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Thread: Hurt My Unertl Scope While Shooting

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Hurt My Unertl Scope While Shooting

    A week and a half ago I was out at our range on a very windy day and went on purpose so I could see how gusts affected the 540 grain bullets I am shooting from my gain twist barrel at 1450 FPS. The wind was 10 to 35 knots blowing right at me and now and then at 90 degrees from the right. After 6 shots I was starting to look through the spotting scope and was holding the butt against my shoulder and barrel on the cross sticks. A huge gust of wind lifted my plastic container with extra home made shoot-n-see targets and wind meter inside and banged it against the right side of the rifle/scope and it fell over and the threaded end of the eye piece hit the bench and made a small dent. I said a bunch of non technical words and when I looked through the eye piece I saw the vertical cross hair had broken at the top. So that ended my shooting for the day!


    I pulled the eye piece off carefully and was able to get the 1/4 inch flat area fixed so it was round once again. I reinstalled the eyepiece while I investigated how and where to get the cross hairs replaced. I emailed several companies and called them and only got one reply and the fellow said about 6 months and roughly $150 plus whatever shipping would be. I found we have a Schuetzen competitor in San Diego and he can do them but he is competing at Raton for several weeks or so.


    I found a seller on ebay with the right size wire so I figured to try the replacement myself. I have surgery clamps, magnifier glasses and watch makers tools so as soon as the wire gets here I'll see how hard that is. Disassembly was a snap as soon as the reticle locking screws were removed the ring slid right off as did the eye piece lock ring. The reticle tube was a bit harder even though there is some lube on it I think it had never been moved. The outside of the tube has very fine grooves machined in it probably to hold some grease or other type of lube? I read one forum post of a repair and that person did not make the cross hairs meet right in the center so I have to make sure the wire wraps clockwise on both screws so there will be a meet right in the middle.


    If this works out okay I'll do a complete writeup with pictures in a week or two.
    John

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    That is quite a shame about your scope. I can't wait to hear how your experiment works out.

    I bought a 15x ultra varmint about 4 months ago with the intention of mounting it on a Remington 513T. I ordered up a pair of block from Steve Earle and waited patiently for them to arrive. I got the thread plugs out, installed the blocks and was in heaven. .....but, I soon realized that something was wrong. I could not adjust my POI far enough to the right at 20 yards. It seems whoever was running the drill and tap jig that day in 1947 must have had a rough night the evening before. My holes are not on center. Sooooo....I am looking for another rifle to mount the scope.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I had that issue but it didn't show up until I got to 200 yards. I ended up pulling the scope and blocks then drilling new holes where the new rearward hole was in the middle of the existing holes. I inserted screws with locking thread locker and finished them off flush with the top barrel flat. I think my barrel was drilled just a tad off exact center as my mount holes were spot on center? I had a Rolling Block like that several years ago with a Badger Barrel that was drilled off center enough so you could easily see it at the muzzle end! I had tang sights on it and it shot .5 MOA at 300 yards with my 45-70 loads!

    Anyways I suggest drilling new holes as the extra ones should be okay with black powder.
    John

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Aren't they charged with nitrogen? How did you do that when assembling?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    On the Unertl scope I have the optic tube is screws in from the back end of the scope tube and is a relatively loose fit. The cross hairs tube slides inside and it is not sealed so I think the nitrogen must be inside the main part of the tube?

    I got the cross hairs installed and that small wire is hard to work with, even with my headband magnifier and a table mounted magnifier. I found you can not put a lot or tension on wire that small or SNAP! It took me about 5 or 6 tries to get the wires in and to sit 90 degrees from each other. So I do not plan to do this for a living for sure!
    John

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    dondiego's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    Aren't they charged with nitrogen? How did you do that when assembling?
    I thought that also. The nitrogen prevents fogging.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I was concerned about loosing the nitrogen gas if I did the reticle replacement but in looking at the scope construction the eye piece or ocular adjustment lens and tube that screw to the rear of the scope tube have such a loose fit (threaded for adjustment) that there is no way a gas could be stored inside. Once I removed the eye piece and pulled the cross hair or reticle tube I saw there was a lens right behind it. I forget what it is called but it's purpose is to make the image appear right side up. The image gets flipped upside down when it comes through the first lens and that section is where the nitrogen gas is used according to what I can find on line. In my scope there is a very small screw in the middle of the tube between where the mounts sit. My Unertl reference says to never touch this as it will let the gas out! I also notes the eye piece is for getting the cross hairs or reticle in focus and there are instructions on how to do that.

    I plan to go to the range tomorrow to see how the repair turns out and will let everyone know.
    John

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    woodbutcher's Avatar
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    That is called an"Erector" lense.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election.
    Otto von Bismarck

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Cant wait to hear the results. I have always heard there is only a few places in the world that will work on Unertl Scopes. I know you don't want to make a living doing this, but it sure seems that the craftsman of old are not being regenerated.

    I think it is truly awesome you tried to undertake this endeavor. I thought I could change the cam phasers and complete timing system on a 3 valve Ford 5.4 liter. After I spent about 700 dollars in parts, I realized I should have did a compression test to find out my number 5 cylinder had a hole in the piston.

    Some things are best left to professionals! ....excited to hear your about your results.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I don't believe the external adjustment scopes unertal lyman malcombs and the others were nitrogen filled filled originally since there are no seals at the joints.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I asked several of the "old timers" and none of them knew if the scopes were N2 filled? I have not had a chance to test fire the rifle to see if the wires stay put as I have a bad infected cut over my right eye and can not stand any pressure on that side of my head AND if that isn't bad enough my wife fell a week ago and the bruise on her side was so bad she became anemic and had to stay in the hospital and will get out today hopefully. I need her back home as I am tired of eating at fast food places!

    The info about the Ford engine is spot on as when I was racing I blew several 4 cylinder VW/Porsche engines badly but usually a rod or other part was sticking out of the case so diagnosis was pretty easy!

    John

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