How to Adjust Your Rifle Scope's Ocular Focus - NSSF Let's Go Shooting

How to Adjust Your Rifle Scope’s Ocular Focus

Properly setting up your rifle scope’s ocular focus is essential for achieving accurate shots and ensuring a comfortable shooting experience. In the following video and step-by-step guide below, Former Army Ranger sniper team leader and author of the Long-Range Shooting Handbook, Ryan Cleckner, will guide you through the process of adjusting your scope’s ocular focus.

Understanding the Importance of Ocular Focus Adjustment

Ocular focus is often overlooked by shooters of all experience levels, yet it plays a crucial role in ensuring that your reticle is crisp and clear for your eye. Neglecting this adjustment can lead to eye strain and decreased shooting accuracy. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process for adjusting your ocular focus.


Step 1: Gather Your Equipment

Before you begin, ensure that you have your rifle and scope ready. You will also need a friend to assist you and a white sheet of paper.

Step 2: Prepare for Adjustment

1. Find a safe and controlled environment for this adjustment, such as your shooting range.
2. Set up the white sheet of paper a foot or two in front of your scope.

Step 3: Initial Observation

1. Position yourself behind the rifle, aiming at the white sheet of paper.
2. Close your eyes while your friend makes the initial ocular focus adjustment. Note: Each scope’s ocular focus adjusts differently; see image below for examples.

Ryan Cleckner - Adjusting your rifle scopes Ocular Focus

Each scope’s ocular focus adjusts differently. Some scopes, like the one on the left, will have a locking ring and the entire ocular housing is adjusted by screwing it in or out. While other Scopes, like the one on the right, just have an ocular focus setting closest to your eye. You may need to take a scope cap off in order to make this adjustment.

Step 4: Open Your Eye

1. Open your eye and observe the reticle.
2. Quickly close your eye again. Do not keep your eye open for too long to prevent your eye from trying to adjust to a blurry image.

Step 5: Provide Feedback

1. Your friend should ask whether the reticle appeared “better” or “worse” than the previous observation.
2. This should be a quick and instinctive response.

Step 6: Repeat the Process

1. Based on your feedback, your friend will make small adjustments to the ocular focus.
2. You will open and close your eye again, providing feedback each time.

Step 7: Fine-Tuning

1. Continue this process of adjustments and feedback until you consistently report that the reticle appears “better” than before.
2. Your friend will fine-tune the ocular focus until it is perfectly suited to your eye.

Adjusting your rifle scope’s ocular focus is a critical step in optimizing your shooting experience. Remember that this setting is unique to each shooter, so take the time to perform this adjustment correctly. By following the steps outlined in this video and article, you’ll ensure that your reticle is clear, eliminating eye strain and improving your shooting accuracy. Take a moment to check and adjust your ocular focus for a more enjoyable and accurate shooting session.


More Resources

To utilize a rifle scope to its full potential, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of its components and how to use them. If you would like more background read this article that labels explain the parts of a rifle scope.

Learn more about rifle scopes from here.


Scope Ring Finder Tool

Find the perfect combination of rings, bases, and lens caps for your scope and rifle using the Gun University Scope Ring Finder.


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