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HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsFirearms and Sk...Firearms and Sk...Scope Levels?  Anybody using them?Scope Levels? Anybody using them?
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10/31/2016 7:34 AM
 

I've been reading some things about the benefits of having a scope level.  Darrell Holland (of long-range shooting renown) also espoused the benefits of a scope level during recent conversations with him.  Since there are a goodly amount of experienced and knowledgeable shooters / hunters on the HPG Forum, I thought I would solicit some opinions here.  What are your thoughts?  Would such a device be mostly overkill for use on a Scout rifle?


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10/31/2016 10:24 AM
 

I'd say it depends on how far you intend to take shots.  I'm sure you're familiar with what happens when you shoot under a car/barricade with the mag of an AR horizontal.  You have to offset aim ESP with that goofy mil/25m zero.  A much more slight version of the same happens when you cant the rifle shooting long range.  You'll move the strike of the round, left or right, in the direction the sights/scope are canted.  I'd say do two things.  First, sling up in prone and get someone to place a level across the picatinny on your rifle.  Then make it out to the range on a day when it is DEAD CALM and see how far left or right your shots go out to as far as you intend to be able to make hits.

 Having said that, be advised the the world's greatest rifle shooter, David Tubb, INTENTIONALLY cants his rifle, but he shoots known distances, and has his DOPE for each yard line.

You also have to be certain that the rifle's vertical axis and the reticle in the scope are in alignment or all of this is moot, especially if you intend to dial elevation.

If the scope is installed properly, sometimes you can use objects in your field of view, such as trees and especially the corner of a building, to ensure your reticle is plumb.

 

 
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10/31/2016 10:27 AM
 
I've only seen scope levels used on precision/long range rifles really. To me, it seems like it would be overkill on a scout or GP rifle.
 
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10/31/2016 10:35 AM
 

TAK & Chorpie....good info.  Thanks.  When I set up the scope for my GSR, our armorer at work put it in the gun vise and leveled everything out, so I do feel it's pretty good as far as set-up.  Any deviation on the range is purely my own human error.  I think you guys are right...it more than likely is overkill on a Scout rifle, and I reckon all it would do is add unnecessary weight.  Just thinking about pushing the limits of the gun and my own ability at longer distances, especially out in the Western states.  At the very least, I reckon this subject could generate some good intelligent discussion.


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10/31/2016 3:09 PM
 
For a Scout rifle shooting untuned factory ammo (~1moa) with most shots being under 400yd I probably would not bother.

As a side note if you are using reticle subtensions for holdovers instead of dialing it is much more important to have the gun leveled out and not canted. But again for minute of deer at under 400y it probably won't matter.

Just my 2 cents.


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10/31/2016 4:04 PM
 
strow wrote:
For a Scout rifle shooting untuned factory ammo (~1moa) with most shots being under 400yd I probably would not bother.

As a side note if you are using reticle subtensions for holdovers instead of dialing it is much more important to have the gun leveled out and not canted. But again for minute of deer at under 400y it probably won't matter.

Just my 2 cents.

Nope....that makes sense, Scott.  I have my bullet dope built out to ~ 550 yds and had my Leupold SOD cut for that, as well.  Talking to several of my SOTIC trained SF buddies, none of them are really using scope levels either.  Some of that may be because they didn't want something like that on a combat bolt gun, and also maybe because they are already pretty dialed in with their shooting.  Just figured I'd get some thoughts from folks like you and others out there that do a fair amount of shooting and have valued experience on it.

 


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10/31/2016 10:31 PM
 
alpendrms wrote: Talking to several of my SOTIC trained SF buddies, none of them are really using scope levels either.  Some of that may be because they didn't want something like that on a combat bolt gun

 

 For that purpose, they should, IMO.  If you're talking about guys on ODA's, I know they have other rifles besides an M-24 but for shooting to 800yd (308) a level is useful, even on the POS M110.  If you mount it support side, you can squint your dominant eye and quickly check it as you build your position, it doesn't add any time to taking a shot.

 
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11/1/2016 5:11 AM
 
Take-a-knee wrote:
alpendrms wrote: Talking to several of my SOTIC trained SF buddies, none of them are really using scope levels either.  Some of that may be because they didn't want something like that on a combat bolt gun

 

 For that purpose, they should, IMO.  If you're talking about guys on ODA's, I know they have other rifles besides an M-24 but for shooting to 800yd (308) a level is useful, even on the POS M110.  If you mount it support side, you can squint your dominant eye and quickly check it as you build your position, it doesn't add any time to taking a shot.

Maybe....but the ones that I've talked to so far on it are retired dudes.  So, old-school that used M21s and M24s.  One who is now a Gunsmith doesn't have any on his long range guns.  Haven't heard from any newer guys yet on it.


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11/1/2016 7:49 AM
 

Here are some recent comments I've just gotten from some brothers in the SF community, names are omitted for OPSEC reasons.  Many are still out on the sharp end.  Some good info here.

...2.5 degrees of cant in the rifle can cause .5 mil difference so if you're shooting moa tgts then it is a lot. All the teams recently got bubbles like this one....Vortex Optics Bubble Level, 30mm....

...Swivel bipod always sorted it out for me. Did just fine without it in SOTIC. I would rather focus on winds and crosshairs....

...it has an effect, but not an appreciable amount for 550-600 range. I went through SFSC without it and did well...but understood I would need it for 900+ meters for accurate shooting and mounted one on my 300 win mag for my Iraq trip...

...Elevation and windage should be the priority at the distance you're shooting...

....We are all pretty much moving to using them. I did not use it in SFSC/SOTIC, but have learned many things in continued training in long range. Exactly as has been said, it's like any other deviation to the weapon, the further out - the more off you are. Maximizing the possibility of what could've been a correct wind hold now resulting in a miss. Further complicating your next shot if position is improved....

...I run the Accuracy First version from Todd Hodnett, but have seen the Vortex ones as well. It's not a deal-breaker, but it's an extra double check I can make while never breaking eye relief. We bought them for the whole team (CRF recce/sniper ODA)....


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11/1/2016 5:10 PM
 

Here is a really good video done by a Norwegian guy that shows how the "natural bubble" in our heads is actually more accurate than one on the rifle.  The human vestibular sense is accurate to 0.1 +/-, whereas a bubble level can only measure to an accuracy of 1.0 +/-.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iChDl...

Also, an excellent article with an imbedded video related to the subject.  

http://www.scout.com/military/snipers...

These were shared with me from one of my SF buddies.  It really explains a lot and makes sense.


 


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11/1/2016 8:31 PM
 
It sounds like we are all heading in the same general direction. On a Scout Rifle under 400yd I just don't see the need.

I just walked in a bit ago from running my almost daily 5 rds of 300WM out to ~850yd on various steel from field positions. Sub MOA or close should be pretty boringly consistent with a tuned rig. I don't currently have bubble level...but will be getting one for the 300WM at some point. "Never be to proud to hedge your bets."

I would also add that from my own experience that my "natural bubble" gets off plum pretty quick when I am in a contorted prone field position with my feet higher than my head shooting cross canyon. Not to mention being cold, borderline hypoglycemic, tired, beat-up, in a new AO with bad weather, after pulling frozen snot off my face all day.

Again my my 2 cents.


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11/1/2016 8:45 PM
 
strow wrote:
I would also add that from my own experience that my "natural bubble" gets off plum pretty quick when I am in a contorted prone field position with my feet higher than my head shooting cross canyon. Not to mention being cold, borderline hypoglycemic, tired, beat-up, in a new AO with bad weather, after pulling frozen snot off my face all day.

Again my my 2 cents.

Scott....you just made me shoot beer out my nose!  LMAO!  Good insight, Bro.

 


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11/3/2016 9:55 PM
 
I use the wheeler engineering level/level/level when mounting a scope, past that I havent ever felt the need for one. Granted I limit my hunting shots to 300 yards. From a personal ethic standpoint I wont take a shot that i am not (mostly) positive of hitting the vitals. Gut shots are no fun.

As several have already stated, i think a mounted level on a scout rifle would be a waste (plus id be afraid of breaking one!)

here is the level system I use when mounting. http://www.midwayusa.com/product/529349/wheeler-engineering-level-level-level-scope-crosshair-leveling-tool
 
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12/21/2016 6:31 AM
 
Just saw this and figured I'd contribute. Understand that I'm just a country boy with plenty of room and time to shoot so don't expect any 1337 operator stuff here.



I run levels on any rifle when I plan to stretch its legs. Vortex makes a nice small level (in addition to their big version) that doesn't protrude much and is real thin on the bottom to better fit with scopes mounted low on rails. I've mounted one in front of the parallax knob of my long range scope (SWFA FFP 3-15x42) and, if I keep both eyes open, my eyes play a trick on me and it looks like it's in the bottom of the reticle.



Also, since it's small, and doesn't stick out further than the adjustment knob it should be harder to break. I've ran aNightforce bubble in the top of the scope mount in the past and didn't like it because I had to break my cheek weld to see it. For me, the NF level didn't come in to view when bobbing my head to check the parallax either so it was a big deliberate movement to check and I'd frequently forget it. With the setup I have now the level is in plain sight throughout the shot.















Why do I bother? Because people tend to be horrible at judging what is really level and I'm a people too.
 
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HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsFirearms and Sk...Firearms and Sk...Scope Levels?  Anybody using them?Scope Levels? Anybody using them?


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