Jump to Navigation

Basic gun and scope set up

Setting up your rifle and scope properly is the most important thing you can do; without taking the proper time and care now you will waste many hours and pellets trying to hit your target with no real hope of even hitting the barn door.
If you are new to shooting it is worth joining a club or finding someone with experience to show you the basic shooting techniques. Without these techniques you will struggle to be a consistently good shot.
As with any new purchase, it will take time to get used to your new kit. You will not become a marksman overnight and it is certain that some days will be more successful than others. When using your new rifle and scope for the first time it is important to get a feel for it, it is advisable to start with easy or close targets to build confidence and familiarity then gradually increase the range of targets and their difficulty. The instructions for setting up a scope assume that you are familiar with basic shooting techniques and safety.

Fitting the mounts and scope
It is normal practice to fit mounts with the securing bolts on the right hand side of the rifle as you look from stock to muzzle. Ensue that you have the correct height mounts for the scope. As a rule, the larger the objective (front) lens of the scope, the higher the mount.
Some rifles (mainly springers) have pre-drilled holes at the rear of the action to accept recoil pins or studs fitted to some mounts. If you have purchased two piece mounts with recoil pins or studs fitted, identify the front and rear mount. The rear mount is the one with a small threaded pin or stud protruding through the bottom of the mount. For one piece mounts note that the grub screw should be fitted towards the rear of the scope rails so that it can locate in one of the pre-drilled holes in the action.

• Mounts and allen keys supplied
• Level surface and some means of supporting the rifle (a small bean bag or rolled up towel is ideal)
• Rifle
• Scope
• Spirit level
• Cardboard (min of 12” x 12”)
• Masking tape
• Thick marker pen

1. Support the rifle using a bean bag or rolled up towel on a level surface such as a table
2. Fit the rear mount towards the back of the scope rail (locating the recoil pin if fitted in one of the pre-drilled holes) and do up the securing bolts finger tight
3. Fit the front mount towards the front of the scope rail and do up the securing bolts finger tight
4. Remove the top clamp from both mounts by undoing the four securing bolts of each. Keep the bolts somewhere safe.
5. Remove your new scope from its packaging and place it in the open cradles of the mounts. Note that the small (Ocular) lens goes to the rear of the rifle.
a. Ensure that the saddle of the scope (the section with the windage and elevation turrets) sits between both mounts but does not touch either of them
b. Move the front and rear mounts as far apart as possible so that as much of the body of the scope as possible is supported
c. If you have a break barrel rifle check that there is room to break the barrel without hitting the front lens
d. Do up the clamps securing the mounts to the rails using the allen key supplied. Note that mounts and bolts are aluminium so there is no need to over tighten.
e. Refit the top clamps of both mounts using the securing bolts. Do them up finger tight only so that the scope moves with a little resistance.
6. You may need to move the scope either forward or aft to get the correct eye relief (the distance between your eye and the rear of the ocular lens, normally 3 ½ inches). To check your eye relief:
a. Lift the rifle into the aim. Try to look at a plain surface such as a wall from a min of 3 feet in a well lit room.
b. Settle your cheek comfortably on the cheek piece of the stock and check your sight picture. You must be able to see through the scope clearly with no black shading around the edge of the sight picture.
c. Move the scope fore or aft to obtain the correct picture.
d. If possible ask someone to measure the distance between your eye and the ocular lens. As a rough guide the span of the palm of a mans hand is approx 3 ½ inches.
7. Once you have the correct eye relief ensure that the scope cannot move to easily in the mounts but do not fully tighten the bolts yet
8. Now you must focus the crosshairs
9. The last job is to align the reticule (or cross hairs) horizontally and vertically. To do this:
a. Fix your cardboard on a wall using the masking tape approx 3m or more away from the rifle and at roughly the same height as your rifle is supported on the table.
b. Mark a vertical line on the cardboard using the spirit level and the marker pen. Make it as clear as you can.
c. Using the spirit level, and the muzzle pointing at the cardboard, make sure that your rifle is at right angles to the table. This is tricky and requires patience. The best way to do this is try and place the spirit level on the stock at the rear of the action just above the pistol grip. Most rifles have a level section here.
d. Without moving the rifle (I didn’t say it was going to be easy!) look through the scope and align the vertical part of the reticule (or cross hair) with the vertical line on the cardboard.
e. Once it’s in line tighten fully the clamp securing bolts. DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN THE BOLTS AS YOU WILL CRUSH THE BODY OF THE SCOPE.

Congratulations, you are done, have a beer and admire your new rig!!!! Remember that the next step is to zero your scope.


Before you set out into the field you must complete one of the most boring tasks which is ensuring the reticule is optically central. To do this:

1. Remove the protective caps from both the windage and elevation turrets
2. Rotate the windage turret slowly clockwise to the full extent of its travel
3. Rotate the windage turret slowly anticlockwise to the full extent of its travel COUNTING THE NUMBER OF CLICKS
4. Halve the number of clicks and rotate the turret clockwise that number
5. Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 for elevation

Main menu 2

Dr. Radut Consulting