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Scope leveling mystery

 
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  #1  
Old 05-03-2013, 08:22 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Aussie in Italy
Posts: 277
Scope leveling mystery

This is something that has already taunted me before.

Leveling scopes...here is whay I do, and when I'm done, it always looks out of whack, and I end up getting drift to the right as soon as I shart shooting past 500 yards.

I made up a heavy steel plate with a vice welded to it and four bolts that act as adjustable legs.
I lock the rifle in this.

Using the Wheeler engineering "level, level, level!" I get the rifle level off the raceway and double check off the scope rail. I find some scope rails are off camber, and it varies along their length, but only by fractions of a degree.

Then I'll mount the scope and get it level off the turret caps, double check and cross reference using the same level infrom the raceway to make sure everything is consistent. It is. Then get it snug in the rings.

Next step is set up a plumb line 50 yards away to make sure.

I use a 20lb weight on the end of the line and make sure there is no wind affecting it.

Today, the scope, a Leupold mark 4 confirmed that the turrets tops (and flat area underneth) are pretty much perfct, though I did need to adjust it by a half tiny amount, maybe one degree.

Once this is all in place I snug down the scope level, all the while maintaining and double checking that it stay in line with the plumb line and the rest of the levels. Once it is scung, double check again, adn everything is level.

So this all sounds foolproof, but once I set up on the bipod, to get "level" it looks canted wayyy off, and always to the left, which with the last scope I set up like this, gave me right POI past 500.

What the h@ll is going on?
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2013, 08:26 AM
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Re: Scope leveling mystery

night force rings with a level, I use a few small levels, one on the rail, one on the turret tighten screws slow in a uniform manor, check and recheck levels (screws will twist optic if not tightened in a uniform manor).
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2013, 08:32 AM
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Re: Scope leveling mystery

A few years back someone here on LRH put me wise to the following tool from Brownells. Works every time.

EXD ENGINEERING VERTICAL RETICLE INSTRUMENT | Brownells
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  #4  
Old 05-03-2013, 08:56 AM
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Re: Scope leveling mystery

I get the same thing. I think it just just the way it appears, after beating my head against the wall I finally decided to just trust it and it worked out. Remember a light breeze can give you a (small) measurable amount of drift even at 100yrds, depending on your gun and load you may want to add in a touch of spin also. I realize it's tiny but tiny adds up. Yea my reticle always look canted to the left to me also thats why a scope level is such a life saver.
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  #5  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:07 AM
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Re: Scope leveling mystery

I've got this rifle in the vice, the reticle perfectly lined up on the plumb line, simultaneously having a level in the raceways, another on the rail, all level and the scope level also adjusted and reading level.
So in theory it's perfect. When I pick it up, it looks a good 3 - 5 degrees off.

I'll take it out for some shooting tomorrow and see what happens with some reticle tracking tests.

Before I cared, I used to set them up by eyeball, and never had a problem...
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  #6  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:37 AM
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Re: Scope leveling mystery

How much to the right at 500 yards are you? What is your degree of rifle/shooter accuracy?
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2013, 01:58 PM
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Location: NW Florida Piney Woods
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Re: Scope leveling mystery

Quote:
Originally Posted by EXPRESS View Post
I've got this rifle in the vice, the reticle perfectly lined up on the plumb line, simultaneously having a level in the raceways, another on the rail, all level and the scope level also adjusted and reading level.
So in theory it's perfect. When I pick it up, it looks a good 3 - 5 degrees off.

I'll take it out for some shooting tomorrow and see what happens with some reticle tracking tests.

Before I cared, I used to set them up by eyeball, and never had a problem...

I started using a level on my scopes and a level on my mounting bases about 15 years ago and for the first few years my reticles looked canted to the side but then I got used to the true vertical and started holding my rifles straighter. By the way I use a plumb bob to check my vertical orientation when I have doubts and they always verify that my little level on the top of the scope caps isn't lying to me.

I'm betting you either have a reticle tracking problem or a wooly booger has entered your rifle or scope and the only cure for that is an exorcism. This of course was a bad joke and I'm sure you're frustrated but I've had a few wooly boogers that only showed up at long range over the years and I never did figure out what the problem really was.

Maybe someone that's a lot smarter than me will chime in.
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