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Thread: Problems Sighting In

  1. #1

    Default Problems Sighting In

    I am no master of firearms so please bare with me and my newbie lingo, but I am in desperate need of assistance. I have always had problems sighting in my Remington 700 300RUM scoped with a Leupold VX-II 3-9x40. I have sighted in rifles before most recently being my Stevens .223 with a Burris FF2 3-9 without any problems, meaning I do have experience sighting in rifles.

    For the past month I have been trying to sight in my 300rum for up and coming day trips during moose season, but each visit to the range I am left completely discouraged with a rifle setup that is fighting me tooth and nail. I have spent hundreds of dollars in ammo thinking its my own error but I am thinking differently now.

    Tonight after my dispiriting visit to the range I decided to try and bore sight my rifle once again so I can start fresh. I have a laser bore sight for this rifle. While bore sighting I noticed when I adjusted the up and down on the scope down was up and up was down. The windage screws are the same, left moves the crosshairs right and visa versa. So I set the rifle down for a minute and tried again. This time up moved the crosshairs up and down moved the crosshairs down, but the windage screws were still the same. Now I am thinking my eyes are bugging out so I try again. Now up is moving the crosshairs down and down is moving the crosshairs up, and with the windage right is moving the crosshairs right and left is moving the crosshairs left. Now I think my eyes are going bad so try this all over again with the same results.

    I just replaced my old Leupold rings with the rear windage screw with dual dove tails by Leupold. The old rings where badly beaten with recoil. The scope is tight and so are the bases.

    I am thinking something is seriously wrong with this scope. Is this a common sign of bum scopes when used with big bore rifles with hard recoil? If so how can I explain this to Leupold without sounding like a newb without a clue? Or is it user error?

    This rifle was a gift from my father a few years ago and he is just as dissapointed as I am, if not more, with the performance of this setup to date. I am at a loss here and sick of wasting expensive ammo with no results. I need help in the worst way.

  2. #2

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    The more I think about this bum scope theory the more it makes sense.

    I would start with a target at 50 yards. I would finally hit the target a couple inches high on center, windage was right on. Then I would move the target out to 100 yards and adjust the scope to where I could hit the target at 200 hundred yards. Once I moved the target out to 200 yards I would do my fine adjustments. Once I started shooting at 200 yards up and down and windage would completely reverse itself compared to my adjustments at 50 and 100 yards.

  3. #3
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    Default Ups and Downs...

    WTR GRMN,

    Place the rifle on a suitable sand bag rest (NOT a lead sled or other such device). Just do this at 50 yards. With the bore lazer in place just move the left/right and up/down (don't look at the arrows on the turrets) until the reticle is on the laser dot, then stop.

    What you experience is normal operation with a scope, actually, they read bass ackwards. When you shoot and the shot is to the left, You want to move the shot to the right. Right? Are you with me? You can't move the barrel so you move the reticle to where in the barrel is pointed, so you move it to the LEFT. Which is actually marked right on the windage turret. And the same goes for the up/down turret. When bore sighting we move the reticle to where the barrel is pointed and stop.

    Clean the rifle and shoot three carefully aimed shots. (After the lazer sight and reticle adjustment) The three carefully aimed shots (at 50 yards) will make a neat little group but won't be exactly where you aimed (If they aren't 1/2" or less, try again). If they are, let's say, left 2" and down 1". Adjust only one axis at a time. Let's do windage. If the scope is marked one click=1/4" @100 yds. That is 1/8" at 50 yards, so for 2" at fifty move the windage 16 clicks Right. Then shoot three more carefully aimed shots. If you're good to go, then do the elevation. This 50 yard zero will put the rifle on at about 275 yards, 2" high at 200 yards. You could also do this at 25 yards and give a zero of about 230 yards.

    That's the way it works. What you thought you experienced at the 200 yard range before was just your marksmanship.

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  4. #4

    Default

    You might try a different scope mount system. If your Leupold STD rings got as beat up like you report, try another type mount and ring design.

    Murphy gives a good overview of sighting in, but sometimes gear is just no good. Leupold will probably replace the rear ring for you, but why stay with that design?

    I would try a Weaver-Type base with Burris Zee rings. You might need the reversible front base because the VX II scope is hard to mount on a long-action 700 w/o extension rings. (that might also be part of your problem, if your front ring is right up against the scope objective area)

    Another item that is worth owning is a scope Collimator. I have a bushnell with 3 adj arbors that fit in the barrel. The collimator shows a grid with numbered spacings and will show reticle movement. Being fitted to the barrel, you dont have to worry about holding the rifle still or clamping it down.

    You can test your scope movements with a collimator by:
    1) Centering the reticle on the grid.
    2) Move the top turret 10 or 20 clicks up
    3) Move the same # of clicks right, then down, then left
    4) Reticle should be back where it started

    If your VXII doesn't have click stops, just use 1/4 of a rotation for each way. You can always send your scope to Leupold, they'll examine and fix it for free.

    You might also try getting on the paper at 25 yds or 50 yds, initially.

    Another idea is to shoot a 3 shot group initially and then adjust your scope to WHERE the bullets strike, IE left 4 inches and down 3 inches. If you start out using the bottom edge of a square aiming point, always line up on the same bottom edge for each shot, you will have a "good" 3 shot group. Measure the vert/horz distance from your aiming point with a ruler, and then adjust your scope to that point. Then, fire again at your same aiming point. Should be right there. Should be.

    Scopes do fail. Some rings and mounts are just sloppy.

    If you owned a collimator, you could pretty reliably move 1 scope between 2 rifles. Weaver mounts and rings are very good for this. Just have the same mount on each rifle so you can swap them, and keep a log of where to adjust the scope on your collimator grid for the zero you want.

    Hope these ideas help you out.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the responses.

    I replaced my old rings with the rear windage screw with dual dove tails. These new rings seem to be holding much better.

    I am using a benchmaster rifle rest. Also I am aware on my Leupold up moves the reticle down, visa versa. And with the windage right moves the reticle left, visa versa.

    It looks like I am going to have to bring a buddy to the range who has more experience than I do.

  6. #6
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    Default Scope problems..

    WTR_GRMN,

    I'm sorry. I missed the part about the rings being banged up. So you're saying the scope is slipping in the rings? If so, of course you can't sight it in. What does, how does a ring get banged up. Explain.

    I guess I didn't understand what you were saying.

    Is the scope rotated 90 degrees? The R/L turret on top?

    Let me ask about this gizmo rifle rest. I don't know what it is. Does it absorb the recoil of the rifle in any way? Also do you have a muzzle brake on the rifle?

    The scope mounts are made to hold the scope as the recoil is absorbed slowly by the shooters shoulder. If there is a sudden stop from a machine rest, they won't hold. Or maybe just your shoulder is the machine. :-)

    There are stronger scope mounts as Lester suggested, but those (Leupold DD's) have held on several RUM calibers for me.

    This is something I've done hundreds of times on rifles in calibers from 17 Hornet to the 460 Weatherby, 500 Jeffery, 505 Gibbs, 50 cal Browning.........
    I've had all kinds of problems....I've fixed all of them. I'm in Fairbanks, send me a PM, I'll try to help.
    Last edited by Murphy; 10-24-2006 at 10:18.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  7. #7

    Default

    Let me start over, after re-reading my posts again I think I should clarify. It was late and I was getting tired.

    A month ago my 300 ultra mag had Leupold rings with the rear windage screw. I had constant problems with the windage screws working themselves loose after a couple of rounds. Also I could not keep the bases tight. Here are pictures of each ring when I removed the scope to check for loose bases.


    I replaced these rings and bases with Leupolds dual dove tails a couple of weeks ago. After 100 or so rounds with the dovetails everything has held tight and snug. I see no apparent problems with the new rings or bases.

    The benchmaster is not a sled bed type setup. The front of the barrel is in no way clamped to the rifle rest, it simply sits on top of an oblong bean bag. The rear has a U shaped holding bracket with a strap that follows directly behind the butt of the rifle. Most of the recoil hits me in the shoulder, but I am sure some of the recoil is reduced by the rubber feet. Here is a picture of the rest. This is not my rifle in the picture and the rest is almost identical.


    Last night I placed my 300 in my rifle rest, put the lazer bore sight in the chamber and played with the up/down/left/right turret for the reticle. At first when I turned the turret up the reticle when down like it is suppose to. The windage screws yeilded the same result, when I turned the turret right the reticle would move left.

    This is where it got interesting. A few minutes later I tried this all over again. When I turned the turret up the reticle went up instead of down. When I adjusted it down the reticle went down. But when I turned the turret it to the left the reticle went right, like it is suppose to.

    Again I take a break and think I am making an error somewhere. Back to the scope again. This time the up and down for the reticle are working properly, up is moving the reticle down, and down is moving the reticle up. Now when I adjust the windage turret left click adjustments is moving the reticle left, right clicks move the reticle right.

    I suppose what I am trying to get at is there any possible internal problem scopes can acquire that would cause a problem such as reticle adjustment problems. This rifle has not seen much action either. I have not had a chance to take it on many hunting trips, and most of the rounds fired from this rifle have been at the range. After I get home from the range I clean the barrel thoroughly until my wet patches come out completely white.

    I do not have a muzzle break but I have been thinking about the wild west guns muzzle break.
    Last edited by Water_Gremlin; 09-29-2006 at 13:54.

  8. #8
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default Spooky....

    Sounds to me like your scope is haunted! I'd try sending it back to Leupold and try to explain the problem in as much detail as you can and hope that their bench techs can observe the same problem. Physically though, I don't see how the reticle can change direction like that without some other factors being applied.

    Weird!
    AKmud
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  9. #9
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    Default

    Easy fix really. Have the scope repaired or replaced. Remove the bases and reinstall some new ones. If it were me I would opt for Weavers since they are bullet proof. If you do not like weavers I would buy the base that has the fewest parts possible, and that means canning any base with the adjustable windage screw.
    Don't forget your 300 RUM has some serious recoil and this makes it even more difficult to sight in.

  10. #10
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    Default WG

    Here's a tip for sending to Leupold. Send it priority mail (FEDEX) and you will get it back in under a week. If you send it regualr mail it will get put in line with everything else and they will send it back the same way you sent it to them. could take a month or better.
    I have really good luck if I send them something fedex.

    I'm not quite getting the click movement thing.
    My scopes all have the same adjustments and if you want to move left it has a little arrow that says left and if you turn it the direction of the arrow that is the direction the bullet goes the next time I pull the trigger. None of this is opposite on my scopes. All are leupold VX-III's

    I also use the benchmaster and we also added a steel weight to the ftont base that weights about 20lbs we made ourselves. real helps keep the thing in place. And I see no difference between that and the sandbags if I'm shooting from them. I take a breath, squeeze the trigger and bullet placement is where I expect it. (which is generally somewhere within about 8-12" of the dot............ just kidding)

    Also, make sure you don't shoot too many rounds and get your barrel hot, your accuracy may start to go away. three shot groups like Murphy suggested is a good idea, and some have aslo told me to clean the gun inbetween groups (which i'm not so good at staying on top of)

    Anyways, hope this helps.
    Justin
    Justin

  11. #11
    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    Default

    If your scope is changing direction, I'd definitely send it back and have 'em fix it. Chances are, they'll jusy send you a new one. I sent one in once (Vari-X III, well used) and had a new one in within 3 weeks. I'd use Burris Signature or Talley rings and bases. I'd normally recommend Leupold rings too, but it doesn't look like they held up too well for you.

  12. #12
    Member GreginAlaska's Avatar
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    Default

    Could it be a problem with the springs in the scope? Something slipping or binding? I am correct when I think that when you adjust the scope, you are actually putting more or less tension on a spring? (unless it is a Burris posi-lok) Or am I all goofed up?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreginAlaska View Post
    Could it be a problem with the springs in the scope? Something slipping or binding? I am correct when I think that when you adjust the scope, you are actually putting more or less tension on a spring? (unless it is a Burris posi-lok) Or am I all goofed up?


    I am interested to hear comments on this post.

    If springs are the major components for adjusting the recticle could mine be slipping and then jumping back into place when I am at the range? This would explain my noob theory.

  14. #14
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    Default Gimble

    Probably a loose gimble (gimbel), not sure of the spelling.

  15. #15
    Member Kurt S's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Gremlin View Post
    I am interested to hear comments on this post.

    If springs are the major components for adjusting the recticle could mine be slipping and then jumping back into place when I am at the range? This would explain my noob theory.
    Hi WG,

    I've been reading your posts, interesting problem....and starting to sound like one I've been having.
    Here's my problem: I put a Leupold 3X9 on my Ruger 7mm almost 30 years ago. I came up with an excellent load early on and haven't changed the load OR the scope setting in all this time. Recently, I ran out of my old powder and it's no longer the same formula . The newer version is quite different and required some tinkering and..a resighting in of the scope. When I change the drift or elevation, it takes a few rounds to respond, ie it finally jerks into the new setting. I think it's been in one setting too long and no longer smoothly moves.
    The other issue I have is the scope, when set as far back in the rings as it will go, makes contact with the barrel, so I have to move it a bit forward to give it a 1/16th clearance. As I have aged...dont' we all, my eyesight wants it further back, just can't get it. So, I looked into a taller ring. I had a local shop get a set, but they turned out to be sloppy on the rear mount, and forced the scope enough to one side to allow no adj in that direction.
    Thinking it may be the scope (issues there) they put on a new Leupold to check it. Same problem, but an interesting thing....the new scopes front end is of smaller diameter than the old one, same make and model. This allows plenty of clearance at the barrel and I can use my old rings.
    So, I bought the new scope, and will send the old one in to Leupold and have it fixed...what I'll do with it then...I don't know.
    How old is that scope of yours?

    Kurt

    ps Murphy, good refresher for us guys that don't do this often enough!

  16. #16

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    This scope is about 6 years old

  17. #17
    Member Kurt S's Avatar
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    Default

    Not that old. On muzzle brakes, Accuracy Arms has a nice one. I had them replace the triggers on both my 7mm and 338, huge improvement over the originals.

    kurt

  18. #18

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    I was talking with a good friend this evening and I mentioned my problems sighting in my 300RUM and Leupold VXII. He told me that he has had the same problems in a previous rifle. The problem was the scope was mounted incorrectly on the rifle.

    He said, instead of his windage screw on the scope being mounted horiztonally they were mounted vertically as if they were the up and down screws, and the same with his windage screws. Does that make sense?

    I think this is my problem with my ghost like scope. Comments?

  19. #19
    Member Kurt S's Avatar
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    WG,

    Went to the range last friday and ran some loads through my 7mm. This is a new leopold 3x9 40 scope and it worked fine. I was thinking as I adjusted it the first time,....don't let my scope have the waterg virus..lol. Up was up, down was down and the left right was as it should be. You have a very strange thing going on. Have you put a bore sighter in it and looked at the movement? Might want to do that if you haven't. Should confirm whats going on ...or not.

    Kurt

  20. #20
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    Default Scope problem..

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Gremlin View Post
    I was talking with a good friend this evening and I mentioned my problems sighting in my 300RUM and Leupold VXII. He told me that he has had the same problems in a previous rifle. The problem was the scope was mounted incorrectly on the rifle.

    He said, instead of his windage screw on the scope being mounted horiztonally they were mounted vertically as if they were the up and down screws, and the same with his windage screws. Does that make sense?

    I think this is my problem with my ghost like scope. Comments?
    W/G,

    Well. Interesting. I think I ask this question back a ways, is the scope rotated 90 degrees. The Leupold cross hair is supposed to show on the left side I believe.

    I worked for three different gun shops before I moved to AK and most of my work was remounting scopes sold and "mounted for free" by the likes of the big box outlet chain outdoor stores. About half of them were mounted with the windage turret up. A few were mounted backwards! Since I've been in Fairbanks, I don't do much scoping here but through friends or friends of friends, I get some scope mounting and remounting. Since SW came to town I've remounted 8 scopes from there and five of them were mounted with the windage and elevation turrets reversed. The R/L turret goes on the side, the U/D turret goes on the top. They will work mounted that way but the R=U and the U=R, for most scopes.

    I have mounted two scopes rotated this way to allow the empty brass to eject without hitting the turret and fall back into the action. My recommendation for them was ditch the rifle but you know how some folks are.
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