Analysis Paryalisis/ Scope Mounting & Bore Alignment

Joe Hendrix

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
74
Location
True Nor Cal, Mount Shasta
Hello everyone,
Thanks again for all the help I have already received from this forum. I am almost over the hump with my firearm but while perusing the forums once again, I believe I may have made a mistake mounting my scope.

Just a little background, I started this build in November 2014 by purchasing a Savage 111 Trophy Hunter in 7mmRM as a package deal from Sportsman's Warehouse. I kept the action, trigger group, bolt for the build. Purchased a thumbhole from Boyds and had it glass and pillar bedded by a well respected local gunsmith. Procured a Criterion 26" light varmint tube with the recoil lug and barrel nut from Jim at Northland (who is awesome by the way). Nightforce 20MOA base, Vortex Precision Matched Rings, Vortex Viper 6-24 FFP, and finally new Magazine and etc straight from Savage to replace the plastic ookieness that came with the weapon.

I mounted the base rings and scope using the Wheeler Engineering scope mounting kit complete with levels, hone, torque wrench, etc. When I leveled my action I used the spirit level designed to sit on the inside of the receiver, resting on the rails for the bolt. I set my relief, leveled the optic by resting a spirit level on the top of the turret for elevation and felt pretty good about it. I have a Vortex anti cant bubble on the weapon also and leveled that along with the action level and the spirit level on the turret. I picked the weapon up and shouldered it and noticed the crosshairs appeared to be canted at least (what I approximated at ) 6 degrees. I looked up at my anti cant device and leveled the weapon according to its readings and the whole thing felt freaky weird.

After consulting with a couple of friends who have had success hunting up to 600 yards with their home built guns, I was advised they had used the bottom half of the scope rings to level the rifle and not the rails for the bolt on the inside of the receiver. SO... I took the scope off, used a spirit level rested on the bottom half of the mounted scope ring to level the rifle and mounted everything up from there. I also used a plumb line at a distance of approximately 20 meters to level my reticle during this second procedure. I took the rifle out and while breaking in the barrel I shot some pretty decent groups at 100 meters (MRAD scope).

This morning I was reading the forums again and read "Leveling the Scope Reticle for Long Range Rifles" by Bruce Winker. It appears I have attempted to align my reticle using Method 5 (page 2 of article) "Scope alignment to the top of receiver", and the method is a "poor choice for long range shooting." I believe I may have encountered a situation illustrated in Winker's article, Figure 1, A: example C. where my reticle appears misaligned.

I am getting ready to drive a couple of hours to a range where I can shoot my rifle out to a grand if I choose and after reading Winker's article I believe I will encounter some issues when shooting past my sight in distance.

Do any of you have experience with this same scenario? Do any other shooters use the Wheeler Engineering kit or should I purchase another tool to use to minimize my mistakes? What tool(s) do you guys recommend for me?

I hope to have some images up soon. I appreciate the info from this forum and look forward to hearing your input.
 

4xforfun

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Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
1,423
Holy man....you just gave me a headache!!!

Slap the scope on.....eye it up the best you can, and go shoot the dam thing!!!

Untill you get to those "way the hell out there" distances, you will be GTG.

Good luck,
Tod

PS....600 yards is NOT a "way the hell out there" distance. Just shoot and have fun!! You will do fine. :D
 

Greyfox

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Joined
Jan 21, 2008
Messages
5,524
Location
Northeast
I have had difficulties with the wheeler leveling on the rails with my Savages (LRH, LRP, and Predator). Try using the Wheeler rail level, with the bolt removed, measuring on the flat of the receiver located where the bolt enters the action at the very front just ahead of the tang, safety. You can check to see if this is your issue easily by doing a level check on this flat compared to the top of your turret. While the Remington 700 measures well using the Wheeker on the bolt rails, for some reason, using it on the rails with the Savage doesn't work as well and can throw off your level.
 

bill123

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Joined
Jun 14, 2013
Messages
599
Holy man....you just gave me a headache!!!

Slap the scope on.....eye it up the best you can, and go shoot the dam thing!!!

Untill you get to those "way the hell out there" distances, you will be GTG.

Good luck,
Tod

PS....600 yards is NOT a "way the hell out there" distance. Just shoot and have fun!! You will do fine. :D
Couldn't agree more. There was a recent article on Snipers Hide talking about POI shift when shooters purposely cant their stock and level the reticle. Short answer: its fine. I cant my stock so that the center of the bore is 1/4" right of the center of the scope. At 100 yds, POI and POA are the same (its zeroed). Multiply that by 10x and that gets you a 2.5" shift at 1000 yds. Remember this is a measurable offset not an error and its for a 1/4" cant. You wont get anywhere near that much by eyeballing level.
 

FEENIX

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
13,803
Location
Great Falls, MT
Holy man....you just gave me a headache!!!

Slap the scope on.....eye it up the best you can, and go shoot the dam thing!!!

Untill you get to those "way the hell out there" distances, you will be GTG.

Good luck,
Tod

PS....600 yards is NOT a "way the hell out there" distance. Just shoot and have fun!! You will do fine. :D
L:cool:L, it don't get no simpler than that! lightbulbgun)
 

Greyfox

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Joined
Jan 21, 2008
Messages
5,524
Location
Northeast
I can certainly undertand the viewpont of not going to the extemes of precision in mounting a scope to exacting alignment. I hunted and made successful shots for the bulk of my hunting life, just eyeballing my scopes. I will say that properly aligning a scope is not complicted or time consuming and can make a difference in accuracy particularly if you are using turrets to elevate. Once I got intrigued with shooting longer distances and got interested in developing the skills and equipment to successfully hunt game at long range my philosphy changed. While any one factor may not make a material differnce in results, when you begin to compound all the of the various factors, they can add up. Fine tuning to exactness whether it be scope alingment, handloads, bedding, ballistics, ect, does in my view effect the bility to consistenly take game at the mid to longer ranges. I would tend to guide the OP on his question based on his intentions with long range hunting. IMHO.
 

4xforfun

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Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
1,423
I can certainly undertand the viewpont of not going to the extemes of precision in mounting a scope to exacting alignment. I hunted and made successful shots for the bulk of my hunting life, just eyeballing my scopes. I will say that properly aligning a scope is not complicted or time consuming and can make a difference in accuracy particularly if you are using turrets to elevate. Once I got intrigued with shooting longer distances and got interested in developing the skills and equipment to successfully hunt game at long range my philosphy changed. While any one factor may not make a material differnce in results, when you begin to compound all the of the various factors, they can add up. Fine tuning to exactness whether it be scope alingment, handloads, bedding, ballistics, ect, does in my view effect the bility to consistenly take game at the mid to longer ranges. I would tend to guide the OP on his question based on his intentions with long range hunting. IMHO.
Fine...I can agree with that. But the OP's problem is that he most likely doesn't HAVE a problem. Mount it up, shoot it, and THEN fix the EXISTING PROBLEM if you have them. I think that he has already taken great care in the proper mounting of his scope. Now we are just wasting electricity. :D
 

Mikecr

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Joined
Aug 10, 2003
Messages
5,196
Location
NC, oceanfront
I think you should consider overall -what will matter to your shooting.
I hunt groundhogs in NE PA. It's mountainous, with situations where my truck seems to coast up hill.
Where I forget to mind my level, shot percentage drops like a rock, especially beyond 400yds.
So I don't blow this off.

The level that matters to me is plumb elevation adjustment. I don't care about plumb crosshair, turret, rings, bases, action, stock. Just clicks that produce level POI.
 

7magcreedmoor

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Joined
May 23, 2012
Messages
701
Location
Lebanon County PA
I use the EXD engineering tool to make sure the scope is plumb and centered above the bore. I was never satisfied with the tool that rides the rails inside the action either. As long as your barrel is round this thing works. Any imperfections in machining of your receiver are bypassed. I then use a tall target plumb line to level the reticle with the rifle still in the vise. Finish with a tall target live fire tracking test and there isn't a whole lot of room for error left...
 

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Joe Hendrix

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
74
Location
True Nor Cal, Mount Shasta
Thanks for the input. Sorry for the headaches as none were intended. I am a bit of a freak and seriously enjoy the details of any endeavor. I often find myself lost in details and as always the internet is so full of contradictions I have come to trust in the opinions of this forums members. Preparation for shooting is almost as exciting for me as actual shooting (as strange as that is for some to understand). I would like to do my best the first time out past 600.

You guys are awesome. I appreciate your advice. I am almost done breaking in my barrel and will be starting serious load development from there. I just got invited to hunt in Idaho with some friends so I need to take off and start my first draft of my packing list and historical statistics regarding weather patterns for the last decade (Joking (kind of)).

Thanks again fellas. Be safe and Semper Fi.
 

Joe Hendrix

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
74
Location
True Nor Cal, Mount Shasta
Thanks for the input. Sorry for the headaches as none were intended. I am a bit of a freak and seriously enjoy the details of any endeavor. I often find myself lost in details and as always the internet is so full of contradictions I have come to trust in the opinions of this forums members. Preparation for shooting is almost as exciting for me as actual shooting (as strange as that is for some to understand). I would like to do my best the first time out past 600.

You guys are awesome. I appreciate your advice. I am almost done breaking in my barrel and will be starting serious load development from there. I just got invited to hunt in Idaho with some friends so I need to take off and start my first draft of my packing list and historical statistics regarding weather patterns for the last decade (Joking (kind of)).

Thanks again fellas. Be safe and Semper Fi.
 

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