Vortex parallax markings might be off, I'm not sure

Walter Haas

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I noticed with my Vortex Razor that the parallax adjustment is possibly not true to the markings on it. When I was at the 100 yard range yesterday I set it to 100 and it was perfectly in focus, but at my house I point at a hill that I know for a fact from a topo map is over 600 yards away yet when its in best focus the marking reads about 250 yards. What does this mean?
 
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Danup8520

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Check this out.

 
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hogfarmcaptain

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Everyone’s eyes are different. Like others have said, don’t worry about the markings. Those are just a general guideline.
 

Bear9350

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You really shouldn't even be worried about the focus. The parralax needs to be adjusted so that at a given distance the object you are looking at does not move if you move your head/eye a bit. The numbers may not match up and that is fine.

Did you ever set the focus for you? (This is not done with the parralax.)
 
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Walter Haas

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Do you wear contacts?
Check this out.

Thank you, that's helpful about the diopter acceptable range of adjustment but now I'm confused about something else he wrote.

"Next time out at the range, I setup on the 640 yard silhouette and adjusted the focus for zero parallax. It only took a slight diopter adjustment to pull the target into focus, and the reticle was still nice 'n sharp."

I thought focusing the target and turning the parallax turret was the same thing, that when the target is in focus the parallax is done. That the "focus" knob is the same thing as the "parallax" turret. But this guy is saying he adjusted the focus for zero parallax and then used the DIOPTER to "pull the target into focus". How did he know the parallax was zero if the target wasn't in focus? I thought that's the only way of knowing the parallax is zero.
 

Danup8520

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As said above focus ≠ parallax. Parallax is tested by moving your head around making sure the crosshair does not move. That is what the parallax knob adjusts.
 
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Walter Haas

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As said above focus ≠ parallax. Parallax is tested by moving your head around making sure the crosshair does not move. That is what the parallax knob adjusts.
Oh, okay, now I see what he meant. I will have to play with that tomorrow because I remember the window of diopter range he was talking about and I set mine in the middle, too. Thanks a million!!
 

smoothy8500

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I forgot where I read it, but as you adjust the diopter away from "0" either +/- it also affects the focus in relation to parallax so the numbers (and focus) are no longer totally "in sync".

A stable reticle supersedes focus any day.
 
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spife7980

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Parallax is where the images, the reticle and target, are not on the same focal plane so when the rifle is perfectly still and you move your head left the cross hair will drift left across the target, when you move right it drifts right. So you adjust the parallax so that the cross hair no longer drifts and you have dialed out any parallax no matter the turret markings. Weather, changes in light, the scopes adjustment and your individual eye can all affect the perceived parallax of the scope so it's tough to have all markings all right all of the time for all people at all magnifications and adjustment ranges. Some are a more forgiving design, some are more challenging. (If you head is perfectly centered behind the optic there is always zero parallax because your are not off any direction)
Once you are no longer drifting adjusting the eyepiece diopter focus you may be able to get a more focused image.
 

Gee Kay

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this is the way i see it as,

diopter adjustment is like someone needing a pair of glasses to see up close i.e. it focus' the reticle to the eye

paralax adjustment is like someone needing a pair of glasses to see something at a distance i.e. it focus' the target to the reticle
 

Threadcutter308

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I have heard that some manufacturers no longer wish to put numerical values on their parallax adjustment because of criticism that "they are off" (meaning "in error") in relationship to actual distance. As a result, they have gone to what I would refer to as the "Nike swoosh" graphic, I can't imagine a more useless item than the swoosh. At least, with numerical reference, you can dial parallax in to "some number/value". Personally I don't care if that number is "100", or "9", or ".1". Doesn't matter to me, at least I have a solid reference point to return to. No dice with the swoosh. And, do I care that 100 actual yards shows up as "113" yards (arbitrary numbers, pulled out of the sky) on the adjustment based on proper parallax setting ? Not at all.
 

Rob01

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As mentioned the numbers are there for a quick reference but are not hard set numbers and this is for any scope. I think I had one scope over the years that was almost on to the numbers on the knob but I never look at the numbers as hard set rules. Just to get me in the area.
 
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Bear9350

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If i am shooting groups on paper or confirming dope at distance I take the time to adjust parralax. I do like the numbers on the dial though. During a match I set it to about 600 using the numbers on the dial. Most shots are inside that. I don't bother adjusting unless I am shooting a KYL rack where the targets are likely to get small.
 

Rob01

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If i am shooting groups on paper or confirming dope at distance I take the time to adjust parralax. I do like the numbers on the dial though. During a match I set it to about 600 using the numbers on the dial. Most shots are inside that. I don't bother adjusting unless I am shooting a KYL rack where the targets are likely to get small.
I like having a basic idea on the know for the same reason as you don't have time on the clock to set parallax. I just put it close on the knob for the stage. I let the stage dictate where I will set it. Not just a general 600 though.
 

Ratch_V

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Another factor in parallax is the temperature. Parallax changes with the distance between the lenses, so if the scope itself is hot or cold enough, the metal will expand or contract and change the distance between the lenses. Bad parallax is also more noticeable on higher power.
 
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M8541Reaper

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nightforce doesnt even put numbers on the new NX8 scopes
That’s how my NXS is. They probably got smart and went back to that style just to cut down on CS tickets from customers yelling about their parallax knob being broken lol. My ATACRs have the numbers (obviously) but I have yet to concern myself with them in terms of matching...because it doesn’t matter.

Not sure if this is true, but I heard they started putting them on for mil contract bids. Either way, the numbers don’t matter. This comes up all the time and I feel bad for CS reps that probably have to explain parallax to customers on the phone...just for them to still say there’s something wrong with their optic, due to their inability to grasp a simple concept.
 

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When manufacturers remove the distance numbers, I sorta wish they’d replace them with single digit numbers, 1,2,3,4 etc. sometimes I want to go back to a setting and can’t remember what weird shape referenced on the dial o_O.
 
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b6graham

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When manufacturers remove the distance numbers, I sorta wish they’d replace them with single digit numbers, 1,2,3,4 etc. sometimes I want to go back to a setting and can’t remember what weird shape referenced on the dial o_O.
paint pens my friend
 

PracticalTactical

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I've noticed the parallax setting changes when you adjust the ocular lens to correct for different prescriptions.

I assume its calibrated for 20-20 vision.

Never the less, the slightest movement is all it takes to be on or off perfect. I don't put much value in the parallax numbers for precision shooting like F Class, but for PRS you simply don't have time to chicken neck the parallax in perfectly. So for that I just go with the distances as marked.

But... If you set your head back just until that dark ring forms around the outer edges of the field of view, you can use that to center up your eye position, so even when parallax is not set perfectly, you can still be parallax free.
 

carbonbased

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if i do camo does that mean i can just whip it out in public cause no one will be able to see it?
The trouble with camo is thusly:

lookin’ through scope, adjustin’ the plax, take da shot (taring up th’ steel fyi), muh dam wife bumps my plax when she sits down ma beer, I fergot what I set it on, 👀 down at wang fer plax setting, can’t see it.

Dayumit!
 
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PracticalTactical

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Thank you, that's helpful about the diopter acceptable range of adjustment but now I'm confused about something else he wrote.

"Next time out at the range, I setup on the 640 yard silhouette and adjusted the focus for zero parallax. It only took a slight diopter adjustment to pull the target into focus, and the reticle was still nice 'n sharp."

I thought focusing the target and turning the parallax turret was the same thing, that when the target is in focus the parallax is done. That the "focus" knob is the same thing as the "parallax" turret. But this guy is saying he adjusted the focus for zero parallax and then used the DIOPTER to "pull the target into focus". How did he know the parallax was zero if the target wasn't in focus? I thought that's the only way of knowing the parallax is zero.
Focus is at the ocular lens and corrects for variations in the shooters eye prescription to bring the reticle into focus... not the target image.

Parallax setting brings the target into focus, but the target is not necessarily parallax free when it is in best focus. Sometimes you have to set the parallax slightly out of focus to be parallax free.
 
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Racer88

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My challenge with parallax is this... At my local range, you can't touch the rifle until they go "hot." And, as soon as they go "hot," folks start shooting. Moving my head with ear pro on often bumps the stock of the rifle. So, it's hard to move my head to determine whether the reticle is moving or steady on the target without bumping the rifle with the ear pro.

But, I can't take off my ear pro, because everyone around me is firing.

So, it's delicate dance trying to do the head bob thing and not bump the rifle causing an "artificial" movement of the reticle over the target.

As for the numbers... yeah.. they don't match up. So, what I did recently is use a metallic (silver or bronze) sharpie marker to mark a "dot" on the parallax dial for future reference.
 
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b6graham

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My challenge with parallax is this... At my local range, you can't touch the rifle until they go "hot." And, as soon as they go "hot," folks start shooting. Moving my head with ear pro on often bumps the stock of the rifle. So, it's hard to move my head to determine whether the reticle is moving or steady on the target without bumping the rifle with the ear pro.

But, I can't take off my ear pro, because everyone around me is firing.

So, it's delicate dance trying to do the head bob thing and not bump the rifle causing an "artificial" movement of the reticle over the target.

As for the numbers... yeah.. they don't match up. So, what I did recently is use a metallic (silver or bronze) sharpie marker to mark a "dot" on the parallax dial for future reference.
ear plugs?

and get a better range
 
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shoot4fun

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I own four Razor GenII scopes and the focus and parallax are perfect on them all. If the target is at, say 200 yards, all I have to do it set parallax turret to that and go. Focus is sharp and no movement of target/reticle if I move my head.
My NF ATACR, on the other hand, is the most difficult optic I've ever owned for getting both focus and parallax to do what they are designed to do. There are no number markings on the ATACR parallax turret. I find it damn near impossible to have both focus and proper parallax correct on either one of them. The older NXS scopes, which I have the most of, are much easier to use than the ATACR.Plus, those old NXS scopes are built like tanks.
 
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Racer88

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ear plugs?

and get a better range
I always wear double ear pro... foam plugs plus muffs. Plugs, alone, are not enough given the proximity of other shooters.

A "better range?" You mean like one that allows folks to manipulate their guns when they go "cold?" 🤭
 

PracticalTactical

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My challenge with parallax is this... At my local range, you can't touch the rifle until they go "hot." And, as soon as they go "hot," folks start shooting. Moving my head with ear pro on often bumps the stock of the rifle. So, it's hard to move my head to determine whether the reticle is moving or steady on the target without bumping the rifle with the ear pro.

But, I can't take off my ear pro, because everyone around me is firing.

So, it's delicate dance trying to do the head bob thing and not bump the rifle causing an "artificial" movement of the reticle over the target.

As for the numbers... yeah.. they don't match up. So, what I did recently is use a metallic (silver or bronze) sharpie marker to mark a "dot" on the parallax dial for future reference.
If I were you, I'd cut a strip of white paper to fit and tape over your parallax knob and mark it up to distances as you see it.

If you are handy with a PC, you could design and print something that's better looking, like I do for my windage and elevation.

 

carbonbased

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My challenge with parallax is this... At my local range, you can't touch the rifle until they go "hot." And, as soon as they go "hot," folks start shooting. Moving my head with ear pro on often bumps the stock of the rifle. So, it's hard to move my head to determine whether the reticle is moving or steady on the target without bumping the rifle with the ear pro.

But, I can't take off my ear pro, because everyone around me is firing.

So, it's delicate dance trying to do the head bob thing and not bump the rifle causing an "artificial" movement of the reticle over the target.
I am far from being an expert on this subject, but maybe your scope is too low?

There’s a lot of opinion on how to line up your face behind the scope, with the “low- as-possible-cheekbone-connects-to-the-eye-bone” peeps vs “chin-weld” types vs “no-touchee-no-feelee-finger-pad-onlyee” free recoilers.

Me? I prioritize my body parts over pretty much anything, so I double up as well. I get the scope up high enough so the muffs are not hitting the stock, save for the occasion bump (like sometimes during recoil).

I’m a chin-weld guy.

A side benefit of my scope position is that it seems the straighter up and down my head is, the easier it is for me to hit the target. My neck muscles are not all stressy and my head isn’t all sideways-like. Brah.

YMMV
 
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PracticalTactical

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I am far from being an expert on this subject, but maybe your scope is too low?

There’s a lot of opinion on how to line up your face behind the scope, with the “low- as-possible-cheekbone-connects-to-the-eye-bone” peeps vs “chin-weld” types vs “no-touchee-no-feelee-finger-pad-onlyee” free recoilers.

Me? I prioritize my body parts over pretty much anything, so I double up as well. I get the scope up high enough so the muffs are not hitting the stock, save for the occasion bump (like sometimes during recoil).

I’m a chin-weld guy.

A side benefit of my scope position is that it seems the straighter up and down my head is, the easier it is for me to hit the target. My neck muscles are not all stressy and my head isn’t all sideways-like. Brah.

YMMV
That's a great point. For PRS, I too prefer not to need to cheek it hard. I try to level the rifle up on the obstacle and have a light hold so the obstacle is pointing the rifle and not my body. If I have to bear down onto it to get a good sight picture, I'm holding the rifle too hard and impart my own movement into the wobble area.
 
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Walter Haas

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Parallax is where the images, the reticle and target, are not on the same focal plane so when the rifle is perfectly still and you move your head left the cross hair will drift left across the target, when you move right it drifts right. So you adjust the parallax so that the cross hair no longer drifts and you have dialed out any parallax no matter the turret markings. Weather, changes in light, the scopes adjustment and your individual eye can all affect the perceived parallax of the scope so it's tough to have all markings all right all of the time for all people at all magnifications and adjustment ranges. Some are a more forgiving design, some are more challenging. (If you head is perfectly centered behind the optic there is always zero parallax because your are not off any direction)
Once you are no longer drifting adjusting the eyepiece diopter focus you may be able to get a more focused image.
Thanks, that's a helpful recap. Now, I see what you're saying if I go to low mag and really incorrect parallax for the distance to the target. Then I can see the target moving all around the reticle as I move my head. But at max power on my Vortex, 27X, I can't have the parallax too far off or I can't see the target. So since the parallax dial is not as drastically off and I'm zoomed in I can't be certain of whether I'm seeing parallax because the "eye box", I think they call it, is so sensitive I don't get to move my eye far enough to be sure I'm seeing parallax before I'm seeing black crescenting. Does this sound right, that at high mag its a lot harder to determine parallax?

(I'm assuming the eye box is the imaginary volume that your pupil must be within in order to view through the scope correctly, although if that's right I don't know why its not called an "eye cylinder", but we won't go there. :))
 

Danup8520

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Sounds like you are getting there. You only need a slight wiggle to see if you are dialed in. If you get to the point of “black crescenting“ without seeing crosshairs movement you are dialed in pretty good.

Now as to the original question, I think you will see that your numbers are much closer to the target yardage, but prob will never be exact.
 
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Walter Haas

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I own four Razor GenII scopes and the focus and parallax are perfect on them all. If the target is at, say 200 yards, all I have to do it set parallax turret to that and go. Focus is sharp and no movement of target/reticle if I move my head.
My NF ATACR, on the other hand, is the most difficult optic I've ever owned for getting both focus and parallax to do what they are designed to do. There are no number markings on the ATACR parallax turret. I find it damn near impossible to have both focus and proper parallax correct on either one of them. The older NXS scopes, which I have the most of, are much easier to use than the ATACR.Plus, those old NXS scopes are built like tanks.
That's a lot of Razors!
 

Walter Haas

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Sounds like you are getting there. You only need a slight wiggle to see if you are dialed in. If you get to the point of “black crescenting“ without seeing crosshairs movement you are dialed in pretty good.

Now as to the original question, I think you will see that your numbers are much closer to the target yardage, but prob will never be exact.
I see your point about the relationship between the diopter and the parallax but I need to wait for morning light to be sure of what I'm seeing. Right now my hill is backlit and its too hazy. Plus I'm aiming through a slightly dirty window. Windows get dirty fast in San Francisco I don't know why. I pay a few hundred dollars to have the exterior of my windows cleaned and two weeks later they're not sparkly clear anymore.
 

Racer88

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I am far from being an expert on this subject, but maybe your scope is too low?

There’s a lot of opinion on how to line up your face behind the scope, with the “low- as-possible-cheekbone-connects-to-the-eye-bone” peeps vs “chin-weld” types vs “no-touchee-no-feelee-finger-pad-onlyee” free recoilers.

Me? I prioritize my body parts over pretty much anything, so I double up as well. I get the scope up high enough so the muffs are not hitting the stock, save for the occasion bump (like sometimes during recoil).

I’m a chin-weld guy.

A side benefit of my scope position is that it seems the straighter up and down my head is, the easier it is for me to hit the target. My neck muscles are not all stressy and my head isn’t all sideways-like. Brah.

YMMV
That's a possibility I had not considered. I got the "high" (1.26") Vortex PMR rings on my Ruger Precision. At the time, I was under the delusion that "lower is better." Perhaps I should consider getting the next size up.
 
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Walter Haas

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I am far from being an expert on this subject, but maybe your scope is too low?

There’s a lot of opinion on how to line up your face behind the scope, with the “low- as-possible-cheekbone-connects-to-the-eye-bone” peeps vs “chin-weld” types vs “no-touchee-no-feelee-finger-pad-onlyee” free recoilers.

Me? I prioritize my body parts over pretty much anything, so I double up as well. I get the scope up high enough so the muffs are not hitting the stock, save for the occasion bump (like sometimes during recoil).

I’m a chin-weld guy.

A side benefit of my scope position is that it seems the straighter up and down my head is, the easier it is for me to hit the target. My neck muscles are not all stressy and my head isn’t all sideways-like. Brah.

YMMV
That's interesting. I have felt a few times my riser is too high and my eye can't get to that side of the optical axis. I don't know how hard is too hard to be mashing my face on the riser.
 

Danup8520

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No mashing required. Should just feel right/natural. If you are thinking about it while in the glass it is prob not right.
 

Walter Haas

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That's a possibility I had not considered. I got the "medium" (1.26") Vortex PMR rings on my Ruger Precision. At the time, I was under the delusion that "lower is better." Perhaps I should consider getting the next size up.
My challenge with parallax is this... At my local range, you can't touch the rifle until they go "hot." And, as soon as they go "hot," folks start shooting. Moving my head with ear pro on often bumps the stock of the rifle. So, it's hard to move my head to determine whether the reticle is moving or steady on the target without bumping the rifle with the ear pro.

But, I can't take off my ear pro, because everyone around me is firing.

So, it's delicate dance trying to do the head bob thing and not bump the rifle causing an "artificial" movement of the reticle over the target.

As for the numbers... yeah.. they don't match up. So, what I did recently is use a metallic (silver or bronze) sharpie marker to mark a "dot" on the parallax dial for future reference.
For me every fucking thing goes wrong once I get to the range! I feel like an idiot, like the guy with the typewriter in Saving Private Ryan.
 

Walter Haas

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That's a great point. For PRS, I too prefer not to need to cheek it hard. I try to level the rifle up on the obstacle and have a light hold so the obstacle is pointing the rifle and not my body. If I have to bear down onto it to get a good sight picture, I'm holding the rifle too hard and impart my own movement into the wobble area.
Interesting.
 

Racer88

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For me every fucking thing goes wrong once I get to the range! I feel like an idiot, like the guy with the typewriter in Saving Private Ryan.
Yeah... you're probably right. Please surrender your rifle AND your car to me. ;) I promise to use them properly! 🤓 🤘
 
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wade2big

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For me every fucking thing goes wrong once I get to the range! I feel like an idiot, like the guy with the typewriter in Saving Private Ryan.
A lot of it is because you are overwhelmed. You dove in and have read so much stuff about so many different things that at this time you have no business concerning yourself with.

In your case I will use parallax for example. It would be better if you didn’t even know it existed at this point. It is such a small trivial part of shooting with a magnified optic and you have started a couple threads that bring it up. Its a waste of energy at this time.

To make your life easier Walter, think of the knob on the left side of your scope as a focus and nothing more. You should only concern yourself with a full scope image with no shadowing when you press the trigger while not moving the crosshairs off the target and nothing more.

You started to run before you walked my friend.
 

spife7980

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While the specificity of me wants to argue the actuality is that for the new shooters I introduce they are never any the wiser when I forget to do or adjust something. It takes of bit of actually sitting down and experiencing before you start to understand any of the finer details. Parallax will often be just fine so long as it’s not egregiously off and you’ll know that but not being able to see shit.
 
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