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  • Post last modified:January 9, 2024

In this article, you will learn to identify problems and know the steps on how to fix a scope that won't adjust correctly on your rifle.

How To Fix A Scope That Wont Adjust Correctly

If you can't tell if a scope is bad or the way you sighting in a scope is incorrect, here are things you can look into:

  • Bad mounts to begin with
  • Out of spec screw torque
  • Previously over torqued may have damaged the erector assembly
  • Poor scope lapping
  • Maxed out elevation and windage clicks (Or left, right & high)
  • Incorrect zeroing technique
  • Running out of turret click adjustment
  • Reticle moves opposite direction of the click
  • Incorrect MOA or MRAD calculation
  • Didn't account for bullet drop
  • Lost zero
  • Forgot which revolution the turret is on
  • Good scope rings, but bad mount to the rifle (Vice versa)
  • Defected scope

Try These Fixes

Use High Quality Mounts


Any time when poor scope mounts are used, it creates inconsistency in the system. We want to make sure the link between the optic to the firearm is a rock-solid piece of accessory in order to hold zero and makes sure the mount absolutely stays fixed on the firearm.

We highly recommend one-piece scope mounts to have a perfectly centered scope mounting platform with the best tube to mount surface contact to minimize offset.

If using scope rings on custom bolt rifles, please make sure proper scope lapping is performed for good alignment.

Apply Proper Torque Spec

Referenced Vortex

Please follow the manufacturer's recommended torque spec for each scope ring or scope mount. We highly recommend using a metered torque wrench so you know exactly how much torque value is exerted on each screw.

See torque spec table here

real avid torque wrench

Try the REAL AVID Smart TORQ for the best result

When it comes to precision shooting, eyeballing the torque value, or hand tight the scope mount is the difference between hitting the target and missing completely.

In addition, over-torqured scope rings can crush the scope tube, and you will never know what happened because you can't see it.

If the over-torquing area happened near the erector tube, you may have created a permanent offset to where the glass etched reticle is. Then you will be dealing with a never-ending chase of the zero.

Proper Optic Mount To Firearm Alignment

You could have everything else done right. but the alignment between the mount and the firearm is off-center. This can happen when the top rail on the rifle isn't completely centered.

This is a thing not many people know until someone visually points it out!

This can also happen on many bolt guns where the scope ring is mounted on two different fixed spots on the rifle, and it gives inconsistent surface contact to the rifle scope. We can fix it by lapping the scope.

Use Slanted Base Mount To Compensate Running Out Of Turret Clicks


If the scope won't adjust low enough is because it maxed out the turret adjustment range.

Long-range shooters will experience this, as well as for shooters mounting the optic too high on the firearm.

We can solve this problem for long-range rifles by using a 20 MOA base mount, so the scope is mounted at an angle to compensate for the turret adjustment range.

To learn more about when to use and when not to use a 20 MOA base mount, read here

Turret Direction Labels Reference Point Of Impact


If the reticle moves in the opposite direction of the turret dial it means you are referencing the turret direction label to the direction of the point of aim.

That's wrong

Most optics including red dot sights reference the dial direction directly to the point of impact on paper, NOT the point of aim.

The best way some people remember this in their head is: "Move shot group to point of aim"

Here is an example:

To learn more about this, please click here

Know The Click Value & Correct Math Calculation

36 yard zero data

You may have used the wrong number in your calculation.

Always keep the units of measurement the same. Convert them first, then plug into the equation.

Don't mix SI units with US customary units together in an equation.

To figure out exactly how many clicks to dial on the riflescope turret, please follow this simple equation:

For MOA users

Number of clicks needed = (Number of inches missed / yard distance in 100th) / Turret click value



Index Return To Zero


It's always a good idea to index the turret cap once the scope is zeroed. The benefit of doing that is to prevent getting lost on which revolution the turret is on.

This is where people mark the turret to remind them where they zeroed it, and most high-end rifle scopes and LPVO feature ZERO STOP turret to help the shooter return to zero and let the shooter dial the turret in any direction clockwise or counterclockwise without forgetting where to return zero.

Buy A High Quality Optic


Once you understand all these things that go into properly mounting and zeroing a scope. It's highly recommended to buy a good rifle scope to go with your high-end rifle.

They offer better glass light transmission, better reticle options for different types of precision shooting, finer turret design, and high precision machining to mount better on-scope rings.

Browse our top picks here

Additional Resources

How to sight in a 100 yard zero at 25 yard

Is 36 Yard zero the best