Square it up?

kmckinnie

Useles Moderator
Staff member
I’ve heard of folks using a torpedo level on the rings when the top is not on. Top ring. In a vise. Then place scope in it. Tighten up til snug but still can twist it. Set to length from eye relief. Then I’ve heard tale take a plumb bob and hand in front of it. Aline the vertical hair with the string. Then tighten screws rest of the way.
Or u can do like me. Just look thru it and try to center it up on barrel !😎🙃
 

rosewood

Senior Member
I have tried the levels for years, seems sometimes it works, sometimes not. I am starting to think that the crosshairs are not always square with the top of the scope. I have a level that attaches to the scope base, however I also think maybe the scope base isn't always square with the action. I usually end up adjusting it by eye, then again at the range because for some reason, it looks different at the range than at home. I usually look for a flat spot on the receiver (either vertical or horizontal) to stick a level to get the action plumb to start with. Some guns do not have a reliable flat spot you can work off of though.

I did put me a string with nut on a tree in backyard about 25 yards away. In theory, if you line the crosshairs up with the string and the string bisects the barrel, then it is squared up. This is really what you want and if you are bisecting the barrel, all else doesn't matter. But that still depends on your calibrated eye.

There is a colliminator gadget which some people swear by. I bought one, but it doesn't seem very precise to me. I think it works off the concept of bi-secting the barrel and aligning with the scope crosshairs.

Rosewood
 

killerv

Senior Member
if you know the gun is level, just put a small level on top of the turret cap. Your rings also probably have a split in them, either horizontal or vertical, can line whatever crosshair up with the split. I can level one all day long, but when I shoulder a rifle, its always canted. Must be because of these big ol chest and shoulder muscles. Actually, I know big time loader range shooter that never uses a level, he just does it by eye when he shoulders a rifle, then tightens the scope down. I've seen him shoot 3in groups at over 600 yards and takes deer regularly at over 400-500. Works for him.
 

Clemson

Senior Member
Use your Mark I calibrated eyeball. Hold the rifle in a standing position. Twist the scope in its rings until the vertical crosshair bisects the bolt raceway. If it looks OK to your eye, it is plenty good enough to hunt with. The key here is repeatability.
 

Buckstop

Senior Member
Wheeler makes a kit that works pretty well. Has a bubble level that sets across one of the lower rings with top ring removed. You use it too set another bubble level that clamps on the barrel and adjusts to match the first. Then the first level gets set on top the scope elevation turret. Rotate the scope to match the clamped on barrel level and torque it down to spec.

I found this to be better than the ones where the first bubble level sits in the bolt raceway. I have a couple rifles that the bolt raceways obviously weren't level (Savage).
 

nmurph

Senior Member
I set my gun in the cradle and lay a 6ft level across the pic rail. I put it on the table and on my shop about 60 yards away, I put a piece of painter's tape vertical on the side. I line the reticle up vertically with the tape and put the caps on.

If the reticle doesn't bisect the bore the gun will become less accurate the further out you shoot. <200yards probably doesn't matter...stretch it out and it becomes more critical.
 

rosewood

Senior Member
Looks like they would start making rings with a tiny mark on top to be used with scopes with a tiny mark on top. It sure would make leveling scopes much easier.
that is what I said. They could put a flat spot on base and rings, but then everything would have to be square from factory
 
Hang a string with a weight (plumb bob).
Make sure the rifle is plumb and set the vertical crosshair to the string.
Not a gadget on the market any easier, more accurate or cheaper.

P.S. I've bought, and tried, a whole bunch of gadgets over the years and found them to be an excersise in frustration more effective in emptying pockets than aligning cross hairs, all I ever needed in the first place was a string and a weight just like granddaddy used.
 
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Jester896

Senior Member
I have a level for the race and one for the turret.
Starrett.jpg

You have to start with the premises nothing is really square to begin with...you are just correcting for what you have. I put a level on top of the rail when I mounted it and it wasn't square to the races...I bedded it to get it closer..closer is the key...sometimes you can get it square. I set the scope in the rings and adjust the eye relief. Always checking to see the race level is correct. I also have an orange para cord with a nut for a plumb bob for alignment checking. I rotate the scope with the ring caps slightly loose and a Starrett level on top of the uncapped turret. I make sure the scope turret is level with the race level....then I check with the plumb bob for a verdict to make sure really any holds are going to be as vertical as they need to be....and tighten the caps always checking level and torque it to the proper specs for what I have with an inch # torque wrench.

If it was a long range rifle I was dialing I would also check tracking of the scope and keep doing this until it was correct...I might not do it for a rile that was primarily used under 200 yards
 

Darkhorse

Senior Member
I use the "nut on a string" method and get the crosshairs bisected. Really I use a 1 pound fishing weight instead of a nut.
Now leveling the rifle is another thing altogether. Might be simple. Might not. But still it's neccessary.
 
Use your Mark I calibrated eyeball. Hold the rifle in a standing position. Twist the scope in its rings until the vertical crosshair bisects the bolt raceway. If it looks OK to your eye, it is plenty good enough to hunt with. The key here is repeatability.
I think Clemson is basically right. It is important that the scope is vertical to how you hold it, not to the gun. Remember that the barrel is circular, so if you are able to hold your reticle vertically all the time you will be repeatable. This is not true with a bow—it is not being released from a circular system. As a further consideration of my argument, you can even mount your scope to the side of the gun (check it out).
 

Jester896

Senior Member
I have always found scopes with reticles that look like.. +... are very easy to adjust.
scopes that are... x ...just don't seem to adjust well for me because you get a little left or right with the up you needed. After 6 boxes of bullets (at today's prices) you can make it hit where you want...then its good enough to hunt with
 

nmurph

Senior Member
I think Clemson is basically right. It is important that the scope is vertical to how you hold it, not to the gun. Remember that the barrel is circular, so if you are able to hold your reticle vertically all the time you will be repeatable. This is not true with a bow—it is not being released from a circular system. As a further consideration of my argument, you can even mount your scope to the side of the gun (check it out).
Sorry, but this is not correct...well, kind of. It's true for the exact center of the reticle assuming that's where you zeroed to. But as soon as you move off that point, the POI will shift relative to the axis of the bore. Dial the scope up or down, or use the BDC marks and your shots will not hit where they should. It may or may not matter depending largely on the distance you are shooting and how important accucracy is to you. In the deer woods at 100yds, you're probably not going to notice it. Stretch that out to 600yds and it might result in a miss or wounded animal.
 
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