How To Look Through A Rifle Telescope

A rifle telescope, also known as scope, is an optical sighting device that works on the principle of the refracting telescope. These scopes are used with many devices in which precision aiming is necessary, such as firearms. As the name suggests, rifle telescopes are mostly used for rifles to provide precision and accuracy for objects at a distance.


The most important features of a rifle telescope are its lenses; the ocular lens does the work of a telescope, while the objective lens allows light to pass through it so that the ocular lens magnifies it and provides you an accurate aim.

The eyepiece is what you look into to aim, but the most important feature of a rifle scope is its power ring. It consists of various magnification settings, allowing you a different look at your target. These start from 3x and go up to 9x; the higher you go, the closer your target appears to you.

Basic Working: 

Using a rifle scope is not as simple as buying one at a gun shop, doing some minor adjustments, and you are good to shoot. The truth is adjusting a scope is much more complicated and its usage is quite technical.

How to Use a Rifle Scope

Before getting into using the actual scope, you need to know how every piece of it works and how it is supposed to be controlled. Every part plays an important role in adjusting the scope and getting it to provide you with the best results. 

Basic Parts:

The scope consists of multiple parts, including

  • The main body

  • Objective lens

  • Eyepiece

  • Shoulder

  • Elevation

  • Windage

  • Parallax knobs


  1. The eyepiece is the part that you use to look through to your target and acquire your aim.  Adjusting the magnification, the eyepiece provides you the precise and magnified vision of your target.

  2. The shoulder of the scope allows you to see the diameter increase.

  3. The elevation knobs and windage are movable parts of the rifle scope, and you can easily move them up, down, and around the reticle.

  4. The parallax knobs are, however, a little difficult to adjust but with practice get easier.

The Mounting:

First of all, before mounting your scope, you need to be sure that you have all the appropriate items and devices needed that fit right on your rife. Furthermore, you need to make sure that your scope fits and that it is tightened properly around the gun. However, you should not tighten it too much as it may lead to damaging your rifle scope.

The scope rings are imperative to mounting.  These must be measured very precisely so that the tube of the scope can easily fit onto the rifle; most rings are 1-inch or 30-millimeter models.

Zeroing in:

After you are done adjusting your scope and successfully mounting it on your rifle, your next job is to adjust the range of the scope to zero. Adjusting the range to zero means that you adjust the distance as well as the target. This helps the bullet land close to your aim.

Furthermore, we suggest that you do so while your rifle is in a static position. Adjusting the range to zero at a static position allows you to have precise aim, making sure that it doesn’t move at all and make you lose your aim.

Choose the best rifle scope, mount it on your rifle, adjust the range, and you will have the perfect aim for your target.

Aligning the Reticle: 

The reticle, or crosshairs, is the pointer through which you aim for your target. It focuses on two crossbars, one horizontal and one vertical, and the center point is the reticle.

The reticle point can sometimes be just where the crosshairs meet, or it could be indicated by a red dot. Either way, both visuals indicate where your bullet should hit.

Eye Relief:

If you are not an amateur shooter, you probably think about eye relief. It is extremely important while you are shooting to draw your eye back from the scope when ready to shoot.

What does this accomplish? First of all, it allows you to get a complete picture of your target, making it clearer to take the shot. It also prevents you from getting your eye smacked by the scope. 

Presently, when you can alter among them and you’re happy with your vision, guarantee to fix the rings alongside the screws. 

Scope Trial: 

You may have learned almost everything about your scope from the owner’s manual, or you may have used this article to become more acquainted with it. Either way, you should have a good idea of the different features of a rifle scope. 

If your scope has a variable force focal point, you can pick between various degrees of amplification. For instance, if you had a model number that is "4-16 x 36,” you can modify it from four to sixteen, and the number 36 here determines the width of your focal point.

Once everything is set up, you can choose to try out your settings at a range or safe outdoor space. 


After following the steps outlined in this article, you should be ready to shoot. One last but important thing to know is to take your time. Do not rely on high magnification to get your shot.  If you take your time and make sure that you can see your target well, you should be able to hit it. Continued practice will strengthen your skill both in adjusting the scope and shooting. 


As you practice and make more of your shots, your confidence will grow which will be quite useful in a competition. The thing to remember is that the right scope adjusted the correct way can help you hit your target, whether you have one of the best rifles in the world or one that is subpar. 


I'm Mike, an outdoor adventurest. This is my hobby site. I write about things that I'm interested in. Lately my interest has been optics. I spend most of my time outside. Periodically, I blog about what I'm doing. Send me a message if you ever have any questions.