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Scope Tracking

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Unread 10-27-2013, 03:20 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Casper, Wyoming
Posts: 24
Scope Tracking

What is the best way to check the tracking on a scope? I have a Vortex Viper FFP and I am not sure about the tracking.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 04:26 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 134
Re: Scope Tracking

Originally Posted by brianwy77 View Post
What is the best way to check the tracking on a scope? I have a Vortex Viper FFP and I am not sure about the tracking.

Shoot a square box. If you are at 100 yards, get it zeroed in, then left 2 MOA and up 2 MOA (upper left corner of the box). Then right 4 MOA (upper right corner of the box), then down 4 MOA (lower right corner of box), then left 4 MOA (lower left corner of box), then up 2 MOA and right 2 MOA to put you back in the bullseye.

You can add or subtract MOA to make the box whatever size you want.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 07:49 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 517
Re: Scope Tracking

Also google "Tall Target Test" to check for % of turret error.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 08:50 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: West Central Idaho
Posts: 1,219
Re: Scope Tracking

When checking tracking or accuracy on any scope make certain you are at exactly 100 yards. It does not take much to screw it all up.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. Einstein
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Unread 10-28-2013, 10:38 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 291
Re: Scope Tracking

its hard to test a scope this way because there are so many factors. I also think it takes a very very accurate rifle to expose problems. It took me quite a while to figure out how terrible my leupold was. I have never owned anything that tracks as well as my nightforce. I would be most worried about how the scope returns to zero, then how it performs in the field after cranking the turrets.
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Unread 10-28-2013, 11:19 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: SW Idaho
Posts: 1,315
Re: Scope Tracking

I personally don't test scope tracking by shooting. It simply introduces too many variables that make finding real error very difficult. The naysayers to this say that you need to know what a scope does under recoil but in my experience on every scope I have tested if there is a recoil issue when shooting with a scope it will show up early and be something you can't get past.

I instead put my gun in a sturdy gun vice where I can tighten it down so it doesn't move. I then measure out an exact distance with a tape measure and put up some test sheets that have MOA, Inch, and MIL measurements on them.

A lot of guys do this at 100 yards and there are some advantages to this but the test can be ran at shorter distances which I have a tendency to like better if I can get the scope parallax to adjust to those close distances. The closer the test target is the better most guys can resolve the difference between the reticle and the measurement lines. Also, most guys have don't have tapes that measure 100 yards but can much more easily do half or quarter this distance and be very accurate in their measurements.

Don't try to measure 1 MOA or 1 MIL but instead run the scope up a bit and average out the difference. If you suspect there are areas in your total adjustment travel that are worse than others, for instance the extremes of the adjustment travel, then those can be tested separately later as well. I run the test a few times to make sure I am getting an accurate measurement.

Scot E.
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Unread 10-28-2013, 04:55 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ventura CA
Posts: 1,106

Calibrating turrets using the "shooting the box" method seems like a waste of good ammunition too me. Getting good accuracy requires 3-5 shots per reticle position, which adds up to a box of ammunition.

Scott E's method is much more accurate and costs nothing. If you can set it up easily, then it's a much better method.

Having to hold the rifle in a vise and sight a calibration target is inconvenient for me, however. I prefer to use a Bushnell boresight collimator to calibrate turrets. That requires that the collimator be calibrated, which is an extra step, but I can do the entire process indoors using almost anything to hold the rifle.

Turret hysteresis or failure to track smoothly can also be diagnosed using the boresight collimator. Even failure to hold point of aim often can be debugged using a boresight collimator when the stock is the culprit.
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