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Adjusting Parallax on Scopes without an Adjustable Objective (AO)

By Chris Nelson


If a rifle scope is equipped with an adjustable objective (AO), there's no need to adjust its parallax, as it already possesses the ability to focus based on distance. This guide is solely for adjusting parallax on scopes without AO.


Never remove the lens carrier from the scope after detaching the ¼” lock ring. Doing so lets nitrogen escape, necessitating a costly factory repair. While the nitrogen poses no harm to you, it will be detrimental to your wallet.

Understanding Parallax

Parallax arises when the image and reticle are not aligned on the same focal plane, resulting in the reticle seemingly moving across the target. Properly focusing the reticle to the shooter’s eye and adjusting the focus knob can mitigate this issue. A scope with a single power setting (e.g., 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x) possesses one parallax-free distance. On the other hand, high-power variable scopes (e.g., 6x-20x, 8x-40x) equipped with AO don't require adjustment. But if you own a fixed power scope or a low-power variable scope (e.g., 2x-7x, 3x-9x) without an AO knob, this guide is for you. If you're delving into this guide, it's likely you wish to set the parallax to a different range than the factory default.


  1. Preparation:

    For low-power variable scopes, set them to their maximum power for the entirety of the adjustment process.

  2. Locating the ¼” Ring:

    On scopes from brands like Nikon, Leupold, Tasco, Simmons, etc., you'll find a ¼” ring at the bell (opposite end from the eyepiece). This ring must be removed. It's advisable to purchase a strap wrench from a hardware store to prevent damaging the scope ring. Ensure only the ¼” ring is removed, avoiding the complete removal of the lens carrier, which is sealed by "O" rings.

  3. Adjusting the Parallax:

    After removing the ¼” ring, the lens carrier is exposed. Factories adjust the parallax here. With your rifle stabilized (on a rest or bench), aim the scope at a stationary object at your desired parallax distance. To adjust, turn the lens carrier ring either in or out. As you adjust, look through the scope, moving your head slightly. When the crosshairs remain steady regardless of head movement, the parallax is eliminated for the chosen distance. Reattach and secure the ¼” ring using the strap wrench.


M*CARBO holds no responsibility for any actions or outcomes related to your scope. Proceed at your own risk.