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HELP: Out of Windage - Scope Base Screw Hole Alignment Check?

 
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:01 PM
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HELP: Out of Windage - Scope Base Screw Hole Alignment Check?

I did run a search and found a similar issue someone had with their rifle, however I did not find the answer to my question.

Background: I bought a new Savage 110 FCP HS Precision chambered in .338 Lapua Mag to take on this year's elk hunt and to get my feet wet in the future with a long range hunting rifle. Using the factory EGW Aluminum 20MOA base and TPS rings, I mounted my new Nightforce 8-32x56mm on it, bore sighted it with a quality boresighter and ran out of windage in the process. I shot it hoping the boresighter was wrong but sure enough it hit 6 inches to the right of center at 100yds with the left windage adjustment bottomed out... Crap

I took it to a gunsmith and he said he thought the rings and bases looked good (he didn't have the means of checking the alignment of the screw holes to make sure they're parallel with the rifle so he "eyeballed it) and pointed at the scope. I called Nightforce and they said they'd be happy to look at it but it would take 4 weeks or so for them to get to it. The friendly Nightforce rep suggested I try a different set of rings and/or bases.

I bought a Ken Farrell 20 MOA base and set of Nightforce Rings and shot it yesterday with very similar results to the first outing with the rifle. This time I was 4" to the right of center but with the left windage still bottomed out. $250 later and still at square one.

Rant: Everything is spanking new on this rig (16 rounds through it total - 10 of which were spent trying to find out where it was shooting after using a POS Leupold Magnetic bore sighter when I first set it up...junk) and I'm a bit perturbed that I spent this much money and things aren't lining up right. I don't buy the gunsmith's eyeball technique for a minute so I went all over Houston trying to find some one worth their salt with the proper equipment. I guess around here aren't very many gunsmiths worth the title or the ones that are worth a hoot are swamped with work. I'm running out of time until my hunt and I'm beginning to think I'll be having to borrow a rifle because this turd won't be ready.

Question: Is there any way I can check the alignment of the screw holes myself? I have an idea of what I need to do but can anyone outline what I should do to check this. I'm half-way mechanically inclined so any help is appreciated.

My notion (correct me if I'm wrong please) is that the scope base mounting screw holes are intended to be parallel with the barrel/receiver, assuming the receiver and barrel are square. I'm more inclined to point fingers at where the holes are tapped versus the Nightforce being messed up. Just to check, I'm gonna mount it on another well functioning rifle I have to see if it works as advertised but I'm still pointing fingers at the holes. Both bases mounted up without any trouble so I think the alignment of the holes are fine.

If the holes aren't parallel to the barrel, wouldn't this be something Savage would have to remedy?
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:58 PM
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Re: HELP: Out of Windage - Scope Base Screw Hole Alignment Check?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmerbeau View Post
I did run a search and found a similar issue someone had with their rifle, however I did not find the answer to my question.

Background: I bought a new Savage 110 FCP HS Precision chambered in .338 Lapua Mag to take on this year's elk hunt and to get my feet wet in the future with a long range hunting rifle. Using the factory EGW Aluminum 20MOA base and TPS rings, I mounted my new Nightforce 8-32x56mm on it, bore sighted it with a quality boresighter and ran out of windage in the process. I shot it hoping the boresighter was wrong but sure enough it hit 6 inches to the right of center at 100yds with the left windage adjustment bottomed out... Crap

I took it to a gunsmith and he said he thought the rings and bases looked good (he didn't have the means of checking the alignment of the screw holes to make sure they're parallel with the rifle so he "eyeballed it) and pointed at the scope. I called Nightforce and they said they'd be happy to look at it but it would take 4 weeks or so for them to get to it. The friendly Nightforce rep suggested I try a different set of rings and/or bases.

I bought a Ken Farrell 20 MOA base and set of Nightforce Rings and shot it yesterday with very similar results to the first outing with the rifle. This time I was 4" to the right of center but with the left windage still bottomed out. $250 later and still at square one.

Rant: Everything is spanking new on this rig (16 rounds through it total - 10 of which were spent trying to find out where it was shooting after using a POS Leupold Magnetic bore sighter when I first set it up...junk) and I'm a bit perturbed that I spent this much money and things aren't lining up right. I don't buy the gunsmith's eyeball technique for a minute so I went all over Houston trying to find some one worth their salt with the proper equipment. I guess around here aren't very many gunsmiths worth the title or the ones that are worth a hoot are swamped with work. I'm running out of time until my hunt and I'm beginning to think I'll be having to borrow a rifle because this turd won't be ready.

Question: Is there any way I can check the alignment of the screw holes myself? I have an idea of what I need to do but can anyone outline what I should do to check this. I'm half-way mechanically inclined so any help is appreciated.

My notion (correct me if I'm wrong please) is that the scope base mounting screw holes are intended to be parallel with the barrel/receiver, assuming the receiver and barrel are square. I'm more inclined to point fingers at where the holes are tapped versus the Nightforce being messed up. Just to check, I'm gonna mount it on another well functioning rifle I have to see if it works as advertised but I'm still pointing fingers at the holes. Both bases mounted up without any trouble so I think the alignment of the holes are fine.

If the holes aren't parallel to the barrel, wouldn't this be something Savage would have to remedy?
In a nutshell.....Yes.

I have the same scenario with a target pistol I own, the rail mounting threaded holes aren't parallel to the centerline of the chamber bore, creating an offset windage situation that causes offsetting of whatever sight I install, in this case a railway sight.

I don't run out of windage because it's a target pistol and the range is 50 feet but it is a definite quality issue that the maker is going to address with a new receiver

My misalignment is severe enough that I can visibly see the offset of the sight in relationship to the rail. At 50 feet, my issue is workable. Yours isn't.

Just because both bases mounted to the receiver without an issue don't mean the mounting holes are on the same (exact) centerline in respect to the centerline of the chamber. Manufacturing tolerances in respect to the mounting holes and aftermarket rails will allow for substantial offset before binding or difficult insertion of the mounting screws would occur and it would be difficult at best for you ro ascertain if, indeed they are (or are not) simply because the barrel/receiver would have to be separated and the receiver fixtured and then the drilled and tapped holes gaged for parallelism and alignment in relationship to the chamber centerline, a job best left to the manufacturer in their QC lab.

In my case, the chamber/receiver/barrel are one machined part, unlike your separate barrel/receiver.

It's impossible to 'eyeball' alignment unless the alignment is so skewed that it's very obvious..... We all take for granted that the quality control of these firearms precludes just this, but it does happen.

Keep in mind that the receiver is the BATF registered part (serialized) so replacement is going to entail a re-registering on the part of the manufacturer.

Unless you have access to a machine shop or tool makers facility, gaging the parallelism of the mounting holes in relationship to the receiver/chamber centerline is beyond your (or most gunsmith's) capabilities. better left to the manufacturer.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:53 PM
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Location: College Station, TX
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Re: HELP: Out of Windage - Scope Base Screw Hole Alignment Check?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SidecarFlip View Post
In a nutshell.....Yes.

I have the same scenario with a target pistol I own, the rail mounting threaded holes aren't parallel to the centerline of the chamber bore, creating an offset windage situation that causes offsetting of whatever sight I install, in this case a railway sight.

I don't run out of windage because it's a target pistol and the range is 50 feet but it is a definite quality issue that the maker is going to address with a new receiver

My misalignment is severe enough that I can visibly see the offset of the sight in relationship to the rail. At 50 feet, my issue is workable. Yours isn't.

Just because both bases mounted to the receiver without an issue don't mean the mounting holes are on the same (exact) centerline in respect to the centerline of the chamber. Manufacturing tolerances in respect to the mounting holes and aftermarket rails will allow for substantial offset before binding or difficult insertion of the mounting screws would occur and it would be difficult at best for you ro ascertain if, indeed they are (or are not) simply because the barrel/receiver would have to be separated and the receiver fixtured and then the drilled and tapped holes gaged for parallelism and alignment in relationship to the chamber centerline, a job best left to the manufacturer in their QC lab.

In my case, the chamber/receiver/barrel are one machined part, unlike your separate barrel/receiver.

It's impossible to 'eyeball' alignment unless the alignment is so skewed that it's very obvious..... We all take for granted that the quality control of these firearms precludes just this, but it does happen.

Keep in mind that the receiver is the BATF registered part (serialized) so replacement is going to entail a re-registering on the part of the manufacturer.

Unless you have access to a machine shop or tool makers facility, gaging the parallelism of the mounting holes in relationship to the receiver/chamber centerline is beyond your (or most gunsmith's) capabilities. better left to the manufacturer.

Thanks! I think I'm coming to grips more and more that the rifle will not be accompanying me to Colorado and going back to Savage. I called them last week and they said their turnaround time is 5-7 weeks. Damn
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:57 PM
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Re: HELP: Out of Windage - Scope Base Screw Hole Alignment Check?

A possible way to check alignment -

Remove scope, rings, bases, etc. Use your studfinding laser or similar (you do have one for doing stuff around the house, right?) to run a laser line down all 4 mounting holes, and look at where that line goes in relation to the barrel. If you can line up all 4 holes and the laser doesn't essentially run down the middle of the barrel you now know they're off. You can also reverse the process and run the laser down the middle of the top of the barrel and see if you can "catch" all 4 mounting holes.

Hey, it's free and probably worth trying.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:04 PM
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Re: HELP: Out of Windage - Scope Base Screw Hole Alignment Check?

There is always next year. I did a bit of agonizing over Len's 2015 booking but thats too far off. The way things are going in the world today, 2015 migh be never.

I certainly would not think what you and I have going on is a common occurence. QC is god with both Savage and my manufacturer, in this case Strum Ruger so IMO. it's a fluke and not the norm.

It seems that more Savages suffer from tight chambering than anything else and Rugers from very clunky triggers.

As an aside, my personal Savage rifles have no issues whatsoever in build quality or fit and finish.
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Last edited by SidecarFlip; 09-22-2012 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:44 PM
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Re: HELP: Out of Windage - Scope Base Screw Hole Alignment Check?

I have a laser level. I never even thought of that... Definitely gonna give that a go! THANKS!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SidecarFlip View Post
There is always next year. I did a bit of agonizing over Len's 2015 booking but thats too far off. The way things are going in the world today, 2015 migh be never.

I certainly would not think what you and I have going on is a common occurence. QC is god with both Savage and my manufacturer, in this case Strum Ruger so IMO. it's a fluke and not the norm.

It seems that more Savages suffer from tight chambering than anything else and Rugers from very clunky triggers.

As an aside, my personal Savage rifles have no issues whatsoever in build quality or fit and finish.
I thought the same thing: How could this happen to me twice? I had to use a traditional Leupold 1 Piece base on my Remington 700 in .300 WSM due to either the screw holes being misaligned or the base being trash. I didn't investigate that much because it was a used rifle and the issue was solved with $20 and a set of rings I already had. With this brand new gun, I refuse to go that route because I bought it new and a $1200+ rifle shouldn't have this issue IMO.

I've heard great things about Savage. I've seen tons of posts ranting and raving about these rifles being extremely accurate out of the box. This was my first Savage purchase... Hopefully it doesn't have to be my last. I'll run a few tests on the scope another rifle and certainly give that laser level idea a go before I call customer service again and prepare to have it sent back.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:48 PM
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Re: HELP: Out of Windage - Scope Base Screw Hole Alignment Check?

My 11-111 in 338 shoots very well and exhibits none of the tendencies or quirks discussed on this site in many threads. Of course I don't chamber Hornady brass. It's a Lapua so it chambers Lapua. Why buy anything else.

If the mount tappings are out of alignment, it's a quirk just like my pistol is.

Keep in mind that even though their firearms (Savage) are made on machines, some of them CNC, the human factor is still present so the chance of a fock up is present too.

Also keep in mind that an mis-alignment of just a few thousands of an inch will be greatly amplified and extreme distance, the longer the shot, the more agregious the alignment becomes which is why at 50 feet, I can still shoot my pistol accurately but I'd never be able to hit anything if the target was at 200 yards and the pistol was a rifle with the same alignment error.

I know it's misaligned (pistol) by looking at the sight's relationship to the rail and the rail's relationship to the receiver. That is something you can't see with a scope because the compensation for the misalignment is done internally in the erector mechanism, the scope's physical alignment never changes.... Which is why I say the chamber/receiver has to be fixtured (jigged) and aligned and the rail/base mounting holes need to be cherked for parallelism and trueness to the receiver/chamber centerline, not something you can do at home or an average gunsmith can do. That takes very specialized precision equipment and skill.

Gun manufacturers already have that equipment as well as go and no go fixtures for checking alignment as it pertains to production firearms. Yours (and mine) somehow escaped that check, like I said previously, the human factor rears it's head.

If it was me, in lieu of fiddling with it, I'd be calling Savage on Monday, explaining exactly what is occuring and ask their opinion or if they want the firearm returned directly or through an FFL.

As I said before, the BATF registers the firearm based on the receiver so if the receiver has to be changed out, it will have to be re-registered.

You need to consider another firearm for hunting this year......
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