Shooters frequently encounter issues with scopes that will not adjust. It can be extremely frustrating when ammo goes wasted because you’re unable to direct bullets where desired.
There are various solutions available to you if your riflescope won’t adjust properly, including these four tips to fix it. We will also go over some of the common reasons behind its non-adjustment in another article.
Check the reticle alignment
Sighting in a scope by looking through its eyepiece is essential, but it is also vital that its reticle aligns with your target. This is especially important if your scope contains features such as BDC ladder or hash marks that rely on having its reticle level with its target; otherwise these won’t function effectively over longer distances.
An additional issue encountered when sighting in a new scope is improper calibration of their turrets, which can result in shots that miss their mark altogether. To address this, make sure that your point of impact corresponds with turret adjustment labels – by setting them so they point directly at target turrets can then be adjusted so their distance markers match up with any impacts or by checking distance markers on the dial to see if your reticle matches those on target – to achieve accurate shots.
Lastly, if your scope won’t adjust at all, it could be that it isn’t mounted correctly. This is very common and could be the result of many things – for instance if you accidentally overtorqued the rings or mounts too much it may compress the tube and throw off alignment of its glass-etched reticle with its erector tube.
Always follow the recommended torque specs when tightening rings and scope mounts on your rifle, to prevent accidentally crushing the scope and creating an ongoing scope adjustment issue.
Finalizing your gun maintenance checklist by checking turret screws is also recommended, to make sure they’re not loose or stripped. Loose turret screws could cause misalignment with the reticle, making adjustments impossible. Slightly stripped screws must be replaced immediately by professional gunsmiths with ones guaranteed to fit turrets properly.
Check the adjustment screws
Many factors can cause a scope to become stuck, from lack of lubrication to an incorrectly aligned mount. When your scope becomes stuck, make sure it is mounted correctly and securely – this means ensuring that its rings tighten without creating excessive friction or applying too much pressure to its adjustment turrets. Once this step has been accomplished and no sticking turrets exist, check that its adjustment screws haven’t become damaged or frozen before proceeding further with testing the scope.
Rather, use a screwdriver to dislodge it first; if this doesn’t work, replacement scope rings may need to be purchased from most riflescope manufacturers or sporting goods stores or gun shops; though you might also find more suitable alternatives at your local sporting goods store or gun shop. Also make sure that you have all of the appropriate tools available to work on bases and rings, including torque tools with specific pressure specifications indicating how tight or loosely they should be set; too much pressure may damage turrets while too little pressure may allow turrets to slip during recoil, thus losing zero in terms of zeroing out zeroing your scope!
Sticky turrets or erector tubes of a scope is another common problem, often brought on by improper mounting of the scope or due to using an inappropriate screw size. One simple solution to this is using a plastic or wooden screwdriver handle to rap on the turret cap with some force in order to replicate recoil and break loose any dirt that might be lodged there; this should help simulate recoil and free any obstructions from its passageway.
Prevent this from occurring by regularly cleaning and lubricating the scope and its parts, keeping turrets free from dirt and debris which could otherwise clog them, while also helping prevent corrosion. This will keep turrets operating freely while also helping avoid corrosion issues.
Check the mount
As you’re shooting, it can be difficult to tell whether you have turned your scope too far and pushed it past its adjustment stops, causing its point-of-impact to shift and make returning it back to zero more challenging. Windage adjustments could also be off, leading to similar complications.
Another common cause of scopes not adjusting properly is their mount being loose or stripped, often because their rings or base haven’t been secured securely enough, or through regular use have become loose over time. This can drastically affect accuracy so it is crucial that these issues be checked frequently and tightened as necessary.
One way to test this is to aim the scope at an uncluttered surface like paper, wall or sky and ensure the reticle is sharp and centered within that field of view. If there are any black rings or dark spots visible through your scope’s field of view this would indicate it hasn’t been mounted correctly.
Regularly check the mounting of your scope. If the screws begin to loosen their grip, consider installing quality bolt-on rings and bases instead. This will help ensure that it remains securely mounted without recoil or vibrational force causing its zero value to shift out of range.
If mounting isn’t the problem, try adjusting eyepiece height or reticle focus. Move the reticle focus ring in or out until the image is sharp and centered within your field of vision, then use elevation turret adjustments to correct any upward or downward shifts in point-of-impact. Also check whether Leupold or Nikon scopes include an adjustment ring with “diopter lock,” which prevents accidental adjustments from going in the wrong direction, creating issues when trying to return them back to zero – if so relock them by twisting their adjustability into place resetting them until reticle focus can be adjusted appropriately.
Check the eyepiece
If your scope won’t adjust properly, chances are the eyepiece (the lens on the back of your scope) is to blame. As this element focuses your eyes onto the reticle and needs to be set accordingly for effective adjustment of objective or turret settings, any issues must first be rectified here before any other adjustments can take place on other parts of the scope such as objectives or turrets can take effect.
Check to make sure your eyepiece is focused correctly by looking through your scope at a plain, solid surface and seeing where the reticle sits; if it seems out-of-place or misaligns with its surroundings, then perhaps your eyepiece needs refocusing.
Eyepiece placement on rifle scopes is often an issue for shooters. A proper rifle scope must allow shooters to comfortably rest their cheek in their most common shooting positions; otherwise they risk neck strain, headaches and subpar sight pictures and accuracy. If it is mounted too low, shooters will have to constantly lift their head just to look into its field of view – leading to neck strain and headaches as well as poor sight picture accuracy.
Scopes that won’t adjust typically have one of three issues: lack of lubrication, damage, or incorrect adjustment. Scopes come lubricated when sold but can wear away over time with dust exposure causing the moving parts not to function as intended causing issues with adjustment that eventually cause refusal.
If you are having difficulties adjusting the turret adjustment screws, try applying some silicon grease. This should prevent them from sticking or becoming hard to turn in humid environments, while you can also try tapping the top of the adjustment cap with either a plastic or wood screwdriver handle – this simulates recoil and may help release any jammed joints that might be present.
Remember that your rifle scope is a mechanical device and may eventually stop working properly, but by following the steps outlined here to troubleshoot before giving up on it altogether you could save both time and energy in the long run.