How do you level a scope?

Discussion in 'Optics & Mounts' started by cpttango30, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    OK SO I got a nifty Tipton gun vice for my birthday.

    I got out the AR the other night and my 6" torpedo level. I am lucky because my gas block is a railed version. I set the level on there and leveled the rifle and making sure it stayed level I tightened it down. I then placed the level on the top turret and seen that the scope was canted slightly (About 1/16 to 1/8") to the right. So I loosened the rings and set it level. WOW What a difference that made.

    Now my question is how do I do that on a bolt gun? I have no flat spot on the receiver to place a level not even a string level. Do I need to remove the scope completely and use the level on the bottom half of the rings? or on the mount? It is a Leupold one piece mount on one and 2 piece bases on another.
     
  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    typical on my bolt guns thats how i do it. i remove the scope level the rifle on the scope base lock it down make sur it hasnt moved then level the scope and tighten. i make my eye relief adjustment before any of that so i can just mount the scope.
     

  3. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  4. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    ive got that kit. it only works on about 30% of guns ive tried it on as described in the instructions as a lot of rifles the recievers are not level in the magazine area. i sometimes take it to the range as part of my kit and have leant to quite a few peeps.

    however there is always a spot or two you can level level the rifle.

    check to make sure that whatever point your leveling is level with the scope base.
     
  5. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    Hmmmmm... I've used it on quite a few center fire bolt rifles over the years and havn't run across one yet that it hasn't worked on. The bottom rifle level has always properly engaged the bolt raceway for a true rifle level with no problems. The top scope level has always laid flat across the elevation turret or threaded down scope cap with no problems as well.
     
  6. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger Active Member

    For example, the bolt raceways on both of my Kimber rifles are not level, therefore that bottom level is useless.
     
  7. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    Well I've not had a Kimber to try it on and I imagine theres is others that this won't work on as well. :eek:
     
  8. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger Active Member

    Just figured out that it won't work on a Howa 1500 either. FYI.
     
  9. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    So lon, as to help out here; What relitively quick/easy method would you use to level scopes for rifles like the Kimber and Howa types?

    Not so much for me as I'll probably never own one of these bolt guns but for others who might just happen to have rifles like these.
     
  10. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger Active Member

    Ha! Wish I had an answer. On my rifles that don't have a level bolt raceway, I just eyeball it at the house when I'm mounting the scope. Then, of course, I get it to the range and it's canted. Then, more adjustments!
     
  11. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Tango, we use a jig in the shop that works for every rifle, as far as I have seen.

    In the optics section, there is a reply of mine in a thread about scope, rings and something. It's post 8 in the thread and was the last one. I would post a link but I am working off the iPad and still learning. :eek:

    If you need a real picture, let me know.

    JD
     
  12. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I did my remmy 700 and my 1917 last night. Now I guess I need to go and sight them back in.
     
  13. fixxer

    fixxer New Member

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    I've always been perplexed by these scope levels. I've never had to buy a level (although I'm NOT a sharpshooter) but I may be able to chime in here and save a few of you a buck or 2. This is so old, I forgot where I learned it. All it requires is a bipod (I keep mine on bipods) or a clamp and a dot on the wall. I place my sandbag/shims under the stock until I have my dot in the crosshairs. I then dial my scope elevation turret all the way up without disturbing the rifle. When peering through the scope, I can see if the dot has moved to the left or right of the reticle subtension. Wash, rinse, repeat.
    Whatya think? Any takers? There is also a wayyyy easy way zero scopes similar to this method... But that is a different topic.
     
  14. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    that is an interesting method but it doesnt level the scope to the rifle. just eyeballing is good enough for deer hunting. but getting out to 300+ yards the scope needs to be level to the rifle if your doing precision target shooting.
    up to 150 yards you can cant the scope 45 degrees and still shoot minute of deer.
     
  15. Biohazard2

    Biohazard2 Active Member

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    Level

    Plumb bob string on the wall.
    Line your reticle up with the string.
     
  16. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    That doesn't account for leveling the rifle. You have to have a level rifle before leveling the scope or your just shooting in the dark.
     
  17. Biohazard2

    Biohazard2 Active Member

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    Stack feeler Gage shims between the scope bottom and the mount.
     
  18. fixxer

    fixxer New Member

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    I like the plumb bob idea. I might incorperate that into my process. To be fair, it really doesn't make a difference to me because I prefer to dial in turrets vs holding over and shooting at the bottom of the lower reticle subtension. With the calibers I'm mostly shooting (.308 and 30-06 currently), I don't have much holdover up to 200 yards to contend with. Anything past that and it's time to do a little turret dialing, IMO. I'm not a hunter; only a target shooter, so I can get away with this. Sorry guys, I wasn't thinking in terms of hunting rifles and making quick holdover shots.
     
  19. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    OK I think BIO and Fixxer hare thinking about this differently.

    I am not talking about make the scope level front to back. I am talking about making sure the cross hairs are plumb and level. Stacking shims under the rear mount has nothing to do with that.

    While the plumb bob sounds good. You have to have the rifle level side to side so you can plumb and lever the corsshairs.

    Dialing turrets are going to make your rifle off just like hold over would if your scope is canted. If your scope is canted and you move the turret up your really moving your POI in a sideways motion along with up.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. TCH2FLY

    TCH2FLY New Member

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    The reference to feeler gauges is correct and a common method for leveling crosshairs not front to back. I have only used it when the scope is mounted on a rail (a one piece may also work ... depends on the mount)

    You can use a set of automotive flat feeler gauges, I like two one from each side of the scope, resting between the rail and the bottom of the turret housing. The steel gauges are flat to the rail and therefore the flat bottom of the scope is flat to the gauges, parallel to the rail and level on the action. Tighten the rings.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011