Some shooters prefer to holdover, some shooters prefer to dial dope. Whichever method you prefer, if you compete in precision rifle racegun type matches like the Precision Rifle Series, the time will come where you will have to dial for either elevation or for windage on some stages in order to make the impacts.
Yes holdover is faster, and preferred if you shoot a stage where there are many difference positions and different distance targets to shoot in a short time, but the elevation Dope does not always correspond with reticle hash marks. Then there are also movers, where you often have to consider wind also in your calculation of lead, and in this scenario, it often helps to dial the wind, so that you can hold the same lead in both directions of the mover.
Scope Adjustment: Which way to turn, left or right?
This largely depends on your specific scope, as they do differ, but most often, turning the scope elevation turret to the right, or counter-clockwise, will move the reticle down so your point of aim is higher when shooting further distances. Any scope will have an arrow which indicates which direction to turn the turret to shoot higher up.
When adjusting scope, why does the reticle crosshair move down if you want to aim up? All right so maybe you’ve been out to the range and you’ve noticed that when you dial something in your turrets the reticle seems to move in the opposite direction as indicated by the direction on the turrets. So for example you’ve dialed in the upward direction but your reticle is actually physically moving down or you’ve dialed in the left direction your reticle physically moves to the right and so on and so forth.
Now it’s important to consider that actually the reticle and turrets are doing what they’re supposed to do when you are adjusting scope, although is may feel that your scope adjustments backwards. This is to dial our bullets point of impact not our point of aim so in order to think this way we really want to think what is happening downrange on our target and not what’s happening inside of our scopes tube. If we think of what’s happening downrange on our target and in this case we’ve drawn a three shot group that’s two MOA down and two MOA away to the left if we’re thinking in terms of what’s happening on here we could go to our turrets and all we’d have to do is dial two MOA to the right and two MOA up because this is exactly where we want our bullets to go. We want our bullets to be impacting on the target two MOA to the right and two MOA up from where they were impacting before and if we dial it in to our turrets we should be right on the bullseye. Now really it should just be as simple as that but for some of us we understand that we want to understand why it moves in the opposite direction?
Well let’s consider this for a moment, when we shot a three shot group we would have been putting our reticle on the center bull’s-eye, we always want to hit the center bull’s eye and that’s where we zero. So we aim our reticle right there now our barrel the example case we’re shooting a three shot group two MOA low and two MOA to the left, this clearly isn’t in alignment with our reticle. At this point this is all part of the zeroing process, usually your rifle scope isn’t perfectly zero to where your barrel is pointing right out the box that’s why we have to zero it and move our reticle around to where they’re both matched up together. So we need to get our barrel and our reticle pointed in the exact same place so that we can be zero. So our reticle is actually physically going to have to move downward and physically going to have to move to the left for then match up to where our barrel is pointed.
Now if the barrel is pointed low and to the left but because we want to shoot the center bull’s eye, what do we have to do then to get ourselves back on to the center bull’s eye with our point of aim with our reticle we need to because the rifle is connected to our rifle scope via rings it’s a hard mount we need to move our whole rifle with our scope on top of it up to the right and up which is where we wanted it to start shooting in the first place. To then get our reticle back on the center bull’s eye now when we pull the trigger we’re going to be making a three shot group right there on the centered bull’s eye so all we had to do was dial our turrets to the right and up because that’s where we wanted our bullets to go. It was all happening behind the scenes and what we really don’t want to get ourselves too confused with is that the reticle was moving down into the left to meet up with our barrel, and then we moved our whole firearm system, our gun and our scope attached together we moved those up into the right to hit dead on center bull’s eye. That’s why it seems like your reticle is moving opposite to what you’re doing with your turrets. Really once we get ourselves out of that frame of mind where we’re thinking about our reticles’ point of aim we’re actually thinking about what’s happening on the target then it’ll make a lot more sense and we can make our dials without all that confusion. Hopefully this helps.
What is a scope turret?
The turrets are what the rifle scope adjustment knobs are called.
Scope elevation adjustment maxed out
If this happens, you can hold over on the reticle hash marks below the cross hair that correspond with the further adjustment. If however you need that extra adjustment often, like for instance with long range shooting, then you can change you picatinny rail that your scope rings are mounted to, to a one that is sloped 10 MOA, 20 MOA or 30 MOA, that automatically gives your that additional corresponding adjustment up from the new zero. There are also scope rings and mounts that have slope built in if you prefer not to change the picatinny rail.
There are even advancements like an adjustable incline scope mount, but personally I do not think they are accurate enough yet to be used for extreme long range shooting.
How to fix a scope that wont adjust?
Often if the scope adjustment becomes stuck, just a few taps on top of the turret should loosen it up again. If that does not do it, it will need to be send back to the manufacturer for repair or replacement.
How to adjust a Vortex scope?
Vortex scopes adjust just like any other manufacturer, usually just by turning the turrets in the desired direction. There are some Vortex scopes like the Strike Eagle that have locking turrets that prevent accidental adjustment and they need to be unlocked before adjusting, usually by just lifting the turret.