View Full Version : Scope leveling tools?

October 20, 2012, 12:26 PM
What tools/products to you recommend to mount a scope on a gun with no 'cant' I've seen many scope kits but I was curious what you all recommend.

October 20, 2012, 12:40 PM
Wheeler makes a pair of levels, that they selll in a kit called the"level,level,level". Midway USA has the kit, They also have a barrel level, about 55.00 or so.

October 20, 2012, 08:05 PM
I simply plumb the reticle of every scope I mount, visually - making sure an extension of the verticle section of the reticle could extend down through the bore C/L.

I've found that the reticle can be seen from the rear, w/o actually being able to see through the scope (aka: have a sight picture).

I mount the scope, plumbing the windage turret's cap as good as possible, but leaving the ring screw slightly loose.

I rest the rifle's muzzle on a white towel, atop a handy tabletop, while I stand directly behind the rifle's butt, holding the butt up to my face at an angle while looking at the scope's ocular lens.

You should be able to see the ghost of the reticle, AND whether it's plumb with the bore - if it's not, just reach forward and slightly twist the scope until it is plumb, before tightening the ring screws.

As long as the reticle's plumb with the bore, any apparent reticle tilting when the rifle's mounted to the shoulder for shooting means that the shooter/holder is canting the rifle.


Onward Allusion
October 20, 2012, 09:32 PM
I used these. It does work, but I had to use the double-sided tape to adhere the levels. Not bad for $15.


October 21, 2012, 07:08 AM
How much do you tighten the scope mount rings ? Do you reef on them or just good and snug ? I watched a video on scope mounting and it didn't look like he used a whole lot of pressure when tightening the ring screws

October 21, 2012, 09:44 AM
Go to Leupolds website, it will be found there somewhere, rings are ususally 22 to 25 inch lbs.

Old Guard Dog
October 22, 2012, 08:49 PM
I torque them to 25 inch lbs, using a Wheeler Fat Wrench.

October 22, 2012, 08:54 PM
Steel rings...20-25 in. lbs.
Aluminum rings...15-20 in. lbs.

Thats 5 lbs. over factory recommendations on both types...but 15 in. lbs. ain't much...I've never been able to get myself to trust it....so I go to 20 in. lbs. even on aluminum.

For the nuts or screws that secure the rings to the bases...
35-45 in. lbs (depending on thread type)

October 24, 2012, 01:49 PM
I use a digital protractor. Clamp the gun so the scope bases are level. Zero the protractor off the rings. Install scope and hold protractor on turret, rotate until the protractor reads zero.

These digital protractors can be had for far less than gun specific scope leveling equipment. I think mine came from Rockler and was around $20.

October 24, 2012, 04:18 PM

I like the EXD level (http://www.neconos.com/category/Accuracy-enhancement-23) best. It uses an end V that centers it on the barrel contour, then a second sliding V that centers the other end over the scope bell. This puts the tool's centerline coincident with both the centerline of the barrel contour and the scope tube at the same time. The single level vial then tells you when you have the gun and scope truly upright in your cradle or gun vice. When you know it's truly level you can turn the scope to align the crosshairs with the fuzzy shadow of the upper V slot of the device or just focus on a plumb line to get a comparison for the crosshairs. I have a laser level that projects self-leveling vertical and horizontal lines on a wall, so I use that. Works a treat, and you can keep checking the crosshair match to the plumb line or laser line as you start torquing the screws to be sure you don't get a shift.

October 24, 2012, 09:09 PM
I use a leupold boresighter to get mine level and it's the best method i have found so far.
level the gun.
put a small level on top of the boresighter .
tighten down the scope rings.

October 25, 2012, 10:06 AM
I have a small (about 2" long"), cheap plastic bubble level...a bubble is a bubble, nothing fancy needed here- with a FLAT base (must have).

I loosely set the rifle in a Winchester (wally world) sight-in rest, place the level either on the picatinny base, or across a flat spot on the top of the receiver. Must be 90 degrees to the bore, rock the rifle until the top of the receiver is level, and clamp it tightly in the vise.

Lay the scope lightly in the rings, place the level (again, 90 degrees to the bore) across the top of the elevation knob, with or without the cap- whichever gives the most solid surface on which to rest the level. Level the scope, and begin to tighten one of the rings.

Place the level back on the mount/receiver, make sure the receiver is still level, back on the scope to make sure it hasn't moved either. Always takes some back and forth tweaking, as one or the other is going to move slightly.

Once I've got a couple of screws in one of the rings and all is well, I'll place the others (with blue loctite), then go back and loosen the first two "temporary" screws and loctite them back in place.

You can also level the rifle in the rest outside, and sight it against something you know is plumb (or should be :)) like a corner of a neighboring home- and align the vertical crosshair with the corner of the home. No matter which way you go, it is critical to have the rifle's receiver level as well as the scope or you haven't accomplished anything.

October 28, 2012, 04:34 AM
Best scope leveling tools made are feeler gauges, cheap, easy and guarenteed to work in less than 30 seconds, everytime.