Windage and Elevation Range | Optics Trade Debates

Welcome to Optics Trade debates. In each episode, we talk about a different topic and try to answer the most common questions we receive about it. Today, we are going to be talking about windage and elevation range.

Windage range and elevation range are one of the basic parameters found in the tables of our webstore. These two parameters define the total elevation (up, down) and total windage (right, left) travel that a scope has. The elevation and windage is basically the total travel of the reticle when being zeroed.

These two parameters are usually measured in one of the three different units.

They’re usually measured in milliradians (mil, mrad) on tactical scopes. If the total internal elevation is 35 mrad, the elevation on 100 m is about 3.5 m.

On target scopes it’s usually measured in Minutes Of Angle (MOA). If a target scope has 60 MOA of elevation, and 40 MOA of windage, the elevation is about 1.7 m and the windage is about 1.2 m on a range of 100 m.

In most target scopes and especially European hunting scopes, they are defined by cm/100 m. This is the most simple method and is found mostly in Europe.

Elevation doesn’t really matter on hunting scopes, because it is enough if you have more than 1 m of elevation. Some hunting scopes have only 60 m of windage and because of that, the mounting solution needs to be good enough to fit in that range so that it can be zeroed.

Tactical scopes are also used on a long range and that’s why the total elevation is really important because it affects the maximum distance at which it’s still possible to hit a target. Tactical scopes should have at least 20 clicks, the more the better. For long range shooting the only usable elevation is downwards.

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Explanation of the term ‘windage’ on our website:

Windage is how much right and left you can adjust the reticle. For example, if you see in rifle scope specifications windage is 1.5 m / 100 m, this means that you can adjust the reticle maximal 0.75 m right and maximal 0.75 m left for hits on your target at 100 m. Windage range is usually specified in MRAD (1 mrad is 10 cm / 100 m) or MOA (1 MOA is 2.9 cm / 100 m). Some manufacturers designate MRADs with an acronym MIL.

This is a necessary function for zeroing the rifle scope since with this feature you can eliminate any misalignment with your weapon, and adjust the reticle exactly on the point of impact of your ammunition.

With windage adjustment, we can also compensate wind drift of the bullet from a straight trajectory. Wind drift is caused by the effect that a side wind has on a bullet.

Practically all newer rifle scopes have the possibility to adjust the reticle left or right (windage) and up or down (elevation). This process is known as zeroing. The upper turret on rifle scope is for elevation adjustment of reticle and side turret on rifle scope is for windage adjustment of the reticle. Hunter rifle scopes have the mechanism of both turrets protected with caps which protect turret from water, damage or any other outside impacts. Turrets are in other words rotatable buttons which you can spin in in both directions.

Every single movement made with the turret produces a »click« sound. Usually, 1 click on European rifle scopes moves hit on target for 1 cm at 100 m range (0.1 MRAD / MIL). On American, Japanese and Chinese scopes 1 click moves the hit on the target for ¼ MOA (minute of angle) which is 7 mm at 100 m range. On Benchrest of F-class rifle scopes, where the corrections have to be very small and precise, the clicks are in 1/8 MOA (3,5 mm / 100 m) or 0.05 MRAD (5 mm / 100 m).

Explanation of the term ‘elevation’ on our website:

The elevation is how much up and down you can adjust reticle. For example, if you see in rifle scope specifications elevation is 3.5 m, this means that you can adjust reticle maximal 1.75 m up and maximal 1.75 m down for hits on your target at 100 m. Elevation range is usually specified in MRAD (1 mrad is 10 cm / 100 m) or MOA (1 MOA is 2.9 cm / 100 m). Some manufacturers designate MRADs with an acronym MIL.

Practically all newer rifle scopes have the possibility to adjust reticle left or right (windage) and up or down (elevation). This process is known as zeroing. The upper turret on a rifle scope is for elevation adjustment of reticle and side turret on rifle scope is for windage adjustment of reticle. Hunter rifle scopes have the mechanism of both turrets protected with caps which protect turret from water, damage or any other outside impacts. Turrets are easily set with rotatable buttons which you can spin to the left or to the right.

Every single movement made with the turret produces a »click« sound. Usually, 1 click on European rifle scopes moves hit on target for 1 cm at 100 m range (0.1 MRAD / MIL). On American, Japanese and Chinese scopes 1 click moves the hit on the target for ¼ MOA (minute of angle) which is 7 mm at 100 m range.

For long range shooting elevation of at least 2.6 m / 100 m (26 MRAD or 89 MOA) is needed.

Products mentioned:
Riflescopes: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/riflescopes.html

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