Updated On May 18, 2020

How To Adjust A Rifle Scope Up And Down?

There are numerous types of weapons in the market. Some are effective for short-range targets like shotguns, while others are easy to carry like pistols. You may also find weapons like crossbows that are specifically made for hunting. One of these weapons is rifles. Rifles are wonderful weapons for long-range targets. They are highly accurate and destroys the target effectively. However, the efficiency of these weapons largely depends on the scope.

Multiple factors affect the efficiency and quality of the scope. There are physical factors like the quality of the scope, which can affect the shot by a huge margin. Of course, you can solve that issue by buying a high-quality scope for the rifle. However, there are factors, which depends a lot on your skills of using the scope. These skills largely determine whether the bullet will hit the target or not. The only way to improve these skills is to practice with your weapon.

Moreover, it is necessary to learn the correct method of adjusting the scope. Therefore, in this blog, we have shared the correct way to adjust the scope of the rifle. So, without further delay, let us start with them.


Before adjusting the scope, you must know that the bullet does not move in a straight path. Yes, that means if you aim for a point ‘A,’ then the bullet will hit a little lower than the point. Bullets always move in a parabolic path, which is simple physics. This section was added to this blog, to explain to you that you must aim little higher than your original target.

Mil or thou

This is a unit that you must have heard if you are an experienced shooter. However, let us discuss the unit if you are not aware of it. 1 mil is a unit of length, which is also equal to 0.0001 inches. This unit is a large unit in the scopes of the rifles to locate the target from the centre. Since most shooters use this term, we are going to use this unit only to explain the adjustment.

Adjust the rifle up and down

Let us imagine a target on board as ‘A.’ Now, let us say that you aimed your rifle through the scope. Yes, here your rifle is at a stationary position. After aiming, you observed that the target is 1 Mil upward. Therefore, you want it 1 thou downward, and on the centre of the scope.

Yes, you can move the scope upward and downward by the turret. However, in which direction? The answer is in a clockwise direction to move it downward and in anti-clockwise direction to move it upward.

What is a windage turret?

It is a part of the scope of rifle that changes the sight horizontally. The turrets can be twisted to change the direction of sight in the scope. So, how to use it? If we talk about a standard rifle, then the turret on the left changes the sight horizontally. You can also say that it moves the sight towards left or right. Therefore, to move your sight horizontally, you must use the windage turret.

Other factors

Two other factors can affect your shot by a huge margin. They are as important as a windage turret. So, what are they? Let us discuss.


Do you remember, we told you that bullet travels in the parabolic path? Yes, you do, then it must be obvious that the angle of the bullet is important. Elevation of a bullet is the angle of the bullet with the vertical axis. You can easily change it by the elevation turret. At present, there are numerous types of elevation turrets in the market. Some move up to 1 inch by 1 click, while others move an inch by a half click. Therefore, you must change the elevation as per your turret. The elevation turret is located on the top of the scope.

The second factor is Parallax. Though, you will find this feature only in advanced or modern scopes. Irrespective of that, it is an automatic feature in the riflescope, that cannot be changed.

One common mistake by beginners is that they fail to identify between an elevation turret and windage turret. Therefore, you have to remember that the turret located on the top moves the sight upwards. On the other hand, the turret on the left moves the sight towards the left. This makes it much easier to identify between the two turrets.

What are major parts of a rifle?

A rifle has three major parts. They are mentioned as follows.

  • Action: This part loads the ammunition, fires the ammunition and removes the fired cartilage.
  • The stock: This is the part that is held by the shooter. It is extremely necessary to have a good-quality stock, as it determines your grip on the rifle.
  • Barrel: This is a long cylindrical hollow part of the gun, through which the bullet leaves the gun. To make sure that the barrel works properly, you have to clean it frequently.

Tips for using a rifle

It’s loaded!

No matter who gives you the rifle, you must always assume that the rifle is loaded with bullets. Yes, you can relax after you have verified it by yourself.

Think, then shoot

It is always recommended to have your finger off the trigger. Why? Well, there are chances that you pull the trigger unconsciously, that can affect your target, especially when you are hunting. Therefore, keep your finger on the trigger guard until you have decided to shoot.

Wrap up

In this blog, we have discussed various methods to adjust the scope of your rifle. We have also discussed the basic difference between an elevation turret and windage turret. Now, you can easily identify the turrets while shooting.

However, it is highly recommended to practice with your rifle, before actually aiming the real target. Also, do make sure that you keep the rifle away from your children. One way to keep them away is to use a gun safe. It is also recommended to keep the gun unloaded and locked when you are not using it. 

Categories Hunting

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