How to Correctly Zero an Air Rifle Scope for Target Shooting or Hunting

How to Correctly Zero an Air Rifle Scope
Written by Ashley Casey

A rifle scope has come a long way and now it’s more popular that it has ever been. Almost everybody uses a scope nowadays; from tactical shooters, hunters to ordinary folks looking for a defense optic. With rifle optics gaining popularity, it makes a lot of sense to learn how to zero an air rifle scope.

You will find a variety of scopes at your local gun dealership. Therefore, the purpose of this guide is to help you work your way around an air rifle scope. Most scopes have very specific instruction on how you should zero them.

If you are in doubt, you can always refer to the instruction manual that comes with your scope. Fortunately, a great number of the scopes out there can be zeroed by following the details provided in this guide. 

Find a shooting range

The ideal way to correctly sight-in your rifle is by taking shots from different positions. An ideal place is your local shooting range because you will be sure of your backstops and distances. Gun safety is important, so ensure you carry along eye and ear protection as well as enough bullets for the zeroing process.

Mount your gun on its rest


While zeroing your rifle, there’s no room for user errors. Simply put, you shouldn’t miss. So, to get a correct zero, mount your rifle on its rest. If you haven’t acquired one, just head to your local sporting outlet or rifle club and borrow one.

While setting up your rifle on its rest, ensure it’s sitting in place as solidly as possible. a few books or your pair of boots will help you set up your gun comfortably so that you can take accurate shots.

Load your rifle and fire at least three shots

Watch out for the signal indicating that you can go ahead and take shots. Also, find the target through the scope. Find the right stock to cheek weld combination and be sure to maintain a similar sight pictures as you would in any other case.

Take your rifle’s safety off and at the end of your exhale, hold for a second and take a shot by squeezing the trigger as firmly as possible. Repeat this four more times to get an accurate initial run.

Have a look at your hit grouping

Wait until you are informed that your range is clear then unload your rifle. Check at least twice to ensure your rifle is fully unloaded. Head out and retrieve your target. Alternatively, you could simply examine it using your range sight.

Fine-tune your scope using knobs and then check again

Get back to your rifle’s location and fine-tune its scope using the knobs on the sides and at the top. Every scope has a unique way of making adjustments; however, the ideas remain the same. Once you are done making your adjustments, take a couple of shots, check your hit grouping and then re-adjust again.

It’s always a good practice to mark your hits so that you won’t be confused once you are done taking your shots or simply get a new target.

Set your zero from different distances

In general, most people prefer to sight-in a rifle from different locations while focusing primarily on the positions from which they are likely to take shots. You are free to follow the same process and make the necessary adjustments from either one of the position you chose, but it won’t hurt to use a minimum of two.

Begin at around 18 meters, and then extend your range to about 70 meters. Try to limit the distance covered to 46 meters at any one time so that you can make the right adjustments.

If there’s time and you feel you could benefit from a few more adjustments, consider moving into the 180 to 270 range. However, ensure that you factor in wind if you are planning to take a shot from this distance.

Make the necessary adjustments

Examine the scope’s adjustment knobs

Some scopes come with two dials; one the side and at the top. These are the knobs you will use to zero your scope. This ensures that what you see through the scope and where you are pointing the rifle match.

The knob at the top is used to adjust the crosshairs up and down, while the one on the side will swing it left and right. If you have an older version, you will need a penny to help your turn the knobs.

Shift the scope’s sight towards your misses

In case you missed widely, adjust your scope and shift it appropriately. Continue with these adjustments until your rifle hits the bull’s eye severally. Shift to another location on the range and try to replicate the same results.

Make minor adjustments

On some scope, every click you hear shifts your dial by ¼”, thus, when you hear four clicks that means you have covered 1 inch in total. For more specific on adjustments, be sure to consult your rifle’s manual.

Wrap Up

Zeroing your rifle is completely necessary. If you take time and apply all the fundamentals, you rifle scope’s will be very precise. However, ensure you follow each step appropriately, right from mounting the scope all the way to setting up your rifle onto a firm shooting position. 

About the author

Ashley Casey

Greetings! I’m Ashley Casey, your personal guide to the world of nature. Let me help you find the true value of the nature around you. Get ready to our journey to the world of wild nature and remember that the journey will never end! Enjoy reading my posts.

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