Scope Woes?

Scope Woes?

This is a discussion on Scope Woes? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; An old photograph of the rifle. I've had this really fine 1947 vintage Winchester Model 70 .257 Roberts for many years. Purchased it from its ...

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Thread: Scope Woes?

  1. #1
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    Scope Woes?


    An old photograph of the rifle.

    I've had this really fine 1947 vintage Winchester Model 70 .257 Roberts for many years. Purchased it from its original owner. I think it's got five deer to its credit since I've owned it and our youngest son also shot his first deer with it while a teen. He also bagged a fortuitous turkey with it too on an occasion.



    Some years prior to my old friend selling it to me, he'd swapped its scope and mounts with those of another .257 Roberts he had in his battery of big game rifles. He had determined that he'd take up hunting with another Winchester Model 70 .257 Roberts that he'd customized back in the 1950s into a sort of Model 70 featherweight clone for his young son to hunt with when he was small. He was over 80 and had decided that the lighter .257 Roberts made more sense for his purposes.

    He'd placed a Leupold 4X on his old favorite standardweight .257 Roberts, but fitted it with Weaver bases and rings. Now neither he nor I ever thought much of Weaver mounts and he was regretful that I'd bought the rifle from him so equipped.

    I'd intended to replace the Weaver mounts with a good steel Redfield Jr base and rings, but had never gotten around to it in about 30 years time. Oh, I bought the base soon after acquiring the rifle, but it lived on the reloading bench for more than two decades, through two moves waiting for me to "get a round tuit." So, in among all the family pressures of this fall, I decided I wanted to use the .257 Roberts to take deer, but I wanted to go through with the replacement of the Weaver mounts in favor of the Redfield.

    First thing I discovered was that the base within the original box didn't match the labeling and I had an incorrect base for a '47 Winchester with a serial number below 66,350. No way to recall where I got the base and it'd been so long anyway that there was no returning it. So, a proper base was hunted down and fitted to the rifle.

    I've always mounted my own scopes and sighted the rifles without fuss. I love Leupold and have always enjoyed great service out of several of their scopes. All rigged up and out at the range this afternoon I found that the scope was off a good deal. Figured I could still get enough adjustment to obtain a satisfactory point-of-impact.

    Here's the apparent issue. The scope didn't adjust. No tweaking of adjustment screws budged a thing. The only beef I've ever had with traditional Leupold scopes is the lack of adjustment feel. The adjustment screws don't give a tactile click, but rather kind of "mush" one way or the other. Doesn't really harm anything and they may be adjusted satisfactorily. In the case of this scope, the adjustment screws turned much more freely than the normal Leupold adjustment is wont to do.

    I've shot the gun since the late 1980s with it remaining sighted in the way my old bud had adjusted it after his scope swap. I've only ever used his "pet" hand load recipe using 100 grain Sierra Spitzers or else a concoction of my own using a 117 grain Sierra Spitzer. The loads didn't offer much difference in point-of-impact so I have never touched the scope adjustments before today.

    Could it be assumed that the adjustments are frozen up? Has anyone else ever experienced this issue?

    The scope pre-dates 1974 because its serial number has no prefix. It's always performed well enough for my limited demands and is in top condition otherwise.

    Anyone ever had experience with sending scopes in to Leupold for work?

    I feel a bit like a nitwit for dismounting a perfectly sighted in scope. Oh well; I've been wanting to expand my .257 Roberts hand loading experience by trying some different bullets and loads and so likely would have soon needed the ability to adjust the scope.

    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

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  2. #2
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    Nice post! I love seeing Texas sized deer as contrasted to these petite things up here. There’s quite a difference. Good luck on the scope!
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  3. #3
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    The Scope: I bet Leupold will make it good, no matter the age of the instrument.

    The Deer: Sigh! (envy)
    Steve
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    @bmcgilvray I have never had to send a scope back to Leupold. I wouldn't know what to expect from them on a scope that is as old as yours as to whether they would even repair it, but it certainly doesn't hurt to find out.

    I have had two vintage Redfield scopes repaired by Iron Sight, Inc., Tulsa, OK, which is the recommended repair facility for Redfield scopes made in Denver, even though Redfield is now owned by Leupold. One of my scopes had a broken reticle and the other wouldn't adjust, much like yours. It took about 18 months on each one from the time I shipped them. This was a couple of years ago and it cost me around $100 per scope. Iron Sight made the repairs, polished up the lens, and replaced the nitrogen.

    IMHO the old scopes don't have the clarity of the newer ones, but they just look "right" on the vintage rifles. Also, no one is making polished finish scopes anymore, just the matte finish, and who wants a matte finish scope on a highly polished and blued rifle? I know I don't.

    The .257 Roberts is one fine deer cartridge. I have always thought that I would like to have a Model 70 Featherweight in that chambering. The ones I have had were Ruger M77s and Remington 700s. I have used a .257 to take several deer myself and one of my sons used one when he was first starting deer hunting to take a couple, too. He liked a Remington 700 .257 Mountain Rifle I had so much that he made it his. In its original loading it is so mild that younger hunters and recoil sensitive persons find it appealing. I find both it and the .250-3000 Savage preferable over the .243 Winchester, YMMV.

    If you're planning on using your M70 Roberts to take some of them Texas deer this year I think that you're going to have to mount a different scope while the one that is frozen is sent back to Leupold.
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    Bryan, years back I picked up a Leupold in the bargain cave at the Sydney NE Cabelas, back when the brothers still ran the company. It had the green dot mark that Cabelas put on all bargain cave items. I had a fit in camp that year trying to get it sighted on a 308 Encore so I sent it to Leupold for a health check. Their turn around was pretty quick, if memory serves, and their tests were thorough and they provide excellent documentation for every step. No charge.

    Turns out the scope was fine but my rings weren’t up to the recoil. I fixed that. After some years of shooting the damn thing, turns out I wasn’t up for the recoil either.
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    VIP Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    This past spring I sent a scope in for a reticle change. The quote was 4 weeks and I had it back in 2.

    That's after a couple miscommunications and a reticle change that morphed into a turret change. I've always had great luck with Leupold, every time I've emailed them I've gotten a response from their CS in under 24hrs (work week).

    For those that don't know, they've expanded their MIL & LEO sales to veterans and DA civilians. I bought a pair of their Binos this summer at a substantial discount, even over the sales flyers I could find. I used my DA CIV credentials instead of my veteran, so I don't know if there's a price difference. I went DAC because it's 5 items annually VS. 1 for veteran.
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    FWIW I had an old Nikon that simply quit working. (Would no longer adjust.) I called Nikon CS just to see what they would say. They told me to send it in and they would look at it. About a week later I got an email from Nikon saying that they can't fix it and that the scope has long since been discontinued. So sorry about that...BUT, would I be willing to accept a brand new state of the art replacement scope? Of course at no charge? Not a trick question. Within fourteen days I received a brand new really great scope. Hats off to Nikon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius View Post
    FWIW I had an old Nikon that simply quit working. (Would no longer adjust.) I called Nikon CS just to see what they would say. They told me to send it in and they would look at it. About a week later I got an email from Nikon saying that they can't fix it and that the scope has long since been discontinued. So sorry about that...BUT, would I be willing to accept a brand new state of the art replacement scope? Of course at no charge? Not a trick question. Within fourteen days I received a brand new really great scope. Hats off to Nikon.
    ^^^I had essentially the same experience with a Nikon scope that I purchased used on a used rifle!^^^ Nikon replaced it no questions asked!
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    For the price of a scope, these companies buy more positive press than any ad they could buy.

    The companies that make a quality product usually stand behind their products with good customer service. Those that sell lessor quality tend to be the that make it difficult to get service of any kind.
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  11. #10
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    Ok. I should never admit to this online, but I'm a double nitwit. Since I brought it up here I'll have to confess.

    I'm gathering up to go afield in a few days for deer and/or hogs. I'd wanted to take this .257 Roberts this season. I had to set the rifle aside for this particular trip though because of scope woes. Good ol' .30-06 is getting nod for this hunt.

    I stopped in to see my favorite long-suffering gunsmith today to see if he had some shim stock, with this rifle in tow. Told him screws were all tight and scope base was still loose. Yeah, I'd double checked screws. He said: "Let me see it."

    First thing he noticed was that I had the scope flipped in the rings. The horizontal adjustment was on top and the vertical adjustment was on the left side. I had not even realized that when I made the made dash to the range just before dark the other day and persisted to crank on the adjustments. Then, to compound the humiliation he checked the mounting screws. All three were loose.

    It's amazing what tightening the scope base can do for rigidity. Then, amazingly enough, he was able to bore sight it perfectly in the shop with his collimater bore sight. Now I don't trust those for fine tuning a scope, but he did obtain adjustment from my scope. A simple trip to the range now ought to put things right. He was tickled to see the older Leupold. Says they have more adjustment range than current products. Says most scopes these days have less adjustment leeway than the older scope models.

    I've been visiting with a friend at church all fall long, asking when he's going to find time to drop by. He's got a new scope for his .300 Winchester Magnum and was wondering if I'd help him mount it. "Sure," I said. "Come on over sometime and we'll fix it right up. I always scope up my own rifles. We'll head on out to the range afterward and sight the rifle in."

    I'm pleading advancing dementia.

    Should I tell him?
    gasmitty and M1911A1 like this.
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  12. #11
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    Bryan, you "undid" the double-nitwit by getting help from a pro!

    I don't think I've ever had any loose scope or ring screws, but that 90-degree clocking error has a familiar ring to it!
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  13. #12
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    I'm still red in the face Gary. 'Smith had said in the past that I was more savvy than most who come in his shop. He probably tells all his customers that in his best "Buddy Gunsmith" voice, but it made my head entirely too big. Wonder what he thinks now?

    "Dumb ol' retired banker trying to play at gunsmithing."

    Hey, I can fix yer gun too. Cheap!
    gasmitty and M1911A1 like this.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  14. #13
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    I'm sure the red will dim a bit when your .257 brings home some venison. I'm still not tied into the big game hunting here yet (mainly don't know where to go, can't quite fathom bringing a deer home in the back of the station wagon, etc.) but I think a .257 Roberts would be a dandy round for the deer out here. I keep a weather eye open in the used gun racks but the heavier artillery dominates.
    Smitty
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