Originally Posted by shortpants
Question??? Do you recommend shooting a plumbline test after using the alignment tool you sell to verify results? It seems the plumbline is the most accurate way to eliminate errors so why not just skip the alignment tool and shoot the plumbline to begin with? 6 or even 12 rounds is still cheaper than the alignment tool in most cases. The exception would be if you have more than a few scopes to worry about. Am I on the right track or did I miss something? No disrespect meant towards the alignment tool just wondering if its worth buying for someone like myself who only owns a couple of scoped rifles? Guess I need more rifles!!!
That's why I included the live fire method in the article, as well as a number of different reticle alignment tools. Different strokes for different folks.
To get the reticle aligned accurately using method 1, you need to fire at least three shot groups to accurately locate the point of impact. If you want to keep the round count down to 12 (four groups) or less, you will need to get the reticle alignment close before you start. That means using one of the alternative methods 4 or 5. If you already have the tools for those methods, then you're good to go.
I assume that you're using an anti-cant indicator. If not, your groups at 15-30 MOA elevation will probably be too large for long range shooting.
If you find that the first group fired at 15-30 MOA elevation is less than 1" from the plumb line, then you're done and it only cost you six rounds of ammunition. However, if the group is more than about 1" from the plumb line, you should re-align the scope. This is where the round count starts to go up.
Was the scope reticle canted or was the rifle canted, or both? That is, the scope reticle could be misaligned, or the anti-cant indicator could be misaligned, or both could be misaligned. By how much should you rotate the scope and/or anti-cant indicator to correct the error? Most folks will be cautious and try to rotate the scope just a degree or two at a time. How can you tell 1 degree of rotation when you're looking down at the scope? It's easy to get confused and rotate either the scope or anti-cant indicator in the wrong direction. Sorting all this out at the range could easily cost you half a day and a box of ammunition.
Generally, you don't need to use the live fire method to check reticle alignment after using the RingTrue alignment tool. I occasionally check the alignment of scopes using the live fire method, after I used the RingTrue tool to align the reticle and anti-cant indicator. I haven't found one case in which the cant was more than 1 degree. That's good enough for long range shooting.
The only exception I can think of would be if your rifle has a large boresight misalignment. For example, if you found that a large windage offset (>10 MOA) from the optical center was needed to optically align your reticle to the bore. Another possibility is if you optically zeroed the reticle to the bore, and then found that the point of impact was off more than about 16 MOA to the left or right. That would indicate that the boresight alignment is off due to barrel vibration. In either case, you would then have a residual reticle alignment error that could cause a significant canting error. Such large boresight errors are not common, but in my experience do happen about 20% of the time for high volume production rifles.
And yes, you need more rifles. Len at Long Range Rifles can help you with that problem.