M14 Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know nothing. Now that's out of the way.

I added a low basset mount, low profile rings and a cheek rest to a socom. What is an easy way to level the cross hairs on an optic?

TIA
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,704 Posts
+1 on the recommendation of anchored!

I use my gun cleaning vise and level my rifle first [I actually level the scope mounting base being used - this can be different depending on the mount used etc.], then use a bubble level on the turret to ensure the scope is level [I square the scope vertically and horizontal >- I have always gotten good results!

M1Army
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,383 Posts
On a side-mounted system, this is not always easy. Differences in receiver geometry can throw off the top of the Pic rail from the actual level of the receiver.

The ideal method is to remove the action from the stock and set up the barrelled action in a padded vise (wood blocks work fine). Clamp down on the barrel, not the receiver. Make sure there is at least 10 or more feet between the barrel and whatever object you're going to hang a plumb line from. This will allow you to rotate the action to level it. Place a bubble level on the flat section of the receiver heel just behind the rear sight and level the action. Hang a plumb line from the wall or from a tree outside your garage where your barrel is pointed at and install the scope. You can also use a carpenter's level and draw a level horizontal line on a wall and use that as a reference to align your cross hairs.

At the range, zero your rifle. If using a grid type target, use a level to verify the target grid is level. Then at a distance greater than 50 yds, fire a group of 3 shots. Now give your scope 12 to 24 clicks of elevation (3" to 6" at 100 yds) and fire another 3 shot group. Now go back to center and go the opposite direction the same amount as you did the first time and fire another 3-shot group. Draw a line through the center of the groups. If the line is perfectly perpendicular, then the scope is level. If the line is angled, the line indicates the direction and the angle that your scope is not level. Loosen the scope and rotate it the opposite direction of the error.

You can also use a "Box Test" to test the scope level.

Tony.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
I use two small line levels. One on the flat portion of the receiver heel to make sure the rifle is level and one on the scopes top cap. Remember to torque your scope rings in a criss cross pattern or you eill throw it out of level when tightening the rings.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tonyben

·
Registered
Joined
·
762 Posts
I have seen more than one scope where the crosshairs are not square with the turrets.
I just eyeball it. Works well and have never seen the windage move more than a 1/2 minute when cranking the 30-37 minutes needed to get to a 1000 yards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,142 Posts
I use levels on the rifle action to get it level, lock it in place in a gun vise or with an empty mag inserted and held by a bench vice. Then I use a level on the scope to get it straight in the rings if possible. If that isn't working or anyway as a final confirmation I hang a small bright line with a weight and line the vertical crosshair with the line. This is easy to see and as long as the rifle action is level this confirms the scope level and alignment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
Leveling isn't the goal, it's a method used to get the scope and the bore aligned such that adjustments in either windage or elevation doesn’t affect the other. That is, adjusting the elevation two inches won’t affect the windage adjustment. Most of us are well served by leveling, but precision shooting, especially at longer ranges, this can become a serious problem.

The bore of a rifle is not always ‘level’ with the rifle itself nor are the scope’s crosshairs always ‘level’ with the scope. With good rifles and scopes, both of these can be very close, but your rifle and scope, like mine, will have its own personality.

I hang a plumb bob, level the rifle with a bubble level (which can be almost impossible on some rifles) and then align the scope’s vertical cross hair with the line holding the plumb bob. This is easily done and avoids trying to match two bubble levels at the same time.

As tonyben recommends, the real test comes when shooting the rifle. After zeroing your rifle, attach a length of plain butcher’s paper or some such on your target and using a carpenter’s level, draw a long vertical line on the paper. (Longer is better, but you‘ll need to be able to aim at the bottom of the line).

Use the carpenter’s level to draw a horizontal line near the bottom of the vertical line; the crossing point of the two lines will be your aiming point. Draw or paste a dot large enough for you to see at the crossing point.

While aiming for the dot, shoot a round, then raise your elevation an MOA or two and shoot again. Repeat this until your rounds reach the top of the vertical line. You’ll want to see your rounds follow the vertical line up the target. Don’t worry about the wobble in your shots, just look at the trend. If the line of shots angle off to the left or right, you’ll need to rotate the scope to bring them into line. If the line of shots angle to the left, rotate the scope clockwise and vice versa if they angle to the right (don’t hold me to this, it might be the other way around; age has its privileges).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
Plumb line works well ...not as precision as above poster describes but on off hand position rifles I've hung rope under pole barn and stand back in position, align cross hair to vertical irrespective of position. drives people nuts when they ask to shoulder my rifle...cross hairs are crooked ...ah no, you ain't holding it like I do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,501 Posts
listen to tonyben, he knows his stuff. what i do is use feeler gauges between the scope and rail. but like tony said its possible for the receiver to not be square. the feeler gauges is good for bolt guns where its always the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,966 Posts
I know nothing. Now that's out of the way.

I added a low basset mount, low profile rings and a cheek rest to a socom. What is an easy way to level the cross hairs on an optic?

TIA
I use feeler gauges under the scope turret box and little bubble levels on everything. Also if it's a leupold scope odds are the crosshairs won't be level when the scope is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
762 Posts
You guys are way over thinking this. Line it by eyeball while shouldering the rifle the way you shoot it.
No matter how precise you square things up if you don't hold the rifle where the vertical crosshair is plumb its gonna be off when you raise the sights. For most of you(not all) that only shoot 100yds from a bench it doesn't matter. As long as it looks reasonably straight and you set the vertical line at the same plumb every time you break the shot you're good to go.
Vertical alignment of the rifle to the scope is not hyper critical. Making sure you use the same visual alignment for every shot is. The farther off bore centerline the scope is the more critical this becomes. This is where levels that attach to the scope become important for repeatable alignment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,118 Posts
This depends on what kind of distance you are shooting. If you are a long distance shooter, then having a reticle that is true and square is critical.

Additionally, if the reticle is not square then your elevation and windage adjustments will be off. Not only will the value be off, but when you adjust elevation you'll be doing a little unintentional windage adjustment, and vice versa.

The problem with shouldering "the way you shoot it" is that most shooters don't shoulder the rifle true and square, and aren't consistent from shot to shot. The proper method is to get the reticle perfect, then learn to shoulder the rifle correctly. You don't correct the rifle to your errors, you correct your errors.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top