08 Nov

>Riflescope Tracking

Steven K. Ledin,


I got an email the other day about a customer who bought an inexpensive riflescope and wanted to return it because it wouldn’t “shoot a box”. Shooting a box is a good test of riflescope tracking. Here’s how I do it. Sight in in the center of a large target. The target should also have aiming points in each of the four corners some distance away. My aiming points are 10 inches away from each other. When you’re sighted in, move your elevation turret 10 inches up, or forty clicks on a 1/4 minute scope. Aiming at the lower left aiming point, shoot a three or five shot group. Your group should be centered on the upper left aiming point. Now, still aiming on the lower left aiming point, move your windage turret 10 inches right and shoot a group. Then move elevation down 10 inches and shoot, then windage left 10 inches and shoot. You should have a group in each of the corners, without moving your point of aim from the lower left aiming point. There are as many variations of this as you can think of. Good scopes will move the appropriate amount each time. Inexpensive scopes will not do this.

If you want your $100.00 scope to shoot a box, here’s how to do it. Sell it and use the money to replace it with a scope that costs several times as much. Simple. Don’t expect a cheap scope to do this. It may do it a bit at a time, or go too far, or exhibit any number of quirks.

This being said, if your scope won’t shoot a box, so what? Most people will only be concerned with their scope holding zero which is more important. Cheap scopes work fine if mounted properly and sighted in correctly. They are rarely moved too much, if at all, except for different ammo or conditions. Your scope does not have to shoot a box to be useful and practical.

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