How to Zero a Scope without Firing

Handling a rifle is no walk in the park. You got to be a pro to do that. But don’t you think that every pro was once a beginner?

So, what is the parameter to judge the level of professionalism when administering the rifle?


It is zero scoping without shooting any rounds. Believe it or not but experts do know how to zero a scope without firing.

This is one of the major differences, which can let you contrast between a noob and a proficient.

So, if you want to know the tricks, then this article is meant to help you out.

Things to Keep in Mind

Before you begin, you have to take into account a few things, such as:

Is The Scope Mounted?

One of the first things you have to do is to ensure that your scope is mounted. Why is this important? It is because it helps you to take the correct aim.

Remember, no matter how expensive your rifle is, if it is not mounted correctly, then it is entirely useless. And then there is no way you can look through the scope. Therefore, make sure you do it and without messing up your rifle’s precision.

Get a Bullseye Target

How are you going to find that your scope is perfectly zeroed if you don’t have an immovable target to compare your adjustments?

Of course!

You just cannot count on something that would change its direction because, in that way, you wouldn’t be sure whether you are doing the right thing.

This is why it is important that you set the bullseye target a few yards away from your rifle’s current position. The most recommended distances are between 25 yards to 200 yards.

Bullseye is the first choice; however, if you cannot find it anywhere, then take a paper, draw a point to be targeted, and use it to do the same work.

Find a Good Laser

A good laser is a boon, especially if you want to zero a scope without using your ammunition as quickly as possible. It is one of the suggested gadgets you must acquire if you want to become a pro at shooting.

However, you can also consider a scope that has a built-in laser. Most of the rifle scopes of 500 dollars have this feature.

As a shooter, you can finely adjust your rifle’s scope before the reticle coats the laser on the entire bullseye.

Stabilize Your Rifle’s Position

At last, make sure you have placed the rifle in a position, where nothing can move your gun even to an inch.

Don’t forget that the slightest of malposition would make you do the entire thing again, as you will be put off the target.

This is one of the most important things to consider before performing zeroing your scope.

If you haven’t purchased your rifle scope yet, read this review.

Pre-Zeroing Things-to-Do

So before you finally zero your scope, there are two important things you must do, such as:

Installing the Scope Properly

Your scope is the main player in this game, so make sure that it is installed wisely. Installing a rifle scope is not a hard job, as it may seem.

All you need are good tools, such as:

  • Screwdriver bits
  • Torque wrench
  • Blue Loctite
  • Bubble levels
  • Manual or electronic caliper
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cleaning patches

Now begin the installation process by removing any oil from the receiver by using cleaning patches soaked in the rubbing alcohol.

This will help the Loctite to cure in the right way. Now screw the rings to the bases but don’t be harsh on tightening the screws at this point.

Once you are assured that all the parts of your rifle scope are fine, it is time to adjust the levels. Use the calipers to see the elevation.

Once your rifle is leveled up, then it’s time that you tighten all the rings gently to grip the scope level.

Now fix the scope and carry your rifle to check if it’s aligned equally. You can use bubble levels to get help. Now leave the rifle for at least a night to let Loctite cure itself.

Make Adjustments

Approach your rifle the next day to check if the scope is still installed in the same way.

Sometimes, there is a possibility of getting changes in the adjustments, that’s why it is recommended to recheck your work.

Use bubble levels and wrench to assess the levels. Once you are satisfied, now tighten those screws and get ready to zero your scope.

Zeroing Your Scope without Firing – Step by Step Guide

After tightening all those screws and making fine adjustments finally, you have reached the main area of your concern. To zero a scope without pulling the trigger requires patience and focus.

So make sure you don’t miss any step.

Step 1 – Placing Your Target

bullseye and target

Remember, you have been told at the beginning of this article to get a bullseye. So this is where you are going to need it.

As already discussed the recommended range, therefore, now place your bullseye on the distance, which comes in the suggested range.

However, most people prefer keeping the target just 100 yards away from their rifle’s position, so if they need any changes or adjustments in the bullseye, then they can approach quickly.

25 yards is also an option, but if you have a huge area to test your scope, then it is better to place your target at least 100 yards away.

Step 2 – Correct Placement of Your Rifle

use rifle mount

Covered a few points above about how important is to fix the position of your rifle, so it is time to practically implement all the theories. So, begin this step by setting your rifle on the mount to make sure it is in a stable position.

If you are missing the mount, then there are other things you can use to perform the same task.

Like you can keep books beneath your rifle, or you can even use your jacket because the main objective here is to mount your rifle, and for that, you need to give your gun something to rest on.

However, it is always suggested to have mounted. The logic behind doing all this stuff is to eliminate user error to get better results.

Read Also: Top Scopes Under $400

Step 3 – Embed Laser

buy a laser

Now expecting that you would have already bought a laser for your rifle, now it’s time to insert the laser sight on your gun. But before you get a laser, try to see the type of laser-fit your rifle has.

On some rifles, the laser is attached at the edge of the barrel, whereas, on others, the laser is fixed in the chamber of your gun, as you do it for the bullets.

Turn the laser on after installing it and ensure that the laser dot is in the center of your target/bullseye.

One of the biggest benefits of using lasers with your rifles is that it helps you to give an accurate location of your bullet’s final destination once you have made a shot.

Consequently, it is the best way to zero your rifle scope without shooting.

Step 4 – Equaling Reticle

Equaling Reticle

The final step to this entire process is to settle your scope with the target point of the reticle and equalize it with the laser dot which you can see on the bullseye.

Great job! It’s all done now. You have successfully zeroed your scope without firing.

Other Way Around

The above-mentioned steps are also called visual boresighting and laser boresighting. But to ensure that the entire process becomes simple, you have been told the entire procedure by four easy steps.

Nevertheless, there are two other ways to zero your scope without opening fire.

Crosshair Adjustment

In this method, you pay attention to the end of your rifle’s barrel and then adjust the optical bore sighter on it.

Moreover, you also assure that the lens is in harmony with the scope.

Lastly, you go through the lens grid and adjust the crosshair in order to match the grid.

The Magnet Way

Despite numerous benefits, using magnets to zero a scope without shooting bullets is still unpopular.

However, if you are a person who is not comfortable in using lasers, or you are afraid to do major experiments with the body or chamber of your gun, and then this can be your way to do the thing.

All you need to do is to fix the magnet bore sighter with your rifle’s muzzle by using powerful magnets.

What’s the Biggest Advantage of Zeroing Your Scope without Using any Bullets?

Well! If you look closely, the answer lies in the question itself. One of the most prominent advantages of zeroing scope without firing is that you save a lot of bucks by not wasting bullets.

Zeroing your scope is nothing fancy if you are doing it in the right way. All the ways on how to do this job accurately can be followed.

Nevertheless, it is recommended to pursue the step-by-step guide. Also, try to have all the equipment before going for the main procedure if you wish to get quick and great results.

It is essential to bear in mind that practice is the key, so don’t give up because this is a great way to save your ammo.

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