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How To Adjust A Scope On An Air Rifle?

Photo by Sebastian Pociecha

Shooting is a talent, which requires some abilities and equipment. Aimless movement is a total waste of time and less fun. To achieve the target, an individual should learn how to adjust the scope on an air rifle.

For a better view of the target, one must point the gun to the subject while the scope is on the top of the air gun.

While manuals are available for this type of gun, in this article, we will tackle a quick and easy approach and are easier to understand.

Follow the steps below for better results while adjusting a rifle scope:

Setting zero

  • The setting of the scope is to be done at a proper shooting range as setting zero needs aiming from various positions. The best way to do this is by practicing on bulls’ eye target board.
  • Rifle shooting needs a steady base for zeroing it, as this reduces the error with the best possible results. One can use sandbags or other methods for the same.
  • For checking, the deflections first take shots as a trial run.
  • For better adjustments, observe the impact of the shots.
  • After all of this, adjust the dials and make the best adjustment possible.
  • Repeat the process until zero is not achieved.


  • On any scope, there are two dials on the side and top of the scope. These knobs adjust the whole scoping mechanism. Side knob will change the scope to the right or left, whereas the top one will correct the crosshairs.
  • The sight has to be placed at the exact point of the misses. If the miss in towards right, then adjust the view towards the right and similarly in all directions. In other words, follow the impact of a missed shot.
  • Just before making adjustments, read the user manual and learn about the geometrical changes. In most knobs, four clicks move the zero by about an inch, or each click movement will result in a quarter of an inch movement.
  • In case it is getting difficult to adjust, the scope with these methods goes for laser bore sights.

With all the points about adjusting a rifle scope covered, now it is the time to understand the shooting procedure:


  • Ensure a stable base for resting your rifle because magnification and unstable base are not friendly to each other.
  • Based on the shooting operation, choose the right lens type. Fixed scope type lenses are for stationary & nearby targets, and variable scope type lenses are for distant and moving targets.
  • Adjust the magnification and ensure the removal of parallax error for perfect aiming, as wrong eye setting on the lens can result in missing the target. Try to gain a clear image as possible.
  • After all the things are done and checked, go ahead and shoot.

Are scopes important in rifles?

This question is answerable based on the operation of the rifle. If the gun is for just enjoyment purposes like shooting the bottles, then there is no need for the scope, as it will be more fun to destroy the target. In case the rifle is used for shooting and long-distance targeting, then installing a range will help.

In this category, lens types are on priority.

  • Objective Lens: Objective lens collects the maximum light, which helps in receiving a more precise image. Out of the two glasses on either side, it is the bigger one.
  • Ocular Lens: This lens is placed at the starting of the scope. All the light captured and adjustments made are visible through this lens. The ocular lens is present in the eyepiece, for easy understanding, it is the placement ring for the eye.

For an amateur, understanding, and learning of scope is a must. In-depth knowledge about the mechanisms involved will help in adjusting a rifle scope precisely and quickly.

The Mechanisms

  • Eye Placement:The first thing about how to adjust a scope on an air rifle, remember, keeping eye too carefully or too far from the lens or eyepiece may not help you in anything.
    The eye should be set at a comfortable distance from the lens, as eyes also need someplace to move. Adjust the scope by changing its position until you found the ideal image.
  • Do not follow: Procedure speed for adjusting scope is increased by setting the mental and physical focus only on the target and forgetting the surrounding disturbances.
    This factor is the significant difference between professional trainers & shooters and immature trainees & shooters.
  • Type of scopes: An individual needs to identify the types and one required to learn how to adjust the scope of an air rifle. There are two types of scopes:
    • Fixed: Fixed scopes have no or fixed magnification. Lens’s scope is locked and is suitable for fixed target shooting and nearby objects. It is not ideal for long-range shooting.
    • Adjustable: They are the opposite of fixed scopes. They have a flexible magnification factor for long-distance shooting. This magnification is also of low power and high power magnification types.
  • Types of mounts:There is sometimes a need for different types of scope placement equipment called the mounts to place different scopes. There are three primary mounts available in the market, which are
    • Weaver type rail Mount: Weaver mount is a combination of two parallel rails (running in the direction of the barrel) and slots (for easy installation and placement) perpendicular to them.
    • Dovetail type Rail Mount: It is a type of sliding area meant for placing telescopes in rifles. The object can slide back and forth to optimal use.
    • Picatinny Rail Mount: It is a military standard mounting mechanism used for various installations like foregrips, tactical lights, night vision, and other crucial devices.
  • Reticle:
    Photo by freepik

    The reticle is a helping media present in the scope, helpful in attaining better-aiming results and recognize the margin of error. It is either plus “+” or “T” shaped. Some examples of reticles are mil-dot, target dot, German, fine crosshair, and others.

  • Remove Parallax error:After the scope is installed, another thing to keep in mind while adjusting a rifle scope is keeping parallax error out of the picture. There is always a change of wrong setting of the eyes at the scope lens.
    Parallax setting helps in getting the target pointer and target on the same plane and moving them accordingly, no matter where the eye is set on the scope lens.
  • Adjust the elevation:Elevation error is one of the significant reasons for unsatisfactory results in shooting when vertical adjustments are scaled higher. This fixture will help in getting better results.
  • Windage:In case the shooting behavior of the air gun is not required, the windage helps adjust a rifle scope, respectively.It is essential to make sure that the scope is proportionate with the barrel. There are nearly zero percent chances to get this right in the first attempt.
  • Safety measures:It is an essential part of training while learning how to shoot a rifle. When dealing with guns and other weapons, make sure that there is no human in the shooting line.
    Whether with or without the protective gear, this ends up in fatal results.Secondly, before storing the firearms, always unload them and out of reach of children.
    For added safety, keep ammunition and firearms at two different places.
  • Keep records:Similar to the school or college lectures, there is a need for making notes with everyday practice. These notes will help revise the performance of the user and the gun as well.Keep a record of bullet holes and deflections, so when going out next time, these records will help in gaining better and precise results.

For a clearer understanding of the procedure and importance of scope, click on the link below:

An individual may not be able to hit the target perfectly in the first attempt. Practice makes a man perfect, is the right saying for this condition. By practicing, critical factors like airspeed, temperature, elevation, and others will come out, and understanding them will help in gaining more accurate results.

In case the hitting point is below the target, try adjusting the elevation a bit higher and vice versa. Winds are always traveling at varying speeds and may change between the rifle and the destination.

It is still better to keep notice of winds, as they provide a substantial amount of resistance and moving behavior of the bullet by changing the course of the movement.

Once all these points are clear, hitting the target will be a piece of cake, and adjusting the rifle scope will become a game.

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