How to zero an airgun scope
Setting the sights on your target
Tony from Tony’s Camo and Airgun Centre in Saltney comes back for this second video on the use of airguns. In the shooting range adjacent to his shop he shows me how he teaches people to setup the telescopic sight on an air rifle, for consistent and accurate shots.
A scope isn’t strictly required for accurate shots with an air rifle, but it does make the job a lot easier and allows for greater consistency.
The steps for zeroing an air rifle scope at 25 yards
- Find a safe and legal place to shoot over the distance you wish to set up your scope for
- Set up a target that will clearly show where you have hit it (a piece of white paper works well)
- Mark a point on the target (a dot will do)
- Set yourself up in a comfortable and safe shooting position
- Fire three shots with the centre of the crosshairs lined up with your dot on the target
- Your group of shots will likely be off to one side and above or below your target dot
- Carefully unscrew both dust covers on the adjustment turrets on your scope
- Decide if you are going to adjust the up-and-down (elevation) or side-to-side (windage) turrets first
- Most scopes use a system where each ‘click’ as you rotate the turrets will translate to 1/4 of an inch of change in the place the pellet hits a target 100yards away
- As your range will is closer than that you will need to perform some calculations to set your scope
- For a range of 25 yards each ‘click’ will move the ‘aim point’ 1/16th of an inch, or 16 clicks will move the ‘aim point’ one inch.
- If your first three shots are half an inch below your target dot you will need to move the elevation turret 8 clicks in the direction marked on that adjustment turret
- Once you have made your adjustment fire another three shots. Your grouping should now be on the same level as the target dot, but may still be off to one side
- Repeat the above process for the side-to-side error (windage)
- If you can repeatedly shoot a pellet through the same hole at that range you have ‘zeroed’ that scope
Tony’s Tips for Successful Zeroing
- Be consistent with your choice of pellet brand and types
- Zero from a safe and stable shooting position
- Only adjust for windage or elevation at a time, not both
- Don’t try and zero on a windy day
- Take an average of three shots after each adjustment, not just one
- Only ever shoot where it is safe and legal to do so
Finally, remember that you are doing this with a potentially lethal firearm, and the responsibility is on you to make sure that you are shooting in a safe and legal manner, and that you are behaving as a safe and responsible airgun owner.