Finding Scope Reticle Center

  • Last Post 17 April 2020
OU812 posted this 16 January 2018

I made this V block to find reticle center. It is high enough to clear target knobs when rotated 180 degrees. Jig must be clamped down to stationary object such as table to prevent movement.

It is much easier to find windage center first. Look thru and aim reticle of scope at target. Next rotate scope 180 degrees to see if windage reticle shifts. Rotate scope left and right and adjust target knob until windage reticle stays closest to center without shifting.

Next do the elevation.

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OU812 posted this 16 January 2018

I chose Leupold steel rings and bases because of the adjustable torx screw windage base. And the steel rings allow easier rotation when finding perfect vertical cross hair alignment. Perfect vertical prevents groups shifting when adjusting and shooting from 100 to 200 yards.

The Burris rings with plastic inserts are nice, but I found it much too difficult to rotate scope when finding vertical alignment.

Base needed to be shimmed at rear to make level and to prevent binding when tightening down. The Torx screws provided with Leupold 15 degree base and 30mm rings are very nice. Scope is a 35 fixed power Leopold. Cool stuff

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Larry Gibson posted this 16 January 2018

It's a lot easier to a mirror in a well lit room.  With this method you will get an optical center of the reticle instead of a mechanical center.

With the scope on low power, if variable, hold the objective against the mirror and look into the ocular end.  You should see 2 reticles if it is not centered.  Adjust elevation and windage bring the reticles together.  The reticle is then optically centered.


Concealment is not cover.........

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OU812 posted this 16 January 2018

Mirror method will not work (I tried) with high powered fixed scopes. Some say you need a perfect flat distortion free mirror such as one from a copy machine to work with high power scopes...I do not have.

I have used the easier bathroom mirror method on my lower powered scopes.

BTW... I emailed Leupold and ask them how to center the retical and their response was "count clicks or rotations", but I found this was not as accurate as rotating. 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 16 January 2018

with a little luck you can find a cardboard box of the right length to cut a couple v-notches and twirl the scope   ... cheep and lazy, but " good enough " ..

the image of a fixed target downrange will go in circles until the scope is " centered " ...  you don't need to be perfect .


and like everything else in real life, be prepared to discover that your mounts are not perfect, your scope tube is bent, and even your receiver isn't looking down the barrel of your rifle . ( or visa-versa ) ...


interesting that we are playing with a howa 1500 sporter in 25-06 that seems to have a little of all three of the above symptoms ... ha ...  a foot left and 6 in. low at 25 yards ... leupold standard mounts/redfield 6-18 and a nikon also ....  dang this is fun ..... BTW, this howa 1500 is really a nice action ... and trigger ... to play with  ... reminds me of my ithica/tikka 308 in quality and feel  ....... 1.5 metric ( about 17 tpi ) thread lead on the howa barrel though ... my southbend doesn't speak metric ..... sigh  ...



ps my friend took a 350 yard shot at a coyote over the weekend with this howa ... ha ... he had a " tactical" reticle and chose the wrong pip out of  the confusing array of  squiggles and circles and spider webs available ... in the 2 seconds the coyote stopped he couldn't decide on which miraculous little helper ... ha ... i loved it ....  with a crosshair he could have just gave it 5 inches of air over the shoulder ...  the sierra club would be proud of him ...

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OU812 posted this 16 January 2018

A stiff weighted card board box works lots better.

Rifle in picture is the Remington 700 VS chambered in 223, 1/12" twist barrel. The free bore has been cut deeper using .2243 diameter reamer to accept the LBT style cast bullet. This 65 grain cast bullet has a very long bearing surface. My plan is to bump these bullets more round and centered just to see if accuracy improves.

Nose shape will be shorter and bearing surface will be longer after bumping.

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Wheel Weights posted this 17 April 2020

Crank the adjustments all the way one way, then the other. Count the clicks and split the count. Plenty close enuf for the real world.

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