How to Set a Scope Back to Zero – Easy Guide with Pictures

If you have a scope and you are having trouble setting it back to zero then you are at the right place because…

We are going to answer that question and solve the problem for you.

So, let’s get into it!

How To Reset A Scope To Factory Zero?

You should always center your scope before shooting. This ensures that your scope is set correctly. When you shoot, your scope may move slightly off-center due to recoil or other factors. Resetting your scope to zero means that any movement of your gun will be corrected by your scope.

Optically centering scopes is easy! Just follow these steps to get started.

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

Items Needed To Reset Your Scope with Tips

  • Scope.
  • Screwdriver (Allen wrench).
  • Resetting a scope to factory zero using the counting method is more accurate than the mirror method.
  • Optically centering a scope takes longer than setting it to zero.
  • A scope that has an illuminated reticle cannot be centered using the mirror method.
  • Dividing by 2 works fine as long as you know how many divisions there are in the scale.
  • The counting method is more systematic than the mirror method.
  • The mirror method is easier to use than the counting method.
  • You can also optically center a scope without knowing what number division there is in the scale.
  • The counting method is faster than the mirror method.
  • The counting method is less precise

Step 1: Put your scope flush with the mirror

A crosshair is a symbol used by marksmen to indicate a target. When a shooter aims at a target, he or she aligns the crosshair over the center of the target. This makes it easier to shoot accurately.

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

Step 2: Line up the shadow of the reticle with the reticle itself

To reset the scope to factory zero, you must align the reticle with the shadow. Adjusting the top and side turrets may help but there is no right or wrong way to accomplish this task.

Two methods to reset a scope to factory zero

You should always check your scope when mounting or dismounting your gun. This is because if you do not, you may damage your scope.

1. Mirror Method

A scope with a permanently on and illuminated crosshair works well for the mirror method. If there is a sunshade, you must remove it. If you can’t remove the sunshade or if the scope doesn’t have one, then you will have to use the other methods.

You should set your scope flush against the target. Align the shadow with the actual reticle (the dot).

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

2. Counting Method

This is how to aim a gun. First, you need to center the weapon on the target. Then, you need to spin the elevation and the windage one after another, one at a time, until you get a feeling of resistance. When you reach the end of each rotation, divide the total number of clicks by 2, and then spin the same turret in the direction you started with. It would be better if you were optically centered now.

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

You should turn your elevation or windage turrets as far as possible. Then stop at the resistance and count clicks in the opposite direction, making sure to do it correctly. After that, make it half and turn forward again by that number, repeating until you reach the end. Finally, if you’re swapping scopes, you’ll need to reset them to factory zero. If buying a new scope, you’ll need to do a factory reset. If you’re using a gun after a break, you’ll need to perform a factory reset.


We hope that now you know how to reset your scope back to zero!

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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