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Optics, Mounts, Rails and Sights If it aims your firearm, post about it here.

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  #1  
Old 02-22-2019, 4:19 PM
Geofois Geofois is offline
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Default Clocking scope with level...hope I'm doing it semi ok...

I got a small level from harbor freight and set it directly on the flat top first and put biz cards under the bipod until it was perfect or as close as my naked eye could see. Then put it on top of the scope. I'm sure there is a better level or is that fine. The bubble is kinda big but I was looking at the amount of liquid on either side. The level could be off so I'll see if I hit anything at 600 yards. Is there a small level that anyone knows is meant to measure accurately for scopes? I'll google so I'm sure I'll find something. I've seen people on youtube with ones that mount to a scope so maybe that's it. The orientation of the last pic must be causing it to super size since it's the same size as the other pics.






Last edited by Geofois; 02-22-2019 at 4:23 PM..
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2019, 4:25 PM
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Your scope being level to the rifle means little except that it would be level to the rifle.

What is desired is the reticle being level to gravity.

Using a level on knobs does not mean the reticle will be level as the know may not be level.
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Old 02-22-2019, 4:29 PM
Geofois Geofois is offline
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I leveled the rifle to gravity then leveled the knob to gravity and checked back and forth to make sure they stayed matched and dead center but I see what you mean. I need to drop a string with a weight on the end and check against that. I remember reading about that and totally forgot. Thanks for reminding me. I will do that asap. If I'm in my garage maybe I can get 15 feet away.
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Old 02-22-2019, 4:30 PM
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That will get you real.close. I use to do it that way.
Then I got a scope that was not flat on top of the turret.

I made my own one of these.
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/33...ing-tool-matte

Drop a plumb line across the street on my neighbors fence. Clock the recticle to the plumb line.
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Old 02-22-2019, 4:36 PM
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I usually do the playing cards trick, put them between the rail and flat bottom of the scope housing until tight.
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Old 02-22-2019, 4:42 PM
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put on my mickey mouse hat and came up with a quick weighted string
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Old 02-22-2019, 4:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HK Dave View Post
Your scope being level to the rifle means little except that it would be level to the rifle.

What is desired is the reticle being level to gravity.

Using a level on knobs does not mean the reticle will be level as the know may not be level.
Now that I think about it, shouldn't the reticle be oriented do the rifle? If not oriented to the rifle but oriented to gravity if off by 1 degree from the rifle then the trajectory and the line of sight will be off right? Or maybe that's what you meant. Orient the rifle to gravity and then orient the scope to gravity therefore they should be oriented exactly to each other.
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Old 02-22-2019, 5:09 PM
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Trajectory will be fine. The scope doesn’t have to be level to the rifle.

I know guys that shoot with a canted scope because they naturally hold their rifle canted.
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Old 02-22-2019, 5:58 PM
Geofois Geofois is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HK Dave View Post
Trajectory will be fine. The scope doesn’t have to be level to the rifle.

I know guys that shoot with a canted scope because they naturally hold their rifle canted.
After getting to the gym and pondering things while on the stair machine and and scoping out the ladeez I realized that's what you meant. If I try to force the rifle to be perfectly oriented to gravity then set it on a bench and shoot like I normally do it will be whatever it is and I won't be putting my biz cards under the bipod so I'll end up actually being off. I should just set it down the way it will be when I shoot then aim at the string hanging down and lock down the scope right?
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Old 02-22-2019, 7:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofois View Post
After getting to the gym and pondering things while on the stair machine and and scoping out the ladeez I realized that's what you meant. If I try to force the rifle to be perfectly oriented to gravity then set it on a bench and shoot like I normally do it will be whatever it is and I won't be putting my biz cards under the bipod so I'll end up actually being off. I should just set it down the way it will be when I shoot then aim at the string hanging down and lock down the scope right?
Lol

And yes to the plumb bob.
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2019, 7:35 PM
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Ok now I'm a little corn fuzzed. One video has a guy with the rifle on the bipod and putting a light through the front and then rotating the scope to gravity regardless of the rifle. He was just some guy in his house. The two professional youtube videos, one by vortex specifically oriented the scope to the rifle. One didn't even use a level but just used the space from the rail to the scope and the other used the method I used to level the scope exactly to the rifle. If I didn't have a bipod for sure that would make the most sense. Once you lay the rifle on the bag then you just orient the reticle to up and down and shoot and it's already perfectly matched to the gun so the trajectory of the bullet drop should be perfect to the reticle. If I set up the scope to gravity and not the rifle then after my 100 yard zero the bullet would go askew left or right up and then back down veering away from the verticle line of the reticle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCPaUWVWwCY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9D196z4cVc
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Old 02-22-2019, 9:11 PM
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Ok so I set up the rifle on a bench and made sure it was perfectly level. Gave bob a plum and shined a light down the scope. The reticle was perfectly lined up with the string. So I guess as once you level the rifle and either level the scope with a level or with the reticle against a plum bob then it's level. On to the AR10 now

Last edited by Geofois; 02-22-2019 at 9:14 PM..
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  #13  
Old 02-23-2019, 2:16 AM
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heres some good info...

http://forum.snipershide.com/threads...ing-f.6712212/
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  #14  
Old 02-23-2019, 6:17 AM
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Yes, your method will get you in the ballpark, leveling the reticle will make your shots more consistent.

And if you don't use the less accurate plumb string method, you need 2 levels. You need to loosten the scope rings so the scope can turn in the rings.

I place one level on the rail under the turret, or on the rail closest to the scope. Then level the bubble on the rail (rifle), then pace a level on top of the scope (any flat spot will do (the turret is the ideal sopt), then turn the scope to level the bubble with the level bubble on the rifle. Then carefully tighten the scope to the specified torque value (generically 15-20 inch pounds), tighten both rings at once using a cross pattern tightening sequence, keep an eye on the bubbles to make sure they stay level.

Here I'm using a scope level and an angel level.

Last edited by tony270; 03-03-2019 at 4:14 PM..
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  #15  
Old 02-23-2019, 6:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofois View Post
Ok now I'm a little corn fuzzed. One video has a guy with the rifle on the bipod and putting a light through the front and then rotating the scope to gravity regardless of the rifle. He was just some guy in his house. The two professional youtube videos, one by vortex specifically oriented the scope to the rifle. One didn't even use a level but just used the space from the rail to the scope and the other used the method I used to level the scope exactly to the rifle. If I didn't have a bipod for sure that would make the most sense. Once you lay the rifle on the bag then you just orient the reticle to up and down and shoot and it's already perfectly matched to the gun so the trajectory of the bullet drop should be perfect to the reticle. If I set up the scope to gravity and not the rifle then after my 100 yard zero the bullet would go askew left or right up and then back down veering away from the verticle line of the reticle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCPaUWVWwCY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9D196z4cVc
It doesn't matter, the reason the rifle is leveled first is because it would be diffcult to trun the rifle in the scope rings to level the bubble on the rifle to the bubble on the scope. It all turns out the same, the level method is the most accurate way to marry the scope and rifle, even your one level card method would me more accurate than the plumb string method.
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  #16  
Old 02-23-2019, 8:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofois View Post
Ok now I'm a little corn fuzzed. One video has a guy with the rifle on the bipod and putting a light through the front and then rotating the scope to gravity regardless of the rifle. He was just some guy in his house. The two professional youtube videos, one by vortex specifically oriented the scope to the rifle. One didn't even use a level but just used the space from the rail to the scope and the other used the method I used to level the scope exactly to the rifle. If I didn't have a bipod for sure that would make the most sense. Once you lay the rifle on the bag then you just orient the reticle to up and down and shoot and it's already perfectly matched to the gun so the trajectory of the bullet drop should be perfect to the reticle. If I set up the scope to gravity and not the rifle then after my 100 yard zero the bullet would go askew left or right up and then back down veering away from the verticle line of the reticle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCPaUWVWwCY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9D196z4cVc
The issue is that we’re assuming our brains can actually tell if the reticle is level when behind the rifle.

I’ve learned that when I’m behind a rifle, I naturally cant. Without a horizon line or a level, I will be at an angle.

Having the scope level to the rifle is solely for the purpose having it level to the rifle. Unless you train regularly to make sure the rifle is level to gravity, having a scope level to the rifle means little. I know I don’t have the time or inclination to train like that so I use my little crutch(level).

Using the card method or levels only gets the scope level to the rifle. It also assumes the part on the rifle and scope turret are level to each other and there are no machining differences. It also assumes the reticle is level to the turret.

My guess is none of them will be level to each other as they are all built to a certain tolerance and my guess is they’ll be off.

So to make it simple, the purpose to leveling a scope to the rifle is so it doesn’t look funny.

It is the reticle that needs to be level to gravity.
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  #17  
Old 02-23-2019, 9:12 AM
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The reticle should be calibrated level to the scope during manufacture. The bubble level is the same as using a plumb string, the exact same thing is occurring as to what is being referred to as a gravity level, the liquid is affected by gravity, and the bubble is reacting to gravity via the liquid.
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Old 02-23-2019, 9:25 AM
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We have a bubble level in our ears, it manages our equilibrium, so when you level with a bubble, and the reticle isn't vertical and horizontal, you have a defected scope.
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Old 02-23-2019, 9:34 AM
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Default Here's how I do it.

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Old 02-23-2019, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony270 View Post
Yes, your method will get you in the ballpark, leveling the reticle will make your shots more consistent.

And if you don't use the less accurate plumb string method, you need 2 levels. You need to loosten the scope rings so the scope can turn in the rings.

I place one level on the rail under the turret, or on the rail closest to the scope. Then level the bubble on the rail (rifle), then pace a level on top of the scope (any flat spot will do (the turret is the ideal sopt), then turn the scope to level the bubble with the level bubble on the rifle. Then carefully tighten the scope to the specified torque value (generically 15-20 inch pounds), tighten both rings at once using a cross pattern tightening sequence, keep an eye on the bubbles to make sure they stay level.

Here I'm using a scope level and an angel level.
Thanks Tony, that's exactly what I did. I was just a little confused when everyone seemed to have a different method but I figured leveling the rifle then leveling the scope would be ideal. The pic I posted was just verifying that it must be pretty darn spot on. When someone mentioned I don't have to level the scope to the rifle that's what confused me. I'm sure the bore needs to be exactly below the scope and perfectly in line with the reticle. Thanks again everyone.

and thanks General I did watch that video last night.

Last edited by Geofois; 02-23-2019 at 10:48 AM..
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  #21  
Old 02-23-2019, 10:46 AM
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Its worse if you have chubby cheeks then you need higher rings on top of trying to level it.
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Old 02-23-2019, 1:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony270 View Post
The reticle should be calibrated level to the scope during manufacture. The bubble level is the same as using a plumb string, the exact same thing is occurring as to what is being referred to as a gravity level, the liquid is affected by gravity, and the bubble is reacting to gravity via the liquid.
It is not. If you put a bubble level on top of your turret, it does not guarantee the reticle will be level to gravity. Are you absolutely certain that screw is absolutey square and aligned to the reticle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony270 View Post
We have a bubble level in our ears, it manages our equilibrium, so when you level with a bubble, and the reticle isn't vertical and horizontal, you have a defected scope.
Your bubble level on your head will never be as good as an actual level.
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Old 02-23-2019, 1:10 PM
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Tony not sure if we’re on the same page and just saying it different. If we are I apologize.

But if what you’re saying is to use a bubble level on the top of a turret and a bubble level on top of say the scope base and that will get your reticle level, that is wrong.
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Old 02-23-2019, 1:12 PM
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Listen to HK. Tony has no idea what he is talking about.


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Old 02-24-2019, 1:52 PM
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Geofois, I finally have some time to type something more specific. No one told me multiple children was so tough.

Here are two ways to properly level your scope. They both require a level be mounted permanently somehow to your rifle or scope.

#1 Level on Rifle

Step 1: Mount the level on your rifle Picatinny or perhaps your mount has a built in level or something.

Step 2: Stabilize rifle somehow so the level is plumb to earth.

Step 3: Hang a plumb bob in the distance somewhere.

Step 4: Get behind rifle and mount scope so it is plumb to the plumb bob.

Step 5: Make sure that while the rifle mounted level is plumb with the bubble in the center, that the reticle stays plumb to the plumb bob in the distance as you lock down your rings.

You now have a reticle that is plumb to gravity with a bubble level that will let you know if you are true.

#2 Scope Mounted Level

Step 1: Mount scope to your rifle using whatever method you like, such as the card method, feeler gauges, little bubble levels. Knock yourself out. It's not that important.

Step 2: Hang a plumb bob in the distance.

Step 3: Stabilize your rifle so your scope reticle is level to the plumb bob.

Step 4: Install your scope mounted level and make it level to gravity while making sure your reticle is level to the plumb bob.

Step 5: Lock the level down.

You now have a reticle that is plumb to gravity with a bubble level that will let you know if you are true.

Hope this helps.

Now to answer some questions that arise from this.

#1 If your scope is canted to the rifle (some people shoot like this because a rifle naturally sits in their shoulder pocket like that, or their brain is screwy), your point of impact will be off by an inch or whatever... sure, so adjust windage so it won't be.

#2 Isn't using bubble levels on the turret and pic rail on the rifle the same thing as what you just described? No it is not. Doing that only gets the two surfaces level to each other. Those surfaces are likely not plumb to gravity.

#3 Then why are there so many videos of people using bubble levels to do this? Because they don't shoot very far and how level the scope is doesn't matter at close range.
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Old 02-24-2019, 2:07 PM
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The op watched the same videos that I watched, the instruction videos from the manufacturers, the freaking experts, not some Joe 6 Pack computer want to be.
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Old 02-24-2019, 2:10 PM
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Thank you so much HK Dave I appreciate that. I need to redo it since my super cheap qd scope mount is going to get tossed in the trash(or sold on ebay, same thing=)). For #2 of questions that arise. Are bubble levels not that accurate which is why you say those surfaces are likely not plumbed to gravity? I was thinking bubble levels use gravity so the surfaces would be plumbed to gravity and not necessarily each other(but most likely are).

Is it more accurate to hang a plumb bob out in the distance vs shining a flashlight to put the reticle on the wall? I'm in a condo complex so I can't really get out or someone will call 911 =(. I bet it is more accurate since the farther out the more accurate you can get I bet. If I could rely on something in the distance maybe that would work also?
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Old 02-24-2019, 2:13 PM
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Good grief Tony, try to help a guy...

I just watched the videos the OP posted. They are correct. But each video is only half of the equation. They are essentially saying what I just listed in my previous post.

The first video, where he flashes a flashlight through his scope, notice how he has the reticle plumb to his plumb bob while having the scope mounted level plumb to that plumb bob as well?

Notice on the second video that all they're talking about doing is mounting the scope level to the rifle?

I'm not being combative, I'm trying to help.
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Old 02-24-2019, 2:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofois View Post
Thank you so much HK Dave I appreciate that. I need to redo it since my super cheap qd scope mount is going to get tossed in the trash(or sold on ebay, same thing=)). For #2 of questions that arise. Are bubble levels not that accurate which is why you say those surfaces are likely not plumbed to gravity? I was thinking bubble levels use gravity so the surfaces would be plumbed to gravity and not necessarily each other(but most likely are).

Is it more accurate to hang a plumb bob out in the distance vs shining a flashlight to put the reticle on the wall? I'm in a condo complex so I can't really get out or someone will call 911 =(. I bet it is more accurate since the farther out the more accurate you can get I bet. If I could rely on something in the distance maybe that would work also?
Excellent questions.

I'm not saying that the bubble levels aren't accurate, I'm saying that it's really only half of the equation.

By using them to level the scope to the rifle, all you're doing is making sure they are level to each other.

So let me put it another way, lets say all the surfaces you put your bubble levels on are perfectly square, and the bubble levels themselves are perfectly square with no possibility of variance. So everything is perfectly level and square to each other.

What did the vortex guy say? A 3 degree cant, which is likely imperceivable to the human eye, will cause a 3 foot error at 800 yards?

So even though your rifle and scope are perfectly level to each other, how do you know they are level to earth?

I'm sure there are people who are THAT good with balance and knowing when things are level in their own head, but I know I sure as heck ain't. I use a mounted bubble level.

I've checked many many times over the years... I'll get behind the rifle and level it using my brain only. I'll do the absolutely best I can and then when I am sure I'm level to gravity, I'll look at the actual level and find that I am at an angle. I fail every time.

Anytime I'm shooting longer ranges and not hitting my target, outside of wind, I find it's usually because I'm at an angle and didn't check my bubble level.

As for your second question, I don't know that it would be more accurate either way. I have a clear sight to my backyard fence from the other end of my garage so I just run a plumb bob back there and do my work from the other end of the house. Has worked for me.

I imagine the flashlight method would work fine.

Last edited by HK Dave; 02-24-2019 at 2:30 PM..
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Old 02-24-2019, 2:32 PM
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I haven't said that the plumb string method wouldn't work, I said that the way the manufacturers instruct is to do it is more accurate.

I do things like this, not just share my experiences here, I like what others share too. So I don't like wasting my time with BS like this, the readers can figure out what's really going on, by the way, I have 4226 steps in today, that's 2.13 miles, I might hit 10,000 before the day is over.

Here at this moment, performing a 200 yard zero to test out the subtension hash marks at 6x to 400 yards, the marks go to 500.

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  #31  
Old 02-24-2019, 2:33 PM
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OP, I should add, and this one might break your heart... after all this is done, i suggest you run a tracking test to see if your scope is actually making adjustments correctly. lol

There’s a chance your reticle is canted in your scope. The only way to confirm is tall target test.

Last edited by HK Dave; 02-24-2019 at 3:06 PM..
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Old 02-24-2019, 2:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony270 View Post
And if you don't use the less accurate plumb string method, you need 2 levels. You need to loosten the scope rings so the scope can turn in the rings.
Here is where you said the plumb string method is less accurate.

Honestly don't know if we're on the same page or not, but my point again is that it's only half the equation.
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Old 02-24-2019, 2:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HK Dave View Post
Excellent questions.

I'm not saying that the bubble levels aren't accurate, I'm saying that it's really only half of the equation.

By using them to level the scope to the rifle, all you're doing is making sure they are level to each other.

So let me put it another way, lets say all the surfaces you put your bubble levels on are perfectly square, and the bubble levels themselves are perfectly square with no possibility of variance. So everything is perfectly level and square to each other.

What did the vortex guy say? A 3 degree cant, which is likely imperceivable to the human eye, will cause a 3 foot error at 800 yards?

So even though your rifle and scope are perfectly level to each other, how do you know they are level to earth?

I'm sure there are people who are THAT good with balance and knowing when things are level in their own head, but I know I sure as heck ain't. I use a mounted bubble level.

I've checked many many times over the years... I'll get behind the rifle and level it using my brain only. I'll do the absolutely best I can and then when I am sure I'm level to gravity, I'll look at the actual level and find that I am at an angle. I fail every time.

Anytime I'm shooting longer ranges and not hitting my target, outside of wind, I find it's usually because I'm at an angle and didn't check my bubble level.

As for your second question, I don't know that it would be more accurate either way. I have a clear sight to my backyard fence from the other end of my garage so I just run a plumb bob back there and do my work from the other end of the house. Has worked for me.

I imagine the flashlight method would work fine.
You definitely have no mechanical aptitude, that is simply, never mind.
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Old 02-24-2019, 2:43 PM
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Originally Posted by HK Dave View Post
Here is where you said the plumb string method is less accurate.

Honestly don't know if we're on the same page or not, but my point again is that it's only half the equation.
That's because you don't use the bubble level method with a plumb string, only the 2 levels are used. I know that I by far, I'm no english major, but heck, it must be your second language.

Your brain is thinking too fast.
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Old 02-24-2019, 3:10 PM
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Geofois, I should mention, there are some circles that consider a rifle mounted bubble level a crutch and that once you just level your scope to your rifle, your brain is good enough to keep it level. They may very well be right and you may be good enough to do so.

I know I can’t, I drink way too much scotch.

So my suggestion is to try it out for yourself. This might have all been pointless.

Last edited by HK Dave; 02-24-2019 at 3:12 PM..
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Old 02-24-2019, 3:24 PM
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I think you're right. I seem pretty good and seeing my reticle if it's tilted or I think I see well and I don't =/. That's where I think a bipod that gives a little is better than one that won't give at all.
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Old 02-25-2019, 7:13 AM
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Don't overthink it. Geez, how did people even hit targets before they started putting bubble levels on their rifles?
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Old 02-25-2019, 8:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mute View Post
Don't overthink it. Geez, how did people even hit targets before they started putting bubble levels on their rifles?
Muskets didn't have scopes
I"m with you man, I don't even change my oil cuz before there was oil what did people do?

I was just kidding but wow bubble levels were invented in 1661 so they were probably used for anything worth building and for sure muskets were an expensive product so probably even used on them if they had a scope =/. Now someone will say "Don't over research it"

https://www.cmt.co.uk/blog/the-spiri...quick-history/

Last edited by Geofois; 02-25-2019 at 9:09 AM..
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Old 02-25-2019, 9:50 AM
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Mute is right. In all honesty most people don't shoot far enough with targets small enough for the whole bubble level thing to really matter much.

I'm guessing here but I don't know that ELR distance shooting became really commonplace until fairly recently. I remember as a youngster, the idea of shooting something past a few hundred yards was a big deal.

With the changes in technology from rifle scopes, to bullet design to rifle technology in general, and not to forget ballistic apps, hitting 1000 yards and beyond accurately is now in the reach of anyone with a little bit of training.

Don't know that this was the case before, but like I said, i'm guessing from what I've seen over the years.
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HK Dave View Post
Mute is right. In all honesty most people don't shoot far enough with targets small enough for the whole bubble level thing to really matter much.

I'm guessing here but I don't know that ELR distance shooting became really commonplace until fairly recently. I remember as a youngster, the idea of shooting something past a few hundred yards was a big deal.

With the changes in technology from rifle scopes, to bullet design to rifle technology in general, and not to forget ballistic apps, hitting 1000 yards and beyond accurately is now in the reach of anyone with a little bit of training.

Don't know that this was the case before, but like I said, i'm guessing from what I've seen over the years.
I think once we start pretending to know how much people are actually thinking about something then at that point yes we are overthinking things. Mute is probably overthinking what people actually give a poop about. Maybe he meant "over discussing" but it takes very little thought to drop a bubble level on a rifle then on a scope. Took me minutes so it's a non issue but yes there was some arguments so maybe it's better to say "don't over argue" a non issue. For me forums are for discussing and thinking and over thinking since it's hobby and hobbies are for spending time on things that don't necessarily generate money but just take time =). It's better not to say anything if one has nothing to add other than being negative

Funny I just realized it was you HKDave who just commented and I was thinking I was defending you with my comment since you gave me lots of good info hehe. It's aoo good

Last edited by Geofois; 02-25-2019 at 10:04 AM..
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