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Mounting and squaring the scope

This is a discussion on Mounting and squaring the scope within the Optics forums, part of the Gun Forum category; Originally Posted by ConRich With the rifle secured in a cradle or gun vice I place a small level on the flat part of the ...


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Old March 6th, 2017, 01:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ConRich View Post
With the rifle secured in a cradle or gun vice I place a small level on the flat part of the receiver just behind the rear sight to level the rifle.

Next I hang a plumb bob where it can be seen through the scope and adjust the scope so that the vertical crosshair is parallel to the string of the plumb bob.

I've been using this method for years, cuz it works.

Rich
I do this. The reason is- I like the reticle to be level, so that when I get in position I can use the reticle as a reference to be sure I am holding the rifle level, not the other way around. If I am holding the rifle canted, I need to correct my position, not rotate the scope crooked to fit.

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Old March 6th, 2017, 01:40 PM   #17
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I do this. The reason is- I like the reticle to be level, so that when I get in position I can use the reticle as a reference to be sure I am holding the rifle level, not the other way around. If I am holding the rifle canted, I need to correct my position, not rotate the scope crooked to fit.
Exactly why I prefer the method that we use.

Rich

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Old March 11th, 2017, 03:47 AM   #18
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So there "IS" a simple commercially available....
Should work just like adjustable parallels.
For $35. I'm going to buy one.


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Old March 11th, 2017, 04:42 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by ConRich View Post
With the rifle secured in a cradle or gun vice I place a small level on the flat part of the receiver just behind the rear sight to level the rifle.

Next I hang a plumb bob where it can be seen through the scope and adjust the scope so that the vertical crosshair is parallel to the string of the plumb bob.

I've been using this method for years, cuz it works.

Rich
Rich (great name). I also use your method a friend taught me years ago...until I read Ryan Cleckner’s book Long Range Shooting Handbook this winter. I read it to see if I had missed anything all these years of shooting to see if I was doing things wrong. And I found something.

Cleckner states about plumb bob’s “...the problem with this method is you can end up with a scope that is perfectly level to the ground but not necessarily to the rifle. If the rifle is not perfectly level under the scope you’ll have problems...” So...I now know that minor cant’s I discover are my doing using the plumb bob method by not having the rifle and scope in perfect alignment...

Rich

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Old March 11th, 2017, 05:52 AM   #20
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Rich (great name). I also use your method a friend taught me years ago...until I read Ryan Cleckner’s book Long Range Shooting Handbook this winter. I read it to see if I had missed anything all these years of shooting to see if I was doing things wrong. And I found something.

Cleckner states about plumb bob’s “...the problem with this method is you can end up with a scope that is perfectly level to the ground but not necessarily to the rifle. If the rifle is not perfectly level under the scope you’ll have problems...” So...I now know that minor cant’s I discover are my doing using the plumb bob method by not having the rifle and scope in perfect alignment...

Rich
IMHO, if your using a plumb bob or stationary object to check your reticle, while at the same time using a bubble level on a receiver flat and turret you can't go wrong, if it all lines up your GTG. It's the best method I've found and works every time, I also use a level installed on the scope to keep from canting the rifle.


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Old March 11th, 2017, 10:48 AM   #21
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IMHO, if your using a plumb bob or stationary object to check your reticle, while at the same time using a bubble level on a receiver flat and turret you can't go wrong, if it all lines up your GTG. It's the best method I've found and works every time, I also use a level installed on the scope to keep from canting the rifle.

First ...great look’in rifle. Second...I agree with you. I still plan to use the plumb bob method. However, I think what Cleckner is saying is that it is that for many of us the plumb bob method can produce unintended errors if you are not “perfectly level”.

I am in the process of reviewing a prior scope mount I did last spring using the plumb bob method that might be have been less than perfect. If I am off I will blame it on my wife....no really its my arthritis...oh hell I screwed up...

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Old March 11th, 2017, 11:25 PM   #22
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Just adjust the scope so the crosshairs are 'square' when you shoot. There's no need for the axis of the rifle to match the scope.

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I am sorry too disagree but they absolutely need to match. This may not make a noticeable difference in shorter ranges but it has a dramatic effect in long range shooting.

Canting a rifle effects the point of impact. It is either by user (tilting the rifle) or by mechanical (scope/sights canted from bore).

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Old March 12th, 2017, 05:18 AM   #23
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I was going to post a thread on this topic this morning with questions but most have been answered here. Thanks guys!

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Old March 12th, 2017, 06:51 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by rabbitone View Post
Rich (great name). I also use your method a friend taught me years ago...until I read Ryan Cleckner’s book Long Range Shooting Handbook this winter. I read it to see if I had missed anything all these years of shooting to see if I was doing things wrong. And I found something.

Cleckner states about plumb bob’s “...the problem with this method is you can end up with a scope that is perfectly level to the ground but not necessarily to the rifle. If the rifle is not perfectly level under the scope you’ll have problems...” So...I now know that minor cant’s I discover are my doing using the plumb bob method by not having the rifle and scope in perfect alignment...

Rich
Rich, As you mentioned, the rifle must be perfectly level. I use a level that is known to be true and place it on the flat part of the receiver just behind the rear sight to level the rifle.

Rich

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Old March 12th, 2017, 07:20 AM   #25
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I used to use the bubble magnets, levels, strings, this and that gimmick......drove me batty. Now, when I change scopes or get a new scope the most detailed thing I do is make sure the rings are smooth and fit the scope tube well.

As for leveling the reticles I mount the scope, snug it slightly so scope can still be adjusted, find my eye relief. Then, I hold the rifle in front of me with extended arms. The muzzle on my bench. I align the vertical reticle with the buttstock. I then tighten the rings per spec.......and sight in.

A guy I was stationed with many years ago showed me that. He was an armorer at CRANE.

When people shoot my rifles they always ask me how I got my scope adjusted so well......lol

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Old March 12th, 2017, 09:45 AM   #26
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Interesting answers and recommendations. For what it's worth I'll offer mine. I heard the importance of NPOA early in my shooting training so that your body can be more relaxed. Tried it, believe it, embrace it and it works, one of the more important techniques there is.

So now, regarding rifle cant, some advocate adopting an unnatural position to hold a rifle vertical so that the scope you adjusted to be square with the rifle will be vertical. Interesting.

Please consider that the scope, bore, bullet and most barrels are round. There is no vertical other than gravity.

I personally embrace the cant. It is part of my NPOA. When mounting a scope I snuggle up with a bag, or bipod, my eyes closed, get comfy, open the eyes and look for the plumb line at 100yds. Rotate the scope in the rings until it matches, repeat a few times to make sure it's good then snug up the rings. Then adjust the scope level to match the reticle.

There is no elevation error in this method. The reticle is vertical. When dialing range the ideal impact will track, vertically, perfectly with the scope. However, windage is a different matter. Leveling the scope to the world, not to the rifle results in, as many mentioned above, the scope center, with regard to windage, not exactly over the barrel center. My cant is relatively large, a little more than 2*. My scope height is 1.75". My mounting technique offsets the scope center about 70 thousandths left of bore center.

If I were to center the perfect group at 100 yds then shoot a perfect group at 1000 with the same windage aim point I would have an induced error of about 5/8" right.

However to make things believable for those that interrupt a nice range day to expound how only the perfect level scope, level rifle, level position combination can possibly shoot cloverleaves on targets miles away I explain that I sight my 100 yd target so my group is 70 thousandths right of aim point. Then I adjust my 1000 yd group so it is also 70 thousandths right of aim point. When adjusted this way I have a known offset I can adjust for when sighting.

After that line of bull they usually nod agreement and go away. I continue happily, having way more problems with mirage, reading wind, distance determination, deviation in bullet velocities and a multitude of other variables than I do with a slightly canted rifle. I prefer a possible 5/8" mechanical error over a forced shooting position.

But the reticle must be leveled to gravity.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 09:56 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by m1911 View Post
So there "IS" a simple commercially available....
Should work just like adjustable parallels.
For $35. I'm going to buy one.


They are sold out now! Probably a result of this thread.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 02:54 PM   #28
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I personally embrace the cant.

Thank you,
Mr.Smith
Well, there are many ways to skin the cat so to speak. Different rifles, different sports, different shooters with different body types.

What you are describing is why unlimited match rifles aka "space guns" often have a buttplate that can be rotated. Not unusual to see a match rifle shooter with the buttplate rotated 10 degrees off vertical, because it's more comfortable to them.

This does not work with iron sights. They can not be rotated. Canting the rifle will result in displaced shots and elevation/windage errors with each adjustment. Theoretically, a guy could get known zeros and just adjust his iron sights until he hits center with the rifle canted, as long as he canted it the same way every shot, every position, every match. I choose not to do that, as that is game-specific for known distance competition and I prefer to have rifles set up for real world use where range and position aren't known ahead of time.

I use matches aa a method to practice using the rifle so that I will be better with it in the real world. One of the last steps in my shot process, just before final sight picture and trigger pressure, is check for vertical.

Coming from a lifetime of iron sight shooting, alas as I get older and my eyes get worse I tend to shoot more with scopes now. I choose to carry over the basic techniques to the scopes. This includes checking for level before breaking the shot.

For me, a level reticle is the only constant that is observable and controllable. I don't have to try to remember that if I am prone I need to cant the rifle this much, or if I'm braced over a fence rail I need to cant it that much... it's always level.

If it works for you, that's great and I'm not suggesting you are wrong at all. I'm just suggesting for other folks, I feel that having the reticle level to the rifle and holding the rifle vertical is more applicable to real world shooting from all positions, and I think it's more repeatable. If you always shoot from the same position at the same range, the same bags from the same bench, same targets, etc, then you certainly can rotate your scope and hold canted. I choose not to. Just my .02.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 03:12 PM   #29
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It would drive me crazy to have a scope mounted with canted reticles.....I can't stand it when I look through someone else's rifle and the scope is all discombobulated.......

....then there are the ones who not only have a canted scope but a sideways scope.....windage on top and elevation on left side......a side focus would really blow those morons minds....; )

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Old March 12th, 2017, 06:01 PM   #30
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It would drive me crazy to have a scope mounted with canted reticles.....I can't stand it when I look through someone else's rifle and the scope is all discombobulated.......

....then there are the ones who not only have a canted scope but a sideways scope.....windage on top and elevation on left side......a side focus would really blow those morons minds....; )
This is a great reply!!! Especially discombobulated! What does that mean anyway? I happen to agree with you on the scope that is canted. That is why I started this thread.

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