rifle cant and scope perpindicularity

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Skimbleshanks, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. Skimbleshanks

    Skimbleshanks Well-Known Member

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    So I have noticed that when I mount scopes on my rifles people tell me they are crooked. No argument there, but I mount them close my eyes shoulder the rifle and adjust them until the reticle is level for me. I guess the most comfortable position for me to shoulder a rifle is with a small degree of cant on them. All the rifles I have scoped myself have a this small amount of crookedness and I hit things accurately at the distances that I shoot. My question is should I strive to have everything as level and perfectly straight or should I mount them for the way that I shoot? Ideally I would have a multi way adjustable butt pad on all my scoped rifles but the cost is slightly prohibitive. Thanks for the feed back.
     
  2. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    I'm not sure what you mean by the distances that you shoot. If you don't shoot very far it doesn't matter. The fact is your line of sight and your bullet path will cross each other on a diagonal. So the farther out you go the farther left or right (depending on the direction of the cant) your bullet impact will be. The more severe the cant the faster this will show up. If you want to shoot long range accurately you will need to get your rifle square to the world.

    Steve
     
  3. Catfish

    Catfish Well-Known Member

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    If your happy with the way your doing thing and the results your getting don`t worry about what people say. BUT, I will garuntee you that you are not shooting at the ranges I am with any where near the accuracy. I had a friend that I helped set up an SKS for deer hunt. The best we were able to get out of it was a 4 in group at 100 yrds. I yelled and screamed get rid of it. He said why, it will do everything I need. I don`t shoot over 50 yrds where I hunt and that`s a heart shot. Works for him. BUT I like to shoot things alot smaller than deer alot farther away and groundhog at 600 to800 yrds it won`t do.
     
  4. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

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    I used to level the reticle as you do by shouldering, adjusting, shouldering, adjusting until it looked OK and lock it down but several times I would get to the range and bag it on the bench and the reticle would be obviously rotated. PITA! Also I mount many of my friend's scopes and they used to complain about the reticle being rotated.

    Now I don't have that problem anymore and after mounting a scope, it always seems level when I look through it standing offhand or on the bench. Plus I know that the reticle is perfectly level.

    This is the way I do them all now:

    First I have an EXD ENGINEERING : EXD ENGINEERING VERTICAL RETICLE INSTRUMENT - World's Largest Supplier of Firearm Accessories, Gun Parts and Gunsmithing Tools
    [​IMG]

    which is perfectly made to be level
    [​IMG]

    Set your rifle in a vise and aim it out the door or window to a distant level object (I use a 4' level on a fence 30 yards out of the door). The EXD fits on the tube of the scope and the barrel of your gun
    [​IMG]

    rotate your rifle until the EXD is level and clamp the rifle down. This will align your scope tube and bore in a vertical line and take all the cant out of your rifle. While it is uncanted, aim at the distant horizontal or vertical object and rotate your scope until the reticle is aligned with that distant object.

    You will find that the real trick is to tighten the rings down and have the EXD level and the reticle aligned after tightening. If you have the kind of rings that have a top half then it is not bad, you just have to alternate tightening the screws. If you have the kind that tighten horizontally at the top then you may have to start with the bubble a little to one side and it will end up level after tightening.

    Anyway, after you have created a level reticle when your rifle is uncanted, you will need to duplicate that in the field or on the bench. This calls for an anti-cant device. The best one I have found it the Scoplevel Anti Cant Leveling Device

    It folds down out of the way but when you need it you can fold it up and see it without taking you cheek off the butt of the stock.

    Does it help? I believe it has reduced my group size at 300 yards or more but this variable is kinda mixed in with all the other variables like wind, loads, rifle etc. so it is hard to quantify.

    Has it removed the feeling of not having a level reticle? Absolutely.
     
  5. LRHWAL

    LRHWAL Well-Known Member

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    Woods, that's an intersting looking idea that I will certainly investigate.

    Skimbleshanks, I feel your frustration. I too tend to set them up "straight" and then they always look canted afterwards.

    I had set up my rifle to track properly and recently took the scope off and needed to remount.

    I got a little level for a builders line and removed it from the casing. I then set up the rifle with non-slip matting in a shooting bag (Dog-Gone Good). I levelled the rifle using the receiver. I then straightened the scope - an IOR - using both the big flat in front of the turret and the top of the turret without the cap.

    These did not tie up and neither looked "right". To be honest, I'm not sure that the reticle is straight in the tube, but I'm not sure, so I'm certainly not knocking an otherwise excellent scope.

    Mr Holland did an article on reticle perenicularity in the articles section. In my opinion that is the only real way to be sure....
     
  6. Southpaw

    Southpaw Well-Known Member

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    Check these out, from Midway. You can take care of your problem for about $15. I made something very similar, works great.

    Lot's of other tools on the link to look at too.

    MidwayUSA - Advanced Search

    Good Luck


    Southpaw
     
  7. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

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    I have used the Wheeler Level-Level-Level. Sometimes they wouldn't fit right in the action ejection port
    [​IMG]

    On this Sako the integral dovetails were the best option
    [​IMG]

    IMO the problem is the littly bubbles were very cheaply made and one of mine was off level from it's base. I ran into 2 situations where the turrets were not level with the reticles (both Leupolds). Turrets being 100% level with the reticle is not something that is necessary for scope function so I am not sure they pay any attention to it or just try to get it close.

    Laser lights in the bore can be manipulated to give you the results you want by just minor tweakings and movement of the mandrel in the bore. Same with a bore sighter with a level on it, if it is unlevel all you have to do is cant the rifle and then you can manipulate the cant of the rifle itself to relevel the reticle and make the bore scope with level work (but it won't be right).

    The only thing that is really important is that when you pull the trigger that the reticle is level, but it is best to start with an uncanted rifle and learn to hold it that way. So really what you need to make sure of is that the anti-cant device is level with your reticle. Then you can hold your rifle canted and it won't make a difference. Evidence David Tubb's cheek over competition rifle
    [​IMG]

    YMMV
     
  8. dirtball

    dirtball Well-Known Member

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    No matter what method you use, we all have our own PET method, you need to take it to the range and do this. This will tell you how good a job you did.

    Reticle Perpendicularity

    Dave
     
  9. Skimbleshanks

    Skimbleshanks Well-Known Member

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    I would like to thank everyone for the input. I went out and bought a used harris bipod, one that doesnt pivot, found the most square wall in the house and set the rifle up a distance away. Is it perfect? Probably not, but it is as good as I can do for now(and so much better than it had been). As soon as my custom length guage shows up from Lee I can load up some ammo and really see what is going on and fine tune everything. I'll let you all know when I know. Thank you.
     
  10. Robbin

    Robbin Well-Known Member

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    Even if you mount your scope perfectly level, you have to have a level on your rifle when you shoot. A 1 degree cant will move your bullet impact 6 inchs at 1000 yards. You can't see or feel it. Worse, things in your field of view that aren't level, will make you try to level to it and you can be WAY OFF.
    Bottom line, you have to have a level on your rifle. I like the expensive US OPTICS level. But get something, anything past 400 and the cant will eat you up.
     
  11. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    Rifle cant is fine, in fact David Tubbs cants his rifle and recomends canting. The important part is for the scope reticle to be level. As long as the reticle is level you will not get any horizontal movement when you adjust the turrect for a verticle distance correction