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Mar 25th, 2012
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Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero #5433180 11/20/14 04:01 PM
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As many know, I just bought a Weatherby Lazerguard in 257 Wby Mag from Cabela's. After hearing all the ravings about Vortex optics, I thought I'd give a try. I've always been Leupold loyal and never had any issues. I mounted the scope to the rifle with Leupold base and rings, everything torqued to spec.

Yesterday I set a target at 100 yards, set the scope to 16x so I can see my impacts, set the side focus/parallax to 100 yards and adjusted the rear eyepiece focus.

Using Weatherby ammo 100g Spitzer, I fired my first shot-3" low, 3" left. Slowly fired 2 additional rounds to check for grouping. There was none. I ended up firing a total of 10 rounds, all of which scattered randomly around the bullseye, with no grouping what-so-ever.

I checked the trigger guard screws on the rifle-They're good. Re-checked the rings and base. They're good and tight.

At this point I'm suspect of the scope. Either it can't hold zero or there's a major issue with parallax.

A little background on my shooting skills-I've shot rifles may whole life and am very confident with them. I spent nearly 8 years as a police sniper. I'm very confident in my fundamentals and form.

Any input is greatly appreciated. I've loaded the rifle in the car and plan to return to Cabela's later. I cannot decide if I'm going to exchange the scope for another identical scope or go back to Leupold. Let's hear some thoughts please.


Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer
Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5433505 11/20/14 06:25 PM
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thoughts ?? If I had driven X brand of trucks all my life and been happy with that brand, then bought a different brand because some women liked the seat warmers and it left me stranded the first week, I would not think of returning to get another. I would go back to the brand that served me well in the past. As you first state, you switched because of all the raving you heard about Vortex.

I believe if you switched carry guns on the advice of others, had jams constantly with the new pistol, then no matter what others said you would return to your solid, dependable, trust worthy Glock.

Buy a Leupy and have a lot of good hunts feeling confident when you start the trip. JMO


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it is the illusion of knowledge.--Stephen Hawking
Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5433538 11/20/14 06:37 PM
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Shot nothing but Leupolds my whole life with 1 cheap simmons in the mix. I put the same scope you have on my last rifle purchase and couldn't be happier.

I'd try another of the same scope and just see if it works. If still a no go can always do something different.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5433614 11/20/14 07:07 PM
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Like Landpirate, I've been a Leupold guy for decades. Bought a Vortex Viper 4-16 PST last year. It has been a good scope, though I really don't think the glass is as good as Leupold VX-3 glass. I have to admit that I do like it. For a while I considered buying another Leupold to replace the Vortex, but after continuing to use the scope, I decided that the glass issue isn't that big a deal. Also, I worried just a bit about how the MRAD reticle would do in very dim light. Would I be able to see it and use it? Yes, I can see it just fine, even in very dim light. And, it's illuminated, though it's too bright at high magnification, but If I dial the scope to 4 or 6 power it is usable, so I'm ok with that too now. And FFP , which I also wondered if I'd like, is useful and will be much more useful as I get more experienced with it.

So, overall, it was worth the money. I'll keep it.


Not my monkeys, not my circus...
Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5433632 11/20/14 07:12 PM
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Is the scope walking? Have you lapped the rings? I would try that first, if that doesn't help then I would return the scope. Vortex is good quality and has a lifetime warranty, which is what sold me on my PST. Also, I would return the scope and get in touch with Vortex, they give a 35% DISCOUNT off their MSRP to MIL/LEO. I saved me over $350 on my PST.

Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5433638 11/20/14 07:14 PM
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I would also try another brand of ammo and different bullet. My 308 was doing the same thing, turns out it hated Winchester 168g silver tips, but love Federal 168g match ammo. It couldn't keep a 2 inch group at 50yds, now it's doing a 2 inch 5 shot group at 300

Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5433785 11/20/14 08:34 PM
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I see no evidence of the scope walking. And I did not lap the rings.

Weatherby tests show that they achieve best accuracy with this rifle using the 100g Hornady and Nosler bullets. Independent reports to me indicate that the 100g Spitzer (Norma) is nearly as accurate out the same rifle. So I'm less inclined to believe that it's the ammo.


Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer
Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5433912 11/20/14 09:34 PM
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Hope you get it figured out LP it sucks to have a new toy not function.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5434207 11/21/14 12:12 AM
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LandPirate, a couple years ago I bought a new 223 (Ruger Hawkeye) and put a Bushnell 4-12 on it. It shot real good, but I hadn't finished working up loads when I decided to step up in scope quality. So I did. Mounted it, zeroed it, and went back to working up groups. I must've shot up a 150 rounds and got exactly NOWHERE. Finally swapped the scope back to the inexpensive Bushnell and it shot great. Dang. Went and got a real good scope and all is well. So...till you swap out the scope, you won't know for sure if it's the gun, the loads, or the scope. I doubt that the problem is the rifle.


Not my monkeys, not my circus...
Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5434526 11/21/14 03:24 AM
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Before you start swapping scopes.

Is this a brand new rifle? If so, did you clean all the oil out of it? Do you have any other ammo to try?

Usually when I see this happening it is a rifle or ammo problem. Not a scope problem, especially as good as scopes are. Heck rifles, too, for that matter. But some chamberings and twists don't like a particular ammo. Sire reviews said the rifle shot that ammo in a test, bit that was a different rifle, not THIS particular rifle. Just to be clear, it would not group without adjusting windage and elevation, correct? So if you had a low or high, or left or right impact, saw it, but shot a follow up shot anyway?


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Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5434587 11/21/14 03:50 AM
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Fireman, you're correct. Fired 10 rounds, no adjustment, sprayed all over. I mean 5" around the bull, 360 degrees. No grouping what so ever. Yes, this is a brand new rifle, scope, base, rings, ammo. Yes, I thoroughly cleaned the bore prior to shooting. I intended to clean it every 3-5 rounds through a box of shells. I will clean the bore again before shooting again.

I've rifles that didn't like a particular ammo/bullet but they normally give you some sort of grouping. I got no grouping. One shot might be at 7 o'clock and the next at 2 o'clock.

I took the rifle back to Cabela's and exchanged the scope for a Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x40 CDS. Won't get to shoot again until Saturday, weather permitting. I can tell you that I like the Leupy better. The true test will come Sat. I'll post results.


Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer
Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5434601 11/21/14 03:57 AM
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Well if you like it better, that is all that matters.

Even though you got out of the Vortex, if it turns out to be the Vortex's fault, I respectfully ask that you tell them what happened. I am sure they will care and they will run down the problem for future buyers.

I look forward to finding out what happens.


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Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5434756 11/21/14 09:10 AM
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If the scope change doesn't help.....definitely try some different ammo. Not too long ago I bought a Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 in 6.5 Creedmoor, and mounted a Vortex Viper 4-16x44 on it (I did lap the rings and properly torqued the ring and action screws). After bore sighting, I shot 1 shot....good elevation, but 1.75" left. Adjusted the scope and then proceeded to stack the next three shots in a 3/8" group. I was pleased to say the least. This was with the Hornady factory 120gr A-max ammo, and cleaning between each shot as recommended by Weatherby. I then switched to Hornady superperformance ammo in the 129gr SST.......WOW!! First shot was 1.5" high and left 10 o'clock, second shot 1.5" right 3 o'clock.....third shot 1.5" low and right 5 o'clock.....4th shot 1" low 6 o'clock.......5th shot 1/2" high 12 o'clock!! Looked like I was patterning a shotgun.
I switched back to the 120gr ammo and produced a 3/4" 4 shot group. I later changed stocks and did some more shooting. Same results.....the 129gr scattered like crazy, then switched back to the 120's and shot a 6 shot group that measured 11/16".
Having been at this for many many years, I am very aware that guns can be a little picky about what they like to shoot, but I don't recall ever seeing this drastic of an accuracy difference between two bullets that are only 9 grains apart in weight, and both within the window that the rifle's rate of twist should shoot.
Since I have a good stockpile of 129 SST bullets, I am looking forward to doing some load testing and see if I can get them to shoot a lot better than the factory offering.

Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5434765 11/21/14 10:19 AM
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Yeah, my first instinct would have been that it was a gun / ammo problem... not a scope problem. Let us know if the new leupold straightens things out.

Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5434950 11/21/14 02:05 PM
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Well, my first thought (and second and third...) was that my problem was gun or ammo. Note that I said I wasted maybe 150 rounds of reloads. In that time I also got a new stock for the rifle. It would have been so easy to just swap out the scope, but I didn't. Surely the problem can't be a brand new scope, is what I was thinking. Well, I was thinking wrong. It was the scope. Brand new Nikon Monarch 4-16.

I see that Landpirate got a new scope. I hope he'll come back and tell us what the problem was.


Not my monkeys, not my circus...
Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5435493 11/21/14 06:52 PM
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I'll definitely post an update once I get a decently clear day to shoot again. According to the forecast, it's likely to be Sunday before that happens.


Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer
Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5436756 11/22/14 02:12 PM
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LP the spritzer shoot okay I'm my remi 257.

I have some 80 gr TTSX and a few AB's and some 100tsx that I can send you that you can shoot for a group. Just pm your address.

Also next time you need vortex call them direct since your Leo/ military. Also if you where to send them the scope on Monday your likely to have a new one by Friday.

Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5436813 11/22/14 02:43 PM
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Hey Bobo,
I appreciate the offer. I can't ask you to go through so much trouble. I'm going to shoot again tomorrow with the new scope and that should answer all the questions. If it does turn out to be an issue of ammo I'll just run to Cabela's and buy something different to try. But until, I shoot it again there's no sense in doing anything else. Thanks for the offer. Yet another reason that the THF is the best on-line hunting community.


Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer
Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5436827 11/22/14 02:49 PM
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Mike not much trouble actually just 9 shells

I've got over a 100 being custom loaded right now that should be done any day. So dought ill ever shoot those bullets any way. Wby ammo is to expensive to guess.

Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5442626 11/25/14 06:14 PM
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Sorry for the delayed response.

Shooting with the Leupold was a definite improvement over the Vortex. While the groups with the Weatherby 100g Spitzer ammo was still loose, it was much tighter with the Leupold. It went from about 5" grouping through the Vortex to a 2.5" group through the Leupold.

This still isn't the grouping I'd expect through this rifle but it is much improved. So I'll conclude that there was a combination of issues at work here. One the scope and two is the ammo. The scope probably is no as off as I originally thought. I do believe that there's an issue with parallax on that particular scope.

So I'm going to continue with the Leupold scope. I'm also going to shoot up the remaining box of 100g Spitzers and complete the barrel break-in as recommended. Then I'm going to pick up a box or two of heavier, premium bullet Weatherby ammo and see how it likes that.


Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer
Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5442707 11/25/14 07:14 PM
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Rockhead pm your address and I will send you some factory bullets to try smile

Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5443704 11/26/14 03:58 AM
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my neighbor shoots a weatherby vanguard that is pretty old in .25-06.

with Remington, Winchester or federal ammo it will spray bullets all over the place. hornady ammo in 117 grain it is a one inch gun, same with barnes ammo.

some guns are just picky

Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5444294 11/26/14 04:01 PM
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I don't think it was a scope issue at all. The first 10 rounds on a new rifle with unproven ammo is a crap shoot anyway. It will take some fouling rounds to get the rifle zero'd and shooting true anyway. My 300WM would take 7 rounds after a cleaning to get back shooting perfect. So, the first 10 rounds can not be used as a "ruler" for how well it shoots on a brand new barrel. Even at 2.5" groups after some rounds have been fired is not good. So, this tells me your rifle does not like this ammo. 2.5" at 100 yards is fine for killing a deer/pig at 100. But if you are trying to dial it in for precision shooting, you will need to change ammo. So, what you had was a new, unfouled barrel shooting ammo the rifle doesn't like for 10 rounds. Then switch scopes and keep shooting same ammo and get 2.5" after the barrel is fouled in, but still not shooting good. That's not a scope issue, that's an ammo issue 100%, no doubt.



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Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: BOBO the Clown] #5447114 11/28/14 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Rockhead pm your address and I will send you some factory bullets to try smile


Rockhead??? LMAO. That's not nice. PM headed your way.


Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer
Re: Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44 Won't Zero [Re: LandPirate] #5447131 11/28/14 04:27 PM
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Chad, You may very well be correct. However, I'm much more satisfied with the Leupold. I wasn't entirely happy with the eye relief on the Vortex at high magnification. I constantly had to make small head placement adjustments to eliminate corona. The Leupold is much more forgiving and seems more precise and certainly more natural and comfortable. Also, the Leupold glass is cleaner/clearer, especially has high magnification. I'm happy with my choice.


Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer
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