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How are you guys leveling your optics to your rifle.

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I've been uses a Wheeler level level level for years but there has got to be a more precise way of doing it. I'm starting to shoot farther and want to make sure my scope is tracking straight or at least start out as close as possible.

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There's no point in leveling your scope to your rifle, what matters is that the scope is leveled in respect to the horizon. Some long range shooters even cant their rifles significantly in order to get a better wrist angle, and that's no problem. Yes, your zero might be a little different, but as long as the reticle always remain leveled in respect to the horizon, the adjustments will be correct. I would recommend getting a scope level so you can ensure consistent shooting.

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Thanks for the great info. So put your rifle close to plum, line your cross hairs up with the horizon and attach the scope level?

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There's no point in leveling your scope to your rifle, what matters is that the scope is leveled in respect to the horizon. Some long range shooters even cant their rifles significantly in order to get a better wrist angle, and that's no problem. Yes, your zero might be a little different, but as long as the reticle always remain leveled in respect to the horizon, the adjustments will be correct. I would recommend getting a scope level so you can ensure consistent shooting .

I disagree. It will change elevation adjustments above and below sight in point of impact moving POI left or right.

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Probably the same way you are doing it.

Put your gun in a gun vice, level the action, then make sure the scope is sitting level (put a level on the scope turret). Make sure you keep your level oriented the same because your level may not be level. If you are using two levels, make sure they both show the same thing when they are both sitting on the same surface. Tighten it up evenly, check it with your eye and confirm on the range.

Keep in mind a lot of guys and several manufacturers are running 20 MOA rails, so don't get discouraged your scope doesn't seem level with the action along the bore axis. It shouldn't be. I've had guys that have been shooting a lot longer than I have get hung up on that point.

wg

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Thanks Gene, that's the way I've been doing it. Just didn't know if that was the correct way or not.

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I stuff flat feeler gauges between the flat spot on the bottom of the scope and upper. Tighten the bolts and I'm finished. So far I took it our to 480 and it's perfect.

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That's a good idea. I've never heard of that but it makes sense.

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I stuff flat feeler gauges between the flat spot on the bottom of the scope and upper. Tighten the bolts and I'm finished. So far I took it our to 480 and it's perfect.

If your scope has a good flat bottom, that works well. The Wheeler Level-Level-Level also works well.

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I have a wheeler Level level level and that's what I've always used but in some actions I don't think it sits flat.

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I wish I could take credit for the idea but it was in the instructions with the Vortex Strike Eagle.

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I have a wheeler Level level level and that's what I've always used but in some actions I don't think it sits flat.

True enough. What you can try is to put the level in the action and compare that to a level on the rail. Note where it is and use that as the "level" when you mount the scope.

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I use the feeler gauge under the center turret method. You can also level your rifle, shine a flashlight back through the scope onto a plumb bob and make your adjustments to the plumb bob.

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I've never even thought about the feeler gauges. I had to read it a couple times, then think about it before it clicked. It is a great idea, as long as there is a rail on the rifle and the rail is level.

wg

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I've never used this method either but I just bought a 458 socom and it's scope is on the way. I'm going to try it.

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I've never even thought about the feeler gauges. I had to read it a couple times, then think about it before it clicked. It is a great idea, as long as there is a rail on the rifle and the rail is level.

A rail is almost guaranteed to be level and even if it isn't exact it's close enough. And close enough for level is usually close enough. You mainly want to be sure that your scope and rifle represent the same vertical plain to help eliminate cant. Speaking of which, if you are shooting far enough that much cant is making a difference, then you need a level of some kind on the rifle. Either on the scope or on the rail.

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I've even used feeler gauges on sort of uneven surfaces. I've mounted a flt bottomed Vortex in angled Aero mount using feeler gauges and it takes a bit of fiddling but it still works rather well as long as surfaces are flat. It would probably not work on a rounded bolt gun receiver.

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Most scopes have a nice flat spot right under the turrets. Keep adding or subtracting flat gauges until you get it nice and snug between the pic rail and the bottom of the scope and tighten your screws. You will have to fiddle with it a little to get your tension correct. Be careful when you tighten your screws. If you have too much gap in the screws when start to tighten them down, you will pinch the feeler gauge and not be able to get it out once everything is tight. Just take your time and everything g will go smooth. Like Graham says, you will probably want to put a level on your scope for longer shots. For that, I hang a plumb bob in the yard and bag my rifle up and get it nice and plumb and adjust the level until the bubble is just right. For us older guys, I find it helpful to mount the level as far forward as I can get it on the scope tube so it will be as clear as possible. Levels mounted a little closer are a little blurry but you young guys may not have that problem. I also mount mine on the weak side, and a quick glance with my "off" eye confirms that everything is good to go. Hope this helps.

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On a 458 socom its not going to be a big deal if the optic isn't perfectly level. The ranges you will be shooting won't be adversely affected by a little cant. You will start seeing a difference at longer ranges and the farther you shoot the more wind you will be dialing with elevation adjustments. Here is some good reading on rifle cant. http://www.riflescopelevel.com/cant_errors.html

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I've never even thought about the feeler gauges. I had to read it a couple times, then think about it before it clicked. It is a great idea, as long as there is a rail on the rifle and the rail is level.

A rail is almost guaranteed to be level and even if it isn't exact it's close enough. And close enough for level is usually close enough. You mainly want to be sure that your scope and rifle represent the same vertical plain to help eliminate cant. Speaking of which, if you are shooting far enough that much cant is making a difference, then you need a level of some kind on the rifle. Either on the scope or on the rail.

I second everything Mr Smith said, but I will add a tall target test is in order to confirm, google "Bryan Litz Tall Target Test"

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If it is rifle with a rail, take a straight edge like a 12" wooden ruler, or better yet a small torpedo level, place it on the rail in front of or behind the scope. If the scope is a variable, put it on it's lowest power. look through the scope. Level the cross hair or windage marks with the top of the straight edge. Works the best if you have the rifle in a rest or some sort of off the shoulder position.

When using the bubble on a level I have found that a very slight reading of the bubble makes a lot of difference in the cant of the scope. Also most levels will read different from each other. I have had levels that read different when turned around so what way do you believe?

Works for me.

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Spuhr mounts have a leveling system built in that uses an angled slot and a tapered shim to level the scope. They offer a base that sits on the rail to level scopes with separate rings. Thats what I use. Very clean simple and quick.

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