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#5524804 - 01/06/15 10:46 PM What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero???
ckat Offline
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Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 1072
Loc: Lubbock Area
I had a first in my life. My wife, girls, and I were getting ready to go out coyote hunting last week. I set our rifles up against the back door and went to get another load of stuff. The girls were playing tag, when I heard a soft thud followed by, "Sorry, Daddy..." Went back to the back door and my wife's rifle was laying on the ground - the girls knocked it over while running around.

"No big deal," I thought. I didn't see the fall, but I heard it... it didn't sound that bad. Directly, my wife calls in a coyote (I was Mr. Mom with the girls in the car) and misses. She said that she had a dead rest and her gun must be off.

I shoot it twice today at an 8.5x11" target and nothing - target is still brand new. Then I get out a large piece of cardboard and shoot. It is 6-7" off to the left. I had to go to work, so that was the end of the experiment; but this has me dumbfounded...

In all of my life around firearms, I have NEVER had a rifle knocked off of zero. I don't abuse my rifles, but I don't baby them either. With that said, this is probably one of few times, if not the only time I have had a rifle fall. I was hoping that the combo would stand up to a little more than that... it is especially bothersome that it had such a significant change in zero.

Rifle is a Remington Model 7, B&C stock, Leupold bases and rings, and a Leupold Vari-XIII 3.5-10x50. It has always been a sub-MOA setup (I bought it new in 2000, I think.)

So what are your experiences with knocking a rifle out of zero. Is this normal? When I get home from work I will investigate screw tension, etc. Thanks!

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#5524853 - 01/06/15 11:40 PM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: ckat]
Bullfrog Offline
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Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 10596
Loc: N-Bedford
I would think it's kind of a crapshoot if they fall on their face. Sorry to hear this. I hope you get it resolved
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#5524887 - 01/07/15 12:51 AM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: ckat]
Toxarch Offline
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Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 1681
Loc: Parker County
Which Leupold rings and bases? I've seen the ones with the windage screws and dovetail front get knocked off zero. One was from a guy knocking the gun over, the other was in the gun case after a plane ride. I had them on a rifle and it held zero for a long time until a base screw backed out.
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#5524938 - 01/07/15 05:46 AM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: Toxarch]
dawaba Offline
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Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 4200
Loc: Big Eddy Road, Noonday
Originally Posted By: Toxarch
Which Leupold rings and bases? I've seen the ones with the windage screws and dovetail front get knocked off zero. One was from a guy knocking the gun over, the other was in the gun case after a plane ride. I had them on a rifle and it held zero for a long time until a base screw backed out.


+1. Check the flanges on the windage screws on the rear rings. That flange, or rim, is prone to bending or breaking. I've read on another forum that the windage screws are bad about popping off their grooves on the base too, but I personally haven't seen this. I have seen the windage screws loosen at an alarming rate if you don't use some locktite or super glue on the threads.

Even if you can't diagnose a specific cause of the problem, now would be a good time to trash the Leupold bases and rings and switch to a better system....the Weaver-style is inexpensive, lighter, and rock solid.
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#5525134 - 01/07/15 08:19 AM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: ckat]
JCB Online   content
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Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 22839
Loc: M.I.A.
I have had some scopes take some pretty severe licks over the years and never budge. However earlier this year I had a rifle with a Vortex Viper in a Larue mount fall out of the safe when I opened it up. It landed on the scope on very thick carpet so I figured no harm was done. Went to the range in October to check it to make sure it was still on and it was shooting 12" high. First time I had ever had to adjust that scope since I first sighted it in.

Now I don't know if it was just a Vortex thing or what but I have had Leupolds take some licks that were much harder than that and never move.

Best advice I can give is to ALWAYS check your rifle anytime a scope takes a hit.
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#5525148 - 01/07/15 08:26 AM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: ckat]
White Falcon Offline
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Registered: 10/11/09
Posts: 1351
Loc: Holly Lake Ranch Tx.
I leaned mine on a tree this year, and bumped it and it fell to the ground. Missed a Yot at 50 yds. I checked it and it was about 4 inches off to the left. This gun is 45 years old and sighted in only a few times. It's a tack drover.

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#5525155 - 01/07/15 08:27 AM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: ckat]
Texas Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11274
I've had it happen just once to a rifle that slid off a tree and landed squarely on the top of the scope. After checking it, I found it shooting eight inches high. Common sense would seem to dictate that it's most likely to happen when impact is made to the scope directly, rather than bumps and knocks to other parts of the firearm.
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Spring, Texas

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#5525461 - 01/07/15 10:31 AM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: ckat]
DuckCoach1985 Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 1414
Loc: SMTX
depends on the point of impact IMO. My buddy fell asleep in an 8ft tree stand once, and was woken up when he hit the ground, rifle in hand. Scariest situation I can imagine.

Remington 700 .270 with Bushnell scope and Leupold rings.

We were certain he'd need to sight it in again but it was dead on, and hasn't needed a sight-in since then. We check our guns every year before the season.
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#5525517 - 01/07/15 10:55 AM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: ckat]
ckat Offline
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Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 1072
Loc: Lubbock Area
Interesting ideas, guys... A few years ago, I started using Talley lightweights almost exclusively. It may be time to put some Talleys on her rifle for piece of mind.

Any ideas on what causes the knock off? If it is not the bases, rings, or screws, are the crosshairs "jumping track" in the scope?

I thought about sighting it back in, then laying it on a blanket near the back hatch of my 4Runner for a few days then rechecking zero to rule out any catastrophic failures. Our rough roads should bump it around quite a bit without abusing it.

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#5525547 - 01/07/15 11:11 AM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: ckat]
Navasot Online   content
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Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 25961
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
Iv left mine on the tire of my truck and took off running it over with truck and trailer... shot it the next day and still dead on.
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#5525612 - 01/07/15 11:40 AM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: ckat]
ChadTRG42 Offline
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
What style of Leupold bases and rings are you using on this rifle?? Like stated, if the bases are the one's that have the rear windage screws that screw onto the base, these are the weakest style of rings available. If this is what you are running, then that is most likely your problem.

I have stated for years and seen numerous examples of scopes getting knocked off, or rifles shooting randomly with these rings. You spend hundreds of dollars on a rifle, thousands on property and hunting, and put a $25-$30 set of cheap rings and bases on a rifle that seals the deal when hunting. It astounds me that these rings are still sold.
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#5525644 - 01/07/15 11:52 AM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: ckat]
Wader Offline
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Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 688
Loc: Krum, TX
Originally Posted By: ckat

I thought about sighting it back in, then laying it on a blanket near the back hatch of my 4Runner for a few days then rechecking zero to rule out any catastrophic failures. Our rough roads should bump it around quite a bit without abusing it.


Careful with this, my one ring failure was a rifle in a soft case in the back of my truck that my son crawled over and broke both the stock and skewed the scope in the rings. Admittedly they were cheap tacticool rings, but for a rimfire I figured good enough. Lesson learned, though I am glad the rings moved before the scope broke.

-ww
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#5525647 - 01/07/15 11:53 AM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: ckat]
Texas Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11274
Originally Posted By: ckat
Any ideas on what causes the knock off? If it is not the bases, rings, or screws, are the crosshairs "jumping track" in the scope?


I tried searching the Web for information on scope design in an attempt to answer that question but couldn't find anything. For competitive reasons, I suspect scope manufacturers are very protective of such things.
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Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#5525849 - 01/07/15 01:53 PM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: ChadTRG42]
ckat Offline
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Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 1072
Loc: Lubbock Area
Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
What style of Leupold bases and rings are you using on this rifle?? Like stated, if the bases are the one's that have the rear windage screws that screw onto the base, these are the weakest style of rings available. If this is what you are running, then that is most likely your problem.

I have stated for years and seen numerous examples of scopes getting knocked off, or rifles shooting randomly with these rings. You spend hundreds of dollars on a rifle, thousands on property and hunting, and put a $25-$30 set of cheap rings and bases on a rifle that seals the deal when hunting. It astounds me that these rings are still sold.


They are the rings/bases that you speak of... I will replace them whether they are the problem or not.

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#5525858 - 01/07/15 01:56 PM Re: What does it take to "knock" a rifle off of zero??? [Re: Texas Dan]
ckat Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 1072
Loc: Lubbock Area
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: ckat
Any ideas on what causes the knock off? If it is not the bases, rings, or screws, are the crosshairs "jumping track" in the scope?


I tried searching the Web for information on scope design in an attempt to answer that question but couldn't find anything. For competitive reasons, I suspect scope manufacturers are very protective of such things.


Maybe someone with some "insider" knowledge will enlighten us. I do know that this is not an etched-reticle scope, but I am not at all familiar with the way turret operating system works (therefore, knowledge of what could fail/move.)

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