Zeroing a scope

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  • Zeroing a scope

    Hi All

    I recently invested in my first rifle and scope. It's been a bit of a pain to zero the bloody thing. I've mounted the rail onto the rifle, the rings onto the rail and the scope into the rings, tried to manually boresight the thing and it still doesn't want to get onto paper.

    I initially tried to boresight the thing by looking down the barrel and picking out the target, then without touching the rifle looking down the scope. Naturally it didn't line up straight away, so i moved the scope windage and elevation to match. So now, when i look down the barrel, it's pointing at the target and the scope is also pointing at the same point of the target.

    I fire a round and it's way off - and i mean way off, something like 7 inches at 25 yards. So i try and line up the scope again with my initial aiming point and move the windage and elevation to where the first couple of rounds hit. Turns out i'm now all out of windage and i can't move it any further to the right.

    Weirdest thing now is that when i look down the barrel, it's nowhere near where the scope is pointing. If i point the scope where my initial aim point is, then look down the barrel, i can't even see the target, let alone my point of aim. Very confused i thought "bugger it" i'll just fire a few shots anyway. All 3 shots that i fired hit where the scope was pointing - BUT THIS ISN'T WHERE THE BARREL IS POINTING! i had a mate confirm this with me while at the range just to ensure i wasn't going crazy.

    It's got me buggered. I know that there has to be some sort of alignment issue somewhere, so i've ordered a set of Burris Zee Rings with the offsets to hopefully bring back some of the windage that i've lost, hopefully they arrive next week.

    Has anyone else encountered this?? I'm not that bad of a shot - i know that because i've been shooting for years, but this is the first rifle that i've owned.

    Can someone explain to me how a bullet leaving a barrel can impact a target that it's not pointing at?! it seems to defy physics and logic to me and i wouldn't believe it unless i saw it with my own eyes.

    PS. I have checked, double checked and triple checked that everything it tight. I've tried taking off all the mountings and remounting it. I've tried turning the rings around, back to front etc - no change at all in the point of impact.


    Savage 12 F/TR
    Sightron SIII 10-50x60
    Weaver Rings

  • #2
    Well, your going to have to re-center the erector tube in the scope to start with. Adjusting the reticle by moving it from the point of aim to the point of impact works, but only if you have a very sold and stable rest like a lead sled or similar. If you don't, go back to measuring the distance from the point of aim to the point of impact and count the clicks.
    I'm in love with Jennifer Hawkins and Alessandra Ambrosio


    • #3
      I was going to suggest bent barrel, but is it hitting the target further out, and closer in? If it is, then maybe it just looks crooked.

      I just took my 452 out the back and boresited a pole about 600 away, it took a few looks to get it lined up, with the way one has to cock ones head over to look up the barrel then a different posture to look through the scope makes it not easy.

      Is there any movement in the rail, possibly the rail is pointing slightly left or right.


      • #4
        Was the rifle etc second hand?
        If it was, then that might offer some explanation for your problem.
        If it is all new then I would be suspicious of the rail and/or rings.
        I know all the coolest shooters use weaver / picatinney rails but they have the inherent limitation of there being no windage adjustment available in the rings in most cases.
        I would suggest you recenter the reticle either by counting the clicks and positioning half way or look on youtube for other methods of centering. Next try to estimate just how far off the the reticle is from the bore center. If it is about 20 moa then you may have a tapered rail and you have mounted it wrong way round.
        If none of these provide a solution the I would start thinking about some other base and rings or seeking the help of somebody experienced in scope mounting.


        • #5
          at 25 yards I just look down the barrel and make sure all I see is paper. I fire my first shot then make sure I have paper all around that shot.. I then use a cross on the page, shoot another round..... measure the difference. Remember though, at 25 yards if your scope is 1/4 clicks than 4 clicks is approx an inch at 100 yards, half inch at 50 yards and a quarter of an inch at 25yards.

          Remember that if the crosshairs are on the target and the shot is to the left, you need to adjust to the right, if its high then adjust it low.



          • #6
            is there any windage adjustment on the rings. Zero the scope adjustment and try zeroing with the rings before using up scope turret adjustment.


            • sirus17
              sirus17 commented
              Editing a comment
              sometimes they screw the mounting holes for the rail up, have a look and see if all the holes are dead in line down your action to your barrel as well

          • #7
            thanks guys

            i ran a straight edge along the sides of the rail all the way to the tip of the barrel and the rail is very clearly facing to the left. Whether it's the rail thats buggered or the holes i'm unsure, but at least there is some answers to my questions.

            Maybe the Burris Zee rings will bring it back into line - we'll see when they show up.


            • Zero
              Zero commented
              Editing a comment
              You've pretty much hit the nail on the head mate. The rail isn't aligned to the center line of the bore.

            • Straightshooter
              Straightshooter commented
              Editing a comment
              Before you condemn the rail try the straight edge against the mounting screws without the rail in place.
              That is take off the rail and put back the screws and align your straight edge against the screw heads and see if it is now parallel with the bore centerline.

          • #8
            Leupold STD bases have windage adjustment on the rear base. That's what I used on my .204 Ruger.
            I'm in love with Jennifer Hawkins and Alessandra Ambrosio


            • #9
              I invested in the nikko stirling boresighter it does work and you save a lot in ammo trying to get on target