Making a Rifle Level On a Rest - Scope Fitting

airman

Well-Known Member
Im missing something here but it has to be possible.

I have an Anschutz 1717 that Im trying to level in a gun rest prior to fitting a scope but cant think of a way to check if the rifle is level before I fit the scope to it.
I would normally put a small level on the top but the dovetail is curved and there is no other flat area on the rifle to rest a level on.

The only way I can think of is to forget the rest and possibly shove some baling twine through the bore and dangle the rifle from a low ceiling? is there any other method you can think of or have used?
 

airman

Well-Known Member
whats wrong with the MK1 eyeball? its what you would use to decide the scope wasn't on straight :p
Scope is an ATN and has a built in digital level and I want it perfect. With a regular scope, to make sure its level on the rifle Id just use a plumbline down a wall and shine a torch through the end of the scope to put the crosshair image as a shadow on the wall and line it up with the string.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Remove the bolt and use MkI eyeball using the trigger sear where it comes up through the boltway to engage the bolt.

Use it to get the reference to which you then turn the 'scope to set the reticule perpendicular to that trigger sear.

That way of the rifle itself isn't clamped true or doesn't matter (in fact you don't need a clamp..just long arms) as your reference point is that sear not a cord, door jamb nor window frame.

So the rifle doesn't need to be level as you are setting up from an internal not external reference object.

Or do it as RORY says. Assuming you've got the based and bottom rings "all correct"!
 
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Tim.243

Well-Known Member
What about putting the rings on, then (provided they are top/bottom) you can place the level on the the bottom ring half.
Beat me to that...... :tiphat:

Reverse the level also which is an old way to check the checker

Tim.243


Tim.243
 
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Mick9abf

Well-Known Member
Take the rings and bases off the rifle and fit loosely to the scope. Find a flat level surface (check with with your level), set a crosshair drawn on a bit of paper up about 10m (target) away and use your level to get it square.

Square the scope up to the target and tighten. Fit scope to rifle and it will be true and square assuming the bases are flat.

There was a video somewhere done by a gunsmith (maybe Brock and Norris) expaining how to do this, probably better than me.
 

airman

Well-Known Member
Take the rings and bases off the rifle and fit loosely to the scope. Find a flat level surface (check with with your level), set a crosshair drawn on a bit of paper up about 10m (target) away and use your level to get it square.

Square the scope up to the target and tighten. Fit scope to rifle and it will be true and square assuming the bases are flat.

There was a video somewhere done by a gunsmith (maybe Brock and Norris) expaining how to do this, probably better than me.
I totally get that! I plead guilty as charged of trying to make overcomplicate things. I’ve just done exactly that.

Thx :)
 

srvet

Well-Known Member
If your rifle has a flat surface on the action or picatinny rail you can use that to level the rifle in the same way as using the half scope rings.

I found this video quite good

 

Tim.243

Well-Known Member
Take the rings and bases off the rifle and fit loosely to the scope. Find a flat level surface (check with with your level), set a crosshair drawn on a bit of paper up about 10m (target) away and use your level to get it square.

Square the scope up to the target and tighten. Fit scope to rifle and it will be true and square assuming the bases are flat.

There was a video somewhere done by a gunsmith (maybe Brock and Norris) expaining how to do this, probably better than me.

I have levelled the rifle and set my 4ft builders level down the garden on a set of steps then dialled it in that way...

Tim.243
 

Sharpie

Well-Known Member
You can get the vertical of the reticle lined up quite accurately with the boreline (well the muzzle) simply by:

Place something reflective on the ground, a white sheet of paper.

Make sure the rifle is safe. Place butt on ground and look into 'scope through objective. You will see the reticle. Eyeball it. Twist 'scope in the mounts until the reticle lines up with the centre of the muzzle.

If you are using mounts that might have a small offset from the centreline of the barrel, such as airgun types on an 11-13mm dovetails, clamping on one side, well any offset there results in a change laterally with range, even assuming that you don't cant the rifle. And that the dovetails line up with the bore (not all barrels are straight with the receiver, never mind slightly bent).

An internal bubble in the 'scope, or an external one attached to the outside, helps control cant.

Easy to set up external levels (inexpensive) by aligning a hanging plumb line at your usual distance with the reticle then setting it. A fishing weight and some bright yellow line, shock leader etc. are good.

Dial the horizontal to align with the plumb-bob too, that should get you started, unless your barrel is actually pointing in a slightly different direction, which would not be unexpected.

That said, WWII snipers managed with side mounted 'scopes. But the best ones knew to aim-off by the lateral difference between their 'scopes, and the boreline and zeroed based on the offset, and instinctively kept their rifles vertical, no cant, without bubbles.

Once you have got the initial setup, try putting the rifle into a vise (workmate etc, with a couple of wedges to level), then dial the 'scope up and down whilst looking at the plumbline. You might find that the reticle vertical does not exactly align with the turret vertical (a slight twist between the two), and drifts sideways as you go up and down. If so, dialling for range and windage adjustments may also inter-react. If the reticle does not line up precisely with the turrets (these are glued in by humans), well there is not much you can do, generally you get what you pay for.

For say a .22 or .177 at rimfire ranges, this may be academic. Or not, depending how well your mounts line up with the bore, and what range you shoot at, how good your 'scope is, and how precise you would like to be.
 
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paul o'

Well-Known Member
I have a weaver/pic rail set up in as mock on a 20 inch block I then place that in the vice set that level x,y then set the scope up on that . I know the base is right so it will be the same on the rifle also there is't cant to fix .
 

Sharpie

Well-Known Member
I have a weaver/pic rail set up in as mock on a 20 inch block I then place that in the vice set that level x,y then set the scope up on that . I know the base is right so it will be the same on the rifle also there is't cant to fix .
Nope, Weaver and Picattiny bases aren't necessarily precisely straight with the bore. And the rails aren't necessarily exactly straight, even before they are screwed down onto a receiver. The integral ones that are machined into the receiver have engineering integrity. As do the proprietary mounting systems, designed to work together precisely. But that still requires the barrel to point in precisely the same direction as the bullet comes out of the barrel.

Bases glued and screws Loctited will be consistent but not necessarily straight or even slightly twisted. But yes, decent mounts onto such a rail ought to be central left to right and repeatable on and off. Unlike things relying on dovetails, unless using the manufacturers' own good stuff, Optilocks etc.

Cant is important to understand, irrespective of the mounting system. As soon as there is some significant drop, a little bit of cant, i.e twisting the rifle so it is not completely vertical, nothing to do with offset of the mounts, will move things sideways, quite a lot. Even for "flat shooting" calibres. Particularly if you are using large objective 'scopes mounted high above the boreline. Yes they extend the distance between primary and secondary zeroes, but any cant can mess things up sideways, if you are not in control.

You don't need a centrefire to experience this, once you take say a rimfire to 100 m, or an air rifle to 40-50 m, it becomes quite significant.

If wanting to really evaluate 'scopes, you could set up a sort of optical bench with the test 'scope looking into the objective of the reference 'scope. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, nor does the reference 'scope need to be anything special, just an objective parallax adjustable airgun one, two sets of cheap mounts, and a bit of plywood or metal to screw them together. Test 'scope looking into reference 'scope.

Lets you see how well the adjustments work, backlash, repeatability, zero shift as you zoom, and real turret adjustment range, eye position parallax error and other such things.

None of them are perfect. But some are tat. Even a few of the expensive makes who should know better, or just made a bad one that slipped through QC.
 
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VSS

Well-Known Member
Sounds like a lot of rigmarole. Why not just line up the verticle cross hair with the centre of the bore, by eye?
(Having said that, I do know that some people struggle to judge by eye whether something is straight / level / vertical etc. I once did a fencing contract with a guy who couldn't see whether a post was set straight :doh:)
 

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