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Getting a reticle level is nearly impossible .

 
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  #22  
Old 08-12-2012, 03:02 PM
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Re: Getting a reticle level is nearly impossible .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Vette View Post
Winmag,

Save yourself some time. Use a mirror first as described here:

Centering of a scope's adjustment dials

The elevation and windage adjustments of a scope are easily centered. Place a small mirror against the objective end of the scope. That would be the end farthest from your eye as you look through the scope. Make certain that the mirror is large enough to cover the entire objective. It must also be flat against the objective. With the scope's power selector ring set at the lowest magnification, look through the eyepiece as you would while aiming at a target. If the scope's windage and elevation adjustments are off center, you will see two images of the reticle (cross-hair). To reach the center of the adjustment range, simply turn the elevation and windage dials until you see only one image of the reticle.

If you want, finish up with the "rotating the scope in a V" method you usually use if you want to get it absolutely centered, but I find that the mirror trick is usually within a couple of clicks of center.
That's cool!! I'm definitely going to try this in the future. Thanks for the tip!!
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  #23  
Old 08-12-2012, 07:56 PM
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Re: Getting a reticle level is nearly impossible .

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Originally Posted by winmag View Post
That's cool!! I'm definitely going to try this in the future. Thanks for the tip!!
Quick question tho....
How would you get enough light to see your crosshairs this way?
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  #24  
Old 08-12-2012, 10:20 PM
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Re: Getting a reticle level is nearly impossible .

Quote:
Originally Posted by winmag View Post
Quick question tho....
How would you get enough light to see your crosshairs this way?
Believe it or not, enough comes in from the side of the mirror that it's not a problem. If you're worried I often set the mirror on my workbench, and my desk light gives off more than enough light to make this work well.
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  #25  
Old 08-13-2012, 12:57 PM
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Re: Getting a reticle level is nearly impossible .

Man alive I never knew so much frustration and troubles were had mounting and leveling a scope!

All we've done and most of the competition guys I know use feeler-gauges to level their scope. Most precision scopes now days have a flat level surface underneath the turrets, and with quality precision rings/base like Seekins Precision (Glen uses this method also), simply take your feeler gauges, find the appropriate thickness for them to where you can tighten your scope rings appropriately and still have JUST ENOUGH tension to slide the feeler gauges out before final torquing. This method aligns the flat surface of your one piece base with the flat bottom of your scope. With a quality bubble level mounted on the base for shooting this is all the "level" you'll ever need. It has worked for LOTS of rifles and we've never had an issue with it.

With less than stellar scopes and bases I would understand the need or desire to ensure proper straightness, but if using quality equipment, give this method a try and you may be surprised!

Mike
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  #26  
Old 08-13-2012, 10:39 PM
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Re: Getting a reticle level is nearly impossible .

great info posted here.
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  #27  
Old 08-13-2012, 11:45 PM
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Re: Getting a reticle level is nearly impossible .

This thread has wandered around a bit and come back to a few folks suggesting that accurate reticle alignment is as simple as aligning the reticle or the bottom of the scope precisely parallel to the base.

Well, yes and no. These simple methods work fine for short range shots in which elevation adjustments are generally less than about 10-15 MOA (about 500-700 yds for most high power centerfire calibers). At short range the canting error is so small that most folks won’t notice it.

These simple alignment methods would work for long range shots IF all of the following were true:

The barrel is straight.
The barrel is centered inthe receiver.
The barrel and receiver axes are parallel.
The base(s) and receiver axes are parallel.
The ring and base(s) axes are parallel.
The rings are centered on the base(s).

Or, if the person doing the reticle alignment gets really lucky and all these factors cancel each other out. It happens, but not very often.

The problem is that a rifle in which all of the above criteria are true is very rare (in my experience). In fact, it is rare to find a rifle in which more than half of these requirements are met.

Unless the rifle is uber precisely machined and assembled from start to finish, these simple reticle alignment methods will lead to a significant systematic canting error for long range shots, even if an anti-canting level is used. That’s because the simple alignment criteria of having the scope parallel to the base is not sufficient.

To remove these systematic canting errors the projection of the elevation turret axis must pass through the center of the bore (at the muzzle, where it matters). In most mid- to high-end scopes the reticle is parallel/perpendicular to the turret axes. Therefore it is usually sufficient to get the projection of the reticle to pass through the center of the bore.

JE Custom’s first post describes a live fire method for achieving this reticle alignment condition. The live fire method works, but is time-consuming and expensive. It is possible to align the reticle optically to the same degree of accuracy.

Winmag’s first post describes a process in which he aligns the reticle using plum lines and levels. Then he creates a large optical bench out of his kitchen and back yard, and uses it to confirm that the reticle is properly aligned to the bore. This is essentially an optical version of the live fire method.

I use a different optical process that is easier for me. My optical method requires the scope tube to be horizontally parallel to the bore (i.e., horizontally “boresighted”). There are other benefits of boresighting the scope tube, so I always do it when installing a scope. I use a device like the EXD Engineering alignment instrument to plumb the reference line intersecting the scope tube and rifle bore axes. Then I level the reticle and I'm done.
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  #28  
Old 08-14-2012, 03:27 AM
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Re: Getting a reticle level is nearly impossible .

I've had the same frustrations and tried many of the gizmos and techniques listed above. I've settled on a zero cost method that's proved fool-proof for me.

I look through the scope from a foot plus back-so 90% of the scope is black and I can only see a small circle of light centered about the crosshairs. When you do that, you'll notice the bottom crosshair should point toward the center of the bore. The slightest, and I mean slightest, rotation of the scope will make the vertical crosshair move violently from side to side. As long as you keep a cocentric viewing circle centered on the crosshairs and the bottom vertical crosshair "pointing" to the middle of your bore, game on!
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