Best Scope Leveling System...

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by crazyhorse, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. crazyhorse

    crazyhorse Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to get some opinions of the group on the best system for ensuring your reticle is level when mounting a new scope. There are several systems out there, some expensive some not.

    I'm currently doing a build that will be completed with a huskemaw scope and want to get it right.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    I think the best is Scoplevel Anti Cant Leveling Device
    This puts your SCOPE level, which is all that matters(not the rifle).
    It is also easy to see -straight on- from firing position(the others aren't).
    With it you can level your adjustments(if adjusting your scope in the field), or merely your cross hair(if holding over in the field). Once set, as mounted, it stays with the scope forevermore, from gun to gun.
     

  3. vh20

    vh20 Member

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    I don't know what's best, but what has worked well for me is a combination of things used together. I use a stack of feeler gauges between the scope rail and the flat spot on the bottom of the turret to remove all space between them, thus ensuring they are parallel to each other while tightening the ring halves. Next, I put up a plumb bob line out about 40 or 50 yds. away, and put a small bubble level on top of the elevation turret. I then use the bubble level to level up the rifle/scope while looking through the scope and checking the crosshairs against the vertical plumb line. If everything cross-checks, I'm satisfied. This method makes a few assumptions, but with quality products those assumptions usually bear-out to be valid.

    I recently bought a Wheeler Level-Level-Level system to try on my newest rifle, but it turned out the action of the .338LM was too big/wide for the rifle level portion of the system, which is supposed to lie across the action rails, so I wasn't able to use it.
     
  4. geargrinder

    geargrinder Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much my method also.
     
  5. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I do it differently and the way I do it, most guys won't be able to, but some will...

    I use a milling machine table (which is flat and level in both X and Y axis because it's leveled with machinery levels to 0.005"/foot, in conjuction with
    Setup V blocks to rest the rifle in. I rest the rifle in the V blocks, use a machinist level to level the rifle (across the receiver) to the table and clamp it with hold down clamps and set the scope in the previously lapped and aligned rings and then level the scope itself using a machinists level across the upper turret. before I remove the rifle I add a bubble level to the scope tube and align that.

    Sounds complicated but it really isn't. Problem is, you need a milling machine or an engine late bed with sufficient length to fit the rifle.

    For all practical purposes, that puts my reticle cross (can't say cross hairs because most are etched nowdays) marks at true horizontal and 90 degrees.

    I need a level on each rifle because I have a tendency to twist my rifle to the side when shooting. Must be because I'm polish or something......:D
     
  6. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I use a Wheeler kit to level the rifle off the bolt rails, and the turret. I then use a Bushnell collimator to line up the vertical crosshair with the vertical ine in the grid. I confirm the crosshair is lined either the center of the bore. I then elevate my turret while the rifle is level, 25 MOA of elevation to test for allignment of the crosshair and the gridline. If the scope is canted, the crosshair will run off angle. Also check turret movement at the same time. I then mount my scope cant devise. Finally, when sighting in at 100 yards, I shoot a 36" plumbed line target, 5 shots at zero, 5 shots, 25 MOA elevation and check that the two groups are on the line. Also, measure the distance between the two groups to check the turret accuracy. Done several rifles over the years. Except for a bad scope, the rest didn't need readjustment at the range using this system.
     
  7. crazyhorse

    crazyhorse Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the help! This sport can be as confusing as you want it to be sometimes.
     
  8. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

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    There is only one thing that is critical and that is HAVING A LEVEL RETICLE WHEN YOU PULL THE TRIGGER. IOW you could cant the rifle and still shoot without detriment at long range if your reticle is level as demonstrated by David Tubb with his cheek-over rifle

    [​IMG]

    So a level reticle is relative in that you could level it to your eye and your buddy could come along who holds rifles at a cant and he will say that the reticle is not level.

    The best method I have found is to take all the cant out of the rifle, level the reticle to a distant horizontal or vertical object and then install an anti-cant device to use at the bench or in the field to insure that the reticle is level when you shoot.

    To take the cant out of the rifle I use and EXD Device

    exd at Brownells

    and place the rifle in a vise and snug the vees on the device down on the barrel and scope to align the scope centerline with the barrel centerline

    [​IMG]

    the gun in the vise is aimed out the door at a 4' level sitting on the fence at 30 yds. When the EXD level is perfect THE RIFLE IS UNCANTED. Then rotate the scope in the rings to level the reticle with the distant object. When the EXD is level and the reticle is level with the distant object, THE RETICLE IS LEVEL WHEN THE RIFLE IS UNCANTED.

    Now is the time to install an anti-cant device on the scope. I like the ScopLevel because you can see it above the ocular without losing your cheek placement on the stock

    [​IMG]

    and folds down out of the way when not in use

    [​IMG]

    I install quite a few scopes and haven't had any complaints about unlevel reticles since using this method

    YMMV
     
  9. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    In retrospect, for years, I didn't use anything. I just lined the reticle up by eyeballing it and that worked for deer and varmit hunting here in Michigan because the shots weren't that far anyway and a high power scope for me was a 3-9 with a 1" tube and a 40mm objective with capped turrets of course and maybe an AO for parallelax that I never fiddled with, just set at 100 yards and forgot it. Half my guns had iron sights. That worked too......

    Things changed. Scopes got better, rifles got better and distances increased.... (The old Bushnell 3-9 was fine back then, in fact it was a 'long range' optic....:D)

    Now, I get all the knobs, the zero set, high turrets, big tube, big objective, bubble level, the whole shot because the usual 100 yard shot has increased and so has the complexity of alignment.

    I never lapped any ring set 25 years ago. I didn't even know what a 20MOA cant rail was. If the tube got a little kiink in it because of the rings, you just figured it was clamping well....

    Times have changed, firearms have changed and we have changed with the advancements.

    As an aside, I have a probably 30 year old Bushnell spotting scope in green rubber armor coat that I still use and my buddy has one too. He dropped his and broke the ocular evecup so I told him I'd machine a new one out of acetal for him. I pulled the eyepiece out of mine to gage the thread pitch and was amazed. the glass in my 30 year old Bushnell dime store spotter is none other than BOL (Low glass). Amazing.

    No wonder it's still good, in fact, it's extremely clear and crisp. Now I know why. I think I paid 30 buckss new for it......:)
     
  10. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Do not buy any level which attaches to a Davidson base or to the scope rail. These level the rifle only, not good. Brownell's makes a good device.
     
  11. rlspahn

    rlspahn Well-Known Member

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    +1 on the EXD device. I use one every time I mount a scope on a rifle. In regard to David Tubb's "canted" scope, as long as the vertical crosshair is aligned with the bore of the rifle, you can mount your scope in any crazy configuration you want. But if the vertical crosshair is not aligned with the bore, then your shots will display windage at the longer and longer distances and you will need to adjust your windage for those shots. gun)

    WOODS, I like the camo on your rifle stock. Can you tell me more about it?
     
  12. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Great post & pics Woods.
    I use an EXD on a BR gun, ScopLevel, and my front rest bag is leveled as well.
    For one varmint gun(thumbhole stock) I use a comfortable cant.
    With a Tubbs 2000 I ran with 7deg of cant. I recently sold it, but it was the most comfortable gun in the world(best trigger too).
     
  13. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

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    That was a dip that a gunsmith did, he is out on Mueske Rd out 290 if you are familiar with Houston

    Called NaturalGear

    rifle stock camo natural gear - Google Search

    I like it cause it is low key and not garish
     
  14. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    A target with a plumb line set up at 100 yards. Sight in on the box, dial up 30 moa using the same point of aim and fire a few more to assure it is all tracking true.

    Before the shooting starts I make sure the reticle is square with the set plumb line while my rail mounted bubble level is centered.

    Works for me.

    [​IMG]