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EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument - brilliantly simple!

17858 Views 61 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  construe24
A few weeks back, I read a post by Smoothtrigger about the EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument, and I immediately knew that I had to have one.

The device arrived this past week, and yesterday I double-checked the scope installation on 8 different rifles. As good a job as I thought I had done previously, 4 of the 8 benefited from some minor fine tuning.

I don't know whether to characterize the instrument as simply brilliant or brilliantly simple!

There is no requirement for what one might perceive to be a flat surface on either the scope or the rifle, because the device helps ensure that the optical centerline is in the same vertical plane as the bore by indexing at two points each on the objective bell and the barrel (or less optimally the top of a picatinney rail on an AR that I double-checked).

One simply supports the rifle / optic combination in the vertical as indicated by the single bubble level, and then rotates the scope within the rings to align the reticle with a suspended plumb bob. I chose to do this indoors so as to minimize any environmental influences.

Hopefully most folks appreciate the critical importance of not having the reticle canted with respect to the optical centerline / bore plane when it comes to shooting at variable distances, whether the technique employed be dialing-in or holding over.

Here is the setup that I used in my foyer to support the rifle:



And a slightly closer pic of the instrument on the scope and rifle:



And finally, the plumb bob in my den about 11 yards away from the rifle. I found that using the bright red string contrasting against the black reticle and background worked excellently:



I quickly learned that by slowly sliding the rear of the rifle vise slightly back and forth sideways (while keeping an eye on the bubble level), it was easy to get extremely precise alignment with the string by watching it appear and disappear behind the reticle along it's length. It is a little hard to describe the technique, but hopefully it makes some sense.

While I have been able to do a good job mounting optics over the past three and a half decades without this tool, using the tool makes it very much quicker and easier, and with an associated higher level of confidence in the results.

Of course, while the true test of any optic setup only comes at the range, it is my expectation that any remaining error will be very slight, if at all.

It would be hard not to recommend this tool to anyone who has the desire to easily and reliably mount a scope on virtually any rifle with a high degree of precision.

Thank you Kevin for originally posting about this fantastic tool.
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Exd engineering - vertical reticle instrument

I've been using the EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Tool for better than 15yrs.

Here's the main difference between it and all the others:
It vertically aligns the center line of the scope to the center line of the bore, and no other system can make that claim!

All that's needed in addition is, a plumb line, whether it's a plumb bob, a door facing or a tile line that's known to be plumb. A much better system than all the levels that have to be placed all over the rifle, scope, mounts, or having to align the reticle with some other horizontal lines using you eyes. And you don't need to carry some tool in the field.... Who does their installs in the field and not at home or shop? That should be set in stone before ever going to the range for a sight in.
 

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One thing that hasn't been mentioned...maybe it's too obvious to bear repeating, but...

A perfectly plumb/level reticle is only good if, when you are in shooting position, the rifle is held with the reticle plumb and level. If it's canted a little bit, you've wasted your time. Conversely, if the reticle is a little crooked sitting in your vise, but your preferred shooting position accounts for it, then all well and good. The only way it will work as advertised is if you ensure the reticle is plumb/level when you pull the trigger.
 

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What you said is only true at one specific distance.

If you change distance, you'll have to dial for both elevation (expected) and windage. And that's just to effect an elevation change. Crazy!
And both will depend on how much you're canting the rifle at that very moment.

Way simpler to avoid canting the rifle. For those who have trouble with that, just add a scope level to your rifle.

Smooth
 

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Way simpler to avoid canting the rifle. For those who have trouble with that, just add a scope level to your rifle.
IME, if you want to have accuracy at a variety of distances, a scope level is mandatory.

As for the importance of eliminating cant, see this illustration which shows the actual path of the projectile vs. the crosshairs. Grab the bottom slider and move it left-right.
http://www.arld1.com/impactpointvscantangle.html
 

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IME, if you want to have accuracy at a variety of distances, a scope level is mandatory.

As for the importance of eliminating cant, see this illustration which shows the actual path of the projectile vs. the crosshairs.
http://www.arld1.com/impactpointvscantangle.html
I sent it to my bud who got on a level scope band wagon this past winter.He's a hunter and has yet to shoot at anything close 100 yds. in his life. I like putting burrs under his saddle. :D
 

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I've searched and searched, but can find NO website for this company.
They are either, out of business or never had a website, and in this day and age that is hard to fathom.
 

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I suspect they are just a small shop. Or, it could be just an old machinist making a tool he invented. Either way, I got lucky and saw this discussion and kept checking Brownell's. Noticed they were back in stock and ordered right away about a month or two ago. I ended up using some Mother's Mag on it to clean it up and it works great.

Simple idea that works. :bthumb:
 

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happytitlon

Web site, and phone numbers.

http://www.microlevel.biz/vertical_retical_instrument.html

Give them call and see if they're still producing the item.
I'd do it, but I already have one.:)

Smooth
I'm like you.... I've had and used mine for over 15yrs. In fact I've used it 6-7 times this past week.
Like I said before, they either quit or never had a website.
And I don't think "Long Shot" is who makes it... But I may be wrong.
 

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I can't wait to get it I will be using it in conjunction with a new Vice I just received call the AcurC Precise Scope Installation System. This system allows you to mount your rifle in the provide vice and level it with a machinist level "ocular type". You adjust the screws on the table to achieve the action's bold bearing rail's or top picatinny scope rail til it is truly plum .He sells this device for $100 delivered I will provide more information when I start using it. From what I can tell so far the construction is first-rate.
 

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References to green-new-deal solar panel fraud and toggle-clamp manufacturing tools
in a post about reticle levelers --- most obtuse post ever?

Getting back on track, I just ordered the reticle-leveling tool from Brownells.

I have avoided buying other leveling tools in the past due to their bad design
assumptions and deficiencies.

This one has possibilities --- will report back when it gets here!

Don
 

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I'll await your review in order to add it to my list of happy RFC members (no pressure).:)

All you'll need other than the tool, is a plumb line.

Here's my set up.
TAP PHOTO FOR A LAGER VIEW. The rifle was not quite set to level in this photo.
Notice the scope had just been set into the rings, and is not level yet. Needs to be rotated clockwise.
Total time to attach the rings to the rail, place the scope in the rings, mount the top clamps with just a bit of tension, rotate scope to level, and tighten caps, was 4 minutes.





Smooth.

You can of course use any vertical reference including a fence post, window frame, door jam, edge of a building etc. etc.
 
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