Since the first scope was mounted to a rifle sharp riflemen have fought with the best way to get the scope on the rifle level. Why does this matter you ask? If you are a 100 to 200 yard big game shooter it doesn’t. If you are a longer range rifleman it can make all the difference in the world. Now we are not talking about shooting a mile or even 1000 yards here. I am talking about any distance that you have to compensate for drop of the bullet. So your .22 rimfire with a 50 yard zero shooting 100 yards applies here as it will take about 6.25 moa correction. The two primary bullet drop correction methods most people use are some form of hold over by guess or with a reticule and dialing the correction into the scope directly. Both of these methods require the scope to be mounted with the vertical axis of the scope running through the center of the bore. If you are a correction dial in person and your scope is not true to the vertical axis of your setup then as you dial up in elevation you will change your windage also. The same is true with a ballistic reticule in the scope. So how do I get my scope correctly mounted on the rifle? There are several scope mounting kits and several techniques involving plum lines etc. that people have been working with for years. Some are complicated to use effectively and some just don’t address the issue correctly. One of the more common techniques is to use a plum line and eyeball through the bore to get it in the center of the rifle, then square the reticule to the plum line. The issues here are that there is a lot riding on your ability / perception of what is center of bore and what is straight concerning the line and the reticule. In addition there needs to be an accurate way to level the rifle before this process starts. At the end of this process is the fact that if you are doing this and using the reticule for holdover it might be reasonably accurate. If you are using the scope leveling method and using the turrets for dialing there is no guarantee that the reticule and the target turrets are square with each other. A few scope manufacturers are really good about this, most are not. We looked at some of the kits available on the market and for one reason or another just did not like the accuracy or difficulty of use that most of them had. So how can I get my scope leveled to my rifle accurately and with a minimum of frustration you ask?
The Defensive Edge Scope Leveling Kit is a kit we developed that uses 3 levels to quickly and accurately level you scope to your rifle. Using this scope leveling kit and our methods for leveling will compensate for actions that have screw holes not perfectly centered in the action as well as a few other variations that factory rifle can have. Quite simply our scope mounting kit comes with 3 levels that are quick and easy to use. There have been a lot of questions about the level that goes into the bore of the action. A lot of people glance at this a figure they do not need it. While it is true you can get by without it, using the bore level will increase the accuracy of your leveling job make the other levels less sensitive to being perpendicular to the rifle. The bore level’s nominal diameter is .697” it was designed for the Remington 700 action. It will however work with many of today’s rifles as most use similar bore diameters. So check out the instructions, it is simple, accurate and easy to use.
Defensive Edge Scope Leveling Kit
We have been asked by so many people to offer our tools for scope mounting in a kit, so we have. Our theory on scope mounting is simple we want to mount our scope to the rifle so that the elevation turret runs through the scope and then the action on the axis of the bore, like in pic 1.
If the axis of the turret is not lined up with the axis of the bore then two things happen, click values in elevation get short at long distance and the windage will change as you dial up the elevation. If for instance the scope is canted to the right it will make you impact to the left as you dial up elevation.
Our system is pretty simple and straight forward we have 3 levels and will refer to them as 1, 2 and 3 as pictured in these instructions. The first thing we do is get the scope on the rifle but still movable. Then we use level 3 to level the rifle on the bench as you see in the picture. Then we check the scope with level 1 on the turret and holding level 2 against the flat on the bottom to see if we can level off the turret or if we have to use the flat on the bottom of the scope. If the two levels match up we can then use the turret post to level from and this is easier to work with. If they do not we have to use the flat on the bottom, like in the picture lower left. Note: in the picture due to the centerline of the camera the bubbles appear to be a little different but they are not this was a photography issue.
Once you have established that the turret and the bottom of the scope are square with each other you can level off the turret, if not you will have to hold level 2 against the flat to check the scope as you mount it.
Time to start leveling, place level 2 on the base or mounting rail for the scope. There is a balance line on level 2. The balance line balances the level on a standard pic rail with the line on the outer edge of the rail. Then if your turret is true place level 1 on top of the turret. If your turret
is not true simply move level 2 back and forth from the base to the bottom of the scope while adjusting it until the level matches on both surfaces. See the pictures above.
Now that you have the scope level you can start torqueing the screws down in an “X” or the recommended pattern of the manufacturer. If you have an anti-cant cap like pictured you simply set it level with the other levels. If you have a rail mount or other ant-cant device it can be adjusted separately. Check the levels as you do this to ensure the scope is not getting moved on its level line. Once the scope is torqued to the manufacturers recommended specs you have now mounted your scope based on the axis of the bore. If you are also mounting a cosine or degree indicator this is a good time to do that since you already have level 3 in place and the rifle sitting level. You are now finished with basic precision rifle scope mounting.
Ballistic Reticules – if you are using a ballistic reticule it is critical that you make sure that the reticule and turret are lined up. This is pretty simple, mount the scope as outlined above, then hang a plum line that you can see in the scope. With the rifle bagged in place and the levels centered with the crosshair on the line, compare the bottom of the reticule with the plum line. If they matchup the reticule and turret are running in concert and you can use either one effectively. If the reticule and plum line don’t match up you can use the turrets or adjust the scopes reticule to the plum line and use the reticule but you cannot use both.
For pricing / ordering see our products page
Defensive Edge Inc.
15670 N Ranch Valley Rd.
Rathdrum, Id 8385