How To Zero A Scope For 308 – 101 guides

Congratulations on snagging a scope for your .308 rifle. There is no better way to shoot these kinds of rounds with a scope that can reach out and touch something from an impressive distance. Of course, you’re going to have to install it before putting it to good use (if you haven’t done so already, stop right here and come back once you have done so).

Did you install your scope yet? Good. Now there’s one more thing you have to do in order for it to function properly. You have to zero it in. But not to worry, we will shot you how to get it done step by step. By the time you’re finished, you probably won’t need to rely on this guide anymore (which is OK, we guess. But, we’d appreciate it if you bookmarked this just in case you need a reference guide).

Having said all of this, let’s begin with this process by taking a look at the first step.

This may sound a bit tedious since you may have already installed the scope yourself. But rest assured, it never hurts to check again and again so you know for sure that the scope is properly installed and perfectly aligned. If all looks good, then there is a good chance you did indeed find the right mount that fits your scope. If not, then maybe you didn’t pay attention at some point during the selection process regarding a mount, scope, or both.

Gather Some Targets For Test Shooting

So the next question is: what do I use for target practice? The answer is a no-brainer: paper targets are probably the best choice in regards to finding the right kind of targets needed for test shooting. Once you have a stack handy, you can set them up at various distances. You can set them up in sequences of 25 yards (25, 50, 75, and so on).

Start Out Short

Now the real fun begins. You can finally fire off your rounds for the purpose of testing and zeroing in your scope. The key here is that you need to start out at the shortest distance and work your way out farther.

Starting out in the reverse order is not only silly, but it will make zeroing it in so much more difficult (and pointless, considering you can hit something at long range when it’s really not zeroed in). 

First things first, start shooting at your target closest to you. The distance should be at least 25 yards. Take a few shots and make sure they are landing on the bullseye or close to it. Once you are able to do it consistently at that distance, then you move on to the next target.

Go Long(er)

At this point, it’s pretty much the same. From 25 yards, you will then need to move to the target that is farther up. In this case, you move to the target that is situated 50 yards out. Then you repeat the process.

Get your shots in and make sure they consistently land near or on the bullseye. If some of them are off, that’s OK. Just be consistent with your shots. Once you are comfortable with the accuracy at that distance, you work your way up to 75 yards. Then 100 yards. If you want, you can go as far out as 200 yards. In fact, 200 yards should probably be the max zero in distance.

Tips For Zeroing A Scope For Your .308

Don’t Be Afraid To Make Adjustments

Not everything is going to be dead-on perfect when you are in the process of zeroing in your scope. If the windage and elevation appear a bit off, then you may want to consider utilizing the knobs that come along with your scope. Play around with it until you are able to get it in the perfect position. These adjustments really do come in handy if you believe the shots appear off.

Know How Far You Can Go

This will depend on your application of choice. Each of them will give you a highly recommended max distance. If you are looking to do some hunting, your scope will depend on how far out you want to go. Some of them can cover short to mid-range while some others can go long beyond 500 yards or more. However, a good hunting scope is perfect when it’s able to reach 300 yards or so. If you intend to target shoot both casually and in a competitive setting, 100 to 200 yards might just be sufficient.

Consider Your Scopes Abilities

Let’s face it, not every scope is created to be equal. Some go long distance, others won’t. That’s a simple way to explain them. While purchasing your scope, you need to know its abilities such as how far it can be able to go. For example, you need to know how far the scope’s max distance is for hunting varmint or coyotes. That way, you can zero it in appropriately so you can hit your targets at the max distance if and when necessary.

Know That “Too Much” Is Not Always Bad

What we mean by this is based on two things: there is no such thing as having too many shots and there is no such thing as having too many targets. You can have a large amount of either or both and be able to put them to good use. Without them, how are you going to sight in your scope anyway? If you have plenty of rounds and targets to work with, that’s good enough for you. However, if you have one of each then you obviously need enough to get you through a decent test session.

Know Where The Shots Go

After you shoot off as many rounds as possible, you really need to know where exactly they land. This way, you can make adjustments if needed so you can know exactly where they are going long before you’ve even pulled the trigger. If you are hitting them exactly where you are aiming, then that’s a pretty good sign that everything is perfect in terms of settings. Speaking of perfect, let’s talk about that right now.

Never Settle For A Less Than Perfect Zero

This is where you really need to make perfection a priority. The scope needs to be perfectly aligned. The zero settings need to be perfect. Every shot needs to be accurate and dead on. And all you need to do is make sure that everything is perfect in the areas that matter. There is no room for the slightest error in this regard. If there is, make the appropriate adjustments.

Points to Remember

The more you know your scope, the better off you will be aware of any of the littlest of details about it. The following are a few additional points to help you become more aware of the scope’s functions so you can preserve it and keep using it for as long as possible:

  1. Be Aware Of The Climate

There are a good number of scopes that will be resistant to even the most extreme weather conditions. That’s all well and good if you choose one that will handle extreme heat and sub-zero cold without losing its zero in the process. However, there are some scopes that will have its zero settings effective if your scope is exposed to a specific temperature. It may also mean re-zeroing your scope in order to accommodate that weather condition as well.

2.Be Aware Of The Altitude

Yes, another environmental factor can play a role in your scope’s zero settings. This time, we’re talking about altitude. Altitude might affect the scope depending on how higher up you are. If you are above a certain height above sea level then you’re likely going to need to re-zero it in order for the scope to adjust properly to such an altitude. Your shots will be affected by the barometric pressure (which changes the higher you climb).

3. Modify If Necessary

Sometimes, modifications to your rifle may be needed for some reason or another. Once they have been completed, you might need to re-zero your scope since it will likely will be removed from the rifle itself prior to the modification process. Sometimes, removing your scope may result in a loss of zero depending on the scope, the mount, or both.

Final Thoughts

Zeroing in your scope can be easy if you know how to do it. You’ll pretty much get the hang of it each time you purchase a new scope. No matter which scope you wind up with, the zeroing in process is roughly the same. But once you are able to successfuly zero in a scope, you can enjoy the fruits of your scope’s labor however you so choose. That can come in the form of hitting your bullseyes constantly or nailing the perfect kill shot on your next hunt. Your .308 deserves an excellent scope, so find one that will be easy enough to zero in and forget it.