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Scope height?

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Unread 05-18-2012, 02:23 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 36
Scope height?

Focusing entirely on scope height vs. cheek piece for proper eye alignment. I realize that everyone's facial structure is different, and eyes are different etc. etc....

In a world where everything is average, is the following setup likely to cause me to need additional cheek piece hight for proper eye alignment, or am I still low enough with this combo that I shouldn't run into any problems?

McMillan A3 Sporter stock
20 MOA rail
.885 "low" Nightforce rings
NXS 5.5-22x50 NF

Thanks guys!!!! Sorry for all the newbie questions lately.
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Unread 05-19-2012, 12:38 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Patagonia Mountains, Arizona
Posts: 770
Re: Scope height?

Besides having mechanical clearance the most important thing is that your eye aligns with the scope when you establish a comfortable and firm hold. There are many variables you didn't mention. Not all 20 MOA bases are the same height. Not all actions have the same height mounting surface over the bore. Barrel diameter can change the required minimum scope mounting height. Few manufacturers give good enough specs so you can calculate the scope height before you have the parts in hand.

I keep several sets of cheap rings on hand so I can change them to find what fits comfortably, then buy quality rings of the same height. If you need a cheek piece there are lots of options.

Set the scope position based on how you expect to hold the rifle. The optimum height and eye relief different for shooting prone vs standing vs seated at a benchrest. There are benefits of keeping a scope low but fit to your face and body are more important.
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Unread 05-19-2012, 08:21 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 36
Re: Scope height?

Thanks for the info!
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Unread 06-10-2012, 12:22 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Arliington, TX
Posts: 16
Re: Scope height?

"There are benefits of keeping a scope low but fit to your face and body are more important. "

I agree with this. Getting the scope height to match your facial contour while maintaining a good cheek weld is imperative. Let me take this one step further and put myself at risk of accusations of heresy.

Mount the scope as HIGH as possible while drawing the line at keeping good cheek contact on the comb. Here's why: 1) It's easier to soften or tighten the weld and keep good ocular alignment throughout shooting positions than it is to scrunch down tighter into an already tight uncomfortable/impossible alignment which varies dramatically from bench to kneeling to prone. 2) The higher scope mount will seemingly flatten the bullet trajectory when zeroed at the same distance as a low mounted scope; this can only add to hunter confidence without sacrificing any true accuracy or other external ballistic concern.

On point 2 just go to JBM ballistic Calculator or any similar site, plug in everything the same except for changes in the scope height over the bore. Compare the numbers--velocities and energies are the same, the higher scope mounting produces a slightly flatter trajectory in terms of peak above line of sight and MPBR.

OOPS!! Is this starting an argument? Hey, I'm just trying to provide fodder for lively dialogue.
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Unread 06-10-2012, 05:39 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Northeast
Posts: 3,622
Re: Scope height?

I think personal shooting style and preference play a big role here, and there will be different viewpoints on the topic. I agree with prior posts that you will definitely require a different cheek rest height for different shooting positions for the long range precision work. For my LR rigs, I start with the assumption that I will be shooting from a prone position for the most demanding shoots, and set up my optimum cheek weld/ scope height for this condition. My preference is to mount the scope so the bell is no more than 1/8" from the barrel. This helps to keep my comb height as low as possible while maintaining a good cheek weld, and not having comb interference with the bore line/bolt clearance. I prefer an adjustable comb, or add a cheek pad since I have yet to find a fixed stock that fits me perfectly for precision work. Also, in the event that a prone position isn't practical, I have the ability to adjust the comb.

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready"-T. Roosevelt
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