Another stupid level question (level in stock)

rlarsen462

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Hello all,

Haven't posted much yet but have done tons of reading. Haven't done any long range shooting yet and probably doing it all wrong by spending a bunch of money first on guns and stuff, but want to get my equipment sorted so I can limit the problems in my shooting to the nut behind the wheel.

I bought a Bergara Ridgeback on sale recently and have read every thread imaginable on mounting the scope and getting it level. This is my first 700 style rifle and most of my experience is with the AR platform.

I understand I need to get the reticle level to a scope mounted level first and foremost (working on this), and then try and get the scope level to the rifle's action. Here's where my questions come in.

1) The Ridgeback stock has an integral level, what purpose does this serve in the levelling process (I couldn't find any info on this searching)? Is it important that on my rifle it doesn't appear to be level with the action based on some measurements I made? Does this mean the rifle was bedded incorrectly at the factory, or that the stock level itself may be defective/not correctly level? Basically it's looking like if I level the scope to the action that the stock level will be useless when shooting because it's off to the left with the action level to the ground. If I level the scope to the stock level, and the scope isn't perfectly to the action, this is bad, correct?

2) What's the best way to actually measure level on the action? I understand the scope base (I bought a Badger 20 MOA) may not be the best as it's unlikely to be perfectly level with the action? Also if I measure off the bottom metal is it possible that it's not necessarily level with the action itself? It seems like the levels that measure off the bolt glide surface aren't very good (quality wise) based on reviews.

I know this stuff appears to have been beaten absolutely to death on here, but hopefully the added component of the integral stock level adds another dimension with discussing.

Greatly appreciate any input from the folks more experienced than me.
 

Steel head

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Bag the rifle in according to the level on it while scope aimed at a plumb bob.

When rifle is level and reticle is aligning with plumb bob your GTG but at that point also dial the scope up and down to check reticle to dial alignment.

if all match up light up a cigar and slam a few shots of tequila.
 
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rlarsen462

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Bag the rifle in according to the level on it while scope aimed at a plumb bob.

When rifle is level and reticle is aligning with plumb bob your GTG but at that point also dial the scope up and down to check reticle to dial alignment.

if all match up light up a cigar and slam a few shots of tequila.
Thanks! Not sure I understand what you mean by "bag the rifle in"? So you are saying use the scope on the Ridgeback stock to set the scope level reticle to the plumb line and don't worry if the scope itself isn't necessarily level to the action (since if I trust the levels I'm using including the one in the stock, then it seems the action is slightly canted in the stock in relation to the stock's level)?

Kind of wishing the stock didn't have a level then I wouldn't even worry about it!

Only other issue I have is my range is 1.5 hours away and living in an suburban neighborhood I can't easily have the scope on the rifle and aim at something 25 yards away without some neighbor concern. :LOL:
 

Steel head

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Thanks! Not sure I understand what you mean by "bag the rifle in"? So you are saying use the scope on the Ridgeback stock to set the scope level reticle to the plumb line and don't worry if the scope itself isn't necessarily level to the action (since if I trust the levels I'm using including the one in the stock, then it seems the action is slightly canted in the stock in relation to the stock's level)?

Kind of wishing the stock didn't have a level then I wouldn't even worry about it!

Only other issue I have is my range is 1.5 hours away and living in an suburban neighborhood I can't easily have the scope on the rifle and aim at something 25 yards away without some neighbor concern. :LOL:
Bipod and a quality rear bag to get it really stable.

what’s your minimum focus distance?

Some people use a flashlight and a wall in the house.
I’ve never done that method but it does work and I’m sure there’s a YouTube video on that method somewhere.
 
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rlarsen462

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Bipod and a quality rear bag to get it really stable.

what’s your minimum focus distance?

Some people use a flashlight and a wall in the house.
I’ve never done that method but it does work and I’m sure there’s a YouTube video on that method somewhere.
Scope is an ATACR 7-35 so I'm guessing 25-30 yards.

I may try the flashlight method and see what I can figure out.

Still trying to figure out if it's an issue to have the stock and action not showing level to each other (or whether the level in the stock can even be trusted). May have to call Bergara/Grayboe and get their thoughts on that part of the equation.

What do you use to ensure the action itself is level after you get the scope sorted out?
 

Steel head

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I don’t worry about the action as long as it’s even remotely close.
Reticle and dial matching up to each other. and a reference(level) to learn consistent position are all that I worry about.
 
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rlarsen462

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I don’t worry about the action as long as it’s even remotely close.
Reticle and dial matching up to each other. and a reference(level) to learn consistent position are all that I worry about.
So I should probably try leveling the scope/reticle/scope mounted level to the integrated level in the stock (so they at least match up as reference points) instead of trying to match everything to the action itself? The mismatch between the action/scope base (as far as I can tell) and the level in the stock is about a half a bubble.
 

Steel head

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I find most stock/chassis levels hard to see and often off a bit so I’d use a scope mounted level.

you might be able to reset your action to get them to match.
 
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lowlight

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Tape over it and ignore it, odds are, the stock, action, and scope are not in agreement anyways

If you want to do an initial level on your scope, slide some business cards under the scope and match the flat to the flat. The Flat of the Rail to the Flat of the bottom of the scope. You can use a deck of playing cards too. Slide one out when you tighten it.

manufacturers use the flat on the bottom to align the reticle, so use the flat on the bottom and make it parallel to the flat of the action.

Then just double-check it at the range with a plumb line, drop a weighted string you can see at 100 yards, see how your hold matches the line.
 

rlarsen462

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Tape over it and ignore it, odds are, the stock, action, and scope are not in agreement anyways

If you want to do an initial level on your scope, slide some business cards under the scope and match the flat to the flat. The Flat of the Rail to the Flat of the bottom of the scope. You can use a deck of playing cards too. Slide one out when you tighten it.

manufacturers use the flat on the bottom to align the reticle, so use the flat on the bottom and make it parallel to the flat of the action.

Then just double-check it at the range with a plumb line, drop a weighted string you can see at 100 yards, see how your hold matches the line.
So then my understanding is, the most important components of the system being true/level to each other are scope mounted level to reticle/elevation erector (understanding that these are NOT always even true to each other), then that assembly level to the scope base? It doesn't matter too much if the scope base is slightly canted from the action/bore centerline in that case? And the level indicator in the stock should basically be disregarded completely at this point?

I really appreciate the responses, it feels like this is less confusing than I'm making it out to be.

Hopefully if it continues to thaw a bit I can get to the range soon and test all this out in practice.
 

lowlight

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All the bullet cares about is gravity, the barrel is round and not timed in that rifle I am sure anyway so don't sweat it, your zero adjustments will align it.

The only level worth talking about is a scope mounted level because you have to adjust the level to the reticle and not the rifle. The reticle needs to be aligned to gravity, the rest can be off and not matter.

The rest is just a waste of time, it's all about the reticle
 
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rlarsen462

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Okay great, thanks again for going through this I know you guys have probably answered these questions so many times already.

Going to go back and work on it some more.

Just because I'm a little OCD, you don't actually see there being an issue if I level the scope level/scope/reticle assembly to the stock so that the levels are roughly aligned? Even if this means it's off a little from the action? Basically just want to avoid any difficult to correct-for windage errors at distances past 500yrds if I zero at 100.
 

lowlight

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You can put 3 levels on your rifle, and still be off

A level is not a shooting tool, it's a training aid,

Most people even with levels pay no attention to the level because their body will subconsciously move and their mind will stop looking and they will be off anyways.

think of something else to obsess over
 

rlarsen462

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You can put 3 levels on your rifle, and still be off

A level is not a shooting tool, it's a training aid,

Most people even with levels pay no attention to the level because their body will subconsciously move and their mind will stop looking and they will be off anyways.

think of something else to obsess over
Alright I will get it sorted and get to the range to start practicing. Thanks again.
 

Jack Master

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Have a read on what needs to be level.

So after reading 400(ish) posts about scope mounting and leveling I had to do the math.

Every time a scope mounting or leveling thread is posted it usually leads to conversations about weather the rifle needs to be level when the scope is mounted level. And sometimes is goes into weather the scope needs to be mounted directly over the bore and not offset from the bore. Well, math 'never' lies. So... attached is a sheet I put together for the down range effects of...1) mounting your scope with an offset from the bore, 2) mounting the scope level with the rifle not level, and 3) effects of a canted reticle dues to not being mounted correctly or canting the entire system.

I was very surprised to find the offsets due to mounting or rifle cant (with level scope) are very minimal. especially when compared to the canting of the scope. I could understand needing to worry much more about the offsets when shooting over... maybe 3000 yards, but even then its a strech then compaired to wind calls or actual scope cant.

Conclusions:
We need to have a level reticle or level tracking (not always the same) but don't fret over the mounting offsets (case 1) or canting the rifle with a level scope (case 2). Do worry about canting the scope.

View attachment 7074705
 
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rlarsen462

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Have a read on what needs to be level.
Thank you Jack and I had read that post during my searches. The math definitely helps me understand. In my case, the action is the "rifle", correct, since it appears (if you trust the levels which is potentially suspect in and of itself) to be out of line with the stock? So as long as I have a level reticle with level scope mounted level, it probably doesn't matter much whether it's dead on level with either the stock or the action as the difference is going to be an inch or less at 1000 yards it seems? Which I think is basically what Lowlight already said I guess. :)(y)
 

Jack Master

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Thank you Jack and I had read that post during my searches. The math definitely helps me understand. In my case, the action is the "rifle", correct, since it appears (if you trust the levels which is potentially suspect in and of itself) to be out of line with the stock? So as long as I have a level reticle with level scope mounted level, it probably doesn't matter much whether it's dead on level with either the stock or the action as the difference is going to be an inch or less at 1000 yards it seems? Which I think is basically what Lowlight already said I guess. :)(y)
You are on it.
Disregard the level in the stock and mount your level for your scope reticle. (I.e. mount the level on the scope tube, not the pic rail or a ring)
In my experience I can never see those damn bubbles in the stock while maintain a cheek weld anyways.
 
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rlarsen462

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You are on it.
Disregard the level in the stock and mount your level for your scope reticle. (I.e. mount the level on the scope tube, not the pic rail or a ring)
In my experience I can never see those damn bubbles in the stock while maintain a cheek weld anyways.
Yep this was already the plan, to mount a level to the scope tube per one of your previous posts, then mount that scope/level assembly to the rifle/scope base...it was just a function of whether I was trying to level the scope/level assembly to the scope base/action, or to the level embedded in the stock, if that makes sense.
 

Jack Master

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level the scope/level assembly to the scope base/action, or to the level embedded in the stock,
Neither of these mater. You'll see in the math i did the stock or rifle action do not need to be plumb, but when you "mount your rifle" the reticle needs to be plumb. Some people pull the rifle into thier should with the stock at an angle and adjust thier scope to be level (shown below)

But, if you want to plumb the action to the scope is fine as well.

Doing this is still Okay. some people could have a 5 or 10 degrees rifle cant in extreme cases. As long as the reticle is level is all that matters.
Capture.JPG

Cheers. good luck
 
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