How To Look Through A Rifle Scope – What You Need To Know and Key Takeaways

how to look through a rifle scope

Rifles in themselves are amazing, but what brings out their true potential would be the scopes that are used with that. 

The scopes are what makes them different from the rest of your arsenal, making them effective at a much more extensive range than most of your other weapons. 

However, sometimes the use of scopes can be a little overwhelming for users, especially those who have never had the experience to use them before. 

Quick Summary

In this article, we will discuss the following things:

  • How to look through a rifle scope?
  • The different things you need to know about a scope before using one.

Let’s get into it.

Scopes: The Eyes Of A Rifle

No matter what kind of rifle you opt for, you will have to get used to scopes sooner or later as they are one of the most important extensions for a long-range weapon. 

Scopes come in all shapes and sizes, however, the essential function performed by them is necessarily the same. 

Before you get started with a specific scope, you first need to understand the basic concept behind them and their use. 

Different scopes are used for different purposes, but everything else will come naturally once you get the basic idea

After going through the process of understanding the scope of your choice, it’s now time to set them up. During the process of setting up a scope, you would need to consider the following few points.


Reticles are aiming devices used by the scope. It can either be a cross-hair, a dot, or something else or something else entirely. 

The purpose of talking about it here is that it is imperative that you set up the reticle correctly within the scope. Here are two quicks to make sure you can set them up:

  1. To do this, just loosen up the mounting ring and rotate the scope until you see that the reticle has been centered. 
  2. Once you can see the reticle within the normal firing position, tighten up the rings again as it has been adjusted.

Eye Relief

The second most important part of a scope that you need to consider is eye relief. The eye relief sets up the scope approximately 3 to 6 inches away from your eye. 

This allows you to keep a safe distance between your eye and the scope in case of heavy recoil or something else

To adjust this distance, you would need to move to scope through the mounting ring; however, newer models come with adjustments that allow you to change it without moving the whole thing.

Looking Through A Scope: What Do You Need To Consider?

look through a rifle scope

Here are a few things you need to consider when using a rifle scope to take a shot. Although these might be difficult from the get-go, using a scope will become second nature to you after enough practice. 

So without further ado, let’s just get into it.

Step 1: Adjust Your Sight Picture

Before you start using your rifle scope, make sure that the sight picture is appropriately adjusted. 

When looking at the target through the sight of your scope, your reticle must be centered, and you should be able to see the target clearly. 

If you have any black sides to your scope, they need to be adjusted to be symmetrical so that one side doesn’t overpower the other. 

This also includes rechecking your eye relief as no one would like the kickback from the shot to end up hurting you.

Step 2: Check Your Basic Sighting

Basic sighting refers to the pre-shot adjustments you would need to make to ensure that you get somewhat close to the bullseye. To do this, you might need to take some trial shots as the whole process includes a bunch of trial and error. 

Take your first shot by placing the target directly at the center of your reticle. 

If you manage to hit the target dead center, that could be considered a hail mary as your default settings proved to be just the right ones. 

However, most of the time, that won’t be the case, and your shot will either have trouble with elevation which can be fixed by adjusting the reticle up, down or with the shot going sideways, which can be caused due to windage. 

Windage can be addressed by setting the reticle either a little to the left or to the right depending upon the deflection.

Step 3: Set it Up for Zeroing In

Zeroing in a rifle means setting it up on a stand so that it takes a static position. This helps adjust your shots if you plan to take them from the same location, as you would not need to make adjustments after moving the rifle. 

If you keep your rifle zeroed in and on target, all your shots should be hitting the bullseye without any problem. You can test it out by doing what you did in basic sighting. 

Make test shots, and when your shot hits the bullseye, make a few more. These should also be hitting dead center on the target as your rifle is zeroed in.

Step 4: Make the Needed Adjustments

These adjustments refer to the ones you might need to make if the target is moved over to a longer distance. As most of your ammo will be making an arc to reach the target, you need to consider that when zeroing in your rifle. 

This can be done by setting up your reticle in a way that compensates for the arc and making some trial shots. 

If you are using a zoom scope, the parallax adjustments will allow you to do this without needing to make manual adjustments.

Key Takeaways

So there you have it! If you keep all these points in mind the next time you use a scope, you should be able to hit a target as long as it’s in the range of your rifle. 

The most important thing to take note of when using a scope is, without a doubt, the Reticle, as most of the adjustments are made depending upon your use of it.

Here are the main takeaways you should remember:

●     Take note of your reticle after every shot.

●     Safety first, so make sure that your eye relief is set up properly.

●     Zero in your rifle for better stability and accuracy.

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