How to Zero an Airsoft Scope? Expert Tips for Pinpoint Accuracy

As an airsoft enthusiast, you know that accuracy is key to achieving success on the battlefield. One essential component to attain that is learning how to zero your airsoft scope, ensuring you hit your targets effectively.

Zeroing a scope may seem daunting, but with just a bit of background knowledge and practice, you’ll master it in no time. In this article, we’ll guide you step-by-step on calibrating your airsoft scope, so you can elevate your skills and make every shot count.

Ready to improve your shooting precision? Let’s begin with the fundamentals of zeroing your airsoft scope, as well as tips and tricks to enhance your accuracy during gameplay.

Understanding Airsoft Scopes

Airsoft scopes play a crucial role in enhancing your shooting experience and accuracy. To effectively use your scope, it’s essential to understand the optics, reticle types, mounting systems, and rings. Let’s dive into these elements:

Optics and Reticle Types

Optics are the lenses in scope that allow you to magnify and focus on your target. They come in different magnification levels, so choose one based on your airsoft playing style and typical engagement ranges.

Reticles, also known as crosshairs, are the aiming points within your scope. They differ in design; some popular types are the duplex, mil-dot, and BDC reticles.

Consider the following reticle types:

  • Duplex: Simple and easy to use, ideal for beginners
  • Mil-Dot: Provides range estimation and windage adjustments, perfect for advanced shooters
  • BDC: Offers bullet drop compensation, suited for long-range engagements

Mounting Systems and Rings

Mounting systems securely connect your airsoft scope to your gun. They come in various forms, such as Picatinny, Weaver, and Dovetail rails. Picatinny and Weaver’s rails are the most prevalent in airsoft. Your choice depends on the mounting options available on your airsoft gun and compatibility with the scope’s base.

Rings are the essential components that hold your scope in place on the mounting system. They come in different sizes and heights, so it is crucial to select the right one for your scope’s tube diameter and objective lens size. Here’s a guideline for choosing the appropriate ring size:

Tube DiameterRing Size
1 inch1-inch Rings
30mm30mm Rings
34mm34mm Rings

Zeroing Basics

Before diving into airsoft combat, you need to zero your airsoft scope properly. Following these essential steps will ensure optimal accuracy and precision during your gameplay.

Zeroing Process

To begin, mount your scope and ensure it is firmly secured. Next, aim at a target and determine the point of impact (POI) relative to your point of aim (POA).

Adjust your scope’s windage and elevation knobs to bring the POI closer to the POA until they coincide. This process might require multiple shots and adjustments, so remain patient and focused.

Understanding MOA

MOA, or Minute of Angle, is a unit of measurement for angular increments. In the context of airsoft scopes, it helps you make precise adjustments to your aim. One MOA corresponds to approximately 1.047 inches at 100 yards, rounded to 1 inch.

Most airsoft scopes have adjustments in 1/4 MOA increments, meaning each click moves the POI by 1/4 inch at 100 yards. Airsoft distances are much shorter, so you may need fewer clicks to dial in your adjustments.

Windage and Elevation

  • Windage: This refers to the horizontal adjustment of your scope, compensating for the wind’s effect on airsoft pellets. Use the windage knob, typically on the scope’s side, to make adjustments.
  • Elevation: This adjusts the vertical position of your scope, compensating for gravity and distance. The elevation knob can usually be found on the top of the scope. Adjusting elevation will help you find the perfect aim for varying ranges.

Patience and practice are key when zeroing your airsoft scope. Follow these fundamentals, and you will be well-equipped to dominate any skirmish.

Mounting and Adjusting the Scope

Mounting and adjusting an airsoft scope properly on your airsoft rifle is crucial for optimal performance. In this section, you’ll learn how to align the crosshairs and secure the scope of your rifle.

Aligning the Crosshairs

Ensure your airsoft gun is unloaded and turned off. Then, loosen the scope ring screws and place the scope on the rail of your airsoft rifle. Look through the scope and adjust the position horizontally and vertically until the crosshairs perfectly align with your target.

You can use different methods to accomplish this:

  • Visual alignment – Position the scope until the horizontal and vertical lines intersect naturally.
  • Level and plumb method – Use bubble and plumb lines to ensure straight vertical and horizontal lines.
  • Target grid method – Align the scope with a target that has a grid, making sure the crosshairs match the grid lines.

Securing the Scope of the Rifle

Now that the crosshairs are aligned, it’s time to secure the scope of your airsoft gun. Tighten the scope ring screws evenly using a screwdriver, starting with the top ring screws and alternating between the front and rear rings.

After securing the scope, verify that it remains steady and unmoved. Gently shake the rifle to ensure the scope doesn’t move or wobble. If needed, make adjustments and re-tighten the screws until the scope is firmly secured.

Periodically check the scope’s tightness and alignment, especially after extended use or storage. This will help you maintain your airsoft gun’s accuracy and performance during games.

Selecting the Best Location for Zeroing

When zeroing your airsoft scope, picking the right location is crucial. Ideally, you want a clear line of sight with minimal distractions or obstructions. A controlled environment, such as an indoor shooting range, is a perfect choice for this task.

Find a secure outdoor field with adequate space if you don’t have access to an indoor range. The ideal distance for zeroing can vary, but 25-30 meters is a common starting point for most airsoft scopes. Make sure the selected shooting location complies with local regulations and safety guidelines.

Consider setting up a stable shooting platform, like a bench or tripod, to improve accuracy. Use a target with gridlines to make measuring and adjusting scope settings easier. Factors such as wind and lighting conditions may affect your aim, so adjust accordingly.

Target Preparation and Marker Placement

Getting Started With Target Preparation

To properly zero your airsoft scope, it’s crucial to set up your target and markers effectively. Start by choosing a target suitable for your airsoft gun and the distance you will be shooting.

It is recommended to use targets designed specifically for airsoft guns, as they can withstand the impact of airsoft BBs and provide better visual feedback for shot placement.

Getting Started Marker Placement

Using distinctive markers like-colored stickers, small plates, or paper clips can significantly improve shot feedback and help you adjust the scope more efficiently.

Place these markers around the target in a grid-like pattern, being sure to keep them evenly spaced, as this will allow you to observe and analyze your shot groupings more easily.

Consider the following when setting up your markers:

  • Visibility: Make sure the markers are obvious and easy to spot through your scope.
  • Spacing: Evenly space markers around the target to give you a clear view of your shot groupings.
  • Durability: Choose markers that will not be damaged by airsoft BBs and can be reused for multiple sessions.

With your target and markers in place, you’re ready to zero your airsoft scope and improve your shooting performance.

Eliminating Human Error

Minimizing human error is essential to achieve the best accuracy when zeroing your airsoft scope. This section covers two key elements to help eliminate human influence on your shooting.

Using Rifle Rests and Sandbags

Stability is critical when zeroing your airsoft scope, and using a rifle rest and sandbags can help provide a steady shooting platform. Rifle rests allow you to stabilize your airsoft gun, making it easier to maintain your aim. Conversely, sandbags provide cushioned support for your rifle, eliminating any shakes or wobbles.

When using these tools, make sure to:

Proper Shooting Technique

Equally important to eliminating human error is employing the right shooting techniques. The fundamentals of shooting, such as trigger control and proper breath control, can make a significant difference in the consistency of your groupings.

Consider these practices for better shooting:

  • Relax your body and avoid tense muscles that may impact your aim.
  • Focus on smooth trigger pulls without jerking or snatching at the trigger.
  • Time your shots during natural respiratory pauses for improved stability.

By incorporating the use of rifle rests, sandbags, and proper shooting techniques, you can eliminate human error while zeroing your airsoft scope and achieve greater accuracy with each shot.

Shooting, Adjusting, and Fine-Tuning

Shooting for Groups and Making Adjustments

  • To zero your airsoft scope, start by shooting for groups.
  • Position yourself at your rifle’s effective range and fire 5-10 BBs at your intended target.
  • Observe where your BBs are impacting, noting any deviations from your intended point of aim.

Once you understand where your BBs are grouping, adjust your scope by adjusting the horizontal (windage) and/or vertical (elevation) turrets. Remember to make these adjustments in small increments, as even a small adjustment can significantly impact your point of impact.

Considering BB Flight Path and Trajectory

As you make these adjustments, consider the trajectory of your BBs. Understanding the flight path will help you anticipate the drop or drift of your shots. The hop-up system greatly influences the trajectory of airsoft BBs. A properly adjusted hop-up imparts a backspin on the BB, allowing it to defy gravity and travel further.

Your effective range will vary depending on your BBs’ weight and your airsoft gun’s power. Heavier BBs typically have a slower initial velocity but maintain their energy and trajectory better at longer ranges. Use this knowledge to your advantage when calculating appropriate holdovers and hold-offs.

Repeating the Process

After making adjustments, continue to test and refine your airsoft gun’s accuracy. Fire another group of shots and observe the impact. If required, readjust your scope in the necessary direction until you are satisfied with the point of impact.

Once your airsoft scope is zeroed, you will better understand your weapon’s capabilities, allowing you to make more accurate shots consistently. Remember to regularly check your hop-up adjustment and maintain your airsoft gun to maximize its performance.

Verifying and Cross-Checking Zero

Once you’ve zeroed your airsoft scope, verifying and cross-checking the zero settings is essential. To ensure the highest level of accuracy, focus on comparing iron sights to scope sight, playing airsoft matches, and practicing regularly.

Comparing Iron Sights to Scope Sight

Comparing iron sights to your scope sight is an excellent method for cross-checking zero. Verify that your point of aim aligns consistently with your point of impact. Taking note of any discrepancies can help you determine if adjustments are necessary.

Playing Airsoft Matches

Playing airsoft matches allows you to test your zero under real-game conditions. Monitor the accuracy of your shots during the game, paying attention to their consistency. This hands-on experience is a valuable way to verify and adjust your zero settings as needed.


Regular practice is crucial for maintaining confidence and familiarity with your airsoft gun and scope. Continuously aim for consistency in your point of aim and point of impact. Practicing will also help identify any potential issues with your zero settings early on, enabling you to make adjustments as needed.


Zeroing an airsoft scope can be daunting for beginners, but with the tips and tricks mentioned above, you should now clearly understand how to get the job done effectively. Remember that consistency is key when adjusting your scope, so make sure to do it in an environment that closely mimics your intended shooting conditions.

However, zeroing your scope is just the beginning. You must practice frequently to enhance your airsoft experience and become a skilled player. By doing so, you’ll better understand your equipment’s capabilities and limitations and develop the muscle memory needed to hit your targets consistently.

Additionally, proper maintenance of your equipment is crucial. Regular cleaning and inspection will ensure that your airsoft gun and scope are in good working condition and prevent malfunctions that could affect your accuracy. Happy shooting!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I adjust my airsoft scope for windage and elevation?

Locate the windage and elevation adjustment dials on the side and top of the scope. Turn the dials in the direction indicated on the scope to adjust windage (horizontal) and elevation (vertical) until your shots align with your point of aim.

Q. How often should I re-zero my airsoft scope?

It is important to re-zero your scope whenever you change BB weights, significantly change the distance you’ll be shooting, or make modifications to your airsoft gun that could impact its performance. Generally, it is a good idea to re-zero before every couple of games or as needed.

Q. Can I use a real firearm scope with my airsoft gun?

Yes, you can use a real firearm scope with your airsoft gun. However, airsoft scopes are specifically calibrated for airsoft guns and their ballistics, making them a better fit for your airsoft gameplay.

Q. Is there a specific distance I should zero my airsoft scope for?

Zero your scope at a distance that closely matches the typical engagement ranges in your airsoft games. If you mainly participate in close-quarter combat, zero at a shorter range, like 30 feet.

For field play, consider zeroing in at a longer range, like 100 feet or more. This ensures your scope will be effective in your specific play environment.

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