gun, scope, bubble level .. dont look level??

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by bigsal5353, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. bigsal5353

    bigsal5353 Well-Known Member

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    just put a bubble level on my scope to make sure im not canting for the long shots.(350 to 500yds with my 22-250) thats as long as i can shoot acuratly. how i got level: used small level on the action and locked it in place in a rest. next hung a plumb line in a door way and lined up the vertical crosshair of the scope with it... once that scope and gun were level simply put scope level on scope tightened everything up.. rechecked and everything was level.. my problem... when i look thru the scope the cross hairs dont seem level.. when the bubble level says its level it looks like the scope is canting pretty bad. is it possible that it just looks that way to me?? how can i make sure evetyhitng is really level?
     
  2. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    First place I can see a problem coming into play is the leveling of the rifle action.

    If the action isn't truly level you've made everything plumb to a canted action.

    What kind of rifle are we talking about?

    Could also be that you naturally cant the rifle and now with everything level it looks and feels awkward.

    One way to check (I think this will work) could be by firing some rounds at a large target at 100 yards. First shoot a group at your 100 yard zero setting. Then adjust the elevation up about 20 MOA and shoot again (same Point Of Aim), then run the elevation down to about 20 MOA below (if possible) your 100 yard zero and shoot again. The center of these groups should be plumb, check BEFORE taking the BIG target off the backer. If they're not plumb with each other there's something canted.
     

  3. bigsal5353

    bigsal5353 Well-Known Member

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    hey dave thnks for the reply... shootin a savage 112 ....thats a great idea for checkin if the rifle is canted... thanks alot
     
  4. rwleonard

    rwleonard Well-Known Member

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    The way I like to use the level is this. I put the scope in a padded vise, with the cross-hairs trued-up on some vertical or horizontal reference, and attach the bubble level to the scope, showing level. Then put the scope on the rifle, get into a position that feels good with yours eyes closed, and have some body else turn the scope until the bubble reads level. Then tighten the rings up.

    I like a little inboard cant in my prone and sitting positions, and this method lets me get the cant consistent.

    Rick
     
  5. Perkules

    Perkules Well-Known Member

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    I use a bipod and a bubble for the initial adjustment of the rifle, making the rifle sit level on a level workspace.

    Then I use a Leupold collimator (and a plumb to level the colli) in the muzzle to adjust the scope level as well. (You can use the collimator to roughly check level later on.)

    That pretty much makes it level -but you do need to check things the way Dave described.

    I just got back from the range and my .22 LR fun gun was behaving strange. When I dialed for the wind at 150 meters it moved the POI up and down as well, I took the bubble to make sure I´m level - and I was. 100 meters was no problem at all but 200 (about 32 moa) was nearly impossible, the "Dave-Test" verified the problem when I got to our 50 yard range and dialed up and down, left and right...

    The rifle had been zeroed while canted. Not exactly the best thing to do , it was windy yesterday and I got a new batch of Super-X...re-zeroed... well, no level. [​IMG]


    These 22s are quite educational things really, just put targets all over the place and hit them in windy conditions while really thinking what you are doing. Use your tables and an anemometer, good practise to keep your wind reading skills in shape.
     
  6. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Here is how I check without shooting.

    I place a 3' target board down range at 200yds. I use a 3' level to draw a plumb line right down the center. A thin magic marker works well.

    While on the bench I carefully level the rifle using a small level on the flat of the scope base. While the rifle is level, I peer through the scope to see if the verticle crosshair is perfectly parallel to the plumb line down range.

    When this is accomplished I add my scope level and make sure that the bubble is centered when the crosshair is still parallel to the plumb line.

    The shooting method DOES sound like a good way to confirm that everything has worked as planned.

    VH
     
  7. Old teacher

    Old teacher Well-Known Member

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    Just reading all the responses it is pretty obvious that the biggest problem in the whole leveling conundrum is the initial leveling of the rifle. Leveling the scope is a snap once you get the rifle level and get it to stay there. If you are counting on the flat top of your rifle (if it has a flat top) to be level, you are beginning with a mistake. It probably isn't. Same for putting either scope or rifle in a vise. Close, but no cigar, as they say. Our goal here is to be sure that our rifles are shooting level. That does not necessarily mean the rifle and scope have to be level in relation to each other, although ideally they should be. I really like Dave's idea of shooting a group, drawing a reference line, then shooting above and below the line and see how the upper and lowers line up with the initial center. Shooting groups (as Dave said) would allow you to throw out "flyers" in your calculations. This method, assuming you can shoot the groups (no offense to anyone meant with that statement, it includes me) is foolproof. You would have to choose the right day...no wind, etc., but in the end you would know exactly how your rifle is shooting and you could make the appropriate adjustments. Ignore what any of your levels say about your gun and your scope, just pay attention to HOW YOUR RIFLE SHOOTS! THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT ANYWAY. Thanks for the idea, Dave. I will put it to the test as soon as I get my new knee and can get back on the range.
     
  8. Old teacher

    Old teacher Well-Known Member

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    Studying this has piqued my interest in leveling for some reason, so I decided to take a look at the rifle that I was using when I made the longest shot I have ever made. The rifle is a Remington titanium I bought a number of years ago but have not used much. It is as wonderful little rifle which weighs 5lbs, 3oz. without the scope and empty. I have never weighed it scoped and loaded. I bought it in 30-06, but I cannot leave anything alone, so I had it rechambered for 30 Gibbs. But it's 6 pounds is a considerable difference from the 11lbs of Sendero, scope and cartridges I usually pack around, I'm not "Old Teacher" for nothin'. Anyway. I leveled the rifle up the best I could using a number of devices, and I got it looking pretty flat. I peered through the scope, and it was canted to the left about four degrees. When shouldered, the scope appeared to be level. The last deer I shot with this rifle was a doe when my two partners and I went as a group, so we all had tags, We hunt the breaks of the Snake in the lower, east corner of WA. We got in good with some wheat farmers there, and for $10 a -piece, we can hunt for as long as we want on 7500 acres behind a locked gate. We get a key. Ordinarily, punching three doe tickets takes about an hour, but for some reason, we just could not locate them in their usual spots. We could shoot either species. We were down to about a half hour from the season ending, my partners were finished, and I was embarrassed. I was standing on a hill in long grass, and a whitetail doe walked out a long way below me. This was going to be my last chance, but she was so far away, it was not an ethical shot, but I decided to try it anyway. I had one of the first generation range finders limited to 400 yards. I took a look through it, and it was obvious the doe was more than double the range finder's limits. I pondered my load, my rifle, m y scope (a Zeiss), the distance, the ethical issues, and my own limited abilities. I estimated the bullet drop at four feet. I decide to take one shot. I held three and a half (I guess) feet above her back right above her boilerhouse and touched off the shot. She stumbled a little, reared up on her hind feet, and fell over backward, stone dead. I took a reading on a rock 400 yards toward her, walked to it, took another reading 400 yards away, walked to it, then took a final reading to the deer, another 37 yards.
    An 837 yard shot out of a 30 Gibbs. Absolute blind freaking luck, plain and simple. I couldn't do that again in a hundred tries. The bullet had gone through the middle of her heart. The point here has nothing to do with my shooting abilities, which are average at best, especially as I get older, and we have all made a shot like that that we like to talk about. The point is that a bullet from a rifle with a scope canted about 3-4 degrees went in a straight (Vertical) line directly to the target.
    No wind involved. So the question is, is there necessarily a direct relationship between everything being level and the way the gun shoots. Out of a perfect rifle, probably, but I have not seen the perfect rifle yet, and I have been looking for 60 years. Does all of this mean anything relevant to the argument...I don't know.