Tall target test, reticle leveling to turret

Bones

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Hey all,
wanted to pick the brain of more experienced shooters than me on an issue that I have been having with my .223.

I have been shooting it out to 600 in wind without issue, spotting impacts and making corrections.

While at the range today, there was no wind at all. Very calm morning. When I shot at the 500 yard target, I was around .5 mils right consistently. As I stated, no wind. Shooting a 8” twist barrel with 55 grain fmj target ammo. There is a little spin drift at work here, but only around a tenth of 1.5 tenths according to applied ballistics

This made me question the level on my scope, which I set up with a plumb line at 100y.

I shot a tall target test at 100y making sure I paid attention to the level, and the bullet definitely tracks to the right at 10 mils of elevation correction.

The scope is a 3-9 SWFA.

Please let me know your thoughts. The only explanation I have is that the scope does not track in line with the reticle?
 
OP
Bones

Bones

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Maybe I should shoot a tall target test using the subtensions as well?
 

WCB

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Hey all,
wanted to pick the brain of more experienced shooters than me on an issue that I have been having with my .223.
I have been shooting it out to 600 in wind without issue, spotting impacts and making corrections.
While at the range today, there was no wind at all. Very calm morning. When I shot at the 500 yard target, I was around .5 mils right consistently. As I stated, no wind. Shooting a 8” twist barrel with 55 grain fmj target ammo. There is a little spin drift at work here, but only around a tenth of 1.5 tenths according to applied ballistics
This made me question the level on my scope, which I set up with a plumb line at 100y.
I shot a tall target test at 100y making sure I paid attention to the level, and the bullet definitely tracks to the right at 10 mils of elevation correction.
Does it track true and then start to track right around 10mils? Have you dialed further and have it continue to move in the same direction?

If so you are experiencing scope "track out". A couple things can cause this. If you have a bit of windage dialed in from zeroing your rifle you could be decreasing the amount of vertical adjustment left in the scope. the more you dial the scope closer the lens assembly of your scope (tube inside of the scope tube) gets to the wall of the scope. towards the extreme ends of your adjustment your scope could start tracking on a curve following the scope tube wall. It could also just be the nature of the scope. In certain levels of scopes a small amount of track out is allowable by manufacturers.

If your turrets were machined wrong or you had a crooked reticle it should be a consistent fade not a sudden thing at a certain mil setting.
 
OP
Bones

Bones

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I shot the tall target at 5 mils and 10 mils. It was a lot more at 10. I only had 3.5 mils dialed when shooting at 500.
 

JollyRoger

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Your scope was level to a plumb line.... But was the rifle completely level at the time?
Only asking cause I’ve had to make adjustments when mounting scopes like this

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Wrench

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The tall target is handy to use to measure your tracking. Shoot the bottom, dial up a known value at a know distance and measure how the scope did.

The tall target should have a plumb line on it to verify scope level. If you shoot and have increasing drift at increasing distance that is not influenced by conditions, its likely a scope out of level, a gun out of level or both.

A 22 with 55gr pills won't tolerate much wind at all....so keep that in mind.
 
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Bones

Bones

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Your scope was level to a plumb line.... But was the rifle completely level at the time?
Only asking cause I’ve had to make adjustments when mounting scopes like this

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks for the reply. I am no expert, but I was under the assumption that as long as my reticle is level, it wasn’t crucial to have the scope exactly level to the rifle.
 
OP
Bones

Bones

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The tall target is handy to use to measure your tracking. Shoot the bottom, dial up a known value at a know distance and measure how the scope did.

The tall target should have a plumb line on it to verify scope level. If you shoot and have increasing drift at increasing distance that is not influenced by conditions, its likely a scope out of level, a gun out of level or both.

A 22 with 55gr pills won't tolerate much wind at all....so keep that in mind.
I ran the tall target test to test the level that I mounted on the scope, so I was focusing on making sure it was level when shooting the groups.

I tried to take the wind out of it by running the tall target test rather than continuing to shoot at 500.
 

menhaden_man

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Don’t know if this helps, but I’ve always done something similar to the first article on leveling scopes.


 

Wrench

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Did you hang a plumb or level your target when you did the tall test?

I personally just drop a scope on and level the rifle then look at a building wall 100 yards away and use the contrast to level the reticle.

Once that's done I go straight to the range, grab 100 yard zero and then start proving my dope to the max sonic or as far as I can reasonably shoot that rig on that day.

My 223ai is 8 twist and I run it to 800ish before splashes are hard to see. I've personally only shot long heavies out of it....but it won't drift terribly.

If I shoot a 55 out of my slower twist guns and someone sneezes..... its gonna drift.

I think an
 
OP
Bones

Bones

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Did you hang a plumb or level your target when you did the tall test?

I personally just drop a scope on and level the rifle then look at a building wall 100 yards away and use the contrast to level the reticle.

Once that's done I go straight to the range, grab 100 yard zero and then start proving my dope to the max sonic or as far as I can reasonably shoot that rig on that day.

My 223ai is 8 twist and I run it to 800ish before splashes are hard to see. I've personally only shot long heavies out of it....but it won't drift terribly.

If I shoot a 55 out of my slower twist guns and someone sneezes..... its gonna drift.

I think an
When I did the tall target test, I used the level on my scope because that is what I was trying to prove. When I set up that level, I made sure that the reticle was plumb with a plumb line at 100y.

Doing the tall test. I was obviously aiming at the same dot the entire time. Is it probable or possible that the turrets are making adjustment that is not running parallel to the vertical reticle post?
 

WCB

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When I did the tall target test, I used the level on my scope because that is what I was trying to prove. When I set up that level, I made sure that the reticle was plumb with a plumb line at 100y.

Doing the tall test. I was obviously aiming at the same dot the entire time. Is it probable or possible that the turrets are making adjustment that is not running parallel to the vertical reticle post?
Thanks for the reply. I am no expert, but I was under the assumption that as long as my reticle is level, it wasn’t crucial to have the scope exactly level to the rifle.
2 things...
#1 yes your scope could be making adjustments not perfectly vertical with your reticle. In most cases this would be due to a "turned reticle" in your scope. meaning the reticle is slightly crooked in relation to your turrets. which is a manufacturing defect.

#2 If your scope is built 100% correct but is not level with the gun the same issue can occur. this is due to having to cant your firearm to get your scope level. If your gun is canted that means the bullet is coming out of the barrel to the left or right of the scope not directly underneath. Check out videos on canting guns on long shots it may make more sense.
 

Wrench

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Interpreting the results on your target will need a reference for plumb. I personally like to shoot at varying distance once I'm acceptably on target. It's one thing to prove it on a target at 100yds, its application is on targets at range. I like to bomb stuff at range.
 

BCD

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Did you hang a plumb or level your target when you did the tall test?

I personally just drop a scope on and level the rifle then look at a building wall 100 yards away and use the contrast to level the reticle.

Once that's done I go straight to the range, grab 100 yard zero and then start proving my dope to the max sonic or as far as I can reasonably shoot that rig on that day.

My 223ai is 8 twist and I run it to 800ish before splashes are hard to see. I've personally only shot long heavies out of it....but it won't drift terribly.

If I shoot a 55 out of my slower twist guns and someone sneezes..... its gonna drift.

I think an

What is your method of leveling the rifle?

Thanks!!
 

Wrench

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What is your method of leveling the rifle?

Thanks!!
I use a machinist parallel on the action raceway and put a level on that... but most of the time if I use my eye, I can get closer than I can shoot the difference of.
 
OP
Bones

Bones

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Once I shot the tall target test, i put a line plumb to the first group with a 4 foot level to see that the top group was trending to the right.

I leveled the reticle by just eyeing it. I then made sure the level on my scope is level to the reticle by utilizing a plumb line at 100y and setting the level on the scope.

I have had the understanding that if there is a little cant to the rifle, but the scope/reticle is level, I would be good. The only direction the bullet will be going, minus the effect of spin drift, which wouldn’t shot itself at 100y, would
be gravity. So the bullet should be falling directly in line with the level reticle/scope.
 
OP
Bones

Bones

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Interpreting the results on your target will need a reference for plumb. I personally like to shoot at varying distance once I'm acceptably on target. It's one thing to prove it on a target at 100yds, its application is on targets at range. I like to bomb stuff at range.
Agreed, I put a level on the target to interpret results. The issue with interpretation of results at range is spin/wind on this bullet setup.
 
OP
Bones

Bones

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Fellas, thanks a bunch for all the input.

I went to the range on Friday, and decided to check the level on the scope again.

As many of you may have been assuming, when I leveled the reticle to the plumb line at 100y to check it, the level wasn’t even close to reading level. I must not have had it torqued down tight enough when I set it the first time.

Shot the tall target test again, and it is spot on.

Feel a little bit like an idiot, but glad it is figured out.

symptoms were pointing to the level on the scope not being correct, but I knew I set it at 100y, so refused to believe it could be the issue.
 

new2mud

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OP--thanks for reporting back. We've all made mistakes like that, but sharing the results helps all of us. I'm just a FNG here on this site, but learning a ton from you all, including experiences like yours.
 
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