Relates to: Optics, Sights, and Zeroing
Application(s) of Use: Any type of shooting where an optic or sights are used
Definition: An increment of adjustment used for zeroing optics and sights. Elevation and windage adjustments are made by rotating the turrets (or knobs) of the sight, which make an audible click with every adjustment. In short, that’s all a click is: the audible sound you hear when you make one increment of adjustment.
Why it Matters: Using the word “click” simplifies the adjustments that are needed. For example, if you need to move you point of impact up one inch at 100 yards, and your scope turrets are graduated in ¼ MOA, you would move your elevation “up 4 clicks”. Since scopes are graduated in different adjustments, it’s important to know what your scope is graduated in. Knowing how many “clicks” to move can help you or your buddy get on target.
Into the Weeds: Since manufacturers use varying increments of adjustment, how can a click be a click?
It’s all relative. What “one click” equals varies scope-to-scope.
Most scopes are graduated in one of the following:
1 cm @ 100 yards (or meters)
So, one click from any of the increments listed above would equal just that. If you encounter a scope that is not labeled, you can assume one click will move the bullet less than an inch at 50 yards. As we recommended in Language Lessons: Zeroing, start shooting from a close distance so you can get the point of impact on paper.
Back to the example used above, when you needed to move the point of impact up one inch at 100 yards with ¼ MOA adjustments, you would rotate the turret UP 4 clicks. When you turn a turret, the reticle actually moves opposite to the direction you moved it. Don’t get confused. The reason is… if you need to come “up,” by the reticle moving down (even though you rotated it in the UP direction), this causes you to aim the reticle higher than you did for the last shot. Aiming higher moves the barrel up, which brings the point of impact up. The same is true for every direction of adjustment. While you’re using clicks to simplify adjustments, your reticle is “chasing the bullet” since the reticle moves towards the point of impact, it makes you manually move the gun to compensate for the adjustment. That movement gets you closer to your desired point of impact. Each click is so small, most people don’t notice that it moves the reticle or sight.
In Summary, a lot of time and ammunition can be wasted while zeroing a gun. Understanding how to properly adjust the optic will streamline the zeroing process. Having an accurate zero is paramount. Determining how many clicks to use will save you time and money.