Scope level and canting

Forums Optics, Scopes, Rings, & Mounts Scope level and canting

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    Skip-in-WV
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    I noticed a couple days ago that when the bubble level on my rifle indicates level the reticle looks canted 2 or 3 degrees left. So, I checked the scope against another bubble level and a plumb string. It is as perfect as I can make it. This afternoon I fiddled with the cheek rest moving it arround, and at one point taking it off entirely thinking my head position was making it look canted. No joy. Moving my head arround made no discernable difference. Have any of you experienced the phenomenon,  and have an idea why I'm experiencing it? How did you correct it?

    • This topic was modified 5 months ago by Skip-in-WV.
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    JoeWayneRhea
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    It's not unusual for budget scopes to be off by a few degrees… it sucks but it's true !!!!

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    Skip-in-WV
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    It is a Sightron 10-50. Hardly an inexpensive scope. It lines up perfectly on the bench. It looks off when i shoot off my knee. I shoot Open class FT.

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by Skip-in-WV.
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    bandg
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    Could possibly be a visual thing that you will never entirely eliminate.  Since it is a Sightron scope it should be a good tracker so I would do this-

    Set up a target at 25 to 30 yards with a plumb bobbed vertical line and an aiming point.  Keeping the vertical cross hair on the line, fire a couple of shots.  Then crank elevation down a couple of turns and fire a couple of shots.  Then crank elevation above original zero point a couple of turns and fire a couple of shots.  If the shots all fall along the vertical line then scope is aligned with the plane of pellet flight.  If not, rotate scope until shots all fall along the vertical.  THEN set the bubble level while keeping the vertical cross hair on the line (often helps to have a helper for that).  If it still looks off then its your perception.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Seth0764
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    I have experienced this. If you have checked everything and all checks out than it's just your perception so trust your equipment 

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    Funshine
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    Check that your bubble level is accurate. Reviews on Amazon for bubble levels are notorious for being inaccurate. Good luck.

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    Scotchmo
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    Also, best to use a level mounted on the scope tube so it can be aligned with the reticle. A bubble mounted on the rifle itself is often off by a perceptible amount.

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    John_in_Ma
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    Scotchmo

    Also, best to use a level mounted on the scope tube so it can be aligned with the reticle. A bubble mounted on the rifle itself is often off by a perceptible amount.

    +1

     

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    Skip-in-WV
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    I aasume the top of the elevation turret is level with the horizontal reticle?

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    cea1960
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    I ran into this myself.  After checking, rechecking, and checking again, i realized it wasn't the scope, but me.

    I placed my target backstop out and made sure the top was level.  Then i mounted the paper target level.  Looking through the scope it looked off.  Using the level cross hairs on the target, I held the rifle level and practiced with this setup for weeks until the hold felt natural.

    Now, when I'm out in the field, i feel better about my hold.

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    Scotchmo
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    Skip-in-WV

    I aasume the top of the elevation turret is level with the horizontal reticle?

    Don't "assume" that anything is square.

    Align the reticle to a plumb bob or known horizontal/vertical terrain feature. And then rotate the scope tube bubble to that orientation. Then lock it in place and re-verify. You can do that before or after you rotate the scope to insure that the vertical reticle is intersecting the bore line.

    Once all setup, insure that the bubble is held level when you shoot. Some people don't like the resulting feel/cant of the stock/grip. If the ergonomics of the stock/grip are not to your liking after setting up the scope correctly, then the stock/grip  is what needs to be changed/modified. Some handed guns have a purposely canted grip (for instance –  the USFT which is substantially canted)

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    marflow
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    I'm I to assume you really could mount any scope on any rifle and make it perfect, I don't believe it

    Skip you mention 2 to 3  degrees that is a very small amount, even if you had the bubble in the level centered it could be off 2 or 3 degrees

    there is to much human perception involved to be perfect but trying are best is all anyone could do

    I have thought of making a scope mounting table, 1 foot square, 1/4 inch thick, dovetail and weaver-picatinny rail mounted of said plate corner adjustment screws and 3 or 4  bubble levels but have never done it but you would be able to get that scope soft mounted as close to perfect as you could get, that's what I reason

    of course you would start on the rifle, pistol to get eye relief needed  but even after all of that would it be perfect, I doubt it but we al try

    I wonder if you thought your scope was perfect I would or the other way around

    are small holes and perfection an overrated goal  

    sorry just some musings from an old man

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by marflow.
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    JimNM
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    Funshine

    Check that your bubble level is accurate. Reviews on Amazon for bubble levels are notorious for being inaccurate. Good luck.

    I was given a rail mount bubble level and I dutifully installed it and made myself use it on my bench gun.  Man, my scope was waaaay off of level.  I got used to setting the shot, checking the level and resetting the gun again.  I tried for 2 months to get that dang gun to shoot right, adjusting the scope until it looked right and met the rail mounted level.  Later, I ended up buying a scope level kit and found that I was crooked in the other direction by a large amount.  I was much closer to level before I started using the rail mount level! 

     

    If there is a way to screw something up – I will find it :)

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    Skip-in-WV
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    On the bench i can easily line up the bubble and the vertical reticle with the plumb string. It is only when I shoot off my knee it looks off. But there as a couple excellent suggestions here I want to try. In the end it probably be me.

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by Skip-in-WV.
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    dan_house
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    I see the same thing Skip does.

    Ive got like 7 levels I use in the aligment process. No it ll never be perfect, but its dialed in better than I'll ever be able to notice……

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by dan_house.
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    Skip-in-WV
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    It just struck me. The important part of this making sure the rifle is level. By canting the scope to look level and it makes the rifle be actually level wouldnt that achieve to goal?

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    Scotchmo
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    Skip-in-WV

    It just struck me. The important part of this making sure the rifle is level. By canting the scope to look level and it makes the rifle be actually level wouldnt that achieve to goal?

    Not for me.

    But I guess it would depend on what your "goal" is.

    In order to have a predictable/consistent trajectory at all distances, the vertical reticle must intersect the bore, and the vertical reticle line must be held vertical when shooting. That is what's important to me. If you do that, it's possible that the stock might look/feel slightly canted, but I would not be worrying about those 2 or 3 degrees. If it does bother you, then you have an ergonomic problem, and you can correct it in several ways, including: 1) bend the barrel sideways, 2) move the scope to the right (offset mounts), 3) change the stock/inlet, etc.

    For a 2" high scope, 2 degrees represents about 1/16" off center in the scope tube, in relation to the bore.

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    Eaglebeak
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    Don't trust rail mounted bubbles and don't assume that the turret top and the horizontal crosshair are parallel. If the bore and verticle crosshair is plumb, there will be no cant. adjust the bubble to correspond. When in the field, trust the bubble.

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    Skip-in-WV
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    I purposely misaligned the scope to make it appear verticle. Lo and behold the bubble indicates the rifle is level when the vertical reticle looks vertical to my old tired eyes.

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    jarmstrong
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    I used to use bubble levels, but cheap ones are not that accurate,,they ain't  98Starretts  

    I now use 2 door shims (wedges) between the scope and rail, for a parallel fit between them and remove after torquing I then check by looking at a mirror at 1/2 the closest parallax and max power setting, for cross hair to bore alignment 

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