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Thread: How do you adjust for parallax Nikon 3-9x40

  1. #1

    How do you adjust for parallax Nikon 3-9x40

    I have Savage 11 trophy hunter xp with Nikon 3-9x49 bdc scope.
    When at the range last I notice what I believe is called parallax affect. When shooting benchrest it seemed the bench / rifle was too low for me and I had to bend down to the scope pretty low to see target.
    On several occasions after changing magazine and reaquiring target I could see target move although I had not moved the rifle.
    To solve I extended the legs on my bipod to max and raised the butt of the rifle off the bench crossed my left arm to my right bicep to make grove for butt of rifle. If I moved my head around I could still see the target move but the radicals in the scope wasn't as sharp as when my head was dead center. By consistently
    placing the butt in this v shape made by crossing arms I was able to get better cheekweld and just choose the same position and target each time I shot. How do you adjust for this with a score that doesn't have this adjustment?

  2. #2
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    The only thing you can do is to have the same relative position (or as close to it as possible) for every shot. That means consistency of cheek weld, sight picture and how you hold the rifle every time.
    Confido autem verificare

  3. #3
    you probably cannot get rid of this. This is the difference in expensive optics with very good glass, prisms, etc. The parallax is much less noticeable than on one of these inexpensive "package" scopes. That being said, I have one of these scopes and think they are not bad at all....probably the best scope that comes on any package rifle from any manufacturer.

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    I thought parallax wasn't an issue under 10x? Or, did I read that article wrong?....
    'Scuse me while I whip this out...

  5. #5
    Paid Member Westcliffe01's Avatar
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    It has nothing to do with magnification, It is just a question of whether the image plane of the target is coplanar with the reticle plane. If not, then any movement of the eye off axis results in the relative movement of the reticle relative to the target image and human nature would have you place the "new" aiming point to the desired point of impact with the result that the true POI is displaced relative to the point of aim.

    One of the previous posters was correct, don't waste your money on cheap optics. For $300+ any decent scope will have either a side focus or an adjustable objective to solve this issue. And you DO have to adjust it depending on the distance to the target.

  6. #6
    If you like the low power overstock has a bushnell elite 3-9x40 for $206 just in case you like to have it at that power. Most people don't know how to adjust parralax anyway. I have seen guys on the firing line with 2500 dollar scopes shooting big groups at all Fclass ranges.. a 5 minute lesson and problem solved.

    I am in the camp of quality optics. Cheap optics are ok for a safe queen or a well protected bench gun...if your lucky. Let it get dropped or roughed up a little and all that hype changes. Been there done it.
    Last edited by stangfish; 06-25-2013 at 09:48 PM.

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    Ive heard that Savage uses the Nikon prostaff on their package rifles but I am suspicious of that because Ive had two of these scopes and both were excellent optics. They both were labled "prostaff" yet the package scopes aren't.

    Most centerfire scopes are parallax free at 100yds and rimfire scopes at 40yds. Maybe yours wasn't set at any particular parallax setting. Just suppose it is parallax free at 235yds because the factory skipped this step during mfg.? This could cause an easily identifiable parallax problem.
    Aim yours out the back door and see if you can tell where it is parallax free at.

  8. #8
    Thanks but I think thomae you may have helped me solve at least part of the problem. When I close my eye mount rifle comfortably and then open my eyes. I can not see the top quarter of the crosshairs. I have to raise the butt of gun higher on my shoulder or really squat my cheek and neck lower ti see clearly through the scope. It is really a challange to get a clear sight picture everytime. I'm either holding rifle wrong or my scope is maybe 1/2" too low. This may also explain why the top part off my shoulder is so sore after shooting. Is there a rule of where butt should contact your shoulder? And how do you raise the scope?

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    The comb on your XP is too high for your ergonomics. I guess you could try higher rings or shave the comb lower.

  10. #10
    Also, with only a 9x zoom I can barely see the bullseye at 100 yards. I couldn't imaging hitting bullseye with this scope at 400 yards.

    For hunting the wide view is probably great but for long range small targets I would want a lot more zoom and paralax adjustment.

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    TF a good 3-9x scope is a great invention because you shouldn't need to adjust parallax for your quarry no matter the distance. Whatever it is youre aiming at may be gone by the time you adjust for parallax with an AO scope.
    Is this your only centerfire rifle?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by trigger-finger View Post
    Also, with only a 9x zoom I can barely see the bullseye at 100 yards. I couldn't imaging hitting bullseye with this scope at 400 yards.

    Funny, US snipers are trained with 10x scopes to shoot over 1000 yards. Granted the glass is good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stangfish View Post
    Funny, US snipers are trained with 10x scopes to shoot over 1000 yards. Granted the glass is good.
    Maybe his parents ordered him the same eyes mine did. I suggest wearing a monocle in your non-scope eye and keeping both eyes open.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by trigger-finger View Post
    Thanks but I think thomae you may have helped me solve at least part of the problem. When I close my eye mount rifle comfortably and then open my eyes. I can not see the top quarter of the crosshairs. I have to raise the butt of gun higher on my shoulder or really squat my cheek and neck lower ti see clearly through the scope. It is really a challange to get a clear sight picture everytime. I'm either holding rifle wrong or my scope is maybe 1/2" too low. This may also explain why the top part off my shoulder is so sore after shooting. Is there a rule of where butt should contact your shoulder? And how do you raise the scope?
    I am sure there are some "rules" but they will be different for different ppl. It depends if you are shooting prone, from a bench, offhand (with or without external support), etc.... Here are some of my thoughts on getting the right "fit" for any one person/stock/scope/rings combination.

    I would suggest that you try to get the rifle into the "crook" of your shoulder. You will minimize bruising if the rifle contacts your shoulder and is pushed into the muscle by the recoil as opposed to holding it loosely (or without actually touching your shoulder) and having it "slapped" into your shoulder. Some of my rifles have only the botton of the recoil pad against my shoulder, others have the entire recoil pad contacting me. With a .22LR, you can get away with little contact, but with a heavy-recoiling rifle, you want the entire recoil pad to be firmly against your shoulder.

    When you mount the rifle, it should feel comfortable. Do it with your eyes closed. Feel where your cheek is against the stock (It's called "cheek" weld for a reason ☺). You should not have to tilt your head hard (a little is ok, if it feels natural). Do it again and again with your eyes closed, concentrating on how it feels, until you can replicate that feel without thinking. (The feeling and position will be slightly different depending on your shooting position. In other words, your cheek weld for a prone shot will be different and feel different than your cheek weld for an offhand shot.)

    You have the right idea: After you get a comfortable mount position and cheek weld, then open your eyes and adjust your scope position so that, without moving your head, you have a good sight picture, either with the iron sights aligned correctly, or with a scope, centered with the scope picture in focus and filling the whole reticle. If that is not the sight picture you have, you will need to adjust something (ideally on the rifle - scope position forward/rear, scope height, comb height, length of pull, etc...) so that you end up with a good sight picture without bending your neck or twisting your head and shoulders all over.

    Obviously this is an ideal situation. Sometimes there are rifles that we just can't make work like this and you will have to move your head around (hopefully not too much). Well, all I can say to that is that we live in the real world, and getting surgery to change your neck length or shoulder width would solve the problem, but it is probably easier and less expensive to either live with it or replace the stock. If you get the chance, You can try someone else's stock with a different design to see how it affects your sight picture. This is why opinions vary on which stock is ideal. My ideal stock might not fit you, and your perfect stock might be very difficult for me to use.

    Again, these are my opinions and what work for me. Someone else might have great success doing it differently. The bottom line is that you want the rifle, stock, scope, cheek, and eye positions to be exactly the same each time you mount the rifle to your shoulder. That consistency will absolutely help with accuracy and reducing parallax error. By the way, I don't often shoot at long distances, but my current long distance setup is with a fixed 10 power scope with no parallax adjustment and I was holding my own at the PA Savage shoot (so I have witnesses!).

    Cheers, and keep shooting.
    Confido autem verificare

  15. #15
    Registered User Joe L's Avatar
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    Let me give you an example from just last weekend of what thomae has covered above. I was shooting at 545 yards with a .308 with a scope with parallax adjustment. But I was shooting about 50 yards uphill so the gun was not level. I did not notice that the butt of the gun was so low when I fired the first two groups that I was essentially over the gun with the top edge of the gun butt contacting my shoulder. I fired off 9 rounds in a group of four then of five, labelled 1 and 2 below. I knew something was wrong, then it hit me. The gun was too low. I moved back down slope at the shooting area enough to get me down where I could hold the rifle correctly (and still not strain my neck) and fired off the next 10 rounds, which were in two "good" groups. No changes to anything other than shooter's position and maintaining consistency between shots. I did change the dial in on elevation by 0.2 mil after the first group.



    Final shooting position.



    Positioning behind the scope and behind the rifle and consistency are much more of a factor than the hardware, at least for me.

    If you learn from the guys on this forum, you can get some good results. Here is the final marked up version of the target above, suitable for framing. 10 good rounds in a row, doing most everything correctly. This time.



    Joe
    Last edited by Joe L; 06-26-2013 at 09:51 AM.
    Savage 10 FCP-K with Bushnell 3.5-21x50 scope, lots of SIG Pistols.

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