How to Use a Scope for Long Range Shooting

Many shooters don’t seem to get it right when it comes to aiming long distances. That’s mainly due to insufficient knowledge about rifle scopes. Getting your shooting right involves understanding how a rifle scope works. 

But before we look into shooting long-range distances with the help of the scope, it’s important to understand the outer parts of a rifle scope and its uses. So, let’s quickly review the external anatomy of a rifle scope.

External Anatomy of a Rifle Scope

Rifle Scope Tube: This is the scope’s body that holds the different scope lenses in position. It also helps to join the scope to the rifle using scope rings.

Exit Pupil: The Exit Pupil determines the rifle scope’s power. The function is to determine the amount of light getting through the rifle scope to the eye.

Eyepiece: This helps to put the ocular lens in position. 

Ocular Lens: The ocular lens enlarges the focal point of light.

Power Ring: This is a rotatable ring that adjusts the magnification of the rifle scope.

Windage and Elevation Adjustment: This allows for vertical and horizontal alignment of the crosshairs with the target.

Objective Lens: This is on the end of the rifle scope. Its main function is to direct light to the ocular lens.

Having reviewed the major external parts of a rifle scope, let’s look at how we can properly use a scope to shoot at a long range. It’s essential to note down these points as they’ll come in handy when next you’re planning to shoot long-range.

How to Use a Rifle Scope to Shoot Long-Range Distances

Aiming far distances with a perfect shot doesn’t just occur randomly. There are steps and things to note to achieve it.

Step 1. Select the Right Rifle Scope

After choosing the right rifle, choosing the desired rifle scope for long-range shooting is the next thing. All riflescopes are not built the same way, as they have different features.

To pick the right long-range scope, you should consider factors like lens clarity, parallax and magnification. Whatever the rifle scope you consider, it should be one suitable for long-range shooting.

Step 2. Adjust the Elevation

Elevation adjustment modifies the bullet effect. After mounting the riflescope, you must zero the scope. You make an elevation adjustment when you’re zeroing the riflescope or aiming at different lengths. To raise the bullet’s impact, adjust the elevation knob in an anti-clockwise direction. Reducing the bullet’s impact requires rotating the elevation knob in a clockwise direction. Although this is the elevation rotation system for many elevation turrets, confirming with your riflescope is important.

Step 3. Adjust the Windage

Windage adjustment is similar to the elevation adjustment. The difference is that instead of turning the elevation turrets up and down, it regulates the bullet’s effect right or left. Likewise, the windage adjustments alter the bullet’s effect when you zero the riflescope. It’s also useful when trying to modify the scope to shooting conditions.

Step 4. Avoid Parallax Error

Error due to parallax can lead to missed targets. Parallax happens when the direction or place of an object seems to be different from various angles. You have to position your head properly when you shoot to avoid this error. Incorrect reticle alignment is the leading cause of parallax error in a riflescope. 

Step 5. Align the Eyepiece

Many shooters make the mistake of not properly aligning the eyepiece. Unfortunately, beginners and even some experienced shooters are ignorant of this feature. If you don’t check the eyepiece, it’s most likely the riflescope’s eyepiece is not focused correctly. Ensure you take your time to correctly focus the eyepiece so you avoid any errors when shooting.

Step 6. Position the Scope Properly

Placing the riflescope correctly on the rifle involves some factors. Factors like the height, front or rear position and rotational level of the riflescope are essential. You may have to lift or lower your head properly to match the height of your riflescope. There are also scope rings available that’ll help with the height adjustment. After getting the correct height, ensure the scope is set at a proper distance from the eye before leveling.


In long-range shooting, a riflescope is very important for precision. If you’re a beginner looking to master the use of your riflescope, the above-listed guidelines will help you. In addition, it’s important to understand the use of each riflescope part. 

If you properly follow the above-listed guidelines, you’ll be in for accurate targets. However, hitting targets doesn’t come with one shot; it’s important to constantly practice, as practice makes perfect. Lastly, before pulling that trigger, ensure you maintain a good stance and remain calm.

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