BUBBLE LEVEL

Discussion in 'Gear Talk: What to Buy? and Gear Evaluations' started by schooner, Nov 28, 2017.

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  1. schooner

    schooner

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    Hi Guys (Newbie Here)
    I'm just getting started with bench target shooting and find it to be relaxing and great fun.
    Questions Please

    What do you guys think about Bubble Levels on your rifles? And those who have them on their rifles please tell me what's the advantage?

    THANKS GUYS
    GOD BLESS YOU ALL
    schooner :cool:
     

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  2. willbas

    willbas

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  3. Meangreen

    Meangreen

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    A couple of points about bubble levels. The first is obvious: It must actually be level with your crosshairs. I don't know how many times I've seen that they weren"t. Secondly, they must be in a position so that you can reference them without breaking your cheek weld. Again, it should be obvious, but somehow isn't.

    Lastly, I'm going to incur some wrath with this one, I find them largely unnecessary. Most careful shooters instinctively hold the crosshairs level to within a couple of tenths of a degree. At longrange where it matters most, there is usually something in the field of view to give a visual cue. It could be a target frame, fence post, horizon or some vegetation. Vegetation that grows a couple of feet high or more will point opposite of gravity. Your eye can typicaly look at a bush, average the angle of the limbs or branches and come to within a fraction of plumb.

    There are cases where terrain may give no clues, or may even create an optical illusion or maybe you need a more exacting level of precision for say, competition. Maybe you just want to look cool like everybody else, doesn't matter. If you use one just make sure you set it up correctly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
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  4. jr600yd

    jr600yd

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    Meangreen makes some observations that are generally true although I disagree with them. Ranges, berms, brush ect are not always flat. I've shot on ranges that have been places on the sides of hills. As far as naturally leveling the cross hairs that's hit or miss.

    If the level and rifle are set up correctly adjusting the sights (or scope) on target will give a positive results. If the sight or scope is canted sight adjustments will give both elevation and windage variables. In other words if the scope is canted, say to the left, an increase in elevation will give you elevation and left windage. The opposite for a right cant.

    The level takes one variable out of the equation. It eliminates the variable caused by cant. If you missed the target or X ring you can blame either a bad wind call or a missed wind call and not worry if the scope was level or not.
     
  5. Mozella

    Mozella

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    Some good advice here and some comments are not quite complete. Yes, it's true that your bubble level should match your cross hairs; however, it is more correct to say that your cross hairs AND your bubble level must be plumb to the rifle. Mounting a scope so that the cross hairs and bubble level are matched, but they sit in the scope rings at a 45 degree left cant illustrate the potential problem. The gun, scope, and level must all agree.

    While a bubble level may have questionable value for hunting, all my F-class and BR guns have them. I like to have a bipod or front rest set up so that my gun is held level and the bubble device clamped to my scope helps that. Many benches are NOT level, so adjusting the bipod or rest feet to compensate is usually a good idea. Otherwise, as others have pointed out, windage adjustments bleed over into elevation changes and vice versa.
     
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  6. Meangreen

    Meangreen

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    jr600yd & Mozella, I appreciate your comments. The terrain issue jr600yd mentioned is addressed in the last paragraph of my post#3. The issue of a properly leveled scope in the first place is a given. The OP was asking for opinion on bubble levels not a tutorial in scope/rifle set up.

    Being that I am not a competitor, just a longrange field shooter, I would defer to your experience in respect to a competition setup. Good shooting.
     
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  7. carlsbad

    carlsbad Details matter. Silver $$ Contributor

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    At my range the benches aren't level, the targets aren't vertical, and there are no good references to vertical. (kindo like hunting). So what appears to me as vertical never is.

    If you're shooting 100 yards, no big deal. At 600 yards, my 308 falls 82 inches. If you're off by 5 degrees, your shot will be off by 82 tan 5 = 7 inches.
     
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  8. daniel brothers

    daniel brothers

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    serious shooters use them... and you don't see them taking them off after using them do you... the further the shot.. the more they are needed. Their cost is so small compared to the advantages that they can bring to the table.
     
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  9. Meangreen

    Meangreen

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    There have been an awful lot of serious shooters since the invention of gunpowder, and an awful lot of targets hit at considerable distance without the aid of bubble levels. The same thing can be said of any gadget, including laser rangefinders and ballistic calculators which are both relatively new to the average shooter.

    I guess honing your craft by knowing your drops, learning to judge distance, judge wind, and to hold your rifle straight are antiquated skills. I guess nobody shoots at targets anymore that won't seem to stand still or present themselves at reasonable angles.

    I have used bubble levels, I still use ballistic calculators and laser rangefinders. I don't depend on them. They take up space, they snag on brush, they waste sometimes precious time and they fail. I've been doing the longrange thing for over 20 years, but I don't shoot X-rings. Guess I'm not really a serious shooter.
     
  10. daniel brothers

    daniel brothers

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    PS... a serious shooter in my opinion is wanting to hit golf ball to baseball size targets at long ranges... instead of being content with football to basketball size impacts. Serious shooters do everything possible to make first shot hits.... they are not lead slingers who are happy with walking in their rounds.
     
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  11. Delfuego

    Delfuego

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    Shooner, I think they are a good idea, especially when starting out. You might be surprised the difference between what your eye perceives and the bubble tells you. They are a tool, they give you a reference, I think that is a good thing. I rarely use mine for close shots anymore (-600y), but for long shots (+1000y) I try to check every time. Just my 2 cents.

    Here's to hoping this doesn't devolve into a shouting match thread o_O
     
  12. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Gold $$ Contributor

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  13. jr600yd

    jr600yd

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    Mean green makes a lot of sense for field shooting and hunting under say 300 yds. The kill area of a deer is what 8-10 inches? So if your off by say 2 inches you probably still kill the animal. However, long range hunters, mid to long range competitors and Benchrest shooters need more accuracy. The level will aid in this.
     
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  14. sawcarver

    sawcarver Silver $$ Contributor

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    Once you have a level on your rifle and it's set up right, always trust the level, your eyes will lie to you
     
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  15. dogdude

    dogdude Egan O'Brien Gold $$ Contributor

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    Take a look at these... mkmachining.com $19.99
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  16. CharlieNC

    CharlieNC

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    YouTube thlr showed your visual sense of level looking through a scope is better than the crude bubble levels attached to scopes.
     
  17. rwh

    rwh Gold $$ Contributor

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    I've been using these, https://www.accuracy1st.com/store/catDetail.cfm?catID=65 for a while. I set the level up so that I can see the bubble in my left eye while looking through the scope with my right. I don't know how much difference it makes but I can say that I occasionally notice that the bubble isn't level shooting prone or in rapid stages and am able to adjust my position . I expect that a fairly small cant can move the bullet out of the 10 ring. Use a plumb line to install the level to make sure it is aligned with the crosshairs.
     
  18. mram10

    mram10 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Levels are needed for long range consistency. Shoot your rifle with and without at 800+ and see for yourself. As for which one, spend $4 on an ebay Chinese level. No kidding. I have more expensive ones, but the cheap ones have worked on my 308s. Good luck

    Also, very important to do a “tall target test” when you install it. YouTube it.
     
  19. Papa Charlie

    Papa Charlie

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    I use one of the Vortex scope mounted levels for F-Class at 500 yards. I know that many say it has no value at medium range, but I would disagree with that. Sure the minute of angle is limited at 200-600 yards, but I feel it does make a difference. We are all striving for consistency and we should develop those skills and repeat them at regardless of the distance we are shooting. Consistency is the name of the game. If you develop the muscle memory to always align your rifle then this is one inconsistency that you won't have to worry about.
    Just my opinion, much like many other disciplines we develop in the precision shooting game, I see no reason to leave out any item that could result in improving my mechanics and consistency.
    Just my two cents worth.
     
  20. mram10

    mram10 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Old carpenters still use levels to build stuff. Eyes don’t see level no matter how long you practice
     
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