How to Use a Rifle Scope – In-Depth Instructions with FAQs & More

Scopes are used to improve the accuracy when you shoot from afar by increasing the size of the image of your target so that you can see precisely where your gun is pointed.

In this article, we will cover how to use a Rifle Scope to help clarify any questions you might have.

So, let’s get started!

The Process of Using a Rifle Scope – Step-by-Step Guide

How to Use a Rifle Scope

Step 1: Safety First

Make sure you are in a comfortable position while using a riflescope. As you’ve learned about the anatomy of your rifle, you’re ready to take the next step to learn how to use your rifle properly.

Be careful when operating your rifle, because you could injure yourself or someone else if you aren’t careful.

A scope mount is used to secure a scope on top of a gun. You should always be careful when using a scope mount because if you drop or knock down your scope, you could damage it.

Most scopes already come with pre-drilled grooves for mounting attachments, but you should still consider these steps before attaching your scope to your rifle.

You should attach your scope to your rifle barrel, tighten any screws to keep the scope intact and make sure that the pressure on each screw is even.

Your rifle scope should always be aligned properly. You should never tighten or loosen the screws too much.

How to align your reticle scope?

To align the reticle of a rifle scope, loosen the mounting scope rings, rotate the scope until the reticule is correctly positioned, make sure that the horizontal and vertical lines should be intersecting right at the center and form crosshairs, then tighten the mounting scope rings.

When using a laser boresighting system, the first thing to check is eye relief. You must adjust the distance of the lens to avoid recoil or point of impact when shooting.

You should always try to get as close as possible to the target without getting too close. That way, your eyes won’t suffer from any problems.

The scope should be placed as far away as possible from the eye. Move the scope slowly towards the eye until it can be seen completely.

To ensure eye relief, you must make sure your scope is set at a distance of 1 inch away from the target. You must also adjust your scope until you feel comfortable with the recoil and bullet impact. Then, tighten the ring screws with the same amount of force as before.

Your eyesight should be tested before hunting. You need to make sure that your eyes are strong enough to see well during the hunt.

How does a variable lens work?

A variable lens allows you to change the magnification level. You should use this feature when you want to see what is happening in detail.

You should always be aware of what you’re shooting. Make sure that you know what type of camera you’re using before you shoot. Be sure to use the right settings for the type of camera you’re shooting.

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

Step 2: Establish the Sight Picture

To get a precise shot, you must center the reticle in your field of view, then position the reticle right over the target. You should make sure that the image formed by the reticle is a perfect circle at the end of the barrel.

When you adjust your scope, you must first center it before moving it left or right.

Step 3: Make Windage and Elevation Adjustments

Adjustment knobs are important to get better precision when shooting. When needed, you must rely on instinct and gut feeling to adjust these elements.

Adjusting the windage and elevation knobs is necessary when shooting at long distances. Read more about this topic in our guide on how you can dope your scope.

Step 4: Adjust the Parallax

Parallax knobs should be adjusted as soon as possible after purchase. Parallax knobs are used to adjust the distance between the eye and the image being viewed. Adjusting this setting makes objects appear closer or farther away.

You must zero the rifle before you shoot. This means that you must aim at the center of the target. There should be no movement when aiming.

Pro Tip: Sandbags, tripods, or firing tables may help you do this.

To shoot a rifle you must align the sights correctly. You must make sure that your eye relief remains constant. You must eliminate any unnecessary movement. Control your heartbeat, breath, and muscle twitchings to prevent the gun from shaking.

Are you ready? Slowly and steadily pull the trigger.

After each shot, adjust the scope, with particular attention to the reticle, and repeat this process until the rifle’s accuracy and precision are perfect. Your accuracy depends on how much you take into account when adjusting the scope.

Are there any inconsistencies in your environment? What about the weather conditions? All these things affect your shot.

Every rifle scope is an accessory to your rifle. They are meant to amplify your vision so that you may see from farther distances with ease. You will be able to spot things 100 yards away!

A rifle scope is an essential tool for hunting. It helps you see your prey better and makes sure you get the right shot.

On the other hand, a mediocre rifle with a great scope is proven to be better than a best-brand rifle with a poor scope. Using a rifle scope increases your chance of hitting your target by 10 times.

Sight alignment with telescopic sights is a matter of making the field of vision circular to minimize parallax error.

Note: If you want to gain information about What AOEG Scope Means click HERE.

Factors and Alternatives

There are many different types of scopes available. Magnification and distance are two important things to consider when buying a rifle scope.

  1. You need to know how far away your target is before you buy a scope.
  2. The higher the magnification, the closer you need to be to your target.

Binoculars, Hunting rangefinders, and spotting scopes are alternatives to rifle scopes.

You should discuss these options with a professional before using them. Otherwise, you might get confused with the different types of optics.

Riflescopes are simple yet versatile accessories for long-range shooting. You’d only need to know how to use the crosshair reticle to perfect your target.

You should know how to use a gun before going out into the field.

Gun safety is very important. You must know how to handle a gun safely.

Scope tubes are made out of steel or aluminum. A scope’s reticle is designed to measure the bullet’s trajectory and shooting accuracy. There are many different types of reticles. Some are used for long-range shooting, while others are more accurate for short-range shooting.

Crosshairs and mill dots are accessories used by shooters to help them aim better. They are usually lit up for ergonomics purposes. Rifle turrets adjust elevation and windage. Flat tips, torrents, and fingertip adjustment knobs are used to make adjustments to these features.

Elevation means the height of the bullet. Windage means how far the bullet moves horizontally.

Parallax knobs are used to account for the difference between the actual distance of an object and the apparent distance of the target as viewed through the scope. Adjusting the parallax knob allows you to make sure that your shot is accurate.

Sights are used to make sure you’re aiming straight.

Your eye relief refers to how far away you need to be from the scope to see the edges of the scope ring.

Note: If you want to know Where is Swift Scopes Made? Click HERE.

Improved Accuracy

Riflescopes are used as an accessory for rifles. They help improve the accuracy of shots by allowing the user to adjust the position of the rifle scope. Readjusting the riflescope is necessary because if the rifle scope were not adjusted properly, the riflescope would be useless.

Riflescopes are designed to fit into the grooves of your rifle. You must be careful when choosing a scope because if you get the wrong type, it could cause damage to your rifle.

Better Scores

Before going into the hunting grounds, try to practice your shooting skills by using a rifle scope. You should be able to see the target better if you use a rifle scope. Also, you need to test your gear on a paper target before heading out to the real hunt. This helps you get used to the real deal.

A rifle scope improves accuracy by allowing you to focus more precisely on your target. Better scores are almost always guaranteed when using a rifle scope.

Long Distance Shooting

A good and powerful rifle scope gives you more space to work in. You can see farther away than if you were using a regular scope.

For long-distance shooting, it is better to use a zoom lens than a fixed focal length lens. A variable power lens is more useful than a fixed focal length. An equal power riflescope is the most suitable choice for short-range shooting.

Holdover shooting is when you shoot while your gun is already aimed at your target. This allows you to fire without having to realm or drop your gun.

Note: If you want to know What a Cantilever Scope Mount click HERE.

Boost Your Confidence

More accurate shots can be made by trusting yourself to make the perfect shot, instead of relying on the gun to do everything. A shooter should always aim to zero the rifle before shooting.

A rifle scope is used to see things up close. Angled and straight spotting scopes are two types of rifle scopes. To get the most out of them, you need to know what each type does. You can use a rifle scope to hunt birds or other games.

Don’t be afraid to make the needed adjustments. Always be on the lookout for the unusual. Keep an eye out for the unexpected. And never aim at your friends!

But, what is a gun scope?

A gun scope is a device used to magnify the image seen through a firearm’s lens. It allows you to see further than would otherwise be possible without specialized equipment. The magnification provided by a gun scope depends on its power setting – the higher the number, the greater the magnification.

What Can A Scope Do For You?

A gun scope allows shooters to see targets more clearly. It helps them aim more precisely. It can magnify targets and improve safety. It can increase available light and make it easier to shoot in low light conditions. It can also help shooters become better shooters.

Gun Scope Anatomy Terms You Will Need To Know

There are many different types of optics available for rifles, handguns, and shotguns. These are designed for different purposes.

Here are some of the anatomies you need to know:

Eye relief is the distance from your eye to the eyepiece of your scope. When you shoot a gun, you need to be as far away from the barrel as possible. This helps prevent damage to your eyes. Some rifles have adjustable eye relief, but most do not.

Objective lenses are measured by the diameter of the outermost lens. A 50 designation means the outermost lens is 50mm in size. Larger numbers mean larger lenses. A larger lens allows you to see farther into the distance. However, the larger lens also makes the objective bell bigger. This increases the overall weight of the optic.

Field of view is the range of distance that you can see through your rifle scope. It is measured from left to right, or from front to back. The smaller the number, the greater the FOV. For example, a 50-yard FOV means that you can see 50 yards from left to right. A 200-yard FOV means that the scope allows you to see 200 yards from left to right, but not beyond.

A fixed power scope is better than a variable power scope because it weighs less. Exit pupils are large, and brightness is high.

Parallax means that the object looks bigger or smaller depending on what part of the image you’re looking at. Turrets are used to change the height and width of the reticle. Windage is the amount of horizontal movement and elevation is the amount of vertical movement.

A gun scope is used to magnify an object. Zero means that both the gun and the scope are adjusted to be exactly the same. Power is how much the scope magnifies things. In this case, the scope is 9 times more powerful than the human eye.

Fixed power scopes are great for shooting close objects. Variable power scopes are great if you want to shoot at different distances or zoom in and out.

How to Read Scopes – The Numbers and What They Mean

The first number refers to magnification power. The second number refers to the field of view or how wide an image appears on the screen. So if you were looking at a target 10 yards away, you’d see a picture 10 times bigger than what you’d normally see.

The magnification number represents the amount of magnification. A higher number indicates more magnification. In the example above, the 3-9X40mm means the scope can magnify from 3x to 9x and anywhere in between.

The second number in the scope’s description is the objective lens size. In this case, the objective lens is a 40mm lens.

How To Zero In A Scope?

You’ll need to mount your gun scope according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then you’ll need to follow these five steps:

  1. Aim at a target
  2. Hold steady
  3. Squeeze trigger
  4. Look down range
  5. Adjust aim accordingly

A boresight is used to make sure the bullet hits the center of the target. Hold the rifle perfectly still while you adjust the scope. Use a bag or a gun rest if you want to shoot better.

Set the rifle back up. Look through your scope and you’ll see the red dot on your target. If you don’t see it, adjust your rifle by moving it up or down until you can see the red spot. Your rifle should be aimed directly at the red dot.

At 100 yards, if your rifle has a 1/4 inch MOA, then at 25 yards, you’ll need to adjust the elevation by 4 clicks. Don’t get carried away with this because it’s just a rough estimate.

Head to the range if you haven’t been yet.

Take out the bore-sight and load three bullets into the magazine. Next, drop one bullet into the chamber if you don’t have a mag.

Remember to breathe to limit the amount of force that will happen naturally when pulling the trigger.

Aiming for the target, use your scope to sight in your weapon. After you’re comfortable, fire your first round. Then, fire the second and third rounds using the same technique.

You should aim at the center of the bulls-eye. If you miss by more than 2 inches, then you need to adjust the elevation on your scope. Turn the elevation adjustment 4 clicks up to raise the scope.

Don’t forget that you also want to adjust the windage.

Repeat – Once you are comfortable with an initial adjustment, it is now time to shoot three or five more shots using the same technique. Your gun scope should be very near and if not, keep adjusting it until it is right for you.

I don’t like others fine-tuning my gun scope because every shot is different and will have your natural tendencies. Your eyesight will change as your eyes get older. You should adjust your gun scope to match your eyesight.

How To Find the Best Scope For You?

The scope is an important part of any rifle or pistol. You should make sure that you know how to use it before you buy it. You should consider a scope with the following features:

  • Magnification power is important. You should know what kind of magnification you want before buying a scope.
  • A magnifying glass is used to see things up close.
  • A telescope is used to see far-away objects.
  • A microscope is used to see very small objects.
  • A camera is used to take pictures. A telescope is used for looking at stars or planets. A microscope is used for examining bugs.


Handguns are very popular among women. If you’re mainly going to use a handgun then you’ll want a fixed scope instead of a variable scope. Your gun scope should be 1x25mm. You don’t need more magnification power to reach longer ranges. You want to look out for a fixed scope since you won’t be reaching far distances.


Rifles are used for medium to long-range shootings. They are usually heavy and bulky. You should buy a scope with variable power if you plan on using a rifle for medium to long-range. For varmint shooting, you should get a scope with variable power. If you’re going to use a AR 15 for more tactical purposes, you should get a fixed scope. If you want to use a rifle for longer-range shooting, you should get an adjustable scope.

Your Budget?

There are plenty of affordable gun scopes out there. Some are very cheap, but some are quite pricey. Just make sure you get something that works for you.

What’s the proper way to use your scope?

The best way to use a rifle scope is to focus on what you’re shooting at. This means using the reticle (the crosshairs) to zero in on your target. It’s important to keep your eye steady so that you don’t move the gun during this process.

Once you’ve found your target, you’ll want to hold it steady and slowly squeeze the trigger. If you’re not comfortable doing this, it may be better to practice with a friend who can guide you through the process.

Complete Guide to Riflescopes

A typical riflescope contains about eight lenses, but there are other factors that affect the quality of the lens.

The quality of the lens itself, the care with the lens grinding process, and the quality of coating determine in large part how good the scope is. You can tell the difference between a $300 and a $1,300 scope even if you know nothing about optics.

A great scope should be mounted on a high-quality rifle. You shouldn’t spend too much money on a cheap scope.

My advice is to go out to the store and buy a cheap scope.

Rifle Weight

Optics are getting heavier, but scopes are still light. Optical designers have more leeway than before.


The new 300-yard rifle is designed to be accurate out to 600 yards. More powerful rifles require more power to operate. A dial-adjustable scope allows shooters to compensate for different distances. Who knows what other features are included?


A rifle with a scope that goes to 1/2 MOA or less is going to be very inaccurate. But if you’re shooting at targets 600 yards away, you need a lot more power than you’d get from a 10X scope. Aiming small means aiming low, and you can’t do that unless you have a lot of magnification.

Riflescopes that are worth your attention

The best scopes are made by reputable brands like Nikon, Leupold, Burris, Vortex, Bushnell, and others. They all offer different features and prices, so it’s important to understand what each one offers before making a decision.

The biggest challenge I face when using a rifle scope is remembering what I was looking at before I moved the crosshairs. If you don’t take your eye off the target long enough to move the reticle, it’s easy to lose sight of where you were aiming.

Ballistic Coefficient

The BC of a rifle scope is the ratio between the volume of air displaced by the bullet when fired through the scope compared to the volume of the bullet itself. A higher BC means less drag for the bullet, which translates into faster speeds and better accuracy.

Understanding Your Scope

The body is made up of two tubes, each about an inch long. A scope is used to magnify objects. This magnification allows the shooter to see things more clearly.

Adjustment knobs are designed in various varieties. Flat tip screws, torrents, and finger pressure knobs are used for adjusting windage and elevation. Windage – this explains the motion performed horizontally i.e., in a leftward and rightward direction. This motion path carries a bullet.

Windage refers to the horizontal path covered by the scope. Reticle refers to the style of the crosshairs. Crosshairs are used to calculate the bullet’s landing point. There are many types of reticles. Some are illuminated with the use of ambient light or battery.

Eye relief is the distance between your eyes and the barrel of the gun. You should aim for the center of the target. Your eye relief distance is determined by how far away you are from the barrel of the gun, and how much space there is between your eyes and the muzzle.

Sites are the same as scopes. They are used to make sure the bullet goes in the right direction. Scope adjustments are made using a dial.

Parallax is a feature that allows you to adjust your rifle by moving the scope up and down. Fogproof means that your gun won’t get wet even if you’re shooting in rainy conditions.

Magnification is the ability to make something bigger or smaller than what it was originally. A rifle with a high magnification power can see things that are 4 times larger than normal.

Optical coatings are used to make lenses more visible. Single layers on each lens surface make them more visible than if there were two or three layers on each lens surface.

A multi-coated lens is made up of many layers on the surface of a lens. A highly multi-coated lens has many layers directly on all forms of air-to-glass. You can explore America’s campgrounds by clicking here.


Weapon and rifle scopes are regulated by law in most countries. You should check with your local authorities before purchasing any type of scope.

When you buy a new rifle scope, you should know how to adjust it by yourself. You must be accurate and tolerant when measuring your target.

The rifle scope should initially be set up at 100 yards before you start making adjustments. Bullets do not follow a straight path because of gravity. A former scope included 100 yards sighted, then go past that to a range that includes about 100 yards.

As a final point, you should fire your gun carefully. You shouldn’t pull the trigger too quickly or you might accidentally shoot someone. After you’ve fired your gun, make sure to check if you hit anything.

Things to Remember

  • High definition multi-coated lenses of the rifle scopes provide you a crisp image of the target. Many scopes are also designed to identify a potential bullet’s point of impact.
  • Duplex reticles are characterized by a thin crosshair center. Riflescope is a delicate piece of equipment so it must be handled with care.
  • A magnification factor of 20 produces and image as if it were 20 times closer to the object. Magnification factor is a very useful feature.
  • Keep the scope out of direct sunlight. Other environmental factors and environmental conditions might also be damaging to the scope.
  • Magnification Range on FFP scopes compared to SFP are much more expensive compared to SFP models of similar quality.
  • If your parallax adjustment isn’t correct, the cross hairs will follow your head movement and be aligned with the target.
  • Always sight in your scope using windage adjustment. 
  • Make sure that your gun is empty before bore sighting. 
  • Levels of magnification determines the magnification power of your scope.


Now that we have reached the end of this guide, we hope it is easy for you to understand how to use a rifle scope.

We strongly put an emphasis on safety first! It is crucial that you take safety precautions whilst using your rifle.

This guide has everything you need to know including the types, ranges, and features of riflescopes. However, if there’s anything further you would like to know, please feel free to reach out to us.

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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