Centering Elevation adjustment Leupold VX3


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texasjohn
August 16, 2010, 07:36 PM
I have a question regarding re-centering my elevation knob on a Leupold VX3. I have the rifle zeroed at 200 yards, and when I wanted to move to 300 I started doing some dial adjustment, and found I only had 12 clicks left, which was not enough to get me to 300, close though.

Anyway, the Scope has 57 MOA of adjustment, so I figured there must be some way to re-center on my 200 yard zero to give me +- ~30MOA from there. (really I would like to have 100 yards be near the bottom, and have 57MOA going up, but once I know how to re-center, I can figure that out)

I was looking at my manual, and sure enough there is a section on just this topic. I have yet to try it but basically, it says to:


Turn the elevation adjustment until it stops.
Counting clicks, turn it back the other way.
Turn it back the other way half the number of clicks just counted.


Sounds pretty easy, and I think it is what I want to do. Can A) somebody tell me if this is in fact what I want to do and B) How does this work, I am guessing there must be some internal dial that tracks the position and gets reset when you hit the "ends" of adjustment.

Thanks in advance.

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Ditch-Tiger
August 16, 2010, 09:33 PM
Those directions are only for returning the scopes reticule to center. Once it's mounted and your out of adjustment, your out of adjustment.
Sounds like what you need is an adjustable mount(?) or to shim your rings/bases to get the most internal adjustment out of the scope.
I know this isn't the answer your looking for, but their is no easy solution, sorry.

Al Thompson
August 16, 2010, 09:55 PM
Agree with DT. Shim the front ring - I think. :)

JDGray
August 16, 2010, 10:04 PM
Either a canted base, or Burris rings with offset inserts, to get more elevation.:)

texasjohn
August 16, 2010, 10:25 PM
Yeah, not the answer I was hoping for, but it was kinda the answer I expected. I have been thinking about a 20MOA base, but it seems a little much since I don't anticipate shooting much over 500 yards and that would only be for fun.

Do folks sometimes just make their own shim and slide it under the front base? Sounds like that is what is being suggested and I am thinking I could come up with some ways to make that happen pretty easily without forking over large sums of cash for a 20MOA base.

HuntAndFish
August 16, 2010, 10:52 PM
Do folks sometimes just make their own shim and slide it under the front base? Sounds like that is what is being suggested and I am thinking I could come up with some ways to make that happen pretty easily without forking over large sums of cash for a 20MOA base.

Yes, and shim stock is available at midway.

http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#shim%20stock____-_1-2-4_8-16-32

taliv
August 16, 2010, 11:13 PM
any chance you've got a 20MOA already and have it installed backwards?

i'd be REALLY surprised if the gun is off that bad.

post some pics of the rifle. it may be obvious from looking at it what's wrong. maybe the front/rear bases were switched or something

texasjohn
August 17, 2010, 12:27 AM
Pretty sure they are the same height front and back

Here are the details:

Savage Precision Carbine .308 Caliber
Leupold VX3 3.5-10x 50mm
Leupold High Rings
Warne Bases


Now, I admit I had some trouble getting happy with mounting a scope of this rifle. I had a post when I first got it when i had a Redfield 50mm that didn't want to go on nice. I returned that and upgraded to the VX3, which has been very good, besides this adjustment thing. Which doesn't seem right to me, given the capability of this scope.

I have attached a couple of pictures for some better trained eye to look at to see if I have done something incorrect in the setup.

texasjohn
August 17, 2010, 12:32 AM
Yes, and shim stock is available at midway.

http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#shim%20stock____-_1-2-4_8-16-32
What would be the difference between this stuff and say something from Home Depot:
Like this (http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hardware-Hardware-Fasteners-Metal-Stock/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xh6Zar1m/R-202183492/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053), but in Brass/SS.

Ditch-Tiger
August 17, 2010, 01:28 AM
Before you go crazy with shims, may i suggest trying a different set of rings?
Those look like Leupold rifleman rings and while i am a Leupold fan, I have NOT been impressed with those series of rings as they tend to be of a "lower" quality shall we say.
I would try a set of Warne or steel cross lock Leupold rings before anything else. Those 2 options may cure your issue as they are less likely to be out of spec.

ArtP
August 17, 2010, 03:32 AM
I've never tried it but I have heard using cut out pieces of aluminum drink can as shims. I would lightly lube both sides of the aluminum.

Ironically, I just helped a friend site in his .308 Savage rifle that appears identical to yours. I found it needed a pretty healthy downward adjustment just to shoot straight at 100 yards, not leaving much downward adjustment for longer shooting. He used a picatiny style base that I didn't care for.

If you do shim, you want to add height to the rear base so your scope points more downward. You will need .00138 per MOA of adjustment. Cans very in their thickness so you will have to measure carefully and experiment.

Kernel
August 17, 2010, 04:30 AM
+ Beer can shims. Fortunately you have a rifle that can be easily bore sighted by pulling the bolt and just looking down the barrel at a distant object. A street light a thousand yards away would be ideal. Since you're already zeroed, establishing a perfect point of reference, so you can return to that zero, should be easy. Mechanically zero your scope (put it in the middle of it‘s adjustment range), and shim away, till you get back to your zero reference.

JDGray
August 17, 2010, 06:04 AM
If you shim under the rear base, your rings will be stepped, not in the same plane, not good. The burris rings, with offset ring inserts would be a better choice(IMHO)

When I mounted the Farrell base to my Savage 10FP, I noticed when I just started to tighten the front screws, the base lifted in the rear ever so slightly(.010). Recievers are seldom perfect, and is why Farrell recommends bedding the base, and come with a groove in the base for bedding material. With a 2 piece base set up, you wouldn't have noticed if the rear was lower, and very well could be your problem. If this is your case, shimming under the rear would bring you back in line with the front, but the only way to be sure is by lapping your rings when done mounting. Savages are famous for twisting durring the heat treating process, after the reciever holes have been perfectly drilled, leaving us to mount bases, giving us fits.

GooseGestapo
August 17, 2010, 10:32 AM
1st, I would swap the front and rear rings to see if the problem is with the rings.
2nd. I would get another MATCHED ring and base set. Warne and Leupold make quality products, but when you cross match, you introduce another set of variables with tolerance stacking.

Secondly, in similar situations, I find it much more desirable to shim the rear base to get additional elevation range.

By shimming the rear ring, you may find that when tightening a strong ring set, that you can distort the scope tube and even damage the internal components of the scope. In such case, the Scope Mfg. WILL NOT HONOR THE WARRANTY.

In an extreame case, Brownell's sells scope bases with designed in tilt to allow greater elevation adjustment. Not sure if they make them for the Savage, but I do know that they have them for the Rem700 actions.

texasjohn
August 17, 2010, 12:42 PM
Would a single piece base help things if that is the problem?

I am looking at a couple options,
New Rings, probably Warne or I have just been reading some good things about Talley and I really like the idea.

or,

Warne Rings + a Warne Single piece base. (maybe the +20MOA variety)

rcmodel
August 17, 2010, 01:04 PM
What you need to do is follow the directions you found to center the adjustment range of the dial.
*Turn the elevation adjustment until it stops.
*Counting clicks, turn it back the other way.
*Turn it back the other way half the number of clicks just counted.

Then bore sight it, and shim the base to center the crosshairs with the bore.

At that point, you will have way plenty of adjustment for going WAY past 300 yards.

rc

Uncle Mike
August 17, 2010, 01:07 PM
Shimming is B A D at best, and was used in the past as a quick fix for adjustment problems.

The rings themselves should NEVER be shimmed, as this will cause your scopes tube to bend as the rings top straps are tightened.

If you must shim, shim ONLY one piece bases, NEVER two piece bases, and shim between the base and receiver ONLY, this will save your scopes tube, but will bend the base mounting screws as you tighten the base to the receiver, this can cause screw failure, especially when you leave the warmth of the deer camp and step into frigid temperatures.

The BEST way to remedy adjustment problems is to use 'angled' bases, you may not need a 20MOA base, so take a look at Ken Ferrall's bases, they can be had in different amounts of taper, 10, 15, 20 MOA. www.kenfarrell.com/

The Burris Signature rings can be utilized successfully BUT, they are a royal pain to index correctly so no scope tube tension or bending is incurred, so IF you want it right, get a tapered base.

texasjohn
August 17, 2010, 05:04 PM
So, one more option (that I might have local to me) would be a Leupold 1 Piece Base and their Rings. I am not very familiar with that dovetail lock in on the front and the windage adjustment screw in the rear. What is the general consensus on these things?

I am looking very closely at getting a 1 piece base with some amount of taper (20 may be fine) mostly because it would allow me to mount the scope a little bit closer to my eye(s). I find that my normal check weld is a little far back for the eye relief I am getting on 10x power; only an inch or two, but it bothers me to have to move forward from my natural position.

jmorris
August 17, 2010, 05:52 PM
I have been thinking about a 20MOA base, but it seems a little much

Can’t be too much, lets do the math.
I don’t know your load so we will use, Federal 150 grain factory ammo going 2820 fps zeroed at 200 yards drops 8.8” that is just under 3 MOA at 300 yards or just under 12 “clicks” with a ” adjustment scope. Your load must be similar to this because your 12 clicks “gets you close”.

So your 57 MOA scope is “topped out” very near 300 yards. Half of 57 MOA is 28.5 MOA, to have the crosshairs centered in the scope at 300 yards this (28.5 MOA) would be the base that you would need. So a 20 MOA base won’t even have the crosshairs centered much less too high.

You said out to 500 yards above, the drop of our example round from 300-500 yards is 46.4” or 9.28 MOA so a 20 MOA base should do it.

Edit: math was wrong

JDGray
August 17, 2010, 07:12 PM
So, one more option (that I might have local to me) would be a Leupold 1 Piece Base and their Rings. I am not very familiar with that dovetail lock in on the front and the windage adjustment screw in the rear. What is the general consensus on these things?

I am looking very closely at getting a 1 piece base with some amount of taper (20 may be fine) mostly because it would allow me to mount the scope a little bit closer to my eye(s). I find that my normal check weld is a little far back for the eye relief I am getting on 10x power; only an inch or two, but it bothers me to have to move forward from my natural position.

The windage adjustable base is a good thing if you need it, but not as tactical as a steel pic rail, with super high doller rings:D I target shoot with my rifles, and get along with the Leupold windage base just fine, if I were a LE sniper, I wouldn't have it. EGW makes an affordable 20MOA rail made of aluminum,
http://egw-guns.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=39_128&products_id=179
that would work just fine for 99% of us. If you do get a one piece base, do watch as you tighten the front screws, to see if the rear lifts up at all. If it lifts at all, bed it.

texasjohn
August 17, 2010, 07:13 PM
So, do I just have a case of un-real expectations for my VX3 3.3 to 10x scope with just 57MOA of adjustment? It is sounding like it.

jmorris
August 17, 2010, 07:33 PM
So, do I just have a case of un-real expectations for my VX3 3.3 to 10x scope with just 57MOA of adjustment? It is sounding like it.

No, just a case of not having what you need to do what you want. A 20moa taper base will get you what you want or you could always go with one of these http://vgmount.com/ and shoot even further.

JDGray
August 17, 2010, 07:38 PM
That scope should be able to get you out to 650yrds easy, with 20moa of available elevation from a 100yrd zero. Most scopes when mechanically zeroed, should give you half of its elevation range when zeroed on the rifle. I zeroed my last scope by spinning it on a v-block set up I made out of a cardboard box. I adjusted the turrets untill the X hairs stayed on a single aim point as I slowly spun the scope 360 degrees. The box was secured in my B&D Workmate:D After mounting the scope on my Leupold 2 piece base with windage adjustable rear, I adjusted the rear until my bore sight was good, and let er rip at 100yrds. The windage was easily corrected by adjusting the screws on each side, and my elevation was 1" low.

texasjohn
August 17, 2010, 07:45 PM
I took a trip to academy a little while ago, to see what they had. The had a two piece Leupold mount and dovetail rings. I figured I would give it a shot (so to speak).

Anyway, I get them home, and mounting them what I assume is the correct way, the scope can't/won't got on the rifle. That is putting the lock in piece up front and the longer part with the windage screws in the rear. The tube length just wouldn't make it. Anyway, so I decided to see if it was possible to swap the front and rear, as they look and measure to have the same height from where they meet the receiver to the bottom of the scope.

Long story short, it works well with my rifle, or at least lets me mount the scope with the benefit that I was able to move the eye piece back about 1.5 inches or so where my natural cheekweld/eye position will be a bit better.


It this a totally WRONG thing to do? It does look a bit odd I must say and the windage adjustment wouldn't work like normal.

Comments??

JDGray
August 17, 2010, 08:21 PM
I think thats right, not sure if I changed mine around or not.

This is the way the previous owner mounted them.
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b278/JDG357/IMG_2751.jpg
And in its current state
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b278/JDG357/001-1.jpg
My LTR with the same bases you have
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b278/JDG357/003-2.jpg

texasjohn
August 17, 2010, 09:11 PM
Can’t be too much, lets do the math.
I don’t know your load so we will use, Federal 150 grain factory ammo going 2820 fps zeroed at 200 yards drops 8.8” that is just under 3 MOA at 300 yards or just under 12 “clicks” with a ” adjustment scope. Your load must be similar to this because your 12 clicks “gets you close”.

So your 57 MOA scope is “topped out” very near 300 yards. Half of 57 MOA is 28.5 MOA, to have the crosshairs centered in the scope at 300 yards this (28.5 MOA) would be the base that you would need. So a 20 MOA base won’t even have the crosshairs centered much less too high.

You said out to 500 yards above, the drop of our example round from 300-500 yards is 46.4” or 9.28 MOA so a 20 MOA base should do it.

Edit: math was wrong
You are right. Though I am using my 168gr Hornady SST with 42gr of Varget handloads, the book says I should be in the 2500 - 2600 range. I don't have a chronograph so if I had to guess it was a little towards the 2500 side given your numbers for 2600fps and drop I am seeing.

JimKirk
August 17, 2010, 10:16 PM
The Leupold bases may work reversed, But to do it correctly you should purchased the Extended front rings below.

If you don't mind Windage screws sticking out in the loading port, go for the reversed bases, but if you want it to look and and be correct order a set of rings similar to these below in the correct height...

You have the correct bases, just the wrong rings.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=712558

Jimmy K

Ditch-Tiger
August 17, 2010, 10:21 PM
Texasjohn-
Whoa! I totally looked at your pic wrong. your bases are mounted backwards and unless your receiver is 100% flat, they will not work correctly.
The rear base should have the windage knobs on it and the front bases should be the 90 degree turn type. I would also suggest returning those bases and getting the leupold's that are extended in the front (the front ring will then mount back and above your bolt) to allow you to move the scope closer to your eye as you have stated that you needed to creep the stock in it's current configuration.

JDGray
August 24, 2010, 06:13 PM
How did this turn out for you? Did the new bases help?

texasjohn
August 24, 2010, 06:29 PM
Things didn't go bad. Though, the result was nearly the same. I zeroed at 100 yards, and I had 29 clicks up up left, so ~7.25 MOA of adjustment. I ended up ordering the 20MOA base from Warne yesterday morning to allow go with my warne rings I have. That should give me ~27 MOA to reach out a little further, given my current loads I should be ALMOST able to get a 800 zero, which is probably further than I will get a chance to shoot anytime soon.


I am still working up some loads, and not getting the accuracy I think the rifle will do. Attaching some scans to show I am at least trying :)

I should be back out friday, with the new base and to get some more rounds under my belt with the new-ish gun. I think I am around 100-120 bullets total, so there is probably still some break in left to do. I have times where the groups start to look good, then I get a flier or two. Of course none of this has anything to do with the base situation...

JDGray
August 24, 2010, 08:54 PM
My 20" Savage likes 155gr SMKs over 43.6gr Varget, 168gr SMKs over 23gr Varget, both loads go .5"-.6" at 100. Another thing to check is the procedure for tightening the action screws + the wedge. I have read about loss of accuracy after removing the action from the accustock. Even following Savages torque sequence, people can't get their guns to group again.

Good luck, and hang in there!

texasjohn
August 24, 2010, 09:06 PM
You must have been watching me. I think maybe I am not quite right with my action screws. I think I have them torqued/done right, but the "middle" one started to strip because I used a cheap tool, so I can't be 100% sure it is right. I may have to get a torqx bit in there and back it out and buy a new one.

Anyway, I am shooting "hunting" bullets, Hornady Interlock/bond stuff. I have not tried any match stuff, I guess I really should to see what the rifle will do. I think I am going to try some SMK and their Hunting equiv. I had good luck with Sierra and Varget with my AR...

Those really bad groups were happening when I started to get thirsty at the range. It was ~100 degrees. The 8 shot groups were not too bad for me, minus the fliers. But still learning.

JDGray
August 25, 2010, 06:36 AM
Look at the pics on page 2 of this thread, hope the link works:)
http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1993061#Post1993061

texasjohn
August 28, 2010, 12:51 AM
I received the Warne 20MOA base today and went to the range...

I now have a nice amount of UP adjustment from 100 yards, ~33 MOA with my setup now. This will almost get me the ability to zero at 900 yards by my estimation. Since I doubt I will ever be shooting that far I am pretty happy. A 300 yard zero would practically at the mechanical zero of the rifle, assuming I need to come up ~5 MOA from 100. (The Scope has 59 MOA total). 300 happens to be the max I will be shooting most of the time, so that is a good thing.

Thanks everyone for the help. Here is the final spec, in case it helps somebody in the future:

Savage Precision Carbine 20" bbl
Leupold VX3 50mm 3.5-10x
Warne High Rings
Warne 20MOA Single Piece Base. (#M66620MOA)

Now, back to working up my reloads.

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