6 Common Rifle Scope Problems

When shooting at long range distances one of the things that every rifleman needs is a good scope. Having a great scope will let you hit your targets with ease, but the scope itself can cause you some problems too. If the scope has not been properly attached, adjusted, or sighted your shooting or point of impact will be off.

There are a few specific rifle scope problems that can cause your shooting to be inaccurate. Here we have listed the most common problems and the adequate solutions to them.

1. Scope Shift

One of the biggest problems with rifle scopes is scope shift. This phenomenon is also known as POI or point of impact shift. The point of impact refers to the relationship between where the shooter is aiming through the scope and where the bullet impacts. When the bullet impacts at a different place than you were actually aiming at there is a problem with the POI relationship between sighting and impact. This problem is usually not caused by the scope itself, but by the user and the lack of proper sighting.
The best way to solve the problem of scope shift is to sight your rifle again using the proper sighting technique to correctly line up the barrel and point of impact with the scope. This is a problem often experienced by beginner shooters and people who have bought a new scope and have not sighted it properly. To make it easy you can just look up a step by step guide on how to sight your rifle scope.

2. The Parallax Problem

Another common problem that causes scope shift and the point of impact to be off is the parallax factor. Once again this error usually has nothing to do with the scope itself or even the sighting, but it actually has to do with the way that the shooter is aiming as well as the way the scope AO wheel has been set.

Parallax has to do with the line of sight that you are following and the difference in the perception of the placement of the target in correlation with the line of sight. Looking from a slightly different line of sight will cause the target to appear to be in a slightly different position and ultimately will make your shooting be off.

Some people may think that twisting the AO wheel will be enough to correct this issue, but the parallax problem actually has 3 different parts. Things that can affect the parallax include the reticle, the target, and the line of sight between you and the target.

A decent scope should be able to correct this problem for you automatically, however the only real thing that you can do to correct the parallax problem is to adjust your line of sight and the way in which you look through the scope. This may take some trial and error to accomplish. You can also examine the reticle to see if it has not been damaged or warped which would also make the parallax problem occur.

3. Shooting Different Distances

Another problem that can cause a shift in the point of impact in the comparison to the line of sight is shooting at different distances. The elevation and the scope centering ill have to be adjusted depending on the distance at which you are shooting at.

Sighting a scope to be accurate at 50 yards will not mean that the scope is accurate for all distances. For instance if your scope is sighted for 50 yards, when shooting at 100 yards the shots will fall slightly low. A general rule is that you need to sight your scope slightly high for short distances if you also want it to be accurate at longer ranges and the longer the range you are shooting at the higher you will have to sight the scope at shorter distances.

4. The Spring Gun Problem

This is a problem that usually only occurs with guns or rifles that contain sensitive springs within the main components and it’s generally caused by the way that the rifle is held. These springs are very delicate and sensitive which means that the shooting point of impact can be greatly affected when changing from long range to short range shots. Often when shooting at close range the grouping can be off by a few inches due to the intense vibrations that occurs in the springs when shooting.

If you have a rifle with a spring you are going to want to find a holding style that keeps the rifle as steady as possible. You may want to look up different gripping techniques so you can find a way to hold the spring rifle as steady as possible to combat the spring vibrations. Spring guns are fairly old school so another way to solve this problem is by not using a spring rifle.

5. Elevation

Another factor that can cause scope shift and make the point of impact be off is when the elevation of the rifle scope is set too high. When the elevation is set too high, the erector tube where the reticle is etched and attached can move slightly and this can create a sensation that the target is floating.

The reason that this happens is because the tension in the erector tube becomes too relaxed when the elevation is set higher than it should be. This causes the erector tube to not be able to firmly hold the springs and adjusted action screw and ultimately this causes the point of impact to shift. This is a very simple problem to fix because all you need to do is to set the elevation on the reticle to be lower.

6. Attachment Issues

One of the most basic problems that could be causing your shooting to be off is because the scope may not have been properly attached. Having the scope mounted crookedly will of course cause your shooting to be off. To solve this problem make sure that you have followed all instructions to the tee when attaching your scope to the rifle. You can also use a bore sight to make sure that the scope and barrel are properly lined up.


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