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Fix Parallax Problems on Any Rifle Scope With Ease

Updated on April 12, 2010

How to Tighten Your Groups

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Giving What's Been Received

Parallax Problems on Any Rifle Scope With Ease

Have you ever thought about how to fix Parallax in your rifle scope? This useful information should give you a bit of insight into getting the very best focus out of your target, varmint or hunting scope, or any other adjustable parallax scope for that matter.

According to the experts, parallax is a condition that happens in the event that the image of the particular target is not focused correctly on the reticle plane. It's obvious when there is an obvious movement between a "+" shape, superimposed on an image (target) to assist with the alignment of the device. Certain reticles employ dots to mark the center of field of view or a post or similar markings to help view and center the image through the scope.

The purpose of the parallax adjustment is to get rid of this undesirable optical error which causes your cross hairs to appear to "shift". Some manufacturers build rifle scopes with adjustable objective lenses that will correct parallax error. Yet others enable parallax correction using a side turret. Scopes such as the Leupold VX 3 scopeseries or Bushnell Elite 4200 rifle scopes, and theNikon Tactical scope are available with 40 and 50 mm objectives, so the error at a thousand yards could well be: for 40 mm objective: 4.46 inches for 50 mm objective: 5.58 inches.

The parallax adjustment on a scope simply moves the reticle's plane to be in the very same location as the image plane. We are talking about fairly small distances, for example .1mm, which does not really appear like much but it is compounded by magnification. This would mean that your point of bullet impact will probably shift every time you make an adjustment to your scope. Your scope should be plainly marked as to which direction to turn the turret in order to carry out the sought after correction.

To place the shot exactly, the parallax needs to be adjusted for every distance. In a hunting scenario, you could locate a point, 300 yards for example, which will make the scope's focus and parallax sufficient to infinity. This particular adjustment is as a rule found on scopes of more than 8x and less than 20x.

Dial in the recommended setting on the parallax adjusting ring (or turret) for the range in which you're shooting from. Experiment with the adjustment ring until you have eliminated the optical illusion that your crosshairs are shifting.

Experiment with the adjustment ring until you have eliminated the illusion that your cross hairs are moving. When you think you've got it perfect, take a little white-out liquid paper and make a mark on the parallax adjustment ring so you'll know where to adjust it later. I see some people paint their mark or score it into the metal, but I prefer something that's not so permanent until I'm absolutely certain about the position, so the white out liquid paper can easily be removed once you get the parralax setting locked in.

Your next step is to take three to six shots (2 goups of 3 shots each) and check how your grouping has improved. You will see improvement, and then take the time to continue the parralax 'dialing in' by moving the target 50 yards out and repeat the process. It will be very useful to find the perfect settings for all the ranges that you typically shoot in 50 yard increments.

Repeat this process while adjusting the eyepiece until both the reticle and the object appear sharp at the same time. The reason you have to repeatedly look away from the eyepiece is that your eye will try to bring both the reticle and object into focus, if you stare through the scope, causing eye strain and contributing to parallax error.

Buying a scope featuring adjustable objective or side focus (turret) will eliminate this problem as it can then be user adjusted to be parallax free at different distances-even though the methods are actually different. People with less than perfect vision are able to adjust the eyepiece (ocular) focus for their particular eyes for a clear, crisp sight picture .

For specific information, for a particular scope you might be considering, visit this great website: They feature top names in rifle scopes, range finders, spotting scopes, and binoculars.

For additional information on optics solutions visit my blog at

Raymond Berg


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      what if parallax min 75 yards but will target 15 yards

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      if the ring on the back of the paralax scopes comes free and is free spinning how can u work out the distance using the scope so u can put the distance ring on for example 30 yards so u can get ur paralax right ?

      any help would be appreciated

    • profile image

      Raymond Berg 

      8 years ago

      We are at the beginning of the official shooting season with many ranges open to the public. The links on provide a ready resource to anyone looking for a shooting range in their area. Also NRA competition shooting events are posted on the site. Check it out for great shooting fun this season. Also posted is the 'Project Child Safe', for early training of a young person with excellent instruction. Additionally there is a link to the NRA Education & Training site. So don't just go to the range with the guys...take a youngster and start him/her out the right way....with good instruction. Visit for these invaluable resources.

      Raymond Berg

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      Nightforce Scopes for Sale 

      8 years ago

      Really great hub. Thanks for providing such good information, thanks for sharing.


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