Scopes Will Not Keep Zero, Help!

mick243

Private
Minuteman
Nov 20, 2019
43
13
My simple bet on this. 2nd focal plane vs 1st.. Sighting in on a different power than what he is shooting.
No.

all of my scopes are 2fp. None of my scopes exhibit a shift in zero with a change in power. If you buy quality gear you become limited by your abilities rather than the capabilities of bargain basement stuff that was likely in the bargain basement for a darn good reason.

I used to have a work colleague with very similar issues, I loaned him one of my spare scopes (just a cheapie, but known to work properly) and it solved his problems.... So he bought some new scopes and has been happy since.


its al horses for courses though... the bargain basement junk can still feed your family if needs be - the rabbit won’t know if it was shot with a half minute gun or a 2 minute gun, but the 2 minute gun won’t win any matches.
 

Coglione

Private
Minuteman
Sep 19, 2020
11
1
While I don't have the best equipment I honestly don't think there's anything wrong with it because it functions flawlessly and I don't get these problems using open sights. I think it probably has something to do with how I am bench resting. I definitely know you're not supposed to rest the barrel on the bench rest that's a very easy way to get inconsistent zero. Maybe investing in a bipod and using a sand bag is better than just resting the rifle on the rickety rests on the public range. I am reading up and learning that if you "muscle" the rifle and hold it in the back as opposed to resting in on a bag you're applying tension on it to shift it under recoil. You see the same thing with archery or airguns where I am very fmailiar. Parallax is also a potential issue that I am learning about. I still haven't ruled out temperature (and clothing thickness) as being factors too. Given the consistency of problems and the posts here and the research I have been doing based on that I think these are much more of a factor than the equipment itself.

My selection of weapons was mostly by convenience, so that my entire family could not only have something for defense but also just to have something at the range. More guns is always better so that you can switch off at the range. Barrels do heat up and it's better to shoot a mag's worth then let it sit for a while. Especially at 200yards or less this is why quantity is more important than quality. Not saying I am looking to get awful junk but in my experience these lower priced guns are not that much inferior, objectively Palmetto State and Henry are some of the longest lasting and most reliable something experience confirms, and they have some of the top warranties in the industry which is why I selected them. That and most of these guns were used and/or priced right when I bought them with accessories and even lots of ammo or on special fire sales.

I understand my approach is way less involved than that of most people here and mentioned it on the outset that I really don't belong here but I am posting on this forum to learn from experts like yourelsves which I did. Rather than being nasty and accusing me of being an idiot the forum has to understand that I am limited to 200 yards max, I have almost no outlet for long range other than driving for hours which I don't have time to do, I don't compete at all nor do I have the interest to get into the equipment. I could get a few really amazing rifles and then shrink my groups from 3/4" - 2 inches at 100 yards to 1/2 inch or less and enjoy absolutely no benefit at all. But the time, money and above all effort in doing so not only would rob me of precious shooting time but it would take the fun away. All I want to do is get my guns out of the safe and into cases, go to range, follow all safety rules, load them and shoot them reasonably accurately for as much time as I have to spare, then go home and put them in the safe occasionally cleaning them when I really have to. I don't even have the time to do that as often as I'd like with my busy job, family and life. I certainly don't have time or the desire for all the accurization, ballistics, handloading, customization and even if I did 200 yards isn't the place where that stuff really does you any good.

I am not saying that the nice things other people are doing to eek out as much shooting performance are bad, I just want to be clear that they don't work for me and even if I enjoyed it there would be no outlet for me to enjoy the benefits, that's all. All I wanted was to get the expertise of people who really knew what they were doing and I got it for that I am very grateful. As time (and pandemic, that is unpredictable how people will react) moves forward I will be looking into these potential trouble spots.

If you are in or near RI or southern New England and would like to help me out I would be glad to shoot with you and willing to pay you for gas, time whatever, PM me accordingly. Thank you.
 

Snipe260

Captain
Belligerents
Minuteman
Feb 11, 2017
4,009
5,236
Thank you so much for the detailed replies. I will try to respond in kind. Sorry for the long post but I am replying to various posters all in one.

First off I do not drink alcohol at all. Quit a year ago, lost only 10lbs because I wasn't drinking that much but even then I feel a lot better. I stopped because I am starting to see a flood of articles detailing that there is no safe dose and have started to lump alcohol with other hard, dangerous drugs like tobacco, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, hallucinogens, you name it. They are all bad for your body and mind, and there is no upside. After quitting moderate drinking for over a year the only thing that upsets me is that I didn't do it sooner. The added energy and focus is nice too especially as the kids are getting older and need more stuff with sports, honors classes, AP, test prep and all that jazz. So no alcohol here.

I always shoot the same types of ammo for the most part. Occasionally I will shoot off others but it's mostly pistol or rimfire ammo that I use different brands. My style is to find a halfway decent factory load that both works well in my gun but is not expensive and (at least in the Trump pre COVID days) stock up on it in significant bulk so I don't have to worry about it for a while. With the rifles this is either Lake City for 7.62/308, CBC/Magtech for 556, Sellier and Bellot for 6.5 Creedmoor and Wolf for the Grendel. The low prices of 2017-early 2020 years have helped in that regard. I get 1-2MOA out of the guns I use in some cases a bit better which is amazing as none of this is especially fancy ammo. I think this says a lot that I am at least a decent shooter with decent fundamentals.

I am not really into buying fancy riflescopes, I don't think the fact that my scopes cost $300 instead of $3000 that will make them any less accurate as there are other likely factors. How could 5-6 different scopes be acting like that? I agree it's probably another factor including myself. I know people who own high end optics and have looked through them, even real fancy stuff like Vortex Razor, Night Force or even Schmidt and Bender; they're not that good! The difference between a $50-100 and a $250-400 scope is huge, like clarity, eye relief, tactile feel. But when you look through the real pricey stuff many times the lens is so big you get a "fast" scope (like 50-56mm) so the field of view suffers. The cheaper scopes are almost better and more fun for me because I can find the target quicker at the same magnification thanks to the wider field of view.

The couple times I looked through these optics I find the lens clarity of a $1,500-$3,000 scope not to be 5-10x the scopes I use, maybe a little better enough to notice but that's about it. I think a rifle scope is crippled in terms of offering good clarity because you're only using one eye and at least at the 100 or 200y I shoot the magnifications I need are so low (8x or less) you can't tell a difference. I did spent significant money on a nice spotting scope (Cabela's Krotos) as well as a couple pairs of high end binoculars. The spotting scope was worth it because the better optics allow you to make the most of all the magnification. It also doubles as a telescope to see planets and astronomy stuff with the kids, very cool. The binoculars are worth it because in the field either as a tourist, shooter, hunter or even SHTF you're going to be looking through them much more time than a scope, and you are using both eyes instead of the tunnel vision of one. At least that's how I see it. I think if I needed to magnify a target at 1,500 yards I would be singing a different tune as I know that a $1,200 pair of binoculars makes a huge difference when you look at something 5, 10, 20 miles away vs even a $300 pair. Seen the difference in places like Italy, Switzerland, Spain, France, the USA Southwest, coastal areas. To me the high end binocs are worth it, not to mention better glare resistance. Right now due to the coronacraziness even though I make decent money my plan is to live like I am broke until further notice as if I were in my college days because the economic consequences are highly unpredictable. So unless I need it, I am not buying anything for the forseeable future.

On communicating with everyone here it seems the problem could be the bench resting and parallax combined with temp and clothing. I shoot as well as anyone could offhand. Most of my life I have shot offhand as a kid or at indoor ranges or on private land. It's only been the last 5 years I have been a member of a rod and gun club that I have been shooting from a bench. My technique there is probably not ideal either, no bag, the rests are those basic ones you find at, well, rod and gun clubs and different every time.

It's hard to get other people to shoot your guns these days. People are afraid, even the right wing gun owners at my rod and gun club because most of them are pretty old and vulnerable. My kids are decent shots but nowhere near what you need to be to dial this stuff in. I am one of the least intimidated by COVID because I am a physician and know the facts but it's hard to get people out there. This will be on my to do list though.

I probably plan to get some precision rifle lessons just to look into this. There are instructors out there that charge reasonable fees but as far as SHTF/home defense guns take the optics off and just use them with open sights or replace them with red dots as that seems to work best for me. I really like using the scopes at the range when they work. It's like playing a video game but given how under pressure I cannot count on a a magnified optic I will need to make other plans and like a gun with a custom trigger or handloaded ammo keep them as entertainment range only devices and NOT hunting or defensive tools until I can sort this out.
Glad u quit the stuff man! Hope you find your problem with your scopes or setup. Your in the right place for help. Just carry a little thick skin as guys will rag on you at times. All in fun I believe. Welcome to the hide!
 

Mute

Curmudgeon
Belligerents
Minuteman
Sep 9, 2003
929
219
54
Diamond Bar, CA
www.amtraininggroup.com
If you want any kind of repeatable, reliable results you need to establish a baseline and do the same thing each time (shooting position, distance, target types...etc.). If you don't do this methodically, you're going to get sporadic results. Also, are you torqueing the screws on your mounts to factory recommended levels? If you try to do this in a half-hearted manner, you're going to get half-hearted results.
 

Porterb123

Private
Minuteman
May 28, 2020
6
11
I have quit a few Nikon, Burris, Bushnell scopes that go back 30 years. Also have higher end Athlon, Vortex, Tract Toric scopes. The only scope that pooped the bed was a Super Sniper! There is no way, all your scopes are bad. You are the common thread
 
  • Like
Reactions: jafo96

sjmpcc022

Private
Minuteman
May 30, 2020
27
19
If you are in or near RI or southern New England and would like to help me out I would be glad to shoot with you and willing to pay you for gas, time whatever, PM me accordingly. Thank you.
Did you ever hear the stories about guys who meet " gals" online, show up at the house and get the shit kicked out of them by a small army???????????????????????
 

Lexusclays

Private
Minuteman
Dec 1, 2019
38
57
I would guess this horse is dead, but I’ll still offer parallax. When you are sighting the target, move your eye around in slightly different spots. Does the cross hairs move relative to the target without the gun moving?

On the chance you put your eye in exactly the same spot most times, you’ll best pretty consistent without adjusting parallax. The one time your eye ends up in different position, you’ll be off target and inconsistent with the others you’ve just shot. The effect will be more pronounced at greater distances, but will still appear to be a “flyer”. Hope you get this figured out.
 

chevy_man

Major Hide Member
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jan 25, 2019
1,229
924
You never really answered the ammo question.

I've seen the crazy variation in factory barrels with handloads. Change primer, get a 6moa shift. Change powder charge and get nothing for 3 grains, all of a sudden .5grn changes it 3moa.

Consistent ammo (same lot number), consistent shooter, and you'll hit consistently. May be a touch high/low because of atmospheric conditions but it'll be damn close.


You're the issue. If you're in the northeast go to one of the Sig schools. They have solid instructors and won't give you grief so long as you sign up for a beginner school. Sign up for advanced and they may quietly explain why you need a beginner first though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jafo96

Sureshot300norma

Private
Minuteman
Dec 20, 2019
17
8
I am having issues with all my scopes not keeping zero and they have been going on for years. While I am not into precision rifle as I have too much going on to do it right and the details are just not interesting to me, especially how expensive the equipment can be in light that the longest ranges I have to shoot are 25 yard indoor or 200y outdoor this seems the place to be to learn about this sort of thing.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the scopes I have from mid grade Leupold, Bushnell, Vortex, Nikon or Primary Arms to more mundane no name generics that came with some old cheap guns I enjoy shooting as they always shoot to their accuracy expectations. If my gun will shoot 1.5 MOA it always shoots 1-1.5MOA and so forth just that over time it may shoot 1.5 MOA a foot to the left or right on a different range session. What I mean is on the same range session the zero stays to wherever the gun is shooting and prints that same MOA consistently in the same place. If it starts off 1 MOA group 1 foot to the left it keeps shooting like that until I re-zero it, and that lasts a range session or two or three until it's off again in another place which it consistently holds that same range session until I re-zero it. Has been happening for years and it's very annoying to have to keep re-zeroing all my optics! I think I have it narrowed to being a temperature problem in that the temps might affect the scope, rings, mount and different part of the gun differently because I have airguns I shoot in mild/mid temps in the back yard (not summer too many people outside, not winter too cold) or a couple guns I just keep at a local indoor range. Actually they have the cheapest scopes I own and they are the ones that are always dead on as long as I keep using the same ammo. So do you have temperature related issues with scope shift? Is it a thing with guns sporting telescopic sights? What do you do to account for it? Do I need to spend even more money on more expensive "better" rings that don't shift as much?

The reason this is a big deal to me is because of all this coronacraziness and riots and looting and whatnot. While as time goes the infection seems overblown and I am no longer afraid of the virus, I am very concerned about possible economic consequences and repercussions, even maybe having to harvest my own meat. I do have hunting license, mostly airgun or rimfire hunt small game as it's the easiest and least time consuming. I really like the Primary Arms or Vortex Strike Eagle scopes especially because they will do everything pretty well but if it came down to having to protect my family and the optic cannot be relied upon to hit where I am aiming then I am thinking of just eliminating optics from my repertoire or just keeping a couple as range toys when I feel like re-zeroing them and rely on open sights for hunting or self defense which are far less precise, but have never given me these accuracy issues.

Thanks for the help.
Switch to Burris XTR signature rings. The polymer inserts prevent slippage with 100 percent contact and prevent POA shifts from thermal dynamic conductance ( temperature expansion and contraction from dissimilar materials- aluminum ,steel ,etc) I had rifles hold POA for over a decade using the signature rings.
 

6mmRemM600

Private
Minuteman
Apr 21, 2014
6
1
PRKalifornia
To me this sounds like an equipment problem. Specifically I would suspect the scope mounts. I've had scopes in supposedly tight mounts move. One forward/aft and another rotating counter clockwise. I've lapped the scope rings and added a shim if inserts were not supplied with the rings. I also learned to Blue Loctite the hardware so that it does not loosen up.

Finally, consistency in shooting position and your rest/sandbag should eliminate another variable.
 

LoCal247

Private
Minuteman
Jul 30, 2020
9
3
I am having issues with all my scopes not keeping zero and they have been going on for years. While I am not into precision rifle as I have too much going on to do it right and the details are just not interesting to me, especially how expensive the equipment can be in light that the longest ranges I have to shoot are 25 yard indoor or 200y outdoor this seems the place to be to learn about this sort of thing.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the scopes I have from mid grade Leupold, Bushnell, Vortex, Nikon or Primary Arms to more mundane no name generics that came with some old cheap guns I enjoy shooting as they always shoot to their accuracy expectations. If my gun will shoot 1.5 MOA it always shoots 1-1.5MOA and so forth just that over time it may shoot 1.5 MOA a foot to the left or right on a different range session. What I mean is on the same range session the zero stays to wherever the gun is shooting and prints that same MOA consistently in the same place. If it starts off 1 MOA group 1 foot to the left it keeps shooting like that until I re-zero it, and that lasts a range session or two or three until it's off again in another place which it consistently holds that same range session until I re-zero it. Has been happening for years and it's very annoying to have to keep re-zeroing all my optics! I think I have it narrowed to being a temperature problem in that the temps might affect the scope, rings, mount and different part of the gun differently because I have airguns I shoot in mild/mid temps in the back yard (not summer too many people outside, not winter too cold) or a couple guns I just keep at a local indoor range. Actually they have the cheapest scopes I own and they are the ones that are always dead on as long as I keep using the same ammo. So do you have temperature related issues with scope shift? Is it a thing with guns sporting telescopic sights? What do you do to account for it? Do I need to spend even more money on more expensive "better" rings that don't shift as much?

The reason this is a big deal to me is because of all this coronacraziness and riots and looting and whatnot. While as time goes the infection seems overblown and I am no longer afraid of the virus, I am very concerned about possible economic consequences and repercussions, even maybe having to harvest my own meat. I do have hunting license, mostly airgun or rimfire hunt small game as it's the easiest and least time consuming. I really like the Primary Arms or Vortex Strike Eagle scopes especially because they will do everything pretty well but if it came down to having to protect my family and the optic cannot be relied upon to hit where I am aiming then I am thinking of just eliminating optics from my repertoire or just keeping a couple as range toys when I feel like re-zeroing them and rely on open sights for hunting or self defense which are far less precise, but have never given me these accuracy issues.

Thanks for the help.
So has anyone gotten “gas money” yet?
Weird he has no time and no interest in the “details” but can write essays here looking to meet up with strangers.
 

Leland T

Private
Minuteman
Sep 9, 2020
7
7
One foot at 100 yards "Geez, that is a hell of a lot ". Six different rifle combinations with the same exact problem, and your impacts are are all the to left side if I understood that correctly. . Those odds are astronomical Sir . I would have my eyes checked by Ophthalmology before doing anything.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jafo96 and LoCal247

jafo96

Private
Belligerents
Minuteman
Feb 13, 2017
122
26
Half ass effort in, half ass results out.

OP has provided no actual details or pictures, claims to want to learn but won’t listen.

Problems are 100% with the OP, starting with troubling ego, delusions of effort/results and tons of excuses. Any person with an open mind, free of physical handicaps, can out shoot these rests with cheap factory ammo, $100 scope and a cheap ass factory rifle. OP’s excuses for his equipment are really for his feelings.

can’t believe I even types this much...slow night I guess.
 

Scout37

Private
Minuteman
Jul 26, 2020
2
0
It sounds like you're a consistent shooter. So let's rule that out.

Did you mate the surface of the base to your rifle and the scope mount to your base? Was there oil on the screws or the base when installed? Are the screws (blue) lock tighted in? Are the torque settings correct?

Have you ever had a rifle shop mount your base, mount, and scope for you?
 

walt willis

Private
Banned !
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jul 18, 2014
148
26
ID
Find a different shooter to confirm. Doing this will at least remove one of the common denominators
I had a friend with the same issue and he had me shoot with his new scoped rifle that came with a free scope.
It did the same thing with me when I shot the rifle.
Your advice is the best given as I told him to buy a new scope.
Problem solved!
Even high end scopes can have problems!
As we get closer to another war it may be wise to prepare and plan ahead?
It may also help to read some What-IF books too?

!13190910.jpg
 

jafo96

Private
Belligerents
Minuteman
Feb 13, 2017
122
26
I had a friend with the same issue and he had me shoot with his new scoped rifle that came with a free scope.
It did the same thing with me when I shot the rifle.
Your advice is the best given as I told him to buy a new scope.
Problem solved!
Even high end scopes can have problems!
As we get closer to another war it may be wise to prepare and plan ahead?
It may also help to read some What-IF books too?

View attachment 7431377
It is not the scope, that is clear. 1/2 a dozen different scopes on different rifles all with the sane problem? Not the scope.

The OP does not know how to use an optic, has not read any direction on doing sk and has relied on some gunshop to magically mount his scope to perfect eye relief with out his body.

The most likely issue here, if the OP is not an ass-hat a tifa lighting a dumpsterfire, Is that the OP is not using the scopes correctly. Inconsistent cheek weld will absolutely do this when the eye relief is so far off that the image doesn’t fill the eyepiece allowing the target to float all over hell and back. Combine that with mediocre accuracy, poor shooting techniques such as hard rests it is no wonder this is a disaster.

The real question is “How do I use a scope on a rifle?” but ego is telling him he can’t ask that question. When he does ask the right question he will begin to have constructive feedback.
 

wadebrown

Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 18, 2008
712
57
59
Minnesota
Could you describe your "bench resting" method? If you are putting pressure on the handguard and it's touching the barrel, it could cause weird things to happen. It would be very odd that it would happen to multiple rifles though
This was what I was going to ask after reading the OP's postings, I used to see lots of guys resting their barrel on the rest, when I was not yet a member of a club with a rifle range and would have to go to a local range on their public days.
 

Secant

2.71828
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 11, 2019
384
374
Out West
I had a friend with the same issue and he had me shoot with his new scoped rifle that came with a free scope.
It did the same thing with me when I shot the rifle.
Your advice is the best given as I told him to buy a new scope.
Problem solved!
Even high end scopes can have problems!
As we get closer to another war it may be wise to prepare and plan ahead?
It may also help to read some What-IF books too?

View attachment 7431377
LOL

Dude, lay off cable news and get outside. It's nice outside in the real world. This ain't Walking Dead and you ain't Rick, LOL.
 

brianf

Private
Belligerents
Minuteman
Apr 8, 2010
2,835
2,892
43
NY
Sell every optic and mount

Buy a spuhr and a NF

If it’s still happening ...it’s not the gear, get training.
 

ZackSwan

Private
Minuteman
Sep 24, 2020
1
1
Like golf there are several variables to accurate shooting. Very common experience you are having. Unless you can pick up (place) your firearm in the exact identical position, butt stock weld to cheek and shoulder, exact identical trigger squeeze, exact identical breathing (or held breath) and exact identical shooting position just to name a few, then yes, there will be variance on bullet impact on your target(s). And those are just a few of the variables you have some control over.

Add external variables like wind direction & speed, temperature, humidity, elevation, shot angle up & down, or in the case of long distance shooting horizontal angle taking into consideration the Corriolius effect, then yes you will have a difficult time getting 10 shots to go through the same bullet hole. And if you're shooting cheaper bulk ammo that isn't as consistent shot to shot you will be chasing your tail adjusting and readjusting your scope turrets.

So, try keeping the variables first mentioned as consistent as possible, and good ammunition helps in making your properly cleaned and lubed firearm more consistent then your results will become more CONSISTENT. Remember, your gun is more consistent than you, always. It's the shooter's job to practice, practice, practice being consistent with all of the human variables mentioned above to obtain the best results.

Kristen Joy Weiss knows this all too well. Check out some of this young ladie's knowledge as I am thinking what she says might be your culprit and not your gun(s) and scope(s).


Remember, even if you can't shoot a decent group sub-moa, it'll work to harvest a deer most of the time, same with an assailant. I shoot a lot and expect to put a dead center hole in a dime at 100 yards every shot but sometimes I hit the edge of it instead of the absolute center. It took me a while to accept the fact that my skills, as good as they may be, can not be exactly identical every time I aim and squeeze my triggers on all my different firearms. So yes, being off a quarter inch at a hundred yards isn't too terribly bad.. especially as I am an engineer using CAD on a computer expecting perfection mathematically and perfect physics ALL the time.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: 308pirate