What Is Scope Parallax: Explained In A Short Way

If you have browsed for scopes chances are you have seen something called fixed parallax in the specs chart. Some other scope has adjustable parallax. But what is scope parallax?

Have you ever wondered about that? What role does parallax play in your scope? Don’t worry today we are going to answer all of those questions. Sit tight relax and enjoy the read.

What Is Scope Parallax

It’s a scope inconsistency in the view when you look down the scope. What it does is, it moves your crosshair from the target. It moves based on your eye movement.

This means that if you shift your eye the crosshair also shifts its position.

Resulting in inaccurate reticle positioning. This problem occurs mainly with higher magnification scopes. Where parallax causes more issues. The amount of parallax within the scope is variable. You need to compensate for the parallax.

What Causes Scope Parallax

When you look through a scope, the magnified image that you see in front of you is where all of the light rays entering the optic are focused.

Technically you are seeing a projected image. Parallax occurs when the projected image is too far away whether it be front or back from the crosshair.

Like imagine this, you placed a reticle sticker on the window, and you put a picture at the end of the garden. The reticle sticker will change where it’s pointed. Depending on where you are standing in the room that is.

This is parallax but exaggerated. A little bit but you get the idea.

To remove this issue (parallax) you want to get the projected image, in this case, the picture in the garden as close as possible to your scope’s reticle. Ensuring there is no room for movement between the two.

Now put a reticle sticker on the window and place that image directly behind that sticker. No matter which angle you look from the image will look the same.

This is the result you are aiming for. This is what no parallax feels like.

Many modern-day rifle scope has adjustable parallax. From 10 yards to infinity. Many scopes comes in different focal points, like the first focal plane for example. Depending on scope the position of adjustable turrets will differ.

Parallax Adjustment On A Scope


If your scope supports adjustable parallax then, we recommend you adjust it immediately. Otherwise, you may face many issues during the session which you could have avoided easily. Down below we are going to teach you how you can adjust the parallax of your scope.

  • Place your rifle in a shooting stance. We don’t want any kind of wobbles during the process. Your wrist may give up and result in inaccurate readings.
  • Adjust the adjustable parallax ring to be as close as you possibly can to the shooting range. Instead of adjusting up there, you can just guess the distance and dial up the adjustment from there. The marking may not be accurate always. But you can adjust and make them as accurate as possible.
  • Aim down the sight and adjust your eye position. Don’t be hasty. Take your sweet time and do this slowly and correctly. Being hasty might result in inaccurate results and you will end up with more parallax.
  • Pay very close to the reticle positioning. See if the reticle is as close as possible to the target. If you are still experiencing wobble fix your stance & the reticle keeps moving with your eye movement then my friend you are still experiencing parallax issue.
  • If you move your head slightly towards the left pay attention to the reticle. Notice how it moves. If the reticle moves to the left and your image is too far in front of the reticle then you need to increase the distance of your adjustments.
  • But if the reticle moves towards the right when you tilt your head towards the left then you need to decrease the distance of the adjustments.


Trust me during the testing process and when we tried to put it in words we learned many things. Especially that head tilting and the example. We hope we were able to help you understand the scope parallax a little better.

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