Your rifle scope is zeroed when the crosshairs of the scope are adjusted to be perfectly aligned with the rifle so that when the gun is fired, the bullet will travel exactly where the crosshairs are pointing. Most scopes come with a pre-set factory zero.
However, many shooters start making adjustments right after unboxing their brand-new optic, only to find they have lost zero! In this post, we’ll teach you exactly how to reset a scope to factory zero.
What Is A Factory Zero?
When you first purchase a night vision scope to hunt coyotes, you might be eager to start making adjustments. Shooters after play with the windage and elevation adjustments to try and get an understanding of their new scope. However, this is a quick way to lose your factory zero.
Factory zero is when both the elevation and windage turret is perfectly centered in the ‘optical center’ of your scope. But, how do I reset my particular scope to factory zero?
Steps To Reset A Scope To Factory Zero
In order to get your thermal scopes for hog hunting to reset to factory zero, you will need just two pieces of equipment.
- Your Rifle Scope
- A Mirror
The mirror method is the best & fastest way to return your scope to factory zero and get the reticle in the correct position. Say you have a 300 Win Mag scope, start by following these steps:
- Grab your scope tube and place it against the mirror.
- Make sure the front objective is sitting flush against the mirror.
- If your scope is out of ‘factory zero’ then you will see a double image of the reticle.
- Make adjustments until you see just one reticle and it is optically centered. If your reticle is off horizontally, make a windage adjustment. If your scope is vertically off, make an elevation adjustment. Knowing which way to turn a scope is very important!
Another popular tactic is the counting method. I will say this is probably not as accurate.
- Take the caps off your adjustment knobs.
- Turn your turrets all the way clockwise or counter-clockwise.
- Then slowly turn each turret the opposite direction while counting clicks until you can’t turn anymore.
- Divide the number of clicks by 2 to find the optical center.
The truth is that this method can take time. Oftentimes I lose count after just a few clicks! Maybe that is just my poor attention to detail. Regardless, this is an option for a shooter that does not have access to a mirror.
Why Is A Factory Zero Helpful?
To some shooters, it might seem odd that anyone would want to set their scope to factory zero. After all, you don’t need to achieve factory zero before zeroing your 450 bushmaster or other types of scopes!
- Used Scopes – If you just bought a used scope from a pawn or gun shop, some shooters may want to reset their factory zero before sighting in their rifle.
- Repurpose Your Scope – Another popular reason to factory zero your scope is that you want to replace your optic. If you plan to swap out scopes and use this optic on another weapon, ensuring your scope is optically centered makes things easier.
A Word Of Warning
Just because your scope is set to ‘factory zero’ does not mean it’s calibrated for your need! You will still need to take the time to zero your scope to the particular distance you plan on shooting from.
After mounting your scope, it is important to zero your rifle scope every time you use it, as it ensures that the rifle scope is properly calibrated and that the scope is properly aligned with the firearm.
This is especially important when using the rifle for hunting, as a misaligned scope could cause you to miss the target or even injure yourself.
And if you have a hard time getting your optic zeroed, your scope might be broken! Send it back to the manufacturer if this happens to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why can't I zero my scope?
What magnification should I zero my scope at?
Why does my scope run out of adjustment?
How many inch pounds Should I tighten my scope rings?
The Bottom Line
Now you know the best method to set your rifle scope to factory zero. There are other options like the counting method & using a laser bore sight, but the mirror method works best! Remember, make adjustments in just one direction at a time until you have your reticle centered perfectly. Let us know if you have any questions.