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View Poll Results: When you mount a scope without a leveling system gizmo, how good do you think you are
Not even close 2 3.13%
Not as good 11 17.19%
Almost equal 22 34.38%
Equal 19 29.69%
Possibly slightly better even 6 9.38%
Don't know / never tried it 4 6.25%
Voters: 64. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 31, 2014, 05:44 PM   #1
Unlicensed Dremel
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Mounting a scope - the Eyeball leveling method

See Poll.

The question is,

When you mount a scope without a leveling system / bubble gizmo, how good are you? Not as good, equally as good, or better, do you believe?

to clarify, the question is not you versus a professional gunsmith with a leveling system - the question is you without a leveling gizmo, versus you WITH a leveling gizmo.

Just how good can "eyeballing" be, with practice. My hunch is pretty darned good, but maybe I'm all wet on that.

I'm addressing strictly the "how level?" question - not any other aspects of your skill in scope mounting.
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Old August 31, 2014, 08:58 PM   #2
Jim243
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Line up the vertical axis and the horizontal one just follows, not that hard.

Jim
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Old August 31, 2014, 09:15 PM   #3
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Now if you are shooting 100 to 300 yards. I would say almost as good. Takke it out farther and you are fooling yourself if you think you are as good..
I just got done with mine. 6MMBR zeroed at 300 yards. Took it right out to 1000 yards ( 123 clicks). Now the human eye is only so good. If your scope is canted just a fraction of a inch ( 1/16). At 1000 yards you will find yourself shooting to the left or right as much as 5 to 12 inches. There is not sub for a good leveling system. Now I have heard of some people using a plumb bob hanging from the ceiling and having good luck, but that is going under the assumption that you are not canting the rifle at all too.
I zero lots of peoples rifles just before deer season every year. I am sometimes amazed by how far off some are. I use my scope level tool and most times with in 5 or 10 shots I have them zeroed at 200 yards. None of them have complained or missed a deer yet. They get a rifle zeroed in and I get to shoot all kinds and calibers of rifles..
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Old August 31, 2014, 09:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
I just got done with mine. 6MMBR zeroed at 300 yards. Took it right out to 1000 yards ( 123 clicks)........None of them have complained or missed a deer yet

Yes, I know I took it out of context, but a 1,000 yard deer shot (LOL) just had to do it (LOL) Most deer are taken in less than 100 yards, the eyeball is good enough for those.

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Old August 31, 2014, 10:05 PM   #5
Art Eatman
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I use a carpenter's level to draw a heavy black line on my 100-yard backstop.

Even without that, I've never had a problem with "Good Ol' Good-Eye".
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Old August 31, 2014, 10:14 PM   #6
big al hunter
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I line up the vertical crosshair with a known plumb vertical line. Either a building corner or a door jamb. Works quit well if the rifle is held in a vise or jig.
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Old August 31, 2014, 10:22 PM   #7
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Yes Jim at 100 to 300 yards eye ball is good enough. Or as Art and Big Al say also. I would never attempt a deer at 1000 yards. Although very do able it is just bad ju-ju. Hunting in Montana and such 600 to 800 yard shots and Farther are very normal, this is where a perfect mount comes into play.
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Old September 1, 2014, 08:25 AM   #8
Bart B.
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I've used the receiver rail flats as the level reference laying a bubble level vial across them to make 'em level. They're quite precise in being 90 degrees out from the action screw axis on the actions I've used. That's used to get the barreled action squared up with the stock axis.

Once the receiver's level and a scope's mounted with its rings a bit loose, I'll tape a +2 diopter camera close up lens on the scope's objective lens then put a level 20 inches away (+2 lens' focal length) from it on something. Looking through the scope, twist it unitl its horizontal line's parallel with the level, then snug the ring screws. Easy to do atop a bench. Doesn't matter if the scope's axis is 1/8th inch off horizontally from the bore axis; that error remains the same all the way to infinity anyway. No issue if any range windage zero is off by 1/8th inch.

Then I put the level vertical and check the scope's elevation adjustment for tracking the vertical reticle wire. They're usually pretty good, if not, I'll twist the scope so its elevation adjustment tracks vertically to match the metallic sights squared up with the receiver flats earlier. This helps ensure windage zeros remain the same going from establishing a 100 yard sight zero and having windage zero stay the same all they way out to 1000 yards. Gyroscopic pressional drift is less than 1 MOA at a thousand for my 30 calibers and insignificant if the 100 yard zero's 3/8ths MOA right of bullet impact as it'll be 3/8ths MOA to the left side at 1000. At that far away, getting a perfect windage zero's nye impossible anyway. So I use the same windage zero at all ranges.

Yes, a lot of detail, but it keeps my mind sharpened up to do more complex things easier.
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Old September 2, 2014, 12:08 AM   #9
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hate

I absolutely hate mounting scopes on rifles. I'd rather clean 3 dirty ones than mount a scope.

Can never seem to get the rifle level, and keep it there. I've hung plumb bob's from targets, used leveling gadgets, lined up by eye, and still struggle.
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Old September 2, 2014, 02:23 AM   #10
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I don't use any flash levelling gizmos simple as the level on my iphone. Clamp rifle in vise find a levelling point be it picitinny rail or half your scope mount, see what that angle measures, sit your scope in place your iphone/level on scope cap and spin until it matches precious angles, presuming mounts level and scope cap level to cross reticle, has been all good on the last 5 rifles I've mounted, recheck when tensioned of course then Pete Pete repeat until happy, you'll get it perfect on the level then want to change eye relief! Have done it by eye in past and got it wrong, painful when You've already spent time and money sighting
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Old September 3, 2014, 09:06 AM   #11
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I use this $20 level set and works like a charm for me. I was never able to get optics perfectly level by eyeing it, and I like them to be perfect,.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/529...-leveling-tool
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Old September 3, 2014, 09:59 AM   #12
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Can do without !!!

If you are refereeing to the "special" leveling kit; I don't use, nor need one. ....

By eye-balling, If you mean just looking into the eye-piece to see if in your mind, the reticles are level or square; That is my initial check but confirm with a similar method as Art Eatman, has mentioned. ..

I physically saw one of these fancy kits the last time at the range. It belongs to one of my buddies and he stated that it was worth it's weight, in gold. I don't think so and all I said was;
Well good !!! .....

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Old September 3, 2014, 10:04 AM   #13
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Captains1911 - thanks. That one is reasonably priced, and would appear as though it works as well as expensive ones.
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Old September 3, 2014, 10:24 AM   #14
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Follow-up question ???

We all know that leveling is just one step in setting up a scope so on a this, I have a related question, for Y'all. ....

Assuming that the reticles are "perfectly" square with each other, can we level or plumb to each and accept that we are level or in line with the pull of gravity? Isn't that what we are trying to achieve? .....

Personally, I no longer plumb to any part of the scope except the reticles. ..

B-Square and;
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Old September 3, 2014, 10:41 AM   #15
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Dangifino what to tell anybody. I guess I just have a knack for telling if something that's supposed to be vertical is indeed vertical. It's a lot easier now than when I was learning how-to with those old Weaver rings with the hook on one side and two screws on the other. I had to set the scope in place somewhat canted and then the tightening would rotate it to vertical. PITA.

However, sitting here and puzzling about it, I'll play Hillary and ask what difference does it make? I'm a hunter. I sight in and then never change in the field. What's important, then, is the intersection of the crosshairs. If they're in the right place, canting is annoying but irrelevant.
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Old September 3, 2014, 11:58 AM   #16
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I agree with Art, while aesthetically unpleasing as an out of plumb cross hair might be, it matters not, after getting your zero set and used at 'normal' hunting ranges. For the long range shooter/hunter it is more critical to have your scope mounted precisely, as adjusting the windage MOA will inject a slight uphill or downhill POI. It is just as critical to have the rifle level to avoid skewing the shot right or left. Right?
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Old September 3, 2014, 01:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
We all know that leveling is just one step in setting up a scope so on a this, I have a related question, for Y'all. ....

Assuming that the reticles are "perfectly" square with each other, can we level or plumb to each and accept that we are level or in line with the pull of gravity? Isn't that what we are trying to achieve? .....

Personally, I no longer plumb to any part of the scope except the reticles. ..
I'm not following your question. The reticles on an optic should will always be square (i.e. perpendicular) to each other, the trick is getting them square to the rifle. That's why you need to ensure that both the rifle and optic are level before mounting, either by first leveling the rifle and then clamping it somehow so as to ensure it does not move, and then leveling the optic; or by using two levels simultaneously like the set I provided a link for above, one for the rifle and the other for the optic.
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Old September 3, 2014, 01:36 PM   #18
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Captains1911 - thanks. That one is reasonably priced, and would appear as though it works as well as expensive ones.
I may mount one optic a year, and for that they are more than adequate. I see no need for anything more expensive. They also work for more than just bolt actions as advertised, just as long as you have another surface somewhere on the rifle known to be level (i.e. top rail, sight, etc.)
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Old September 3, 2014, 03:12 PM   #19
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I've never had a problem eyeballing it. Maybe its a nack, maybe something else but it works for me out to 650yds which is as far as I can shoot.
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Old September 3, 2014, 05:35 PM   #20
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It's impossible to "eyeball" the top of a receiver level to the extent required for a precision rifle. A very small bubble level or line level needs to be laid across perpendicular to the bore in a gun vise...
If the optic has a flat-top elevation turret I'll move the level up there after confirming the receiver top is "locked" level. We have a couple of scopes that don't have that...so I'll use the corner of a neighbors house some distance away to set the vertical crosshair. Unless the house was built by monkeys, it'll be within an inch of plumb within two stories...

For shooting at 100 yards it matters little, if any. Most guys that shoot at only short distances rarely need to adjust for much windage. As already mentioned, this becomes a big deal at long range because you would get an unintended vertical correction when you think you're only adjusting windage.
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Old September 3, 2014, 06:19 PM   #21
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Okay, one more try !!!

Quote:
Assuming that the reticles are "perfectly" square with each other,
That really wasn't a part of the question. I only put that in there in order to get past some "Second-Guesser" Who might have added that he has seen reticles that were not square to each other. Guess it only added to some confusion. ...

Now then, back to the question;
Can we level or plumb to each and accept that we are level or in line with the pull of gravity? Isn't that what we are trying to achieve? .....


Be Safe !!!
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Old September 3, 2014, 06:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
Unless the house was built by monkeys
Not sure you could rule that out around here, lol.
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Old September 3, 2014, 09:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
Now then, back to the question;
Can we level or plumb to each and accept that we are level or in line with the pull of gravity? Isn't that what we are trying to achieve? .....
Your question doesn't make sense. It has to do with the optic being aligned to the rifle, not the "pull of gravity." If the rifle is rotated 45 degrees, so should the optic, whereas gravity will always act toward the center of the earth. Take the rifle to outer space where there is "no gravity", and the optic should still be square to the rifle. Gravity has nothing to do with this.
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Old September 4, 2014, 07:51 AM   #24
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Quote:
It's impossible to "eyeball" the top of a receiver level
Then I just did the impossible, not just once, but several times.
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Old September 4, 2014, 09:15 AM   #25
AllenJ
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I don't see how a little 1" level on the rifle and the scope is going to be any more precise than the method mentioned by Art above, and in fact I believe Art's way is the better of the two choices.
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