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Scope leveling


Alaskapopo
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Saw a video where a Nightforce scope was leveld with two triangle shaped wedges that when pushed together under the scope and the rail leveled the scope. Where do I get these triangle shaped metal wedges. Trying the bubble levels for some time and its not correct I am having 3 to 4 inches of drift to the right at 400 yards with no wind.

Pat

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  • 4 weeks later...

I use feeler gauges. I surface ground some steel barstock to take up most of the gap but you can do it without as well. Makes the job super easy and dead on level,of course you need a one piece quality rail. I run surgeon actions so it's non issue

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I've never had any sort of luck with bubble levels. What I do is set up the rifle in a rifle vise, level it, and then focus the scope using a bright orange plumb-line hanging 15 yards away. Has worked well for me. As a bonus, with a bolt gun I can also look through the bore to confirm - if the plumb-line is centered and aligned with the reticle, and it is *not* centered in the bore, something is out of whack and needs to be re-done.

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Bubble levels work for me as long as they have a wide bottom so they sit flat on the turret. First level the rifle using the level on top of the base and then level the top of the scope turret. I verify that with plumb line, top of a fence, or something that I know is straight. Start with the rifle itself to though to make sure the bipod and mounts are not off. I've done about a dozen and found a couple where the holes or the sling mount were slightly crooked.

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It's probable that the scope level is not the problem. The cross hairs are still in the center of the scope regardless of whether the scope is level or not. Unless you are doing holdovers, any minor issue with scope level is immaterial.

What does make a difference is whether or not you are canting the rifle. And the further out you are shooting, the bigger the difference. A big problem is that shooters will unconsciously cant the rifle so that the cross hairs appear to be vertical compared to something down range - like the target or the ground. But odds are neither of those things are really level and may be quite a bit off.

Get yourself a bubble level that attaches to the scope or the rail and use that to keep the rifle level.

THAT SAID, a 1 MOA drift at 400yd is a bit severe - too much so for it to be a simple matter of rifle cant.

--What kind of rifle and caliber is this?

--Have you examined the crown on the barrel to see if there is any damage that could be deflecting the bullet?

--Are you getting consistent groups even if you aren't on the bull?

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  • 1 month later...

When I level mine first clamp rifle and adust to level with bubble. I then level an army zeroing grid target on the far wall. I don't bother leveling scope itself with the level, I. Just level the cross hairs on the grid lines. I may be doing it all wrong according to folks who have forgotten more than I will ever know about this stuff, but it has worked well for me for several years.

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To repeat one point, the important thing is to be sure the rifle is level when you pull the trigger. A level scope alone does not ensure that. The scope and the rifle combined are a single system and that system has to work together.

http://www.accurateshooter.com/optics/canting-effect-on-point-of-impact/

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http://forum.snipershide.com/snipers-hide-rifle-scopes/186638-how-do-you-level-your-optic.html

Not saying he is correct but if you look on page three you will see where it is more important to have the scope level versus scope and rifle level to each other and then canted

Edited by drglock
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The problem is the frequent assumption that the rifle is level if the scope appears level. The best practice is to level the rifle and lock it in place then get the scope on and level it. Then check again. Then tighten the screws and check again.

I was watching part of a Magpul video of Todd Hodnett from Accuracy 1st. He kept prompting the shooters to check their rifle cant when they missed and every time, they found that they were slightly canted. They were unconsciously tipping the rifle so that the reticle looked correct against the terrain when the terrain itself was not level.

This is a lesson that I learned the hard way in a long range class. After the instructor put a level on my rifle rail, I suddenly found that I wasn't missing to the right or left anymore.

Having a level scope really becomes important if you are doing hold offs and hold overs. But if you have a simple duplex reticle, it's only of secondary importance.

Edited by Graham Smith
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  • 1 month later...

It's probable that the scope level is not the problem. The cross hairs are still in the center of the scope regardless of whether the scope is level or not. Unless you are doing holdovers, any minor issue with scope level is immaterial.

What does make a difference is whether or not you are canting the rifle. And the further out you are shooting, the bigger the difference. A big problem is that shooters will unconsciously cant the rifle so that the cross hairs appear to be vertical compared to something down range - like the target or the ground. But odds are neither of those things are really level and may be quite a bit off.

Get yourself a bubble level that attaches to the scope or the rail and use that to keep the rifle level.

That said, there are those that advocate leveling the scope to your natural hold, NOT the rifle. Long thread about this on Sniper's Hide.

But either way, you would still want a level to check that you are actually level. But if you set scope to natural hold level, you need a scope mounted level.

Edited by Pinecone
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