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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2016 at 10:27
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Good morning from Georgia!

I decided to make an account here to hopefully absorb some knowledge about how scopes work and improve on what little I know. Most forum post seem very helpful and informative and it is nice to see people help each other instead of thumbing their nose at one another. So here goes my story and I would really like some help...


I've always wanted a scoped m14 (m1a) despite enjoying iron sights over anything. I've never really liked scopes and had a slight detest for them because of the "new school" training in the Marines to switch from iron sights to ACOG. I got out right before the basically became mandatory and there is nothing appealing about them to me... (small rant)

So I bought a m1a, sold it, bought another one. This time it was a 18" Scout model. I purchased a sadlak scope mount, Harris bi pod, archangel stock and Vortex 6.5-20x44 PA. Put it all together and marveled at my creation lol. I had a good friend of mine help bore sight it for 100 yards and also help me properly mount the level/mount the scope because I was pretty new and internet/youtube can only tell you so much.

So here is the problem... attempting to shoot the rifle. I set up a basic no frills target at 100 yards and got down into the prone to try and use this rifle.. this is where it all goes to hell.

When I look through the scope, there is either one of the following: Blue haze, green haze, haze, or the "bubble" of focus that moves around slightly. When I say bubble, I don't mean the black ring around the lense that indicates im too close or far.. I mean I can see a clear bubble of focus through the "haze" that I can never make go away. I can never get a clear, crisp picture unless I am sitting/standing.. ever. I have tried adjusting the cheek riser, sliding back/forth over and over, adjusting my arm/hands/legs/body/anything I could think of yet I still can not get a clear picture. 

Now despite this problem, I managed to get a somewhat "clear" picture and decided since I already there, to go ahead and squeeze off a couple of rounds. So I fire 3 and check my group. It's about 6" high and 3" right... I adjust according to my manual and fire 3 more. Nice, I got it 1" low and .5"ish right.. I readjust the scope settings and fire again and bam! bullseye! Hell yeah!.. Until...

I went to mark the target, came back, got back behind the gun, attempted to get another clear picture and fire off again. Now my bullets are hitting something crazy like 4" low and 3" left. Wtf?! I readjust and shoot again.. now I'm 2" low and dead center. My first thought was check the scope/rings/mount to make sure they didn't come lose. Everything is tight and torqued according to spec. 

So I have a friend helping me with all of this and I decide to let him shoot. He shoots, is off by about 5" (high). I told him to go ahead and adjust the scope to his needs and he shoots again. Would ya know it? He is able to keep consistency with his shooting, over and over again. No weird adjustments or  unexplained groupings. 

So after all of this I have to ask, is it my eyes? I don't have the *best* eyes in the world but why can I not focus this scope? (It has a focus and parallax adjustment on it btw, still no help). Is it possible that just having a hard time adjusting my eyes/always having a haze in the lenses means my vision is bad and I am screwed?

I know this is a long, long first post but I'm worried really. Iron sights all day 500 yards I don't care I'll shoot it. But trying to use a scope, trying my hardest and being very inconsistent on shot placement has me worried. I don't want to have to sell the scope off in an attempt to buy another product and get the same results.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read. I know it's a little ranty but I can't really get a clear (no pun intended) solution to this problem. If my eyes are bad they are bad but hell I'm only 28 lol. Thanks guys. Any/all suggestions to try and correct this problem are welcome. I am new to optics so I am open to listen.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2016 at 10:38
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Don't know if this will help or not, but here is a picture of the rifle in it's current configuration.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2016 at 11:12
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It is very difficult to diagnose something like this via the internet.  However, a "first glance" assessment… it sounds to me like you are not getting a good cheek weld/head alignment.  Prone does odd things with your alignment.  FIrst, are you "sighting" with your dominant eye?  If you are trying to sight with your non-dominant eye, it can create issues.  I think I have seen the "effects" you describe, sounds simiar to things I've observed… for me it has always been an issue of being in the right position.  
Like I said, very difficult to try to diagnose over a talk site, but I believe I have seen things simiar to what you describe.  Work very hard on your position and make sure you are using your dominant eye.  If you can't fix it, then go see your eye doctor. 

Welcome to the OT Forum.  Very nice looking rifle.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2016 at 14:17
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Originally posted by Zero Zero wrote:


I can never get a clear, crisp picture unless I am sitting/standing.. ever. I have tried adjusting the cheek riser, sliding back/forth over and over, adjusting my arm/hands/legs/body/anything I could think of yet I still can not get a clear picture.

So I have a friend helping me with all of this and I decide to let him shoot. He shoots, is off by about 5" (high). I told him to go ahead and adjust the scope to his needs and he shoots again. Would ya know it? He is able to keep consistency with his shooting, over and over again. No weird adjustments or  unexplained groupings. 

Since you are able to get a clear sight picture while you are either sitting or standing and your buddy is able to shoot consistently I agree with what KB said about your cheek weld. And since your buddy shoots it consistently it is not the rifle. A number of the guys I shoot with will put a piece of tape on the stock so they maintain the same distance to the scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2016 at 15:35
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What is that white stuff around the scope by the rings? Just curious. Dr. McQuaig up in Milledgeville has been able to help me understand some issues about shooting and my vision. Never hurts to get a check up.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2016 at 16:59
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Thank you for the welcome message!

Kickboxer, I am right eye dominant so no issues with that. I still do the old school keep one eye closed but I've thought about trying to learn about the whole both eyes open thing /shurg. The cheek weld does seem to mess with me some so I may try adjusting it up/down for a different, hopefully better effect. Thank you for the compliment on the rifle! I used some of my VA disability money to pay for it Big Grin

Sparky, that is a good idea. I considered making a line with a permanent marker where I need to adjust the cheek weld once I find the right place.

urbaneruralite, the white stuff are little inserts that are suppose to protect your scope in the scope rings. Little pieces of paper to keep it from marring I suppose. 


Kickboxer you are certainly correct about going prone changing a lot of stuff. I did a lot of reading before building this but reading can only go so far. 

Thank you for everyone trying to help me with this. I know it's an odd thing to try and explain online. Sometimes I wish we could record what our eyes see and show it to others.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2016 at 17:20
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Welcome to Optics Talk. 

Tell us more about your rifle, if you please. Make, model, upgrades?  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2016 at 18:12
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Hi cheaptrick and thank you for the reply.

It's just a standard no frills Springfield M1a Scout (18 inch model)  with a Vortex Viper 6.5-20x44 PA scope (http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/vortex-viper-6-5-20x44-pa-riflescope-mil-dot-reticle).

Archangel stock OD green (https://promagindustries.com/springfield/45-archangel-m1a-precision-stock.html)

SADLAK mount: (http://www.sadlak.com/si_rifle_parts_sm.html)

and Harris(I think I'm trying to remember, could be something else) Bi-pod. 

The scope rings are millet. 

I am honestly looking to trade in my vortex SFP scope for a Vortex 2.5-10 EBR-1 MRAD FFP scope to keep from having to do so much math when changing powers. But money doesn't grow just anywhere and work is slow.

I've considered doing a bunch of upgrades to the gun for the sake of increased accuracy, but I am not a competition 1000 yrd 1MOA shooter lol. Nothing wrong with it, but I am a musician as well so my money generally goes to music gear. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2016 at 18:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2016 at 19:00
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I'm TOTALLY enamored by the M-14 rifle. One day.....one day I too shall have one.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2016 at 22:59
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Several things. 1st, is that the ammo you're shooting? In the yellow/white box? If so, throw it in the river and get some good ammo. 2nd, is everything tight? Rings, mount, stock fit.... how much pressure does it take to lock the action in the stock. 3rd, how many rounds have you put through her? Most M1a's take aroung 500 rounds to get the barrel broken in good. And BTW, the scout rifle has never been known for accuracy. I'm in NW Georgia if you want to bring her up here and I'll take a look over and see what I can do for you.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2016 at 05:48
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Shooting prone often needs more length on the stock. So maybe u need to adjust your lop or slide your scope forword a bit more?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2016 at 06:40
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If using the same ammo, a rifle is not going to shoot "well" for one person and "poorly" for another, repeatedly due to ammo.
as for LOP, try reading this:
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2016 at 12:18
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wetncold, no that isn't the ammo I was using to shoot with lol that was given to me by the shop owner for buying the gun so I just shot that stuff to shoot it. When I attempted to shoot the first time, my scope rings shot loose (which I was expecting to happen) and I re-tightened them and haven't had a problem since.  When I first got that archangel stock, it was really really hard to get the receiver and trigger group together. The instructions I got from promag even said it would be hard to do at first so it def is snug.

Now as far as ammo.... I don't really know *what* ammo to get for that rifle tbh. As stated before, I'm not a competition shooter by any means and mainly I want to be able to sh*t a torso sized target up to about 5-600 yards with that rifle. That is my end goal for it. There aren't any ranges around here so all I have to shoot on is my land. The only place near me is a shotgun range and another rifle range in Hawkinsville and I'm not even sure it goes beyond 200 yards :/. But yeah, what do you suggest for ammo?

And thank you for the offer, if push comes to shove and I really can't make this thing cooperate, I will take you up on your offer. I'm assuming you are past atlanta then. 

Hey Kickboxer, ty for that article, I'm reading it right now.

As far as this rifle, I know it's 90% my fault for what is going wrong. I don't believe for a second I'm some Carlos Hathcock and I've been bestowed the art of long range shooting from on high. I am new to the scope world so I have a lot to learn and I'm glad you guys are throwing questions at me cause it makes me think about things I wouldn't have before.

Supertool73 I think you may be on to something there, looking at other hunting rifle's stocks vs the overall length of my stock there def is a difference. I read *somewhere* that I should have mounted my scope basically while I was in prone so it would be mounted correctly but that is the thing about internet advice.. it is far, wide and often times not accurate. You guys seem good though. I don't smell elitism coming from the website lol

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2016 at 19:48
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Originally posted by Zero Zero wrote:



Sparky, that is a good idea. I considered making a line with a permanent marker where I need to adjust the cheek weld once I find the right place.

The scope rings are millet. 



Just an FYI the reason my buddies use a piece of tape rather than a marker is they can feel it and don't need to see it.

M1As are notoriously hard on scopes and rings. So I would consider changing to a better set of scope rings. Talley's are very good and reasonably priced.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2016 at 21:32
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If the rings are angle-locs, they are fine.  I use them on a number of real heavy bangers… never an issue.  The fact that they are windage adjustable makes them especially likable.   Nothing wroing with Talleys, nothing wrong with the Millet Angle-locs.  Angle-locs are the only Millets I ever use.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2016 at 10:23
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I know some folks who use those angle-locs. They seem to have mostly good luck with them as long as they don't bang them around. I'd say out of three people, one will have to re-zero every season. This would not be an issue on a target rifle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2016 at 11:21
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Zero, are you shooting off of the bipod or a rest? If your shooting off the bipod, are you loading it up consistently when you shoot? When your in the prone position, is your neck stressed or under a lot of tension?
If the bipod is not consistently loaded, it will cause your POI to be inconsistent. If your neck is strained it really messes with your eyes and eye and scope alignment.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2016 at 12:34
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The inserts should not be sticking out.  Generally, the white stuff is the backing for the adhesive black liner, which should be aligned on the inside of the rings.  The white stuff is discarded and there should not be anything visible outside the rings.

I am generally not a huge fan of Angle-lok rings.  They work allright, but are natively harder to install correctly due to the windage adjustment feature.  Make sure you tighten them evenly and do not over tighten.  Make sure you do not bind the scope and do not overtighten the rings.  Generally, unless you need to compensate for misaligned receiver holes on a dual base rifle, I do not recommend MIllett's Angle-lok rings.  More than half of the people I see usignng them, set them up incorrectly.

The optical effect you were describing with the scope is is usually an artefact of improper head position.  More than likely, you were too close to the scope.  The eye relief on this scope is about twice that of the ACOG, so you have to make sure you mount it far enough forward.  

Once you get the scope mounting and positioning right, you have to make sure you've got the eyepiece set-up correctly.  For that set the parallax to infinity (side focus knob on the left of the turret box) and look at something featureless, like the blue sky or an wall five feet away which will be blurry and featureless.

Then use the eyepiece focus to make the reticle as sharp as possible.  Basically what you want to do is screw the eyepiece focus out a bit and glance through the scope.  The reticle should be immediately sharp.  If it starts out a touch blurry and then gets into focus, look away at something distant, turn the eyepiece focus in just a touch and gland through the scope again.  Keep doing this until you've got the reticle as sharp as possible immediately upon glancing through the scope.  Use a piece of tape or a marker to identify the correct eyepiece focus setting.  It is different for different people, so your friend will need a different setting than you do.

Once all that is done, go back and shoot your groups.  Before shooting and without touching the eyepiece focus, make sure that all parallax is dialed out of the scope using the side focus.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2016 at 14:21
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

The inserts should not be sticking out.  Generally, the white stuff is the backing for the adhesive black liner, which should be aligned on the inside of the rings.  The white stuff is discarded and there should not be anything visible outside the rings.

I am generally not a huge fan of Angle-lok rings.  They work allright, but are natively harder to install correctly due to the windage adjustment feature.  Make sure you tighten them evenly and do not over tighten.  Make sure you do not bind the scope and do not overtighten the rings.  Generally, unless you need to compensate for misaligned receiver holes on a dual base rifle, I do not recommend MIllett's Angle-lok rings.  More than half of the people I see usignng them, set them up incorrectly.

The optical effect you were describing with the scope is is usually an artefact of improper head position.  More than likely, you were too close to the scope.  The eye relief on this scope is about twice that of the ACOG, so you have to make sure you mount it far enough forward.  

Once you get the scope mounting and positioning right, you have to make sure you've got the eyepiece set-up correctly.  For that set the parallax to infinity (side focus knob on the left of the turret box) and look at something featureless, like the blue sky or an wall five feet away which will be blurry and featureless.

Then use the eyepiece focus to make the reticle as sharp as possible.  Basically what you want to do is screw the eyepiece focus out a bit and glance through the scope.  The reticle should be immediately sharp.  If it starts out a touch blurry and then gets into focus, look away at something distant, turn the eyepiece focus in just a touch and gland through the scope again.  Keep doing this until you've got the reticle as sharp as possible immediately upon glancing through the scope.  Use a piece of tape or a marker to identify the correct eyepiece focus setting.  It is different for different people, so your friend will need a different setting than you do.

Once all that is done, go back and shoot your groups.  Before shooting and without touching the eyepiece focus, make sure that all parallax is dialed out of the scope using the side focus.



This, this is what I was looking for right here. That is awesome advice and things I don't know about and yes like the previous poster said, I am having a lot of neck strain. My eyes are pretty close to the scope so I will readjust the scope then follow what you said. Thank you so much for the advice everyone. The more the merrier.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2016 at 14:42
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Originally posted by Zero Zero wrote:

Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

The inserts should not be sticking out.  Generally, the white stuff is the backing for the adhesive black liner, which should be aligned on the inside of the rings.  The white stuff is discarded and there should not be anything visible outside the rings.

I am generally not a huge fan of Angle-lok rings.  They work allright, but are natively harder to install correctly due to the windage adjustment feature.  Make sure you tighten them evenly and do not over tighten.  Make sure you do not bind the scope and do not overtighten the rings.  Generally, unless you need to compensate for misaligned receiver holes on a dual base rifle, I do not recommend MIllett's Angle-lok rings.  More than half of the people I see usignng them, set them up incorrectly.

The optical effect you were describing with the scope is is usually an artefact of improper head position.  More than likely, you were too close to the scope.  The eye relief on this scope is about twice that of the ACOG, so you have to make sure you mount it far enough forward.  

Once you get the scope mounting and positioning right, you have to make sure you've got the eyepiece set-up correctly.  For that set the parallax to infinity (side focus knob on the left of the turret box) and look at something featureless, like the blue sky or an wall five feet away which will be blurry and featureless.

Then use the eyepiece focus to make the reticle as sharp as possible.  Basically what you want to do is screw the eyepiece focus out a bit and glance through the scope.  The reticle should be immediately sharp.  If it starts out a touch blurry and then gets into focus, look away at something distant, turn the eyepiece focus in just a touch and gland through the scope again.  Keep doing this until you've got the reticle as sharp as possible immediately upon glancing through the scope.  Use a piece of tape or a marker to identify the correct eyepiece focus setting.  It is different for different people, so your friend will need a different setting than you do.

Once all that is done, go back and shoot your groups.  Before shooting and without touching the eyepiece focus, make sure that all parallax is dialed out of the scope using the side focus.



This, this is what I was looking for right here. That is awesome advice and things I don't know about and yes like the previous poster said, I am having a lot of neck strain. My eyes are pretty close to the scope so I will readjust the scope then follow what you said. Thank you so much for the advice everyone. The more the merrier.

A few years ago, I wrote a lengthy article called Fundamentals of Riflescopes.  Most of it is not very useful for you, but skim through it.  You might pick a few useful things out of it:


ILya
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Koshkin, any information regardless of how remote it may be for me, is still useful lol. All of you guys are pretty awesome.
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At your service SirBow
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Alright so an update for everyone. I removed the barrel rail mount and replaced the guard with a brown one I had laying around. I then removed the scope, took the white backing off of the strips for the scope rings and reapplied them to said rings. 

After that I put the rifle into  a level and got the scope set back in. Once the scope was loosely clamped, I sat parallax to infinity, got prone and starting sliding the scope back and forth until i found no black ring and no haze/blur, doing what koshkin suggested about getting the reticle as crisp as i could get it.

 After adjusting the scope position (which turned out to be almost where I had it, just slightly forward) i started messing with the focus to get it dialed in. Then for final adjustments I started raising/lowering the cheek weld till I found a position that was comfortable and I was able to take my cheek off the rest and back onto it without a lot of adjustment. 

Finally, I went outside put the rifle on the ground and got into prone to take a look. Would ya know it? the picture has cleared up a lot and I am no longer getting blue/green haze or the "clear bubble" dancing around. Everything so far looks good. I do get a slight white haze but a minor adjustment to my cheek fixes it.

It was raining today so tomorrow I will take it outside, shoot it a lot just to see if anything rattles loose, then re-tighten if needed and try to sight the scope back in! *fingers crossed!*
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Thanks for the update.

I am glad it is looking better.

The Viper is a very respectable scope, so once you get everything properly adjusted and set up, it will serve you well.

Thanks
ILya
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