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Old 11-19-2009, 07:23 AM   #1
troutslayer
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Rifle scope Parallax

Since Jammer got scared...I thought I would start a thread concerning a few topics that can effect how you shoot......
What the heck is Parallax? I asked the same thing when I first started looking to upgrade from iron sight to a good rifle scope. This guide should give you some insight into getting the best focus out of your scope........
Have you ever looked through a higher power scope and noticed that if you move your eye off center to the edge of the exit pupil, the reticle seems to move across the target? Well, that shift happens when the parallax setting is not properly adjusted for that distance. Some have mistaken the parallax adjustment as a focus or even a range finder, but it is neither of these. The parallax adjustment, when set properly will insure that the reticle is positioned correctly on the target; as though your crosshairs are a part of the target, unmoving, as if they were painted on, just for you. Of course if your scope is not a "target" or a "varmint hunting" rifle scope, you probably don't need to be concerned with adjusting the parallax setting. In most hunting scopes the parallax is negligible, in fact I have a good friend that hunts regularly and he didn't even know what I was talking about when I asked him........Most of the higher power scopes, with a power of 10 or more, will have an adjustment ring at the end of the Objective bell (the end closest to the target). Usually the parallax adjustment ring has the suggested settings printed on them, so you can just dial in the range you're shooting from. The problem is these suggested settings are rarely as accurate as they could be. So why should you go through the trouble of getting yours "just right"? Why not just use the suggested setting? Even if you're a great shot, you could easily shrink the size of your groups by as much as 30%, just by taking the time to properly set the parallax adjustment on your scope. Many shooters don't even realize that even with a few adjustments they could greatly affect their shooting performance. Let's face it, the documentation that came with your scope isn't a real blessing when it comes to learning how to use it, they just assume you already know.
Now that you have an understanding of what parallax is, it's time to fine tune your scope for increased accuracy. I'm going to assume you have already zeroed in your scope and that it's properly sighted in. You will need to set up your rifle so it is securely positioned on a bench. A shooting rest with a vise would be best. Dial in the suggested setting on the parallax adjustment ring for the range that you're shooting from. Now, look through the scope and shift your eye back and forth, left and right so you can see if the crosshairs seem like they are moving across the target. Experiment with the adjustment ring until you have eliminated the illusion that your crosshairs 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. Some people paint their mark or score it into the metal, but to start with I prefer something that's not so permanent until I'm absolutely certain about the position. Next, go ahead and take three to six shots and see how your grouping has improved. Nice, huh! Don't stop there, move your target 50 yards back and repeat the process. You might as well find the perfect settings for all the ranges that you typically shoot from in 50 yard increments......before long you will or I hope you will have increased your acuracy in your shooting


TS
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:03 AM   #2
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That is the best detail I have seen on the issue. I just put an adjustable scope on my new rifle and never thought about that they are not completely in sync with the markings. I do adjust it for the yards I am shooting at.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:12 AM   #3
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troutslayer,

Thanks for the info. Greenie for ya.

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Old 11-19-2009, 08:17 AM   #4
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Hey TS my scope doesent have all that stuff. What do I do now ?? No wonder I caint hit anything. Dont say it....

Charlie
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:56 AM   #5
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A VERY GOOD EXPLANATION !

And you're right, the Nikon instructions sure as to heck didn't break it down that well. Can't wait to go back to the range and try it out.

Thanks
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:21 AM   #6
THE JAMMER
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Troutslayer,

Nice post. Great info that a lot of shooters don't know. Well done.

But how and when did I get scared???

THE JAMMER
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:51 AM   #7
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Thanks for this, I shoot open sight on a Mod94 30-30 it had an old side mount weaver4X scope on it I used like binoculars. Well I tried to sight it in and it was all over the place. My buddy told me about a parallax and said that is what I needed...so I bought a new scope since they all are supposed to have it to some extent now. I can't see as good as before so this will be for the rare shot over 100 yards....if I can get it sighted in. This scope is not as fancy as you describe but it helped me understand.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHARLIE View Post
Hey TS my scope doesent have all that stuff. What do I do now ?? No wonder I caint hit anything. Dont say it....

Charlie
I think most scopes come from the factory with the parallax set at around 150 yards, if they don't have an external adjusment...so...you have an excuse if the target is not at that range.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHARLIE View Post
Hey TS my scope doesent have all that stuff. What do I do now ?? No wonder I caint hit anything. Dont say it....

Charlie

Ok I wont....lol


Quote:
Originally Posted by THE JAMMER View Post
Troutslayer,

Nice post. Great info that a lot of shooters don't know. Well done.

But how and when did I get scared???

THE JAMMER



You know I am just teasing.........I would like to set beside you at the range and see exactly how the big boys do it.....my father was and still is one of the best shots I know( I dont know how his eyse are these days) but in my mind I am always a little less acurate than he was......
When I bench shoot I am fairly accurate....but I dont reload.....I use Fed Vital shock and my cutom Win mod 70 in .270 loves them......I have aquired enough fire formed brass to start but have not yet.....
holding .75" 3 shot groups is about as good as I get
But shooting in the feild is always different than on top of sand bags or a vise....

BTW does anyone beside me still use a vise to completly take the shooter out of the picture.....except for trigger pull
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:02 AM   #10
THE JAMMER
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Troutslayer,

Please don't call me and call me "one of the big boys." I'm just a rookie like everyone else. .75" groups with factory ammo is great. If I get under 1/2" when reloading, I'm pretty happy, but most of my guns are in that .75" range.

It would be great for some of us on this board to get together at the range. Put the face with the name, etc.

I think the vice idea is great. sometimes other shooters will chastise me at the range for wearing a shooting pad on my shoulder, when shooting even medium caliber rifles. My response is that I'm trying to work up loads, and I'm trying to remove as many variables as I can- flinch being one of those. The vice is a great tool, I just don't have one.

THE JAMMER
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