How to zero your scope with only four shots

Published on 03 July 2020
Author: Adrien Koutny
Advice Target shooting
When shooting in the summertime, you need to check your scope is adjusted before considering that first outing to hunt buck or fox. We’d like to show you how to zero your rifle with just four rounds.

Shoot from 0 to about 200 metres

The adjustments specified in this article will allow you to shoot from 0 to about 200 metres, without needing to correct your shot.  The scope is adjusted to +4cm at 100 metres.  This difference, insignificant in a hunting context, lets you target the vital areas of an animal with full confidence.  Your bullet leaves the muzzle at -4cm, rises, passes +0cm, will be at +4cm at 100m before falling to +0cm (DLO).  It will fall further to -4cm at a distance depending on your gun and calibre, but between 160m and 220m.

Ensure you have the right tools for the job
To zero your rifle you need – preferably – a grid target, a marker and a ruler. You also need a gun rest, the best being a vice.

One more thing: it’s important to use the ammunition you expect to shoot this hunting season.

Know your equipment

Knowing your equipment is essential, first and foremost from an ethical point of view: a hunter who knows and understands his gun, ammunition and scope will stand a much lower chance of wounding an animal.  It is also essential when it comes to adjusting your scope before hunting.

Before zeroing your rifle, you should remove the turret caps of your scope and check that the clicks comply with American (M.O.A.) or European (Mils) standards.

Once you know the unit of measurement used by the clicks on your scope, refer to the corresponding column below:

Fire your three first shots

Set the target at a distance of 100 metres. Fire three bullets aiming at the centre of the target.  If you don’t hit the target, try at a shortened distance and make some corrective clicks.  Don’t spend too much time on this, just until your shots hit the target.

If your three shots are on the target, connect the hits to each other.  Draw the medians of these lines: where they intersect is the reference point for your corrections.

Take your marker and draw a point 4cm above the centre of the target.  You need to get your impact point as close as possible to the point you have drawn.

Calculate your clicks

To work out the exact number of clicks needed to hit the point you drew 4cm above the centre, you just need to divide the differences by the value in millimetres of your clicks at 100 metres.


I have a Kite Optics K6 2-12×50 scope where the clicks are in ¼ MOA graduations.

Once I have fired my first three shots, I can see that I’m 235mm too low and 127 mm too far to the left.

To make the height correction, I do the following calculation:

235/7.3 = 32.1

So, I add 32 clicks.

I repeat the operation and divide 127 by 7.3.  The calculator on my mobile tells me that I need to add 17 clicks right.

Job done.

Verify with a fourth shot

Having made these adjustments, I need to check my calculations.  I fire a fourth round, aiming at the centre.  If this shot hits the mark I have drawn, it means my rifle is ready for the season!

If there is still a major difference, just repeat the operation.

Best of luck!