Learning how to zero in your new scope for your .308 can be fun to do. However, it can also be a challenge if you don’t know what you’re doing. Before you head out to the range to use it, you will l need to zero it in so that you will have the ability to hit your intended targets at the distance you desire. It is important to remember that no matter if you are hunting or target shooting, having both accuracy and precision at any distance is key for your success.
Make sure your scope is properly attached.
It should not take you too long to attach your scope to your rifle. Before heading out to the range it is a good idea to double check that you have done it correctly. Make sure that you have the proper scope mount. Mounts can be in either a single piece or rings. Choose the one that works best with your rifle and scope and allows you to mount the scope securely.
If you are not sure, it is always a good idea to ask for help. Your local gun shop is a wealth of information and they are happy to help.
Grab some paper targets
You will need paper targets for zeroing in your scope. It is a good idea to get paper targets that have grids on them. The grids will help you to know how far off your shots might be when you are taking the test shots. Having this information will help you to make the necessary adjustments for windage, elevation, and parallax.
Start at 25 yards.
The first step to zeroing your scope, is to start out at a short distance. An ideal distance is at around 25 yards. Then, start taking your shots at the paper target. Once you are able to consistently hit shots in and around the bullseye, you should begin by situating your targets at longer distances.
It is a good idea to fire 3-5 bullets in a row. Then examine the target and see how close you are to the bullseye. You can make adjustments once you see your results.
Try again at 25 yards. Once you are consistently hitting the bullseye, you can move your targets further back.
Move out to 50 yards
Once you have zeroed your rifle correctly at 25 yards, you should move back to 50 yards. Set up the paper targets and start the process over again. Fire 3-5 bullets at the target and take a look at how close (or far) you are from the bullseye.
Make the necessary adjustments, and then try again. Once you are consistently hitting the bullseye at 50 yards, you are ready to move back again.
Go back 100 yards
Now it becomes more interesting. If you intend to go long range shooting, it's time to start zeroing at longer distances. Now, you should have set your paper targets at 100 yards. Just as with the shorter distances, your goal is to consistently hit the bullseye. Fire 3 to 5 bullets at the target. Then go check. See how close you are or not to the bullseye, and then make the proper adjustments. Once you are able to do that consistently, you can even go back a bit farther up. For a .308 rifle, 200-300 yards is a good shooting distance.
Move to 200 yardsNow you can jump back to 200 yards and repeat the whole process. It may seem tedious, but it will be helpful when you are actually hunting.
Tips on Zeroing Your Scope
Look at your paper target. Maybe your shots a little bit high? Maybe they are too far to the left. If they are off, you’ll need to make the right adjustments. Remember that your windage adjustments are made from left to right and the elevation will be adjustments that go from up to down. For an example, if you’re shots are a little off to the right, then you simply make a quick windage adjustment to the left. Remember, most of the windage and elevation adjustments come in increments of ¼ MOA.They do not require big turns of the knobs.
Have your maximum distance in mind
Knowing how far you need to zero in your scope will depend on what your distance is. If you plan on doing target shooting or competitive shooting, you should be ok having your scope zeroed out to 100 yards. If you will be hunting, it might be beneficial to zero it to about 200 to 300 However, there are some .308s that can go quite far for long-range shooting. In that case, you can be able to zero in as far out as 1000 yards
Be familiar with your scope
It is helpful to remember that not all scopes are created equal. Keep in mind that not every scope will have the ability to reach farther distances. When you purchase a scope, keep in mind the maximum distance that it can reach. It is also important to know your maximum distance, too.
Bring extra ammo
It is important to realize that getting your zero requires a lot of shots. Be sure to pack and bring plenty of ammo with you. You should not rush or skimp on your zeroing. Take the time and make sure you are accurate at each distance. The time and energy spent accurately zeroing your scope, will be worth it in the end.
Along the same lines, make sure you have plenty of paper targets as well.
Check those shots
It is important to physically go and check your paper targets after firing a round. You need to see where to make adjustments. And you should continue to check your shots after each adjustment that you make.
Always make sure the area is clear, before going to retrieve a target.
Make sure the zero is perfect
This seems obvious, but make sure that your zero is perfect before moving on to the next distance. A slight error at 100 yards is a huge one at 1000 yards. Zeroing your scope is not a quick process, nor should it be. Be sure your shots are perfect before moving on.
Points to Remember
Once you have your scope perfectly zeroed, it may not always stay that way. There are a few factors that can interfere with your zero.
1.Significant change in temperature
If you zeroed your scope in August when it was hot and humid, but then didn’t go deer hunting until November, there is a change in temperature. The change in temperature directly affects the wood, metal, polymer of your scope and rifle. You should always rezero your scope for the type of weather you will be shooting in.
2.Change in altitude
The barometric pressure also affects bullet trajectory. If your scope was zeroed at sea level, expect that you will need to rezero it when shooting at higher altitudes.
3. Rifle modifications
Anytime you make any modifications to your rifle, you will need to find your zero again. Swapping out the muzzle, for example, will change the point of impact.
Knowing how to zero your scope for a .308 rifle is a necessary skill to have for any rifle owner. . Your new scope and your rifle need to work together seamlessly. You need to know how to zero in a scope so it’s effective and can reach your intended distance. You can do this by spending some time at the range or your favorite place to target practice.
Start by making sure that your new scope is properly attached to your rifle. Make sure that the mounting is secure and nothing is loose or wobbly. Then you need to get some paper targets and some ammo. Make sure that the targets you choose have some kind of grid on them. This will help you make adjustments.
Begin by zeroing at 25 yards. Once you are consistently hitting the bullseye here, you can move back a little bit further. Repeat the same process at 50 yards.
Now you can move out to 100 yards. Keep in mind that you may have to adjust your windage and elevation as you go along. Remember that windage is adjusted from left to right and elevation from up and down. After successfully zeroing at 100 yards, you can branch out even further.
Know what your maximum shooting distance will be, and zero out to that.It may seem time consuming or a waste of ammo. But nothing could be further from the truth. Making sure that your scope is properly zeroed, will bring you greater enjoyment when you hit the range.
Remember that the whole point of zeroing your scope is to align your point-of-impact with your point-of-aim. Anytime your mount a new scope to your rifle you will need to repeat this process.
However, a properly zeroed scope will bring you lots of enjoyment on the range or in the field.