Rifle Scope Turret Systems: What You Need to Know

Rifle Scope Turret Systems

When buying a new rifle scope, it’s important to consider all of its features. This includes the rifle scope turret system it uses. Read on to learn more.

Rifle scope turret systems are often considered the most important elements of rifle scopes when it comes to your accuracy. The turrets are what will let you zero your rifle properly, and you will find a wide range of styles and configurations available today. They are used on every rifle scope you will find, as well, whether you have a simple red dot scope, or you have a scope used for shooting over long distances.

However, even though most hunters and shooters know that the rifle scope turret systems are important, and they have an idea of how to use them, they aren’t as well-versed in the turrets as they should be. This article should help to clear things up substantially while providing you with information on three high-quality rifle scopes with excellent turret systems.

What Are the Target Turrets?

The rifle scope target turret system is easy to spot. The turrets are the raised knobs that are on top of and on the side of your scope. These are the windage and the elevation knobs, which you can adjust by turning. When you make adjustments, the reticle will raise up or down, or to either side, thereby changing the impact location of your bullet.

The goal is always to dial in the correct settings based on the distance of the target and other factors to ensure that your bullets hit the proper location. Some of the turrets will have distance markings on them, but that is not always the case. It will depend on the make and model of the scope.

Using the Rifle Scope Target Turrets Correctly

You will find that the target turrets for most scopes work the same, and they are simple to use. 

Types of Adjustments for Turret Systems

However, some turrets will require a tool to turn. You should always keep this tool handy and have a spare with you just in case. These tend to be more impractical, and they are generally not the best option, as the tool may become lost.

There are also turrets called coin-slot turrets.  The turrets can be adjusted with a coin or a flat-head screwdriver, as well as a tool that comes with the scope. Having additional options for adjustments is nice, but they are still not an ideal solution.

The finger-adjustable turrets are the most common because they are simple and don’t require an extra tool just in case you were to misplace it or lose it in the field. You can simply make the adjustments using your thumb and finger. When you are buying a rifle scope, this may be something that you want to consider in your purchase.

Making the Adjustments

Using the correct tool, whether it’s a special tool or just your fingers, you will start to turn the knobs in the direction you need to help line up your reticle properly. You will want to look through the sight picture to see your reticle as you are making the changes.

The top turret will change the elevation. With the elevation knob, you will be able to raise or lower the location of the reticle. You can also use this to make adjustments when you are in the field, not just when you are zeroing your rifle. For example, if you are shooting at long range, you can use the elevation turret to adjust for bullet drop.

With the windage knob, you can move the reticle horizontally. This is the side turret. You will use this not only when you are zeroing the rifle, but also when you are making adjustments in the field if you are dealing with wind. High wind when shooting at a long-range can change the trajectory of your bullet and making these adjustments can help you to stay on target.

Some scopes, particularly those that are used for shooting at longer ranges, will have a third turret. This is the parallax adjustment knob, and you will not find it on all scopes. You will use this knob if you have found an issue with parallax in your scope. This means that the reticle moves off target when you move your eye around the sight picture.

By making adjustments to the parallax knob, you can ensure that the reticle and the target are on the same focal plane, ensuring a more accurate shot. Once the parallax is corrected, the reticle won’t move when you move your eye around the sight picture. The bullet will go where the reticle is placed.

What Are Ballistic Turrets?

Some scopes feature what is known as ballistic turrets. These will provide you with the ability to have multiple zero settings. They have 100-yard increments, and users will be able to adjust for different ranges quickly and easily.

These tend to be more expensive, but many who are shooting at variable, known distances like these types of turrets. For the majority of hunters out there, they are not a necessity.

Measurement Types

MIL and MOA are measurement types that are used on scopes. The scopes that feature MOA measurements are the most common, but it is important to understand that MOA adjustments will change with distance. At 100 yards, 1 MOA will be equal to 1”. When you are sighting a scope or zeroing a scope at this range, it makes it nice and easy.

However, as you go further out, the distance and measurement change. At 200 yards, 1” will be .5 of an MOA. This is something you will need to remember. However, you will find that MOA is simple to use, which is why it is so common.

MIL stays the same no matter the distance. A MIL at 100 yards will be about 3.6”, and they are measured in .10ths. Knowing that the MIL stays the same no matter the distance can make it easier to learn this measurement system. These are often used in the military and for tactical shooting, as they can provide very precise shots.

Quality Rifle Scopes with Great Turret Systems to Consider

Below, you will find information on three rifle scopes on the market today that have excellent turret systems. We’ll be looking at what each of these scopes can provide in terms of not only their turrets but the overall features and benefits they can offer.

TAC Vector Optics Sentinel

The Sentinel from Tac Vector Optics is a 4-16×50 scope that features a second focal plane MIL-dot reticle that provides you with range information that is constant and easy to read. The turrets are fingertip adjustable.

Since this is a MIL measurement system, it ensures that the information stays the same no matter the magnification. This will, in turn, provide faster range estimation and holdover correction.

The rifle scope has a 34mm reflex lens aperture, which will provide you with a wide field of view. This can work well for a wide range of different types of shooting, including shooting targets that are on the move. You will find that the scope also works well in low light conditions thanks to the multicoated lenses that allow for increased light transmission.

There is a stepless brightness illumination system in red and screen, which can make it easier to get the site set up and ready to go. You will enjoy a high-resolution image and excellent eye relief. Since durability is important, as well, you will be happy to know that the rifle scope is made from high-quality aluminum that is shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof.

Several models of this rifle scope are available in addition to the 4-16×50. You could opt for the 6-24×50, 8-32×50, or the 10-40×50 based on your needs.

Huskemaw 10520BD

The Huskemaw 10520BD 5-20×50 Blue Diamond rifle scope is a high-end product through and through. This is a ballistic compensating rifle scope that features a highly accurate and easy to use turret system for those who are looking for the best.

The scope has a 30mm main tube and 50mm objective lens, along with a side focus for parallax correction. The scope works very well for shooting targets, and it can work for both varmint hunters, as well as those who are after larger game.

Some of the other features of the rifle scope include the fast-focus eyepiece, a turret system with accurate drop and windage compensation, and a “Hunt Smart” reticle. The system has an MOA click value of .333 and an MOA per revolution value of 20 MOA. The lenses are coated to provide high definition images when you look through the sight.

The scope is lightweight, the rifle turret system is easy to use, and it can provide you with extremely accurate shots. It’s been called the most advanced ballistic compensating rifle scope on the market.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First

The Diamondback from Vortex Optics is another quality rifle scope that provides you with a fantastic rifle turret system that is easy to use.

The 4-16×44 scope features extra-low dispersion glass along with multicoated lenses. This allows for excellent light transmission, which provides a clear and bright picture.

The exposed tactical turrets are easy to use and feature not only elevation and windage but also a side parallax knob. This ensures accuracy at longer ranges. Users will be able to focus the reticle easily thanks to the fast-focus eyepiece.

Hunters and shooters will be happy with the build quality of the MOA rifle scope, as well. It is shockproof, so it can withstand impacts and recoil. Users like that this scope can hold a zero, which is not the case with many lesser-quality scopes. The O-ring seals and nitrogen purging provide you with waterproofing and fog-proofing.

What to Look for with a Rifle Scope Turret System

You want to buy the best rifle scope with a turret system that is practical and easy to use. Naturally, one of the first things you will want to look for is how the turret system is adjusted. The options above are finger-adjustable systems, so you will not need to worry about having any special tools to make your adjustments.

When you are choosing a scope, you will also want to see just which turrets are included. Scopes will always have a windage and an elevation turret, but not all scopes will have parallax adjustment. For those scopes that have greater magnification, you will always want to choose an option that has a parallax adjustment knob, such as those mentioned above.

You also want to be sure that the rifle scope and turret system will be able to hold a zero. This means that even after shooting or a day hauling it through the woods and occasionally bumping the scope that the zero remains stead. This will ensure that you have good shots that are on target.

Of course, the overall durability of the rifle scope is important, as well. Always choose a scope that has a durable tube housing that can keep up with the hunting lifestyle. A good rugged scope that’s built to last is essential.

Conclusion: Get the Scope that’s Right for You

Knowing the importance of the turret systems helps to ensure that you make a sound purchasing decision. Now that you have a better understanding of what rifle scope turret systems are, what they do, why they are important, and how they are used, you can shop for your next scope. Take the information you have learned, check out each of the three scopes, and see if one of those will meet your needs.

Once you get your scope, take it out to the target range, so you can practice making the adjustments and so you can properly zero your scope. Get to know the turret system and the scope before you take it out hunting for the best results.