Advice on zeroing when you get a new rifle

Ask the Experts

Ask the Experts - Credit: Archant

What can I do to get my rifle to zero well?

Q: I have bought a new rifle (well, it’s used but new to me) and a second-hand scope that came complete with mounts and a brand-new moderator. I can’t get the rifle to zero well, despite using bags as a rest and trying different ammo. It is driving me mad and costing me a fortune in wasted ammunition. What should I do?

DOM HOLTAM replies: I feel your pain! Zeroing can, and should, take a few minutes and just a few shots to achieve. However, occasionally it can leave you scratching your head.

My approach is to only ever change one thing at a time. Firstly, try shooting the rifle without the moderator – will it shoot a tight group? If so, then the mod might be causing the problem due to a poorly cut screw-thread or a fault with the moderator itself.

If the scope is used, could it have been dropped or damaged? Try using an optic you know will perform and see if that will cure the problem, even if it means borrowing from a friend or the gun shop.