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Scope reticle not level with turrets?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2009 at 11:47
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Hello. I have a Millett Buck Gold 4-16x56 and the reticle appears to be about 5 degrees off level with the top turret/bottom flat part. Leveling was done with the level level level. Is it supposed to be this way? I just noticed it after taking the scope to the range on my 308 for the first time and firing 60 rounds with it on. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2009 at 11:56
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Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon problem.  No, it's not supposed to be that way, but then, it's really not a good idea to use the turrets as a level surface for this reason.  Never trust that the turrets are square with the reticle. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2009 at 11:56
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Surprisingly, some manufacturers' tolerances are not that high. I'd try contacting Millett to see if they will replace it. If not, you could try leveling the reticle with a plumb line and see if it shoots okay out at 300+ yards. By okay, I mean if you adjust the elevation or windage (preferably both) it should track and shoot where you intended. A canted reticle will mess up any chance of accuracy.

For a "cant rant" read here: http://accurateshooter.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/canted-reticles-serious-problem-needs-to-be-addressed/
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2009 at 11:58
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Never trust that the turrets are square with the reticle. 


Unless you own a scope made by NF, Premier, USO, Hensoldt or S&B. For that kind of money there should never be a problem like that.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2009 at 13:05
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Only the last words are true. " there should never be a problem like that."
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2009 at 14:44
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My Leupold Mk 4 LRT had a significantly canted reticle, maybe 3 degrees, which drove me nuts. I sent it back and it came back better but still not quite level. I am pretty finicky about this, but for the money I was a bit peeved. Seems like a problem you might expect in a $29.99 junk brand. I just ordered a Kahles from CDNN, and we'll see how it stacks up.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2009 at 15:57
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PM kbowlz he is Millet rep. His name is Steve. CS is good but the product needs work. I had the model I gave it to a friends son who needed a scope. I just didn't want to grow a beard. Cause if I sold it to him I wouldn't be able to look in the mirror to shave.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2009 at 17:17
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There certainly can be a reticle that is not level with the bottom or top of the turret.  However this should not mean you have a canted reticle since all you have to do is rotate the scope till it is vertical and horizontal in the position at which you hold your rifle.  IOW what is happening is you are not holding your rifle in a position to level your scope reticle.
 
This is an extreme example of holding a rifle canted and shooting at a championship level because the shot is taken when the reticle is level.  This is a pic of David Tubbs cheek-over hold rifle
 
The most important thing is to take the shot when the reticle is level, whether you are holding the rifle canted is of little concern
 
You can uncant your reticle by just rotating your scope in the rings so that it is level in the position you hold your rifle. 
 
Now if you want to set your rifle up where the reticle is level when the rifle is uncanted there is a way to do that with an EXD device and rotating the scope until the reticle is level with a distant object
 
 
it aligns your bore and centerline of the scope and when the bubble is level the rifle is uncanted.  Then aim it a distant horizontal or vertical object and rotate the scope until the reticle aligns and lock the rings in place.
 
What is also important is to be able to take the shot while the reticle is level and for that you need an anti-cant device
 
 
then when you take the shot your reticle is level and you will not have a canting problem.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2009 at 18:09
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None of that stuff has anything to do with the reticle not being square with the turrets.  No amount of gadgetry and no technique of mounting the scope will change the fact the scope has a physical defect inside it.

For a "sight it in and forget it" hunting scope, the issue is a minor annoyance.  For a scope where you will be cranking the turrets for long range shots the scope would not be acceptable to me for use.  There is no way to mount it that will fix the problem.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2009 at 22:35
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Jon A is right. If the entire scope was canted, you could do what sakomato is talking about (and as demonstrated by David Tubb's extreme example). But if the reticle is canted relative to the scope and turrets, then changes you make to the elevation or windage will not be square to the reticle.

Originally posted by 3_tens 3_tens wrote:

Only the last words are true. " there should never be a problem like that."

And there rarely is. But even the best mess one up once in a while.


Edited by jonoMT - December/29/2009 at 22:35
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2009 at 23:09
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Well I guess the question would be;  is the turret visibly canted when the reticle is level and what difference would that make?  Surely you all must agree that any scope mounted in a set of rings can be rotated until the reticle is level.  The reticle is never canted in relation to the scope tube, perhaps to the turret, but not the scope tube. 
 
If the turret was a little off I know that it would not make any difference if you are using a ballistic reticle or holdover because you are using the level reticle to raise your point of aim.  Is anyone saying that a turret that was out of level would mean that a level reticle would not move vertically when cranking elevation?
 
So the most important thing is still to shoot with a level reticle, the turret does not have to be.


Edited by sakomato - December/29/2009 at 23:13
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2009 at 23:39
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Originally posted by sakomato sakomato wrote:

Is anyone saying that a turret that was out of level would mean that a level reticle would not move vertically when cranking elevation?

That's exactly what it means.  You're right, if you just use the reticle you'll be OK but if you use the turrets it will show up.  If the two are not square with each other, only one at a time can be square with the world.  If you hold the reticle square with the world the turret will not be.  So, when you crank in elevation the reticle will move laterally (with respect to the world, of course) as well.

For example, with a 5 degree cant my 6.5 Grendel takes over 12 Mils to get to 1000 yards.  If that elevation is cranked in at that angle, this will also add over 1 Mil of lateral movement.  That's over three feet by which I'll miss.  That's equivalent to a 5 MPH wind that isn't there.  Using such a scope would be possible if you knew the exact amount of error and compensated for it, but in my opinion would be much more trouble than it's worth.

Note the exterior turret housing, the turrets themselves, etc, cannot be counted on 100% to tell you the direction they'll move the reticle.  To know exactly how the reticle moves one should measure how the reticle moves.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2009 at 23:56
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Originally posted by Jon A Jon A wrote:

So, when you crank in elevation the reticle will move laterally (with respect to the world, of course) as well.


Note the exterior turret housing, the turrets themselves, etc, cannot be counted on 100% to tell you the direction they'll move the reticle. 
 
So you're saying that the the canted turret will move the reticle laterally, but a canted turret could still move the reticle vertically because the direction of movement is not always aligned with the turret?
 
I'm confused.
 
So you could have a level turret and a level reticle and still the reticle would not move correctly?  I suppose anything is possible, not likely, but possible.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2009 at 04:22
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I'm saying don't bet the farm on it being precisely 5 degrees because that's what your exterior measurements to the turret housing and turrets show.  It might be 4.  It might be 6.  They put the reticle in crooked so that might not be all that's crooked on the inside.  It might be 8.  Obviously when the exterior of the scope is visually off 5 degrees from the reticle you have a problem.  I was just saying you can't use exterior mesurements to precisely determine the degree.  To know that you need to measure reticle movement.

This is important because it also means just because the reticle "looks" straight with the exterior of the scope is no guarantee it's perfectly aligned.  Chances are it's much closer than a scope with it out of whack 5 degrees, but it still could be off.  So again, this is why I actually check how the reticle moves.  It's really, really easy.  It's too easy not to do if you ever do any long range shooting.

You can agonize over trying to guess how much a sack of potatoes weighs until you drive yourself nuts.  Or you can throw it on a scale and be done with it.  I'm a fan of the latter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2009 at 11:32
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One thing that needs to be clarified is that 6 degrees cant is equal to 1 minute on a clock face.  I do not think that would be noticeable with the naked eye.  It would take at least double that to be able to detect.

Another thing is that those level-level-level bubbles in this situation are not adequate for determining if the turret is unlevel or not.  The bubbles themselves are cheaply made and can be moved in their plastic containers and are almost useless (I have some and will gladly send them to anyone for free, you pay the shipping, otherwise they will eventually end up in the trash where they belong).  Also the turret cap may be off and not the turret.
 
There are just too many ways that the OP was incorrect in assuming his turret was 5 degrees off when probably he just needed to rotate his scope and get good equipment for leveling his reticle and uncanting his rifle.  That is why I do not think it was incorrect of me to suggest the "stuff" he would be better served to be using.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2009 at 11:38
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Originally posted by sakomato sakomato wrote:

One thing that needs to be clarified is that 6 degrees cant is equal to 1 minute on a clock face.  I do not think that would be noticeable with the naked eye.  It would take at least double that to be able to detect.

Another thing is that those level-level-level bubbles in this situation are not adequate for determining if the turret is unlevel or not.  The bubbles themselves are cheaply made and can be moved in their plastic containers and are almost useless (I have some and will gladly send them to anyone for free, you pay the shipping, otherwise they will eventually end up in the trash where they belong).  Also the turret cap may be off and not the turret.
 
There are just too many ways that the OP was incorrect in assuming his turret was 5 degrees off when probably he just needed to rotate his scope and get good equipment for leveling his reticle and uncanting his rifle.  That is why I do not think it was incorrect of me to suggest the "stuff" he would be better served to be using.
 
I used them on a couple guns after sighted in to make sure i am holding level and not twisting the weapon.  I will gladly take those off your hands though.  PM me if you are serious. 


Edited by SVT_Tactical - December/30/2009 at 11:38
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2009 at 14:31
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sakomato, you're correct that the reticle and any marks on it can be used for ranging and firing, because the reticle can be made square to the barrel. I should have read everything more closely. What I think would be frustrating would be using a scope where the turrets/erector are not square to the reticle. Even if you are just using them occasionally to establish a new zero, for example, the results will not match up with what is expected.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2009 at 17:19
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Originally posted by sakomato sakomato wrote:

There are just too many ways that the OP was incorrect in assuming his turret was 5 degrees off when probably he just needed to rotate his scope and get good equipment for leveling his reticle and uncanting his rifle.

Why would you think that?  He didn't say it was crooked with his rifle or that his rifle was canted or anything of the sort.  He said the reticle was crooked with respect to the turrts and the flat part of the housing on the bottom of the scope--very specifically indicating the problem is with the scope.

I know you've been sold a bunch of gadgets to help with the minutia of squaring the reticle to the rifle and centering it over the bore--and there's nothing wrong with that--but apparently they took your money without explaining these items will do nothing for the much larger problem of a scope that simply tracks incorrectly. 

A scope with this problem can be removed completely from the rifle and rolled across your kitchen table and guess what?  It still has the problem!

And yes, 6 degrees is very easy to see with the naked eye.  Try actually aiming at the center of a clock.  Tilt the rifle such that the upper crosshair intersects 1 minute and the lower intersects 31 minutes.  You can see for yourself--it's pretty dramatic.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2009 at 17:37
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Here's a crosshair with a 3 deg tilt:


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2009 at 17:52
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That would drive me nuts.   OK, it would be more like a short putt. But you get my point. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2009 at 19:18
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Originally posted by Jon A Jon A wrote:


I know you've been sold a bunch of gadgets to help with the minutia of squaring the reticle to the rifle and centering it over the bore--and there's nothing wrong with that--but apparently they took your money without explaining these items will do nothing for the much larger problem of a scope that simply tracks incorrectly. 


And yes, 6 degrees is very easy to see with the naked eye.  Try actually aiming at the center of a clock.  Tilt the rifle such that the upper crosshair intersects 1 minute and the lower intersects 31 minutes.  You can see for yourself--it's pretty dramatic.
 
If I ever have a scope that simply tracks incorrectly then you could be right but since I have never had one through several dozens then my money has been well spent leveling the reticles and teaching me to hold my rifle without a cant.  To me that has not been "minutia" and no one"took" my money and I do not need any explaining.
 
In that quote I clearly said his turret was 5 degrees off, not the crosshairs.  Yes it would be noticeable for a reticle to be off 5 degrees.
 
Originally posted by jonoMT jonoMT wrote:

Here's a crosshair with a 3 deg tilt:


 
ROTATE the scope a little counterclockwise and guess what, that problem goes away, as does the problem with cant errors in shooting long distance from holdover.  And unless the scope is 1 in _________ (I'm guessing 1000 would fill in that blank) then the scope would track vertically when cranking the turret.
 
And that is close to 4.5 degree tilt if my screen image is square with the bottom of my computer.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2009 at 21:32
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Please tilt your monitor 1.5 deg! Big Smile



There's a lot I don't know squat about but I've been using Adobe Illustrator since 1988 and know how to draw any angle I want. The thicker gradations are 3 deg apart and the green lines are 15 degs.

If the turrets are not square to the reticle, wouldn't it stand to reason that they are pushing the erector off in a direction other than vertical or horizontal?



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2009 at 22:22
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Now that is 3 degrees but when I set a piece of tracing paper and extend the lines on your previous post they do not match up.  Maybe I need to rotate my screen!  Big Grin 
 
Jono, I have never said that a canted turret will not move the crosshairs in a canted direction, maybe they will and maybe they won't or as Jon A says,
 
Originally posted by Jon A Jon A wrote:



Note the exterior turret housing, the turrets themselves, etc, cannot be counted on 100% to tell you the direction they'll move the reticle. 
 
 
so who knows which direction they will move the crosshairs. 
 
Look, this is silly.  3 degrees, 4.5 degrees, 5 degrees.....whatever.
 
The point is that I have seen turrets that appeared to be canted until I leveled the reticle and the turret was an optical illusion.  So fix the fixable problems first and verify that there is indeed a problem.  I just offered the best solution to level the reticle and shoot with it level.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2009 at 00:33
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After reading all of this, what are some of the tools/techniques you use to make sure the scope isn't canted when it's installed?  I've seen all kinds of levels that mount on the base, the scope rings, the level-level-level system.
 
For shooting I've thought about installing those scope levels on the scope tube to assisit with canting while shooting.
 
Jim
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2009 at 02:51
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Well, if you have a really decent scope with a reticle that is square to a flat base and have a one-piece base like a Picatinny rail, then all you need is a $2.00 set of feeler gauges. Otherwise, if you can level your rifle - either in a cleaning cradle or with an attached bipod, a good way to do it is then sight on a plumb bob line 50 yards away and get the reticle square with it.
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