Tired of losing zero and lackluster performance from your high-dollar scope? It’s likely simple user errors holding you back. We’ll explore the top 10 common mistakes sabotaging precision and how to fix them for unmatched accuracy.
Follow these tips to get the most out of your optics. Outshoot the competition and fill tags confidently even at long range. Step up your scope game and stop flushing money downrange.
(Reading Time: 4-6 Minutes)
1. Botched Mounts - Say Goodbye to Solid Zero
A scope is only as accurate as its mounting setup. Loose rings, mismatched bases and poor alignment ruin consistency.
Build a rock solid foundation by:
- Torquing rings to spec with a quality scope mount torque wrench.
- Using manufacturer recommended bases matched to your rifle.
- Setting proper ring spacing for your scope length.
Take the time to mount your optic correctly or accuracy will suffer.
2. Incorrect Eye Relief - Risk Pain and Poor Sight Picture
Proper eye relief distance is crucial. Position too close and recoil may cause a painful scope eye injury. Too far and you sacrifice optical visibility.
Dial in ideal eye relief by:
- Starting further back and moving forward while looking through the scope. Quality recoil pads help.
- Finding the sweet spot with full sight picture before blackout. Scopes like Pinty's 4x32 have generous eye relief up to 1.5”.
- Accounting for factors like glasses that alter fit over time.
With eye relief set right, rapid target acquisition is easy. Ignore it and struggle to see clearly.
3. Leave Zeroing to the Pros? Big Mistake
Skipping sight-in altogether is an all too common novice error. Without zeroing at your normal distances, consistent hits are impossible.
Follow basic zeroing steps:
- Fire from solid benches or shooting bags. Eliminate instability.
- Start at 25 yards, confirm at 100 yards for a dead-on baseline zero.
- Fire 3-5 round groups, adjusting optics after each volley. A Pinty laser bore sighter can speed up the process.
Zeroed optics perform. Half-hearted sight-in efforts do not. Take the time to zero properly.
4. Overestimating Abilities - How Ego Breeds Missed Shots
Attempting unrealistic distances without sufficient skills leads to missed shots. Stay within your limits by:
- Mastering accuracy at short range first before reaching farther.
- Using a high quality rangefinder for precise distance estimates. No guessing.
- Understanding your rifle and ammo ballistics and holdover needs.
- Studying your scope's optimal use cases and specs. Don’t overextend.
Pursue training to expand your shooting envelope over time.
5. Magnification Mistakes - When Bigger Isn't Better
While high zoom optics have their place, excess magnification causes issues for many. Higher power amplifies:
- Movement and instability. Hold drift increases.
- Effects of wind, mirage and environmental factors.
- Apparent loss of sight picture brightness as light transmission reduces.
- Match zoom to intended use case and typical range expected.
- Increase power slowly until target details become clear. Avoid unnecessary maxing.
- Reduce magnification if conditions create visibility issues.
Skill outweighs magnification. Optimize zoom for your situation.
6. Preventable Negligence - Lens Smudges and Scratches
Leaving optics exposed leads to problematic dust, debris and scratches over time. Make it a habit to:
- Replace covers when moving positions. Scope with quality flip caps make lens protection convenient.
- Use outer bags or cases for added protection in the field.
- Inspect lenses regularly and clean as needed. Use a lens pen to safely remove smudges.
Treat glass right to maintain visibility. Prevent frustrating damage with simple diligence.
7. Unsure of Bullet Holdover - Leave Guessing Out of Long Shots
Estimating holdover incorrectly leads to missed steel and wounded game. Understand your rifle's arc by:
- Referencing BDC(Bullet Drop Compensating) holdover dots on scopes like Pinty's.
- Printing custom ballistic charts tailored to your preferred loads.
- Learning MOA/mrad hold points using mill-marked reticles.
With practice, determine precise holdover and remove estimation errors from long-range success.
8. Damaging Turret Adjustments - Live By The Click
Poor turret practices damage repeatability. Follow tips like:
- Adjust only a few clicks per group while zeroing. Small incremental changes avoid overcorrection.
- Reset turrets to zero after sighting in without disturbing established zero.
- Use locking features on tactical turrets like Pinty's to avoid shifts.
Learn your turrets intricacies for effective use. Smooth adjustments optimize accuracy.
9. Neglected Optics Deteriorate Quickly
Lack of care shortens lifespan and reduces clarity. Avoid deterioration by:
- Keeping lenses clean using pens and non-abrasive cloths. Dust kills visibility.
- Checking rings/bases for proper torque before each use. Tighten if needed.
- Lubricating stiff adjustment turrets sparingly with gun oil.
- Control Moisture. It kills optics as fast as other gun components and Ammo. Try adding a Desicant pouch or dehumidifyer to your strorage.
Don’t cut corners on basic scope maintenance. Invest a few seconds to keep your optics performing like new.
10. Improper Ammunition - Match Your Loads
Using mismatched ammunition stresses components and causes damage over time. Always:
- Verify your scope can handle your rifle's recoil force and cartridge pressures.
- Avoid magnum or hot loads in lightweight firearms not designed for added recoil.
Pairing scopes and ammunition properly prevents unnecessary repairs or replacements down the road.
Master Proper Techniques to Unlock Your Optic's Potential
With common errors avoided, you can get the most out of your rifle scope. Invest in quality optics, mounts and rings. Practice solid fundamentals tailored to your shooting purpose. A few simple techniques go a long way towards consistent accuracy and precision.