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Thread: My scope seems to be tracking diagonally???

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    My scope seems to be tracking diagonally???

    I have nikon monarch that I bought about 6 or 7 years ago. It was used on my savage 220 one season for Iowa deer hunting and has sat ever since. I sighted it in that year and for some reason during opening weekend all my shots back boned deer. I was hinting out of a ladder stand so maybe the slugs tracked high? I figured the scope adjustments shifted? I never re checked my zero. I removed the optic last week and put it on my 300 RUM. I shot some ladder tests at the range last week with it. I took it out today to sight in the best grouping load from the previous session. My first shot went a good 4" high and left. I thought I was dead center from my last week’s adjustments so I was a little confused. I did have some cracked case necks last week so I might have had a flier on the last shot??? Well, after my first shot thst went high today I adjusted my scope down and right. Next shot I hit 4" low and right. I adjusted back to my original starting point and load tested 4, 3 shot groups of a different bullet and powder combo. They all were starting loads with different powders loaded around 2900 fps along with a Seirra 180 grain RN jacketed bullet. Best group was MOA so nothing spectacular with the loads I tested. When I was done testing I finished zeroing in my 3100 fps .3" nosler partition gold bullet load. It hit dead center but high. I kept adjusting it down. When it tracked my shots went diagonally to the right . I numbered the shots. Number 2 was 8 clicks down, #3 was 2 more clicks down(I tried 2 shots that touched) . I then clicked 2 to the left which was shot #4. It tracked high. I went 2 more clicks left. You can see it tracked diagonally high again. So my question is...is my scope not perfectly horizontal and vertical causing this? The crosshairs look perfectly level(guess not?). The barrel was really hot when I was sighting it in as well. My barrel is free floated and wears an HS prescion stock torqued to 65 inch pounds. It is the factory remington pencil barrel. My rings and bases are torqued with a fat wrench. Any ideas why my scope is tracking at a diagonal line?



    My group from the other day....

    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 10-11-2021 at 10:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    JSnover's Avatar
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    If the barrel was "really hot" that could have done it. The simplest way to check the scope might be to mount it on another rifle, see if it has the same problem.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    It could be the scope. I just received a new Vortex Viper 4-16x44 scope this week that was put on a Browning X-Bolt. I took a Leupold 4-12x40 off the gun because I wanted just a bit more power. The new Vortex wouldn’t track at all. If I moved it to the right, it would go right and high. If I moved it to the left, it would go left and low. Also, if it was turned two clicks either way it should have gone .5”. Instead it would go anywhere from .5” to 1.5” plus it would go high. I just sent it back for a refund about half an hour ago. I’ve had a couple of scopes do this over the years, but it’s not very common. Sometimes you just get a bad one. FWIW, I replaced the Vortex with a new Leupold. In over fifty years of shooting I’ve NEVER had a Leupold go bad.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I had a Bushnell that got so it wouldn't hold zero. I would sight it in, and next time I would use it, the shots were off. I eventually sent it in and the company said it was over centered, whatever that meant. It's now on an Axis 223, and seems to be fine.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSB View Post
    It could be the scope. I just received a new Vortex Viper 4-16x44 scope this week that was put on a Browning X-Bolt. I took a Leupold 4-12x40 off the gun because I wanted just a bit more power. The new Vortex wouldn’t track at all. If I moved it to the right, it would go right and high. If I moved it to the left, it would go left and low. Also, if it was turned two clicks either way it should have gone .5”. Instead it would go anywhere from .5” to 1.5” plus it would go high. I just sent it back for a refund about half an hour ago. I’ve had a couple of scopes do this over the years, but it’s not very common. Sometimes you just get a bad one. FWIW, I replaced the Vortex with a new Leupold. In over fifty years of shooting I’ve NEVER had a Leupold go bad.
    I’ve had a couple of Leupold scopes that wouldn’t hold POA and freeze up not adjusting. I have one back for the 3rd time to leupold right now. It’s a VX3i. Leupold replaced it for a vx11 that kept shifting POA. The vx3i came with a bur in the crosshairs. They replaced the crosshairs with a thick dangerous game cross hair. I sent it back. It came back 2 weeks ago with yet another crosshair style and a pice of copper wire running diagonal through the scope. I hope they get it right this time. I’ve lost complete faith in Leupold quality.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Maybe I misunderstood, but you’re changing a bunch of variables making it hard to tell anything.

    Pick one load, shoot one round per min, couple just to warm up then box test.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master


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    JSnover gave good advice. Mount another scope you know works or put that Nikon on a rifle that you know shoots to the same POI after 20 shots and test it.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I’ve had experience with hot Bbl. Drifting poi before, some will stay put and some will drift, no matter free float or not. Thing is when your shooting at deer your probably shooting a cold Bbl. I rarely get a second shot anyway at a fleeing white tail. First shot is usually the one that counts.

    Now paper punching is another thing altogether.
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government..... When the people fear their government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thomas Jefferson

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I read about canting the gun and how it impacts POA and also if the scope is canted it will do the same. I will have to buy a scope leveling kit and also switching the optic to another rifle and testing it.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    So I remove the quick detach mounts on my scope and I put a level on my bases if my front base that is closest to my bolt handle is level my front base is leaning to the left I took them off and try to another set of basis and it's the same way so I would assume Remington drilled and tap the gun with the screws in the front more than angle and guessing I have to shim the front scope base????







    And with different bases and rings I had laying around....




  11. #11
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    It took 4 pieces of an aluminum can to schim the front base to level. Time to blue loc tite it all together and let dry


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    No way that is going to be stable and not move. I use bedding compound and bed the bases to the rifle. The base doesn't HAVE to be level it MUST be solid and free of any movement which that one is guaranteeing you are not going to be rock steady. Take out the shims and use some Steel Bed under the bases, put some modeling clay in the hole for the ring so it doesn't fill that up, put some release agent on the receiver and bed the bases and let them set up. OR file down the high side of the front base so it levels out then bed it but not with a stack of coke can underneath it.

    By putting shims under one side of one base, you are effectively shifting the CL of the ring off to one side, basically insuring the scope will NOT be parallel to the bore. If Remington drilled those holes very far off, no amount of leveling is going to put the front ring back on center. You may have to put that one in a mill and redrill the front holes behind or in front of the existing holes.
    Last edited by DougGuy; 10-12-2021 at 02:49 PM.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master



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    I agree with JimB
    Maybe I misunderstood, but you’re changing a bunch of variables making it hard to tell anything.
    pick one load and see how it tracks.
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Doug, if that’s not causing the tracking problem then I will just remove the shims. My crosshairs were canted as well. I used a level and corrected them. Maybe that was the issue? I’ll be starting over with a different load when go to sight the rifle in being I only have 10 of the discontinued partition golds left. I did change out the bases to a leupold dual dove tail rings/mounts and a different optic to test.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 10-12-2021 at 08:08 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Long ago, a friend bought a Winchester rifle that the scope mount hole were drilled at an angle to the centerline of the receiver. He didn't notice until he could not get the horizontal adjustment to center the bullet impact.
    He finally dismounted the scope and the misdrilled holes were obvious. He was using Weaver two piece bases and rings. He got a local gunsmith to reshape the rings so that alignment was restored.
    I am not certain if it was perfect, but his bullets hit where he was aiming.
    I doubt this could be made to work for anything but Weaver style two piece bases. The suggestion about redrilling the holes is probably the best approach.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Schims removed and reinstalled the new pro staff 7, 30mm, 2.5-10 optic and permanent dual dove tail bases. I used a level on the front ring half and then installed the scope. I used a flashlight and a string to line the crosshairs properly. My guess if it wasn't the bases the cross hairs were canted. Guess ill find out when I retest. Fingers crossed. Thanks for the help.

  17. #17
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    I had some issues with my .223 bolt rifle. Here it was the scope mounts on the rifle. One had a screw 1/2 turn loose . The other it was only a 1/4 turn. But it was enough to mess up my groups.
    One round at a time.
    Member of the NRA,GOA and FAOC. Gun clubs Zerby rod and gun club. Keystone Fish and Game Association.

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