’re using the correct adjustment rate. Don’t use too fast an adjustment rate. And, if you’re using a scope that isn’t very accurate, don’t expect it to work well.

Barrels are used on guns to make them easier to shoot. Heavy barrels are used on varmint rifles because of their slow heating rate. Scopes are used to helping aim guns accurately. Dialing adjustments are done by turning the dials clockwise or counterclockwise. Mounting scopes upside down makes them easier to use.

Cold Barrel Versus Hot

Barrels should always be cooled down before shooting. Shooting a warm barrel may cause inaccuracy. To avoid this problem, wait at least a few minutes between shots. Cooling a barrel helps accuracy.

Thin Barrels and Magnum Overheating

Thin barrels and large cartridge volumes can cause problems if you’re shooting fast. Take your time and allow magnums to cool before firing each round.

Reset ‘Optical Center’

A rifle scope is an instrument used to magnify objects. Riflescopes are used by hunters to see what they’re shooting at.

Your Scope

Zeroing your riflescope means you should be able to get a perfect shot every time. You need to check the scope before you shoot. If you need to adjust the turrets, make sure you do it correctly.

Hawke’s guide on ‘Selecting the right mounts’, will help. Alternatively, if you want to swap the front of the ring to back, or so the base screw is fitted on the other side, then rings might be faulty. If your point of aim jumps to another side, then the rings could be faulty.

The most common problem we see with riflescopes is that they will not adjust properly. This could be due to improper adjustment by the manufacturer, but it could also be due to damage to the lens assembly. If this happens, it may be necessary to replace the entire scope.

There are many different types of scopes available today. Some scopes are designed for long-range shooting while others are designed for close-up work. In addition, some scopes come equipped with an illuminated reticle or crosshairs. A scope with a magnifying glass is also known as a spotting scope.

The objective lens transmits light to the ocular lens at the other end. Focus lens- used to correct parallax errors by sliding it towards or away from the objective lens. Erector tube- responsible for keeping the image that reaches the eye upright. Windage & Elevation Adjustment turrets- a series of springs run between the elevation and windage adjustment and the erector tube. Pushing the elevation knob inwards elevates the erector tube. Similarly, if the knob for windage to push the tube moves left or right.

Magnification is the process of enlarging or reducing an image by changing the focal length of the lens. The magnification knob adjusts the amount of change. A reticle is a device used to help focus the camera. A first focal plane reticle is placed in front of the lens. A second focal plane reticle is located behind the lens.

Lens Coating is the transmission of light through a lens is determined by the type of coating it has. Scopes with multiple protective coatings will provide proper protection from the elements and allow for improved light transmission. The coating also reduces the sun’s glare, making it easier for you to see your target in broad daylight.

Parts Can Break on a Rifle Scope?

Objective lenses are more prone to damage than other parts of the scope. Scratches aren’t as bad as broken glass. A thin layer of protective coatings won’t protect the lens from being scratched.

Turrets can get damaged, which means you won’t be able to adjust your scope until they’re repaired. Nitrogen levels in scopes can become depleted, causing them to rust. Scopes can also absorb water, which causes them to rust. Scope parts can break, which makes it difficult to use the scope.

How Do You Fix an Out of Adjustment Scope?

Your scope is aligned correctly if it stays steady on a flat surface. You should never sight your scope while holding it on an unstable surface such as a tabletop or chair.

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


Adjusting a scope is not easy. But we hope that now you know how to do it.

Happy shooting!


  • 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.

Best Rifle Scopes – Top Reviews, Guide, Pros, Cons, More

You Might Be Interested In...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Might Be Interested In!