Rifle banged around, thoughts on zero hold?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Bigeclipse, Dec 4, 2019 at 3:03 PM.

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  1. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2012
    Assuming you have a quality rifle, optics, rings/bases....what kind of impact would it take to throw off your zero and by how much have you experienced? I ask for two separate situations which occurred recently and I have yet to shoot the rifle to see what may or may not have happened. First incident....rifle leaned against a wall and fell over. The scope was not hit but the barrel hit another wall (drywall). It has a muzzlebreak and there is zero mark on the break. Second incident was walking through the woods with my rifle slung on my back. I ducked under a branch in the dark and stupid me forgot the rifle on my back. The barrel smacked the branch above me. Not super hard but it made a thud. Would these incidents make you worried your zero is off?
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 3:14 PM
  2. 6.5x300

    6.5x300 Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    I rested gun against truck opening morning and of course it fell over. Made 530 yrd first round shot less then an hour later. Cheap scope back then too. My opinion on both your "light bumps" would be "Good to go" but only one way to find out.....
    Pootyng, Ingwe and Bigeclipse like this.
  3. Orange Dust

    Orange Dust Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2015
    If I hit mine on something hard enough to look and see if I messed up the finish on the rifle, I will check the zero. I like to take a cold bore shot coming in from hunting every morning anyway.
    YZ-80 and Bigeclipse like this.
  4. KyCarl

    KyCarl Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

    May 10, 2017
    When I'm out I take my SL-500 with a card I marked where my rifle is zeroed.
    Then I can check it without firing a shot?

    FEENIX Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    Ask yourself if you are confident your zero is unaffected when a buck/hunt of a lifetime is within your range.

    Murphy does not discriminate ...

    When in doubt find out.jpg

    ... esp. when you have the opportunity to do so.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019 at 4:34 PM
  6. Rich Coyle

    Rich Coyle Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2013

    I would not be concerned.
    adam32 likes this.
  7. CO_Guy

    CO_Guy Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2018
    My experience with our rifles exposed to the shock of international travel, where they come flopping out with the other luggage, has been that it had no effect. That being said, your scenario is exactly like that and the solution is to, at worst, check its' bore site visually at 100 yards and at best, use a laser to double check your zero.
    Lynn Coleman likes this.
  8. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

    Mar 17, 2014
    I had a rifle fall off a bench and land on the windage turret of a LOW made optic. If fell about 3 ft to concrete. It was off by a half mil or so. It also put the clicks between the graduated marks on the turret. Don’t know how or why, but shooting the rifle several hundred rounds, the marks lined back up after resetting the turrets on another rifle.
    Barrelnut and FEENIX like this.

    BEEMAN Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2011
    I slipped on ice walking a cut line last year. Landed right on top of my 300 win mag. I was sure I had bent the scope. Set up a target and checked my zero and it was dead on. Truthfully I was very surprised. Scope is a NF SHV mounted in Tally’s. I think from what you described your gun should be fine. But as recommended, best to shoot it just to be sure.
    Alibiiv, ramrod79 and FEENIX like this.
  10. memtb

    memtb Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2013
    The scene: Sheep hunting, riding behind someone on a new, borrowed 4-wheeler, his pack/rifle, ect. on front, my pack/rifle,ect. on the back. Fast forward to operator error ( I later found out it was only his 2nd. time driving a 4-wheeler), and barrel-rolling 200+ yards down a steep hill! The riders parted company with the 4-wheeler within the first roll. Our hunting equipment was deposited along the 200 yards. I was very lucky, he, not so much.

    He finished the sheep hunt (though injured) with a borrowed rifle. He got neck and shoulder surgery after the hunt. I was a little bruised, my spotting scope had a minor bruise, and I checked the zero on my rifle. While it was off a little, 2 or 3 inches @ 100 yards, I expected much worse. Of course, it was a Leupold scope, mounted in Leupold QD base/rings! ;)

    All of this to say.....it wouldn’t hurt to check your zero. Even though those where pretty minor bumps! memtb
    Griffith187 likes this.
  11. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    It depends.
    I seriously dropped my VSSF II 22-250 out of a moving vehicle window one night while spotlighting. The scope and rifle were dinged up pretty good, but it held zero just fine. It is a cheap Bushnell Trophy 6-18x40 and has had even more dings since that incident. For the money it is a dandy scope.

    I dropped my Kimber 8400 300WM about 6" on it's butt and, the Leupold 3.5-10x40 VX-III was out by 10" when I shot it later that day at a porker.

    My 338WM was dropped down a rocky embankment, rifle and scope were marred, but the scope held zero just fine.

    Same scope, different rifle, rapped the elevation adjustment turret with the butt of a screwdriver at the range after a final sighting adjustment, next shot hit 8" low?

    As I said, it depends.

    Frog4aday likes this.
  12. tierradelmundo

    tierradelmundo Active Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    There's no reason not to check your zero, but if something is off you need to do more than just adjust your scope and call it good. Those sound like relatively minor bumps, so if they caused a change in zero there is something wrong with your mounting system, mounting fasteners, scope, or the combination thereof.
    mnshortdraw, Alibiiv and kiwikid like this.
  13. 26Reload

    26Reload Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2016
    Packing out two meat packs full of deer..one front one on back...using emptied rifle butt for walking stick going down a very steep. frozen, branch laden trail.......slipped hard and smacked ocular of lrp leupold on a frozen 4" limb......havent checked it yet...kind of scared to........even with the lifetime warranty.....but will soon enough..just score some 5' tall cardboard from a job.......
  14. ramrod79

    ramrod79 Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Being a serious Sheep hunter for 25+ years now I had my guns and scopes take a beating from horses falling on guns in scabbards to rubbing on trees to falling down in steep rocky areas and with good quality optics i have yet to be off zero BUT I always check!A person has enough wrecks they get complacent and think well it’s never been out should be good to go but it’s not worth wounding or missing over just firing one shot to recheck. I came out from a hunt one day where my sling broke gun fell off my shoulder and I couldn’t catch it in time rattled of me then ground I was POed. There I am walking out that mid afternoon, and there on open hill side stood a 5 point bull 475 yards just staring at me walking out the old logging road. I went into set up mode to shoot then remembered my gun clunking off the turf and I just watched him walk off. Got out to truck found a good spot to check rifle on a rock at a few hundred yards and well hell it was on BUT not knowing is like not verifying your animal legal before shoot just not proper.