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  1. #1
    Senior Member labradort's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Nova Scotia

    Mounting a scope: why is getting level so impossible?

    I've been told the proper way to mount a scope is to make everything level forwards/backwards, and left/right, at all stages
    of the mounting.

    This is on a Marlin 22 Magnum...

    I just received some Burris Zee rings and Weaver mounts.

    I put the rifle in a gun vise. I'm using a big carpenter's level.

    I couldn't really make the rifle level left to right, only vaguely based on the back sight.

    I installed the weaver mounts. Checked level both ways. It was good.

    Then I installed the Burris Zee rings and removed the top half. Checked level, and not happening. The forwards/backwards measurement shows the rings are tipped down towards the barrel end of the rifle. The left/right measurement shows the front ring is slightly tilted one direction, and the rear ring is slightly tilted the opposite direction. Nothing to adjust. They are both tightly on the weaver mount. The Burris ring has no moving part for the mount. The screw moves, but it bends the metal in rather than sliding in a secondary piece of metal to keep it on the mount.

    I add the scope and the top half of the rings. Here is the only opportunity to bend things a little. With the level on the elevation cap of the scope, I play with the tension on the 4 top rings screws, but not over doing tension against the scope, and slightly improve level outcomes. But the scope still tilts down towards the rifle barrel end.

    Am I expecting too much from consumer grade components or am I missing something? I picked Burris as it seemed to be well rated for Weaver rail use.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Rory McCanuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Middle of Manitoba
    Just the first things that come to mind...
    My first guess would be the mount, rather than the rings.
    Receiver absolutely clean with Brake Kleen before mounting?
    Bottom of mount clean?
    Is there a tiny burr at the end of the rail?

    If nothing obviously shows up, swap front ring for back, then try turning them the other way around and check to see if the tilt changes.
    If it does, it's the rings.
    If it doesn't, it's the mount.
    Don't blame me, I didn't vote for that clown. Oct 20, '15

  3. The Following 4 Users Like This Post By Rory McCanuck

    Joshua13 (10-13-2017), kennymo (10-13-2017), ruger#1 (10-27-2017), Waterloomike (01-07-2018)

  4. #3
    Senior Member chuckbuster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    The Land of Beer and Popcorn.
    I've read about and have seen lots of effort in getting a scope absolutely perfectly level. The funny thing is I've never even tried and yet my rifles shoot very straight and accurately. I just do the best I can in a small gun rest such as what comes in a kit like a commercially available shooters' box. It's worked fine so far and without the endless frustration of using bubble levels and trying to eliminate a small cant of a couple of degrees in one direction or another. I don't know, but maybe I've just been lucky to have had no accuracy issues in this regard.
    Magua took the hatchet to colour with blood...It is still bright.

  5. #4
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Winnipeg, MB
    I just put on a set of Vortex rings that were completely out to lunch the first go. Rotated both rings 180 degrees and they're dead bang on perfect. Just how she goes sometimes..... I've had really good luck with the Weaver Grand Slam rings being nice and square, but couldn't find a low 30mm set local.
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Drache's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Williams Lake, BC
    sometimes the holes in the receiver aren't perfectly centered. Mounts may be out or incorrect. The receiver itself maybe be out of spec slightly. The rings may be out of spec.

    I would say the rings are out of spec with what you're describing if the rifle is "level" and the mounts are "level". Have you tried swapping the "front" ring with the "rear" ring to see what happens? Had that problem once on a customers gun.

    If not then lapping the rings may also be in order.

  7. The Following 2 Users Like This Post By Drache

    grc1 (10-13-2017), Swampdonkey (01-06-2018)

  8. #6
    Go Canucks Go! lone-wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Isle Saint-Jean
    You say carpenter level and I think of a 4' long level you're trying to use??

    I usually end up eyeballing everything.
    the wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept

    Aptet aut mori

  9. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    "...using a big carpenter's level..." Too big. Go buy a 6" level. Level the rifle first.

  10. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    SW Ontario
    I use these guys, they work quite well, easy to fit them onto whatever flat surface is available.

  11. The Following 2 Users Like This Post By IJ22

    lone-wolf (10-23-2017), Swampdonkey (01-06-2018)

  12. #9
    Senior Member goosesniper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Use an I phone 6 level. Itís 360 degrees

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  13. #10
    Senior Member goosesniper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Launch the Compass app on your iPhone and calibrate it (if necessary). Then swipe to the left on the screen to reveal the level. You can then turn the iPhone on its side or on its back to use the leveling functionality.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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