How to adjust Windage and Elevation on a scope

Today, we are gonna talk about how to adjust windage and elevation on a scope. Making the adjustments to windage and elevation is much simpler than you think. This guide about how to adjust windage and elevation on a scope will enable you to make the correct adjustments to your Windage and Elevation.

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How to adjust Windage on Scope?

Usually, the turret to the side of your scope is what adjusts the windage or the left right. The turret tells you how your adjustments are made relative to the clicks and hash marks. So, you can use either clicks or hash marks to determine how much you are adjusting the scope.

Now it is important to read the scope turret to know per click value. Every scope is different, some come with a minute per click value, some are half a minute per click and some are a 1/4th minute per click. For example, your scope comes with a quarter of an inch per click at 100 yards. It tells that one click is a quarter minute because at a 100 yards one minute is about an inch.

If we want to move one minute (MOA) to the left then how many clicks would that be? It will be four clicks because at 100 yards one click is 1/4th of a minute. Now, we have to figure out which direction we need to go. The turret tells us that going clockwise takes us to the right. So, we need to go counter-clockwise.

Understanding Elevation Adjustment

First of all, you need to understand what happens when you adjust the elevation turret on your rifle scope. It is important to realize that you are performing an alignment. You are aligning your line of sight with the point of impact.

If you are looking through your scope at a target which is at a distance of 100 yards. Then your desired point of impact through your scope would be a straight line. But when you fire a bullet at the target, then it lands on somewhere close to the target but not on the desired point of impact.

The bullet follows the projectile trajectory that can never be a flat line. The Projectile trajectory is actually an arc or curve that is also called Ballistic curve. This ballistic curve requires us to perform an alignment. This alignment is called Zeroing. The zeroing is the process of aligning the line of sight with the point of impact along the ballistic curve at a given range.

Many people want to know what the scope is doing in relation to the rifle when elevation adjustment happens. In other words what does “Up” do on elevation turret and what does “Down” do on the turret? The Up on the scope turret moves the point of impact up and down on the scope turret moves the point of impact down.

Another question is that when you do the elevation adjustment, are you move the scope in relation to the rifle or move the rifle in relation to the scope? The answer to this question is that you move the scope in relation to the rifle since it is the scope that you are adjusting.

When a scope is zeroed at 100 yards then it means that line of sight remains a straight line and bullets will land on the desired point of impact. But if you change the range to 50 yards then the point of impact will be too high. Then what we need to do? Move the point of impact in down by adjusting the elevation turret in the down direction. It is indicated by directional arrows on turret dial.


I hope that you have found this “how to adjust windage and elevation on a scope” guide beneficial. There are a number of different ways to explain how to adjust windage and elevation on a scope but this was written as a very simplistic guide.