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Building a scope testing rig

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/21/2017 at 02:43
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Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: February/05/2007
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Points: 117
Wanting to build a scope testing rig that I can use to test the tracking on the various scopes I own, and future purchases.  Have seen some of the posts (some here) showing wooden clamp-down styles.  Have also seen some pic rail tripod adapters.

Two main questions: considering I would want the platform to be 100% stable, I assume the collective would frown on the idea of a tripod mount, even with a super expensive, fancy tripod.  If this assumption is incorrect, what tripod would be recommended for the purpose?

Secondarily, although every thread I see tests at 100 yards or meters, is there any reason it couldn't be done at a closer distance?  I have 20y available in my yard, and if I could make a testing target that was sufficiently detailed, to make up for the otherwise tiny reticle movement at such a short distance, any reason why tracking couldn't be tested without having to cart a bunch of stuff out to the range?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/21/2017 at 09:50
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Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
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Joined: January/19/2005
Location: United States
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Points: 8474
I am a fan of Manfrotto tripods and heads, have had great success with them.

And there is no such thing as 100% stable.

At 20 yards, you have 2 primary issues:
1.  Parallax adjustments on many scopes will not go that low.
2.  You need a good target, very good glass, and an expert eye to be able to accurately evaluate movements in tracking. That becomes more true as range decreases.

As a shooter rather than an engineer, my testing is done on a gun, where the scope should end up anyway.  There are lots of tests for tracking on a gun, I would think the same would work on a static mount, you just need a well thought out plan and very good markings on your target of interest.

In this, the math is the easy part; coming up with something that actually works well in the real world, that is the challenge, but plenty have done it.
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