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How to Adjust Rifle Scope Reticles

by Peter Timm

The reticles of a rifle scope are the horizontal and vertical lines that intersect your scope sight picture. When a scope is properly zeroed in, the intersection of the reticles represents the projected point of impact of the rifle's bullet. The technique for reticle adjustment is generally uniform among rifle scopes. The dial located on top of the scope adjusts the vertical axis of the reticles and the dial located on the right side of the scope the horizontal axis.

Determine the projected point of impact of where the rifle bullet will strike the target as seen through the scope. You can either determine the point of impact by using a boresighting device (such as a laser) or by shooting your rifle at a target and referencing where the bullet strikes in relation to your reticles.

Adjust the vertical axis with the adjustment dial on top of the scope. Rotate the top dial clockwise to move the vertical axis up or counterclockwise to move it down. Typically, turning the adjustment dial one position, or click, will move the reticles 1/4-inch on the target at a range of 100 yards.

Adjust the horizontal axis by rotating the adjustment dial on the scope's right side. Turn the dial clockwise for left or counterclockwise for right.

About the Author

Peter Timm has been writing since 2002 for both print and online publications. Timm earned a Bachelor of Arts from the New York Institute of Technology in 2008 and emerged a technically astute writer.