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Rifle sight in problems Help?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Pugs, Nov 3, 2007.

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  1. Pugs

    Pugs TS Member

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    OK, heres the story. Like many, because of high costs of shotgun shell reloading components, I am cutting back on "practice" shooting so I decided to do something different.

    A few years ago I won as a door prize at a Ducks Unlimited dinner a Marlin lever action .22 rifle. (Model 339 I think) I took it to the range a few weeks ago to sight in.

    With iron sights at 25 yds, the gun shot about 15 inches low with the rear sight up as high as it would go.(Sandbagged on a bench) Wanting to save money for shotshell components, I bought (at Wally World) a cheap scope to put on my gun to see if this would help. Last weekend, after much screwing around with the scope, I got a nice three shot group in the bull (25 yds) that I could cover with a quarter. OK, so far so good. With the scope settings unchanged, I moved to 50yd. At this range I also got a good 3 shot group but the group was 8 inches below and 1 inch to the right of the bull. An eight inch drop in 25yds!!!!!??? Whats up with that??? Very dissapointed with this performance.

    Marlin usually makes a good firearm, and I was using Federal .22 40 grain target ammo.

    Any suggestions or comments from rifle shooters?

    Thanks
     
  2. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    Try changing to a different brand of ammunition on the off chance that you got a batch that was misloaded. There is a recall on now for Remington (I think) "Wildcat" .22 LR ammo that is suspected of being double charged. It does happen.

    Morgan
     
  3. goldy

    goldy TS Member

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    Sparrow

    Only thing that comes to mind is a nick in the barrel crown. Otherwise I'd give Marlin a call.

    Hope you get it figured out,,,,,goldy
     
  4. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    Sparrow.....I know this may not be what you want to hear, but you need both a better rifle AND a better scope!
     
  5. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Sure sounds like a bent barrel to me. I'd put a straight edge on it to check for straightness. Marlin will fix it though. Hap
     
  6. kelly andersen

    kelly andersen TS Member

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    Try giving it a good cleaning to lead fouling will affect your grops also.
     
  7. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Zeroing the scope at 25 yards and getting a decent group tells me nothing is wrong with ammo. Being 15 inches low with fixed sights is way out of bounds. Installing the scope with much adjusting made it shoot at 25, then almost half of the original 15 inches low, appears again at 50 yards with the scope!! If bad ammo or a clean bore was the problem, it wouldn't shoot at the 25 either. I'm guessing a bent barrel? Hap
     
  8. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    I have a Marlin 39AS (cross bolt safety) set up with a Leupold 4X Rim Fire special scope. It will shoot one hole groups at 50 yards. It prefers Wolf Match Target ammo. It does not shoot other brands nearly as well.

    I suspect that you may have a problem with your initial zero on the scope. I would adjust the scope so that you are dead on at 50 yards and leave it there.

    As Hap observes, you may have a bent barrel. The Marlin 39 also is a “break down” model so be sure that the front and rear sections of the rifle a put together tight and the big break down screw is tight. Read the owners manual on this.

    The elevation and windage adjustments on cheap scopes, IMO, are a crapshoot.

    I had a Remington 572 pump .22 once on which the iron sights were way off. They always shot too low. I had a gunsmith replaced the iron sights which solved the problem. It shot OK and was a good squirrel gun with .22 short hollow points. I then traded the gun.

    The older Federal .22 target ammo was very good but they changed it some years back. I don’t shoot it anymore. For me, the Wolf Match Target (you can buy it from Midway USA) is the thing. In my Ruger 77/22 Varmint model with a 6x18 AO Leupold Target scope, it will often shoot a 5 shot group under 1” at 100 yards if the wind is still.

    The Marlin 39 new sells for around $350 or more. It would make a good trade-in.

    I suggest that you buy a nice bolt action rifle like a Ruger 77/22 and get a better scope.

    It is a fact that every .22 rifle is different and has its own brand preference for ammo.

    Don’t waist time and nerves on a cheap scope. IMO, the only way to use a cheap scope is to zero it at a specific range and power setting and leave it there. The point of impact is often not predictable when you adjust for windage and elevation or switch power settings on a cheap variable scope.

    I have a 30 year old Tasco 4x16 AO made in Taiwan that is decent. I bought a newer version of the same scope, now made in China, about 10 years ago and it was pure junk. The clarity was good but the point of impact changed with each shot with the scope properly mounted. After a while, it would not change from one power setting to the next. I threw it away in the trash. I learned my lesson. Leupold scopes from now on.
     
  9. WarEagle2017

    WarEagle2017 Active Member

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    I am suprised that no one so far ask you this::: First " did you purchase the correct bases for that paticular gun, Second : are the bases the same thickness and did you mount them correctly ( some times one base is thicker that the other ) third question:::: what Rings did you put on the gun Low, Med High, Now remember " When the bullet leaves the barrel it rises UP to the line of sight of the scope so you have to find out what you MID RANGE TRAJECTORY IS : now answer the above questions here and I'll try to help you.
     
  10. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    Since the rifle shoots poorly with the factory sights, the scope mounting hardware is really secondary to the original problem.

    Mounting a scope on the gun simply allowed more sight adjustment than was possible with the open sights. There is another, more basic, problem lurking somewhere else.

    Morgan
     
  11. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    As others have observed, there may be a problem with the rifle itself of the scope mounts.

    Marlin ships a base with the Model 39. My base will take either a “tip off” mount or a Weaver style ring.

    Most cheap scopes come with “tip off” mounts so I would guess that your scope is properly mounted on the rifle. It may be too low, just right or too high but so long as everything is tight, it should be consistent. If you have Weaver style mounts you must use the same height for front and back. If you have different heights you probably cannot get on paper to begin with.

    A three shot group is not bad for initial sighting but I prefer 5 shot groups as .22 ammunition is not too expensive. A five shot group gives more assurance than a three shot group.

    Don’t rely on 25 yard zeros as minor problems at 25 yards are magnified many times at 50 and 100 yards. A 50 yard zero is a good small game hunting zero for a .22. If you are planning to shoot at 100 yards, I would zero at 100 yards and practice enough to be capable of hitting a 100 yard target.

    What do you want to do with the rifle? If all you want to do is punch holes in paper at a fixed yardage, zero for that yardage and shoot away. If you want to shoot at different yardages and to depend on scope adjustments to change the point of impact, I suggest a better scope.

    There are many other variables including trigger pull and how you view the reticle in the scope.

    The Marlin 39 is a wonderful and very traditional lever action firearm but I suggest a bolt action if you are going to spend much time shooting at the range.
     
  12. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Sight the rifle in at 50 feet, then shoot it at 50 yards, it should be right on. When you move out to 100 yards it should be 8 inches low. HMB
     
  13. Pugs

    Pugs TS Member

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    Thank you all for your consideration and responses to this thread. I can tell by your resposes that you are far more accomplished and knowledgeable riflemen than I am. Some of you ask questions or make comments that I cannot intelligently respond to because I simlpy don't know. I started in the shooting sports shooting rifles as a boy (my father was in a "one shot, one kill" group in the Army) and shared his knowledge with me when I was old enough to shoot. I was about six when he started me with a .22 When I was about eleven I wandered over to the "dark side" (Trap and Skeet) and haven't been back since. I am thinking that with what I see on paper that there is something fundamentally wrong with the firearm. I have other rifles that I have sighted in over the years and have never experienced the performance I got from this rifle.

    Thanks again
     
  14. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    sparrow, here's a couple of pictures of a Savage mod. 6 .22 I owned for a short while. It too shot low (6 inches) with the elevator ramp all the way up! The gun looked to be in new condition but it had a slight bend in the barrel according to a steel straight edge. Like you, I put a Leupold scope on to make it shoot where I wanted it shooting. It did ok at the yardage I sighted it in for but but nowhere else did it shoot worth a crap! It went away in my auction last spring. I told the neighbor that bought it what was wrong with the rifle before he bought it too. He's happy, so am I. HAPpy

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>
     
  15. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    I believe Rimfire Central has a section of Marlin contributors.

    I have an old one with the octagon barrel, would not trade it even for a Kimber.(also have a Kimber).

    Ruger 77/22 has gotten some bade reviews around here, don't knowd about him.

    I personally don't believe the rifle is the problem, since you got a good group at both distances.

    Take the scope back. Next scope you mount make sure it's concentric, that is you should bore sight it first. That way it will be properly lined up with the barrel.

    Somewhere you should find a trajectory for the ammunition you are shooting. zero the rifle for 50 yards and check where it shoots at other distances.

    I have a High regard for Marlin 39's but I suppose a bad one is possible. Don't sound like it here.

    HM
     
  16. grammie

    grammie TS Member

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    No,,,I don't think the barrel is bent either!!! I think there is a classic "headspace" problem here,,,,this problem usually affects weapons that fire from the "open bolt" position,,such as a machine gun,,but since this is a lever action,,the bolt touches the round in the same way....since you don't have a forward assist,,I would suggest that the problem lies with the bolt,,not the barrel or the ammo.....

    AKA Grammie............
     
  17. grammie

    grammie TS Member

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    If it is a "headspace" problem,,,the round is firing without being properly seated in the chamber,,the round fires,,but barely nicks the beginning of the shoulder of the chamber deforming the round before it leaves the barrel,,and in effect "knuckballs" its way to the target!!! This would account for an 8" inch drop over 25 yads................

    AKA Grammie...........
     
  18. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    .22LR headspaces on the rim of the cartfidge, not the front. The group size is good, I would rule out headspace.

    HM
     
  19. grammie

    grammie TS Member

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    Halfmile:

    Actually,,,,I had in mind that it was the "rear" of the fired slug that was impacting,,not the front......

    AKA Grammie.....
     
  20. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    The only information we have to go on is what the man said. What he didn't say may be important too. Such as, with the open rifle sights, the rifles group was good but still 15 inches low? Bad keyholing bullets won't group worth a crap either at any distance out of any kind of rifle I know of. The question is, why does it shoot a good group at 25 yards, then mysteriously drop those same bullets 8 inches low at 50? Adding the scope made it possible to lob the bullets into a decent group at 25 into the bull, lobing them farther compounds the bend which makes the bullets strike lower at 50! Hap

    Anyone notice that the 8 inches low and 1 inch right is approximately 1/2 of the 15 inches low with the open sights at 25?
     
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