Incorrectly focused eyepieces are the number one error I see in scopes of shooters. Many shooters, including some of my professional sniper students don’t know about this adjustment or why it is important. This means that you have a high chance of this setting being wrong on your scope.
As a Special Operations Sniper in the Military, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Special Operations Target Interdiction Course. (SOTIC) is now the Special Forces Sniper Course. It was the best sniper training. This was the reason I didn’t get it covered when I went through it. It also explains why I wasn’t able to adjust my sniper students correctly as a sniper instructor.
You’ll soon learn the hard way and be able to do it right. This is how I would have shot better in the military. You’re probably familiar with the frustration of trying focus back and forth between a blurry target and a clearly visible reticle.
You may have experienced an incorrectly adjusted eyepiece if you tried to adjust your target focus but it failed. To improve your shooting, I recommend that you only focus on the target reticle. Your scope should be set up so that your eye is able to see the reticle clearly. This will allow you to bring the target image close to the reticle, and ensure that both are clear (and free of parallax).
How to Focus Your Scope’s Eyepiece
- After you have mounted the scope correctly and checked that it is properly aligned (forward/back), you can now look at a solid light-colored object near you. It is much easier to have a friend help you with this process. Stop reading if you don’t have friends.
- Place your rifle in a comfortable place behind you. You shouldn’t have to adjust your head in order to see the scope clearly. (See the video below to learn more)
- Ask a friend or someone you have hired to pretend to your friend to hold up a piece of white paper about a foot in front of the scope so you can look through it.
- For a few seconds, close your eyes and take a deep breath.
- Close your eyes, look at the reticle, and then open them again. Two seconds max! You should only keep your eyes open for two seconds. If you do, your eye will strain to focus the reticle and this will negate the purpose of the exercise.
- Your friend should adjust the ocular focal adjustment by at least 1/2 revolution in one direction. Some scopes, such as the one shown above and the one in the video below, have the entire ocular housing rotating to adjust the focus. The locking ring holds it in place. Other scopes, such as my favorite, the Vortex razor Gen II have a special adjustment band around the ocular lenses.
- Simply open your eyes again, or for just two seconds, and then simply tell us if the image of your reticle looks better.
- Continue to repeat the process, turning the adjustment in both directions until you find the “sweet spot”, where the reticle looks its best.
Once you have done it correctly, your scope and reticle will now be focused on YOUR eye. This will allow you to shoot more comfortably and reduce parallax errors. You can trick the shooter if you are the friend, and their answers of “better/worse” don’t make sense. Ask them to look at the settings and not make any adjustments. You might get a different answer if they aren’t doing it correctly.