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Reticle Leveling

  • 09-03-2021 9:35pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 250 ✭✭ breakemall


    Hi all,

    During the lock down(s) I have jumped feet first into the world of civilian rifle shooting and all the mysteries therein. The one imponderable that has me puggled most of all however is reticule levelling…

    I am using a mixture of Era-Tac, Tier One and Spuhr mounts all of which have built in bubble levels so levelling the rifles should be a done deal, or so foolishly I thought.

    The RPR has the picatinny built into the action so it is a given that should be flush? The Tikka and Bergara all needed to have rails added so I fitted a Tier One (0MOA) and Era-Tac (20 MOA) respectively, this leaves room for error but should be 100%?

    Then came fitting the scopes so I used a Tier One levelling kit, but the bubble on this did not correspond with ANY of the mounts’ indicators.

    Stage one confusion and frustration ensued, so I bought a Segway Reticule Leveler thinking it would settle the argument. I now had three different supposed levels!

    Gave it one more try, and bought a Real Avid Level-Right Pro. We will not go there for the sake of sanity!!!!!

    In a perfect world I suppose I could just go to the range and having done a rough alignment, checked the tracking of the scope. But even this is no guarantee? And how do I amuse myself playing with my new toys while waiting for lock down to end?

    So having given up on Google, as the font of all knowledge I have come here to see how Boardies do it and perhaps find the Holy Grail.

    Please discuss.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,182 ✭✭✭ Feisar


    I normally throw a level on top of the scope but there’s also the below method.


    https://youtu.be/lQGM8Cn8lS8

    First they came for the socialists...



  • Registered Users Posts: 250 ✭✭ breakemall


    Feisar wrote: »
    I normally throw a level on top of the scope but there’s also the below method.


    https://youtu.be/lQGM8Cn8lS8

    Thank you very much for the link, it is actually a simple version of how the Real Avid level system works.

    My problem is getting the rifle level, because using the various bubbles my rifles each have four differing levels..


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,182 ✭✭✭ Feisar


    Jaysus I dunno so, sometimes I put on the bottom half of the rings and put a good sized level across that, that should be pretty true imho. No two instruments will be spot on with each other and if it’s the Micky mouse inbuilt scope levels they are to small to give very accurate readings.

    I’m sure wiser heads will be on shortly.

    First they came for the socialists...



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 2,759 Mod ✭✭✭✭ cookimonster


    I use to use a home made bean bag and a few couch pillows to hold the rifle level. I now use a rifle rest. I use a cheap arse small level on a flat surface around the receiver either the receiver metal itself or a mount / rail etc.
    After that I will use a line drawn on my garden wall to level the scope using the vertical cross hair or as in the vid a simple plum bob.
    I will also use reference points on the rifle such as screw holes in the recoil pad, mold seams in the stock or detail in the rear of the bolt to see if every thing lines up.
    Lastly I'll check everything from various shooting positions to make sure all feels natural.
    I don't shoot long distance but this will keep me sqaure out 250 plus.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 27,534 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Cass


    One tip. Always check you levels. By that i mean i was in a similar position a few years back. No matter how many levels i used i couldn't get it dead on. When i checked the levels i was using no three were the same.

    So now i use three levels (two to check and one back up) but when i was buying them i tested all three on the same surface to make sure they were reading the exact same as each other. When i say the same i don't just mean all three were in the "marked centre" of the level, but almost identical distance from the markings.

    As for how best to check. No real right answer. Some lads use the level on the receiver, clamp the rifle then level on the turret method. Others will use the piece of string method and do it by eye. Some use a scope leveling tool.

    No matter which you use always do your linear, box and return to zero test when its mounted. I know that is off little help until you can get out with it, but it'll tell you quicker than a tool/device if you're on the level (see what i did there :D ).

    Forum Charter - Useful Information - RFDs - Ranges by County - Hunting Laws/Important threads


    If you see a problem post use the report post function, "FLAG" & let a Moderator deal with it.


    Your Shooting Forum Moderators - Cass, Cookimonster, Vegeta, Sparks, It wasn't me!



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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,712 ✭✭✭ Rows Grower


    breakemall wrote: »
    Hi all,

    During the lock down(s) I have jumped feet first into the world of civilian rifle shooting and all the mysteries therein. The one imponderable that has me puggled most of all however is reticule levelling…

    I am using a mixture of Era-Tac, Tier One and Spuhr mounts all of which have built in bubble levels so levelling the rifles should be a done deal, or so foolishly I thought.

    The RPR has the picatinny built into the action so it is a given that should be flush? The Tikka and Bergara all needed to have rails added so I fitted a Tier One (0MOA) and Era-Tac (20 MOA) respectively, this leaves room for error but should be 100%?

    Then came fitting the scopes so I used a Tier One levelling kit, but the bubble on this did not correspond with ANY of the mounts’ indicators.

    Stage one confusion and frustration ensued, so I bought a Segway Reticule Leveler thinking it would settle the argument. I now had three different supposed levels!

    Gave it one more try, and bought a Real Avid Level-Right Pro. We will not go there for the sake of sanity!!!!!

    In a perfect world I suppose I could just go to the range and having done a rough alignment, checked the tracking of the scope. But even this is no guarantee? And how do I amuse myself playing with my new toys while waiting for lock down to end?

    So having given up on Google, as the font of all knowledge I have come here to see how Boardies do it and perhaps find the Holy Grail.

    Please discuss.

    In my limited experience once the rings are secured properly to the rifle then it's just a matter of adjusting the reticle to level.

    There is only one level, something is either level or it's not. When you get it level cross tighten the screws on the mounts like when your fixing a wheel on a car.

    "Very soon we are going to Mars. You wouldn't have been going to Mars if my opponent won, that I can tell you. You wouldn't even be thinking about it."

    Donald Trump, March 13th 2018.



  • Registered Users Posts: 800 ✭✭✭ Wadi14


    if setting up a scope on a rifle to shoot prone with sling only , not using bi-pod or back bag, I will not use a bi-pod or back bag to support the rifle when leveling the scope. the reason is your shooting using a sling and you may be tilting the rifle slightly when in position. So I put up my weighted string and put on the shooting jacket and sling and level the scope for the way I hold the rifle.

    Same for shooting my 10/22 for off hand gallery shooting , why level it with a bi-pod and bag when you going to hold it completely differently when shooting standing. So my scope for off hand is zeroed and leveled off hand with some light support.

    For long range precision prone when your allowed to use front and back support def the rifle and scope leveling up has to be done, but as mentioned it has to be confirmed at the range, so dont beat yourself up about it during set up.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 27,534 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Cass


    Wadi14 wrote: »
    For long range precision prone when your allowed to use front and back support def the rifle and scope leveling up has to be done, but as mentioned it has to be confirmed at the range, so dont beat yourself up about it during set up.

    Natural hold positioning. I see shooters setting up their rigs and allowing for 5 degree, or even more, of cant as this is their natural body position.

    Funny thing though for F-Class lads you'd assume everyone sets it up like a laser, but not so. Some people also apply cant to their rigs. Whether its due to physical dis/ability or just preference some do have a slight "cant" on their rigs. One lad in particular stood out over the years. His was so "off" in its set up no one could shoot with his rifle, but he was winning both national and international comps so no one dared tell him he was wrong.

    Forum Charter - Useful Information - RFDs - Ranges by County - Hunting Laws/Important threads


    If you see a problem post use the report post function, "FLAG" & let a Moderator deal with it.


    Your Shooting Forum Moderators - Cass, Cookimonster, Vegeta, Sparks, It wasn't me!



  • Registered Users Posts: 800 ✭✭✭ Wadi14


    Yes Cass and the guys that leveled up everything are scratching their heads wondering why their missing, and one of the reasons is the rifle and scope they leveled aren't level when there in their shooting position.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,758 ✭✭✭ clivej


    As level as you think you see the bubble in the level and the bubble itself can be off by that last degree.
    Is the level level????????? First off level your level. Put the level on a good level surface, dosen't have to be level but near enough, and see where the bubble is, turn it around 180 degrees to the same position and see if the bubble is in the same place as before. If not then the level is NOT level.
    If we will take a base level that should be level and that is the picatinny rail on the action. That should be correct from the factory. Then we level from this rail. And then use the bottom flat of the scope to level to.

    I used the Wheeler level system for a long time, it was good BUT again you are depending on bubble levels.
    I now use the Arisaka OL-Combo. It's very accurate easy to use, a dickhead can use it. BUT if the scope is very low to the picatinny rail it won't fit. Large and small wedges for different spaces under the scope. They work the best IMO.

    Cheap and easy is a set of feeler gauges or a new deck of playing cards. put under the flat of the scope and the rail. Just use enough to fill the gap and tighten down the rings gently taking out the feelers or cards until the scope is fitted.

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    51kjpm9IHcL._AC_SL1001_.jpg


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 11,473 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Vegeta


    Now don't shoot me down because of the source but I saw this a while ago and popped into my head when reading the above:


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,182 ✭✭✭ Feisar


    Vegeta wrote: »
    Now don't shoot me down because of the source but I saw this a while ago and popped into my head when reading the above:

    What’s wrong with SH?

    First they came for the socialists...



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 11,473 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Vegeta


    Feisar wrote: »
    What’s wrong with SH?

    Nothing wrong with SH. I'm just pointing out that it is not a target shooting specific source.


  • Registered Users Posts: 250 ✭✭ breakemall


    Thank you everyone, if nothing else I now realise I was putting too much emphasis (faith) in the bubbles and also that I need to go shopping again; for some wedges.

    As someone who shoots effectively with a shotgun and a quite noticeable cant, I thought it was a complete no-no in terms of rifle shooting. So another lesson learned, although I am sure if I cant the rifle as much as the shotgun I would probable be on the next guys target...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭ Zxthinger


    You can level it up all day against the reciever.. but it's not going to be right if yer action is not true to the barrel.

    The only correct way to do it is with shots on paper.. set up the scope as level as possible. Use what ever method you like. I used shims on my the internal ways inside the action and when Im high enough to allow a small bubble clear the action I use my small bubble on it..
    I hang a weighted string on a suitable object at a suitable distance so I can easily see it with scope on low power.
    With the reciever level: I turn the scope to match the plane of the hanging string.

    In all honesty this is good enough for most hunting distances.

    If you want to confirm how true your bore is as compared to your receiver then you need to do the following:

    Get a large target fixed down range (60inches tall) at approximately 100 m distance made of clear paper.
    Mark the centre of the target and bisect this with a large line, vertically from top to bottom.. use a spirt-level to do this..
    With the gun zeroed, adjust the scope to increase elevation by 3/4's of scopes internal range (as gauged off center) or approx 20 Moa.
    Fire a solid group 3 shots aiming at centre point and holding the cross hairs in sync with the Vertical line on the target.!
    Now adjust the scope 40moa the other direction or in other words 20moa decreased elevation from zero.. again fire a 3 shot group
    Then join the two groups with a line.. In theory you'll then hold you riffle level with small bubble and turn your scope to match this new line.. now you level..


  • Registered Users Posts: 800 ✭✭✭ Wadi14


    breakemall wrote: »
    As someone who shoots effectively with a shotgun and a quite noticeable cant, I thought it was a complete no-no in terms of rifle shooting. So another lesson learned, although I am sure if I cant the rifle as much as the shotgun I would probable be on the next guys target...

    Hold your rifle in the way that is natural to you, this will be your most consistence hold, so don't fight it. level the scope and as you shoot and record your DOPE you will soon see what you and your rifle are doing right or wrong.


  • Registered Users Posts: 441 ✭✭ jb88


    Take your scope mount it on your rifle on the kitchen table and aim it at the tiles if your kitchen has them, chances are they are level.

    Your scope lines up with the cross lines on the kitchen tiles, and you torque down the mounts correctly, guess what your scope is level to your gun.

    Fire a shot at 100 or 50 yards then adjust your scope and fire a 5 rd group once the rds centre.

    Forget about all that rubbish, I zeroed 2 x scopes last week with nothing more than this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 436 ✭✭ JP22


    Wadi14 wrote: »
    Hold your rifle in the way that is natural to you, this will be your most consistence hold, so don't fight it. level the scope and as you shoot and record your DOPE you will soon see what you and your rifle are doing right or wrong.

    Wadi is basically right. Level the scope with your natural hold or in a simple rest and aim at a cross drawn on a target or wall/shed, anything basically.

    Some of the best rifle shots/competitors shoot with a slight cant (as do lots of clay pigeon chooters). The real secret which is no secret is consistency, consistency in your hold, aiming, trigger squeez and follow-through.


  • Registered Users Posts: 534 ✭✭✭ Hunter456


    normally level the action then put on my scope level that to the action all done tighten the screws zero and enjoy,


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