Bushnell Zero Stop – ERS/XRS

In Blog by Rich30 Comments

So I’m going to cover the proper adjustment, setting, and re-setting of the Bushnell Zero Stop for the ERS/XRS in this article. This keeps coming up again and again and frankly, it’s Bushnell’s fault. Their instructions for setting the zero stop, at least those included with mine, are terribly written and confusing. I’m going to break down the process for everyone, step by step, for setting and resetting the Bushnell Zero Stop. The process is the same for the Bushnell ERS and XRS in the Elite Tactical series with the 34mm maintubes. If you know anybody that’s having issues with this or struggling, point them to this article so we can help them out!

Bushnell Zero Stop

What is a zero stop? Its a mechanical setting which physically “stops” the turret from turning any further. Why is that useful? For the same reason it’s called a zero stop! By setting a zero stop on your scope you limit the turret from turning below the zero mark. If you are a competitive shooter, a Military or Law Enforcement shooter, hunter, or any other type of dynamic shooter…your zero setting matters. If you are rapidly dialing adjustments from one range to another its often useful to be able to dial precisely back to the rifle’s zero mark. Without a zero stop, its possible to dial below where the scope is actually zeroed with the rifle.

This results in being on the wrong revolution of the scope for the distance you are trying to dial. This is referred to as getting lost in the dial. It’s easy to see why this is possible. If you’re a revolution lower than you think, you might dial from zero to 5 MILS for a 600 yard shot, but in reality your scope is at -5 MILS and you will be putting rounds in the dirt in front of the gun. By setting a zero stop at the point you have the scope and rifle zeroed out, you know the closest point you can dial the scope to is 100 yards, or whatever distance you picked for the zero. The zero stop makes it impossible to dial below that point!

Setting the Bushnell Zero Stop

Setting the Bushnell Zero Stop on the Bushnell ERS/XRS scopes is simple once you understand it, unfortunately the directions don’t help with learning the process. Step 1 – zero the scope, dial until your point of aim and point of impact match. Step 2 – remove the turret cap using a flat blade screwdriver or coin to unscrew the cap. Set that aside. Step 3 – pull the turret cover with markings off the turret. Set it aside. Step 4 – using a 1.5mm hex wrench, loosen the two set screws for the zero stop. Step 5 – stick the hex wrench into the hole in the top of the turret and push the stop down till it bottoms out. Step 6 – Pull the inner black turret up, unlocking the erector dial. Step 7 – dial the inner black turret, clockwise, until it bottoms out. This may be a few clicks, or a full turn and a half, dial clockwise until it stops. The zero stop is now set. You aren’t done yet, though!


STEP 2 – Remove the cap


STEP 3 – Remove turret cover


STEP 4 – Loosen both zero stop set screws


STEP 5 – That’s the hole to push the allen wrench into


STEP 5 – Push the brass zero stop down with the allen wrench


STEP 6 – Pull the inner turret up


STEP 7 – Turn this knob clockwise until it stops

Now that the stop is set: Step 1 – push the black turret back down to lock the erector. Step 2 – tighten the two set screws on the zero stop. Step 3 – replace the turret cover with markings so that the zero is now lined up with the current scope setting. Step 4 – replace the turret cap and o-ring with a screwdriver or coin. Congratulations, you set the zero stop on your Bushnell Elite Tactical XRS/ERS scope! Now we’re going to go through the process of resetting the stop in the event you are re-zeroing the scope on a new rifle!


STEP 1 – Push the inner turret back down


STEP 2 – Two screws, located 180 degrees around the turret from each other, tighten them


STEP 3 – Line up “0” with the vertical marks on the turret housing

Re-Setting the Bushnell Zero Stop

Resetting the zero stop on the Bushnell ERS/XRS is almost identical to setting it in the first place with one key difference. The steps are: Step 1 – remove the turret cap using a flat blade screwdriver or coin to unscrew the cap. Set that aside. Step 2 – pull the turret cover with markings off the turret. Set it aside. Step 3 – using a 1.5mm hex wrench, loosen the two set screws for the zero stop. Step 4 – Pull the inner black turret up, and dial counter clockwise a half turn. Step 5 – Stick the hex wrench, and a second wrench of the same size, into the tops of the set screws, use the wrench in each screw as a lever, pull the brass zero stop UP! with your fingers while using the top of the inner black turret as a rest for your thumbs. Step 6 –  Tighten the two set screws on the zero stop. Step 7 – Replace the turret cover, and top cap. Notice we didn’t push the inner turret back down, we don’t want to force the zero stop down after pulling it up. Also, at the top of the turret’s travel with the zero stop all the way up, the turret won’t lock. It will lock at the bottom, where you have it zeroed, but if you dial max elevation with the zero stop pulled up you won’t be able to lock the turret.


STEP 1 – Remove the cap


STEP 2 – Remove the turret cover


STEP 3 – Loosen the set screws


STEP 4 – Pull the inner cap up, dial a quarter turn counter clockwise


STEP 5 – One wrench in each set screw


STEP 5 – Pull UP on the levers against the black turret, pull the brass zero stop up


STEP 6 – Push the inner turret down


STEP 7 – Tighten the set screws


STEP 8 – Replace turret cover

You will  notice the cap sits up higher on the erector assembly now, you should see more of the turn indicator arrows beneath the cover. You can check to see that you’ve done this properly by dialing the elevation knob. You should have about 30 MILS of travel from top to bottom. My XRS used for this article has 32 and a few tenths. If you are only getting 20 MILS from the highest point to the lowest, the zero stop needs to come up higher. You need to repeat the process and pull a little harder on Step 5! In fact, to get maximum travel, with the zero stop up to its highest point, at the top of the turret’s travel you won’t be able to lock the turret because it won’t drop far enough to engage the turret lock. If you’ve followed the instructions this far, you should know understand the process for setting and resetting the zero stop on the Bushnell Elite Series XRS/ERS scopes equipped with a zero stop.

Wrapping Up

As always, if you have comments, a question, a tip to add…drop them in the comments below. For whatever reason Bushnell’s printed instructions for setting the zero stop suck. So hopefully this will clear it up for anybody having trouble with it. This process was tricky using those regular instructions, but once you understand it and you’ve done it a few times, it’s a piece of cake. If you want space below the zero mark, after you’ve set the zero stop, dial the inner turret counter clockwise 5 clicks from where it stops. Then follow the instructions and you will be able to dial a half mil below your zero mark.

Owner and Proprietor of AccuracyTech, LLC. Rich is a Firearms Enthusiast, Precision Rifle Competitor, and Writer. He is committed to bringing readers quality reviews and articles related to the Precision Shooting Sports. If you have any questions for him, please use the contact form on the site.


  1. I just got this optic in and the zero stop was set by the previous user to my knowledge. I followed the first step for setting the stop after getting my zero today which was took 2.5 mils of elevation or so. Will this still work? Or do i need to reset the zero stop and start all over?

  2. Author

    It will be fine. The only time you would have to reset it is if you couldn’t dial down low enough to zero. If you have the gun zeroed all you need to do is set the stop. I recommend setting it a half MIL below zero just in case you need to move it later.

  3. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that thought Bushnell’s manual was the worst. I know that their mechanism has a inner liner that holds the zero stop instead of the two set screws by themselves. and therefore probably a better design that will prevent future turret slippage if and when the scope is reset numerous times.

    Setting first zero stop process
    “Step 6 – Pull the inner black turret up, unlocking the erector dial. Step 7 – dial the inner black turret, clockwise, until it bottoms out. This may be a few clicks, or a full turn and a half, dial clockwise until it stops.”

    Question: Why is it necessary to pull up the inner black turret clockwise after pushing and setting the zero stop with the hex wrench? I would think by moving it clockwise so you just messed up you zero you set at the range?


    “Step 8 – Replace the turret cover, and top cap. Notice we didn’t push the inner turret back down, we don’t want to force the zero stop down after pulling it up.”

    Question: did you mean leave the inner zero stop mechanism up inside instead of don’t push the black inner turret down?
    My scope is in transit to me and just reading how the whole process works makes my want to return the scope and get my money back.

    I’m assuming the scope from the factory should not have a zero stop already set when you get it. Correct?

    last question…what is the inner back turret? is that what moves the scope’s evaluation up and down (clicks) when it’s seated it engaged and when it’s up it’s disengaged?

    1. Author

      You pull the inner turret up, and turn it clockwise, so there aren’t extra clicks between the stop and zero. By turning the inner turret clockwise till it stops you set the stop at zero. If you dial back five clicks for example, you would have a half mil of travel below zero.

      Your second question, you can force the stop down from it’s uppermost setting if you want maximum travel.

      Third question is a yes, but backwards. It moves the erector when the set screws are tight, but you have to lift it to unlock it. When it’s down, it’s locked.

      It will make more sense when you get your scope. The stop may or may not be set from the factory. You may need to reset it if you can’t dial low enough for a zero.

      1. thanks for you quick response. when resetting the zero stop, how is it that you can lift the zero stop/sleeve with the hex wrenches in the inner turret, does the black turret body disengage it by lifting the body up? If this is correct.. I think I’ve got. Thanks again

        1. Author

          When you loosen the set screws, you can pull the stop up.

          The black turret when pulled up, moves the erector, which is what the stop is tied to when the set screws are tightened.

          You’ll drive yourself nuts trying to do it mentally, play with it when the scope arrives.

          1. hahahahaha…LOL I take it you’ve been there

  4. Rich, I have read a couple of other entries in Sniper’s Hide talking about resetting the zero, but instead of lifting the black turret clockwise several of the guys in there talk about using a flat head screw driver to turn the center brass screw, dead center of the guts of the turret clockwise until they feel the click/stop. Do you have an idea what the does or why they are suggesting that?

      1. thanks I wont touch it, it almost sound like it makes better sense to follow the resetting zero instructions first (with out the zero stop set) and then take it out to the range get your zero and then set the zero stop. My initial thoughts were to mount the scope with 20 moa rings on my rifle dial the turret all the way down (makes sure I have 30 mils travel up and down) and pray that my point of impact and aim is somewhere up from the bottom.

          1. i’ll have to figure out if the zero stop has been set at the factory first. if it is I hope it’s set all the way down. I think most of the problems/issues people are having with this scope are people who have maybe purchased it from another shooter who has the zero stop previously set…. just a guess
            I’m hoping Bushnell can do a better job in the future with their instruction manual and support or better turrets
            I’m glad I was able to find a voice of clarity in the Bushy zero stop universe.

          2. Author

            You want it set as high UP as possible out of the box, pushing it down limits how far the erector can dial down. Counter intuitive.

    1. Author

      There are a number of differences, for starters item 3 under resetting the zero stop talks about a screwdriver in the slotted screw head within the main turret. I don’t recommend it.

      That screwed me up the first time I tried it. I see no mention of using two Allen wrenches as levers to lift the zero stop when resetting.

      I don’t know when or if they updated the pdf, I wrote the article for those who found the instructions with their scope confusing, I found mine confusing. If it’s been improved in the years since, I’m happy to hear it. If you didn’t need the article and got it right the first time, you’re smarter than me and many others! At least with the instructions that came with mine. There are countless threads on precision shooting forums with people asking for clarification so I wouldn’t be surprised if the instructions were revised at some point.

      In fact, I remember at least one instance of a Bushnell rep acknowledging some issues with the first set of printed instructions and that the article I wrote is an accurate description of how to adjust the stop.

      I’d be willing to bet there’s been revisions. Did you get your stop set up?

      1. OK, I wasn’t talking about resetting – your comments are valuable 🙂
        But setting the zero stop works OK if following the instructions in the linked PDF.
        Yep, stop set, all is good in the world 🙂

  5. Hi there.

    How do you return the scope to its factory zero, not just the zero stop so that you can start over again?



    1. Author

      Follow the guide for resetting the stop, if you want it right in the middle of the travel, which is where they typically come from the factory you will have to do some math. You’ll have to start at one end, dial all the way to the other, note the total…say 32.4 MILs. Then dial back to the middle, 16.2 MILs and set the stop there.

  6. Hi rich,

    Many thanks for your prompt reply.

    I had a nightmare with my scope yesterday and ended up using screwdriver method as described in the manual whereby you screw down clockwise until it stops then back off a quarter turn. This raises the stop appx 2.5 to 3 mils according to the manual. I presume this is to give you 2.5 to 3 mils elevation below zero?

    I re zeroed my rifle, had to come up about 6 mils for some reason. As it stands at zero i have 19.7 mils upwards elevation and 0.5 mils down before it stops. I dont recall going through the zero stop setting procedure as everytime ive tried i can never feel any movement on the downward plunger at all. I presume the correct whole is the tiny one in the rotating caps top surface?

    Any helf would be greatly appreciated. How can bushnell build such a good scope and sell it with such poor instructions?



    1. Author

      There’s better than 30 MILs of travel in that scope. You need to follow my instructions for resetting the zero stop to get it all the way up.

  7. Hi rich,

    So correct me if im wrong, to do this without resetting my zero, i remove screw cap. Loosen allen screws, pull up inner cap the use allen wrench in either side to move stop up to max position. I then replce turret and screw in cap WITHOUT pushing inner cap back down? If this is the case surely the turret wont fit back on properly without pushing the inner cap down?



    1. Author

      As long as you don’t move the turret before loosening the set screws, or after re tightening them, you won’t move the zero

  8. Do you mean as in move the turret clockwise and anti clockwise or as in pull it up or down? You specifically state not to push the turret back down? Am i getting confused here?

    Cheers rich, appreciate your help

    1. Author

      Pull the cap off. Pull the inner black turret up. Loosen both set screws. Turn the black turret counter clockwise a half turn. Stick the allen keys in both set screw holes and lift the brass stop up. Tighten the set screws. Replace the cap.

  9. Hi rich.

    Thanks very much for your time and help.

    I will try this at the range on saturday and report back

  10. Hi,

    I have moved the scope to a second rifle, but did not reset the zerostop before sighting in. My new zero is 2.6 mil above the old one, can I just reset the zerostop and then set the new one or do I need to reset it then go to the range to sight in aging and zero and then set the stop?

    Thank you


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