How To Reset A Rifle Scope? All Things You May Not Know

Before moving a scope from a rifle to another, you need to re-zero it. All you need to know about how to reset a rifle scope is available in this article.

How To Repair Gamo Rifle Scope

If you want to install a second-hand scope to your rifle, you need to set it back to zero first. So, how to reset a rifle scope?

There are two methods for how to get a rifle scope back to factory settings. The first is the mirror method, and the second is the counting method.

In the following parts of this post, more details about these methods are waiting for you to discover. Let’s check out!

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How To Reset A Rifle Scope?

Is it possible to reset a scope? The answer is yes. You can get your gunsight re-zeroed whenever you want.

If you intend to exchange the scopes of your rifles with each other, you need to know how to reset rifle scope.

The mirror and counting methods are the two commonly used techniques for getting your gunsight back to factory settings.

 The mirror method

To implement this technique, you need to prepare a well-illuminated room and a mirror. Take off any sunshade from your gunsight. If you use a fixed sunshade, a lens cover is necessary.

Here are the steps on how to set a rifle scope back to zero by the mirror method.

  • Get your gunsight set flush with the mirror.
  • Look through the scope to find the crosshair. If you have your telescopic sight optically centered, there will be only the reticle. If the reflection shows a shadow of the reticle, you have to line it up with the actual one.
  • Spin the windage and elevation knobs until the reticle shadow aligns with the actual reticle.

It’s simple to do the mirror method, but this technique won’t work with illuminated reticle scopes. If you use this type of gunsight, try the counting method instead.

1. A well-lit room and a mirror are necessary for the mirror method

A well-lit room and a mirror are necessary for the mirror method

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The counting method

This technique requires more time and effort to implement, but it’s more effective and convenient than the mirror method.

You can do this method anywhere, and it works well with all scopes. Let’s learn how to reset the air rifle scope with the counting method.

  • First, check if you need to use a tool to rotate the turrets of your gunsight. Some turrets require a hex wrench or screwdriver to adjust.
  • Next, rotate the elevation knob to the farthest possible position. You can realize this limitation if you feel resistance while turning.
  • Then, spin the elevation knob to the opposite direction to its limit and count the number of clicks.
  • After getting the number of clicks, divide it in half and rotate the elevation turret until you reach the divided number of clicks.
  • Finally, do the same process with the windage knob, and you will get your riflescope re-zeroed.

2. You can do the counting method even in a dark space

You can do the counting method even in a dark space

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Why Do Rifle Scope Lose Zero?

Losing zero or losing focus can often occur and cause riflemen many disadvantages. If your riflescope loses zero, it could be due to one of the following reasons.

Mechanical issues

Most scopes lose zero due to mechanical issues. The bullet’s direction will also change when you adjust the scope’s magnification power.

For instance, your shot can hit the aiming point at a range of 200 yards, but at a longer distance, it may deviate a bit.

The arrangement of lenses inside the gunsight will decide the accuracy of shots.

Modern riflescopes have better designs. So, they can keep the same aiming point when the magnification power changes.

Another mechanical issue that leads to zero loss is the barrel droop of the firearm. The gun trajectory depends on the barrel. Thus, a slight barrel change can make your gun lose focus.

Moreover, the improper adjustment of the vertical reticle is also why your gun is out of focus.

If the vertical reticle is too high, the erector tube will change its position.

This movement makes the opposite spring too relaxed that it can’t keep the erector tube in the right place. As a result, your gunsight loses zero.

In short, mechanical issues will make some gunsight parts loosen or wear out and lead to zero loss.

3. The zero loss may be due to mechanical issues

The zero loss may be due to mechanical issues

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Mounting issues

The second common reason for gunsight zero loss is the problem when mounting. Wrong mount or improper riflescope installation will make the telescopic sight unbalanced.

Some rifle users don’t screw the rings or the base tight enough. So, the riflescope moves out of its place after some shots. Some others overtight the screws and damage the screw holes.

If you are wondering about the proper way to mount scopes, watch this video:

Gun cleaning and type of ammunition

To keep your riflescope always optically centered, you need to ensure that it’s in the best condition.

Don’t let the barrel get rusted because it will affect the scope’s accuracy. Proper cleaning and maintenance will keep your gun’s accuracy and ensure its safety.

The type of ammunition also affects the focus of your firearm. It’s essential to use the correct bullets and keep them clean.

4. You should use the right ammunition type

You should use the right ammunition type

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Scope transportation

Scopes may lose zero when you transport them in the wrong way.

When you need to bring the gunsight when traveling, never let the gun rest on the scope. Putting pressure on your gunsight not only makes it out of focus but may also cause permanent damages to it.

The ideal way for riflescope transportation is to carry it separately in a handbag.

However, when you want to re-mount the gunsight again, you need to check again to ensure the focus before using it.

Gunsight parallax

Riflescopes with high magnification powers can lose zero because of the parallax.

The parallax occurs when you change the position of your eye, and the reticle also moves. Therefore, the point of impact is not the point shown by the reticle.

Final Words

Hopefully, our step-by-step guide on how to reset a rifle scope is helpful for you. Depending on your conditions, you can choose the mirror or counting methods. Besides, don’t forget to follow our instructions to keep your gunsight from losing zero. Thank you for reading!

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