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Thread: What's the matter with my scope?

  1. #1

    What's the matter with my scope?

    Been trying, on and off, to get my .243 zeroed, but struggling.

    Seem to be able to get the elevation spot on, then, by trial and error, get the windage to within about 1 - 2 inches of where I want it to be. The clicks don't seem to move it a predictable amount.
    So, when I try to adjust the final inch or two on the windage, lets say it's still 2 inches too far to the left, turn 8 clicks and hey-presto! the shot jumps about 2 inches too far to the right. So I try to adjust it back again and nothing happens - shot goes in same hole. So I adjust it a bit more, and suddenly it's gone too far to the left again.
    In the meantime, all the fiddling about seems to affect the elevation, which creeps up a bit, so I'm back to square one.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VSS View Post
    Been trying, on and off, to get my .243 zeroed, but struggling.

    Seem to be able to get the elevation spot on, then, by trial and error, get the windage to within about 1 - 2 inches of where I want it to be. The clicks don't seem to move it a predictable amount.
    So, when I try to adjust the final inch or two on the windage, lets say it's still 2 inches too far to the left, turn 8 clicks and hey-presto! the shot jumps about 2 inches too far to the right. So I try to adjust it back again and nothing happens - shot goes in same hole. So I adjust it a bit more, and suddenly it's gone too far to the left again.
    In the meantime, all the fiddling about seems to affect the elevation, which creeps up a bit, so I'm back to square one.

    Any ideas?
    I would sort by eliminating the variables - starting with the scope. Do you have access to a spare scope you can try? What is the size of the scope tube?

    willie_gunn
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  3. #3
    Well I'm sorry to say it really does sound like a scope problem (assuming you have carried out all the usual checks like the action screws are tight, the barrel is free floating, the scope mounts are tight etc.)

    Is this a new scope (or new to you)? Has it been working well in the past? Are you right at the end of your travel on your windage? Screwing the windage turret in you will get to a definite stop but when unscrewing it, it may continue clicking but not doing any good if the internal tube has moved as far as it can.

    If it's not a "quality" scope, you could try giving the scope a rap with your knuckles after adjusting.

    Here's a short video I shot with my phone camera about easy zeroing - probably "sucking eggs" but you may find it useful.


  4. #4
    +1, but have already been typing...no egg sucking intended in following..
    ​Not come across the problem before personally (but have adjusted for other shooters), except for slipping mounts and genuinely bust scopes from dropping/impact. You haven't said what scope/range it is, nor what click adjustments are (guess 10mm at 100m?) but there is a drill for such an occurrence.

    Firstly check nothing else has changed, ammo, moderator, bipod etc that could be causing the inconsistency; also image plane in your scope from your eye relief.
    You will need to check your adjustment turrets are clean, free from slack and no ball bearings and springs have 'popped out' received damage.
    Also that you are not inadvertently using the 'zero reset' stage on the turrets (on most quality optics) to adjust, it happens...
    >Dismount the scope.
    Counting the full range of clicks of the windage and elevation (lets say 64) and reset it back halfway (so 32); you now know your range of adjustment and that the gears are not broken - they will click for a very long time and never come to a stop... Takes time, but you are eliminating possibilities at the moment.
    Check you have quality mounts and bases, check for fit/alignment/damage.
    Re-centre and mount the scope, adjust for eye relief, check level and tighten rings
    Remove bolt place the scope in a firm rest and bore sight the barrel onto your target 6 inch black circle is fine.
    Focus your reticule
    Adjust the elevation on the crosshairs first and then adjust the windage onto the centre/or bottom of black circle (6 o'clock position).
    Fire your test groups, adjust POA onto POI using elevation first then windage. If this then drifts almost certainly your vertical reticule is not true parallel to the bore.
    Check/repeat.

    Problem persists? Take to your gunsmith/scope dealer (which might be quicker all round tbh and give you piece of mind that 'zero' and safety is retained!).

    Good luck hope this returns to situation normal.
    Last edited by RickoShay; 18-06-2013 at 22:29.
    "There comes in the dead of night a hand of cold steel that plucks the German sentries from their posts"
    WSC 1942

  5. #5
    Like the video, very useful.
    "There comes in the dead of night a hand of cold steel that plucks the German sentries from their posts"
    WSC 1942

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by RickoShay View Post
    Like the video, very useful.
    Thanks Rick - I know the film quality is poor, I just filmed it for a couple of our new club members but over the years I've seen countless rounds sent down range by even experienced shooters trying to "zero" their scopes by walking the shots in a click or two at a time without any thought about the principals involved.

  7. #7
    Sounds like a scope issue but worth checking the following to make sure:

    1. Tighten all mount screws and stock lugs
    2. Remove moderator if you use one
    3. Try a different batch of ammo from another shop
    4. Ensure you are allowing the barrel to cool for 5-10 mins after each 3 shot group (if its a spotter barrel)
    5. Try a different scope or try that scope on another rifle you shoot well with
    6. Try different mounts
    ​7. Take it to a rifle smith

  8. #8
    Thanks for the replies and tips, and the video.
    The scope is a 3-9 x 56E (illuminated) Tasco. Adjustment is 1 click = 1/4 inch at 100 yds.
    I'm wondering if there's a thread stripped on the adjuster, or maybe it's come to the end of its travel?
    I haven't got another scope to try at the mo, except the one on my .22 and I don't really want to take that off as it's set up pretty nicely.
    Have eliminated my poor shooting from the equation by asking a couple of far more experienced rifle shots than me to have a go, but they had no more success.

    How should I hold the rifle steady enough to try quick zeroing as per the video?
    Last edited by VSS; 19-06-2013 at 20:56.

  9. #9
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    What size scope tube is it or, rather, what size rings do you have?

    ​willie_gunn
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by VSS View Post
    Thanks for the replies and tips, and the video.

    How should I hold the rifle steady enough to try quick zeroing as per the video?
    The video was filmed with my phone camera through the scope of my .22LR Semi-auto Voere rabbit rifle. The scope was a basic 3-10 x 40ish FOX.
    I just used the bi-pod and a loose sandbag at the back.
    If you want a more substantial set-up for even better results then you could use something like this.

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