How to Zero a Rifle Scope at 100 Yards?

Rifle scope for beginners
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If you have just started with the aiming and shooting practice, then the best place to begin your training is by learning how to zero a rifle scope at 100 yards. Since most rifles come with a 100-yards scope setting, this is a good place to start.

It is a perfect shooting range to adjust a scope for beginners and even experienced shooters. The distance is not too long to be affected by the environmental condition and not too short to scare the target away (i.e. when you are hunting a real target).

Another reason why 100 yards is the perfect distance for zeroing a rifle is that most animal hunting is performed at 100-200 yards. That being said, it makes sense to zero your rifle at 100 yards. Here we have come up with certain steps to adjust the scope on your rifle at 100 yards.

Few Important Preparations

Before getting to that, let’s have a look at the things you will need:

Eye and Ear Protection

Never pick and aim a rifle without wearing your safety glasses and ear protection. Put on your earmuffs and shooting-special glasses to keep your senses safe.

A Safe Shooting Range

The shooting distance or range you choose must be free from environmental conditions. You should select the nearest possible range for zeroing your rifle so that the wind and unfavorable weather conditions do not affect your target.

Remove all sorts of obstacles before adjusting the sight of the rifle. These are the reasons why we recommend 100 yards. It is the safest and wind-free shooting range.

Set a Proper Backstop

Now that you need to adjust the sight of the rifle and aim at the target placed at 100 yards, you will have to set a strong and proper backstop. This gives you a clear point or target to aim at. We highly recommend you pick something robust and large as your backstop.

It can be a bullet trap, hill, and anything that could stop the bullet from going further. This gives you an idea of how close you were to the target. A quality paper target is available in local hardware stores. You can also purchase it online from Walmart.

If that doesn’t work for you, you can watch some DIY tutorials to make a paper target with a sharpie marker. They are mostly available in local stores at a reasonable price.

Adjustment Tool

Usually, rifles come with a finger-adjustable scope setting. You can use your fingers to adjust the scope. But, if the option isn’t available, then you will have to use it to adjust it. A screwdriver or even a penny could be inserted into the knobs for scope adjustments.

Rifle Support

Zeroing your rifle can be a little difficult when you do it without proper rifle support. Whether you are a beginner or a professional shooter, place your rifle on a support or a gun rest to adjust the scope and sight in at 100 yards.

A proper gun rest ensures that the rifle remains steady when you are making the adjustments. Moreover, it gives you an accurate adjustment.


To set your target at an appropriate place and get your desired shooting range, we recommend you opt for a rangefinder. In this post, we will keep the range at 100 yards.

Steps to Zeroing a Rifle at 100 Yards

Zeroing is an important step for shooters. Before you shoot the target, you have to make sure the scope is aligned with the rifle so that it hits the target accurately. The chances of missing the target with a zeroed rifle are quite slim.

Once you have adjusted the scope of the rifle, you get an idea of where the bullet is going to hit when you press the trigger.

Step 1 – Set Your Target

As soon as you have put on the safety equipment and arranged a perfect backstop, it is time to set your target. You can use a rangefinder for this step. To keep your rifle steady when you are adjusting the scope and setting the target range, make sure you place it on a gun rest.

As mentioned before, it minimizes the movement of the gun when you are making adjustments. This helps you to set the right range and align the scope with the rifle accurately.

Grab your shooting glasses and earmuffs (if you have not put them on yet) and get ready for the aim.

Step 2 – Test Shot

Once you have aligned the scope, practice your first shot. Place the reticle right in the middle of bulls-eye and aim that target. Carry the rifle securely.

Maintain a firm grip so that the bullet hits the target. Pull the trigger and fire 2-3 shots consistently.

Step 3 – Time for Adjustments

If you are shooting for the first time, there is a good chance you will miss the target. If your previous shots didn’t hit the point, make necessary adjustments to your scope. You can do it by rotating the turrets.

You can move the retile right, left, up, and down to re-align to its new position. This will improve your aim and boost your chances of hitting the bulls-eye.

Do not be disappointed if it doesn’t work after the adjustment. You may need to adjust the scope multiple times to align it with the rifle accurately.

Step 4 – Change the Position of Your Rifle

Once you have made the adjustments to the rifle, it is time for you to re-position your rifle and aim. Aim the rifle and double-check if the scope is aligned well.

The reticle should aim the bull-eye. There you go! Fire 1-2 shots. This time your target will hit right or it must be close to the bulls-eye.

Final Words

We hope this guide helped you sight in your rifle at 100 yards. Zeroing your rifle does not have to be a daunting or challenging task. It is super simple as long as you follow the above steps.

All you got to do is keep making adjustments to the scope and practice shooting to get better at it.

Andrew Garfield

Andrew is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He has years of experience in hunting with expert knowledge in hunting tactics, rifle scopes and all types of hunting gear.

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