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Level It And Color It Done

Level It And Color It Done

By Les Voth

X-ray just built a new rifle. In his search for the ultimate caliber/rifle combo he has been through many. As a past shooting competitor, he knows what works. Working as a paid hunter, X-ray's real world experience eclipses the fantasy worlds of most.

Level It And Color It Done


From .243s to 6mm SLRs, 308s to .338 Normas, 6.5 Creedmoors to 22-243s, his use of and collection of working rifles is extensive. Heck, who needs a .338 Norma to shoot coyotes? X-ray! He called me a couple of weeks ago to tell me of a 708 yard shot he made on a sleeping coyote. That coyote is sleeping deeper now.

He didn't call me because he was proud of the shot. He does that by rote. He was laughing because he curled the canine on another snowbank about 200 yards off the road. Made it look like it was sleeping. Someone is going to try for it - sure as shootin'. Too bad the Norma buggered the fur too much to recover.

The new rifle is in a Manners thumbhole stock with an adjustable cheek piece. A Big Horn Tactical action is holding a 24" Bartlein barrel with a threaded muzzle. Kahles glass zeros in on offending critters, and the 6.5 SAUM is triggered by a Trigger Tech Tactical trigger.

The first five rounds down range, as the new build test stayed on one half of a half inch square target. A good start! Time to add a new piece to his new rifle.

Each of X-ray's rifles has a different level system. There's a Vortex level hanging off the Nightforce scope of one. There's the swing-out level on the scope rail of another. The swing-out level sometimes gets switched to another rifle. Like the time the Norma took out the sleeping coyote, etc.

Level It And Color It Done


The new 6.5 SAUM is getting a different leveling system. John, the man with the cool tools, machined a slot in the Manners stock, just behind the action tang. The slot is half the depth of a small round level purchased from a hardware store.

Level It And Color It Done


X-ray Cerekoted the bottom, of the see-through level, white. When the level bubble is installed in the dark slot, the white coating on the bottom will ensure the level can be easily read.

Level It And Color It Done


Before mounting the level in the prepared slot, the rifle's level was measured with two levels. Instead of centering the bubbles in those two levels, the bubbles were laid against the line on the right side of "level", on each one. This is called a "hard level". Placing the bubble against the line takes the "subjectiveness" out of the measurement. If each bubble is touching the line on the same side, the mounting should be concentric.

Mixing up some steel Devcon 10110, X-ray applied it to the slot. The white bottomed level bubble was then placed in the Devconed slot so its bubble was touching the line on its right side - as were the other two rifle leveling, level bubbles. Alcohol soaked Qtips were used to clean up the excess Devcon, and the project was left to cure.

This will be a great leveling idea. You never leave home without a leveling system. It takes less than an inch of width on the top of the grip. You don't machine deep enough to damage the integrity of the stock. And you can see the level from your cheek weld position.

When X-ray gets his cheek weld and starts looking through his Kahles, who is going to blame him for not wanting to look away? That's one nice scope!

If X-ray would have been two degrees off on that 708 yard coyote shot a couple of weeks ago, he wouldn't have been able to curl the critter's carcass into a comfy looking sleeping position on that snowbank.

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