Getting a reticle level is nearly impossible .

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by ol mike, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    The only way i've been able to get a scope level with standard rings is luck .
    I just erased all of my post out of frustration -if someone invented something that truly worked they could sell it to me for sure.

    I'm about a half step away from tightening the scope down to near torgue specs and putting a pipe wrench on it ----seriously !
    Just kind of aggitated with this process -so don't bother telling me how to tighten the right side front screw -then the left side rear screw etc. that does not work no matter how you do it.
     
  2. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    I find it seems to depend on the scope, the rings and the location of the moon. :D

    I use the Wheeler Level/Level/Level tool combined with the EXD vertical reticle tool:

    EXD ENGINEERING VERTICAL RETICLE INSTRUMENT - Brownells

    There are tricks to it, but I've gotten quite good at it by now.
     

  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I can level until I am blue in the face but in the end I have to use the elevation turret or shoot 100
    yards to 600 yards to get a perfict level of the scope.

    If you shoot 100 yards and then start up on the elevation the POI will tell you which way you
    have to go.

    I allways place a small piece of tape on the scope against one of the rings and another on the
    ring after the first attempt to level the scope. then I make a very fine mark on both pieces
    as a reference so if I need to move the scope I know where I was, and where I need to be.

    If the windage changes as I elevate I adjust the scope so there are no windage changes at any
    distance.

    Note : The rifle has to be leveled for each shot. I use a level that fits on the rails of the action
    for this. This will keep you from canting the rifle and nullifying the scope leveling results.

    When you are done the windage will not change as you crank in elevation and the cross hairs/
    reticle will help to prevent canting if you are on level ground. If you hunt the mountains where
    the ground is never level an external level is recomended

    A mechanical zero is ok for short distance buy the long distances need to have an optical zero.
    so that any corrections are correct.

    Just the way I do it.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  4. green 788

    green 788 Well-Known Member

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    here's an article I shared here about 7 years ago... it's still in the archives, turns out. :)

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f18/canted-scope-canted-rifle-14546/

    Bottom line... you need to have the reticle level with the earth's gravity for long range accuracy, but how perfectly level the horizontal crosshair is to your rifle's action is for the most part immaterial. :eek:

    Dan
     
  5. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Interesting! Completely new thought for me. Thanks
     
  6. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    J.E. ,

    I read the Darrel Holland article on here ,he uses the same method as you for the most part .
    I try to get the level on the rifle as level as possible shoot the gun at 100yds -at the center bullseye -crank up 10" of elevation to see if the scope/rifle shoots off the line etc. -you know the drill.
    But loosening the rings and trying to get the reticle to move over onto the line that little bit sure can be time consuming .This method is the one i consider a true level -the scope answers to the rifle as to what is level and barrels "throw" shots if you could use the most accurate laser in the world to shine down the centerbore of a rifle that doesn't mean the bullet will hit there as many of you guys already know -it's just hard to get a rifle and scope to fully agree and stay fully in agreement as to level .I've calmed down now so thanks for the help you'all.
    Heading to work now -Mike
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  7. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Glad you are calm now 'ol mike'.

    Some times I can hit level with one or two tries and sometimes not, so like many things in this
    sport, it is the little things that take the most effort.

    When I was shooting long range matches I saw many people canting there rifles (David Tubbs was
    one of them) and simply adding windage as he elevated. We all know how well he did, but when hunting everything is not at even distance's and canting can be a problem. So I prefer to adjust
    the windage only when needed for the conditions.

    So many things for small changes, but they add up to a very good hunt.

    Some times you just have to kick the dog or have a beer and start over.

    Getting all of the levels to agree at one time can be frustrating so I use the tape once I get
    a benchmark and it works well for me (Simple).

    J E CUSTOM
     
  8. RFtinkerer

    RFtinkerer Well-Known Member

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    I used a plumb line (just a heavy weight on a string) at about 50 yards in my backyard to align the reticle vertical line. I also leveled the bubble level I have on the scope to coordinate. I checked my scopes elevation movement with the same setup to check it was moving along the line. Worked like a charm.
     
  9. mrb1982

    mrb1982 Well-Known Member

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    This sounds like it would be a pretty descent idea. Might have to try that next time I mount a scope
     
  10. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you did it on the first try you should have went and bought a lottery ticket.


    J.E. Custom -you're right it's the small fine tuning things that amount to a big hit in the field.
    When everything is on and you know it -it's very confidence inspiring .
    I'm doing all my handloading work and tuning for that one shot -cold barrel shots are the only way to tune in my opinion [for LRH] .If i can maintain a load that shoots right on the verticle line from a cold barrel -i smile a lot more.Keeping several rifles in tune is overwhelming sometimes.
    Thanks Mike
     
  11. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I have ended up using a system that appears to work well after years of similar frustration. After I do the conventional Wheeler type levels on the rails, scope etc. As to tightening the rings, and keep everything aligned, sometimes i get it the first time, other times i have to adjust several times. When i get everything aligned, I then attach my Holland scope level to my scope, and line that up. When all set, I use a collimator and line up the vertical crosshair with the vertical line in the collimator. I elevate my scope 20 MOA and check to see if the vertical scope crosshair is exactly on line with the collimator's vertical line. I also check my scope's turret repeatability in the process. So far, all my set-ups were right on when I did actual testing of my impact points in the field.
     
  12. RFtinkerer

    RFtinkerer Well-Known Member

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    Sahweet! I'm buying my lottery ticket now! No more working for me, just shooting full custom rifles on a 300 acre ranch! gun)
     
  13. Displayed Name

    Displayed Name Member

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    lots of great tips here

    Ol Mike I completely relate, it does seem nearly impossible and I'm sure I've lost some hair freakin out at the aggrevating job. I did laugh a bit reading this cause I know the feeling.
     
  14. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Brownells sells a good tool for this purpose:

    EXD ENGINEERING VERTICAL RETICLE INSTRUMENT - Brownells

    But first, you need to tie a plumb bob with string at 50 yds, and make sure your rifle is level. Best way I found to do this is glue a small square bubble level to a popsickle stick (eat the ice cream first) and lay that across the action port, if it is flat.