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Old 11-22-2018, 08:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Leupold VX-5HD Not Holding Zero...

I posted this on a hunting forum, but there's more traffic here. Anyone else shoot the VX-5HD line?

Man, I don't think my scopes are holding zero. I've grouped my Tikka Forest T3 .243 many times with my ammo, and I know it's shooting 1/4" groups. I also know my CZ 527 .17 Hornet shoots the same groups. However, I have to keep checking zero on both rifles, and it seems I always have to adjust the scopes. Tikka is running a 3-15x56mm and the CZ a 2-10x42mm, both VX-5HD.

What the heck?

Anyone else experience this? My guns ride on a foam pad in a hard case from stand to stand. I spent a decent amount of money on these to be having issues like holding zero. Thinking about selling them and switching to Zeiss.
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Old 11-22-2018, 05:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How far off does it get? Get in touch with Leupold, their customer service is good to deal with.
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Old 11-22-2018, 05:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How far off does it get? Get in touch with Leupold, their customer service is good to deal with.
1/2" to an inch. I searched and it seems to be a common problem. Well, used to be. Most of the threads I found were old.
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I’ve got a vxII I can’t get to zero, Leupold says it’s fine. Common issues with Leupold, , 1. they don’t hold zero or 2. they won’t track. 6 weeks to maybe get it fixed. I threw a cheap vortex Diamondback on the same rifle, tracked great, but the eye relief sucks. SS or night force. Leupold has good glass, shitty mechanics.
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i know this sounds stupid but make sure your scope mounts are tight with locktite.
I've had many scopes hold zero for a couple dozen rounds and then the groups are gone....usually a loose screw
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hate to say it, but.....

One scope won't hold zero, possibly something wrong with the scope.
Two scopes on two different guns, probably not the scopes.
There are tons of reasons your scopes could be off, and most are related to the gun(ammo) or shooter.
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Old 11-23-2018, 05:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hate to say it, but.....

One scope won't hold zero, possibly something wrong with the scope.
Two scopes on two different guns, probably not the scopes.
There are tons of reasons your scopes could be off, and most are related to the gun(ammo) or shooter.
Both scopes are VX-5HD's, though, and from all the Google searching I did, it seems this is a common issue with the HD models.

I'm going to do what someone suggested and check zero, then do 16 clicks up, 16 right, 32 down, 32 left, 16 up, then 16 right, and see if the scope returns to zero.

I checked all my screws as soon as this became an issue and they're all tight. I check them all the time, actually. At first I thought the .243 was off because the elevation knob is open, and could get bumped, but then I've put it away, pulled it out, and it's off zero. It's just frustrating setting zero, shooting a box of ammo, then the next time I shoot paper I'm off again.

I know there are a lot of variables, like a spotless bore, to a bore after ten rounds, and bipods, sandbags, etc. But when this happens after just putting the rifles away for a few days, pulling them out, and shooting paper with the same results. Something is up.
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Old 11-23-2018, 07:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Test the scope like you say. Contact mfg. get scope “repaired”. Do you have a friend close that you may be able to borrow a scope if needed to help verify it the glass? If it is the glass
Sell refurbished scope for too much money on some website. Buy better glass and be happy.

Will the rifle hold zero for a day after you have re-zeroed it?


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Old 11-23-2018, 08:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Both scopes are VX-5HD's, though, and from all the Google searching I did, it seems this is a common issue with the HD models.

I'm going to do what someone suggested and check zero, then do 16 clicks up, 16 right, 32 down, 32 left, 16 up, then 16 right, and see if the scope returns to zero.
Yes, do the box test. Preferably from a lead-sled or such.
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Old 11-23-2018, 01:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, I feel like an idiot now.

When I put my rifle away, the last shot hit the bullseye. I took the rifle out again today. I did what the Finns did during WWII both times, and let my rifle sit outside and aclimate to the weather before shooting. I shot two three shot groups, and they were all over the paper. After that, it was time to start eliminating variables, so out came the cleaning rod, mops, and patches. The bore was cleaned until patches came out white.

Back to shooting; the next shot hit dead center in the bullseye.

Cleaned again, same process.

Second shot ended up 3/16" from the first shot.

Cleaned again, same process.

Third shot ended up 1/4" from the second shot AFTER completing a box test for the tracking.

Furthest distance in the group was just shy of 1/2". This is with Hornady 58 grain V-Max factory loaded ammo, and a 9 mph SE wind blowing crosswise to my 100 yard target. Apparently my Tikka just likes being CLEAN. I assume I have 5-8 shots before I need another good cleaning, because I've laid super tight (one hole) 5 shot groups. That's easy to do with hunting deer or coyotes here, but not so much with groundhogs. Any suggestions for maintaining perfect accuracy in the field? Bore snake?
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Old 11-23-2018, 02:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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After cleaning.


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Old 11-23-2018, 06:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Is your bore copper fouled? I've heard of that causing problems like this...never experienced it personally.
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I zero with a dirty bore. When I first set up I fire a couple rounds to get it dirty and some heat in the barrel then zero is zero.
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Is your bore copper fouled? I've heard of that causing problems like this...never experienced it personally.
Maybe. I'm going to do another run on a warmer, less windy day, and see how many shots I can get off before accuracy suffers. I've shot almost one ragged hole with this rifle before. It likes 58 grain V Max, 100 grain American Whitetail, and 95 grain Fusion. Anything outside of that orange circle is unacceptable for grouping.

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I zero with a dirty bore. When I first set up I fire a couple rounds to get it dirty and some heat in the barrel then zero is zero.
I like shooting from a clean barrel, then I at least know when they shoot the best. Dirty barrels I have to wonder when too much dirt is too much dirt...
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Old 11-23-2018, 07:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 11-23-2018, 08:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I zero with a dirty bore. When I first set up I fire a couple rounds to get it dirty and some heat in the barrel then zero is zero.
I zero my rifles cool and dirty, first clean cold bore shots are always a bit off. I leave my rifles dirty during hunting season. First two rounds on a clean bore are known as fowling shots.
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Old 11-23-2018, 08:34 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I zero my rifles cool and dirty, first clean cold bore shots are always a bit off. I leave my rifles dirty during hunting season. First two rounds on a clean bore are known as fowling shots.
Yup. I clean for carbon, not for copper. My bull barrel 6.5cm don't GAF about temp, whereas my Tikka tends to heat up with the suppressor mounted and the groups open up.

Like Norm, my best accuracy comes from a reasonably fouled barrel.
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Old 11-24-2018, 08:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Maybe. I'm going to do another run on a warmer, less windy day, and see how many shots I can get off before accuracy suffers. I've shot almost one ragged hole with this rifle before. It likes 58 grain V Max, 100 grain American Whitetail, and 95 grain Fusion. Anything outside of that orange circle is unacceptable for grouping.
Try some Sweets 7,62 Solvent. Follow the instructions. The copper can build up in the bore and cause accuracy problems. Like I said, I have never experienced it...or I have and I'm such a shitty shot that it doesn't matter. I have used this stuff to clean bores and it gets the copper out.

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First two rounds on a clean bore are known as fowling shots.
For shooting birds?
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Old 11-24-2018, 09:17 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Try some Sweets 7,62 Solvent. Follow the instructions. The copper can build up in the bore and cause accuracy problems. Like I said, I have never experienced it...or I have and I'm such a shitty shot that it doesn't matter. I have used this stuff to clean bores and it gets the copper out.



For shooting birds?
I really like RB-17. It's cleaned up the dirtiest milsurps I've ever owned.

The bore on my Tikka is spotless. It just seems like it's finnicky when it comes to dirt, which is fine since it's a hunting rifle and not a match rifle. Woodchucks just give me a challenge, because some days I might take 20 shots without a cleaning. However, this rifle is also still newer.
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Old 11-24-2018, 03:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Could this be my issue? Should I clean it with a brass brush?


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Old 11-25-2018, 06:49 AM   #21 (permalink)
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A brass brush isn't going to get copper out, you need a copper solvent. The foaming stuff from hoppes or birchwood casey (I think) worked well for me in the past.
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Old 11-25-2018, 05:53 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Hate to say it, but.....

One scope won't hold zero, possibly something wrong with the scope.
Two scopes on two different guns, probably not the scopes.
There are tons of reasons your scopes could be off, and most are related to the gun(ammo) or shooter.
Yep...

Having worked at Red-field doing the glass coating for a spell, glass proper doesn't go "bad" except via here water/condensation gets into the assembly or funky design in the reticle adjustment hardware. That affects the assembly and cleanliness of the glass surfaces making for fuzzy optics and color aberration along with corroding the finish inside the scope. It does not change the optics design nor does it change the lense specifications inside the scope.

As to cold vs warm, dirty vs. clean bore...classic issues that affect most shooters and play a major role. But its an easy one to sort out and start being consistent on how one approaches it.
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Old 11-25-2018, 06:11 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Could this be my issue? Should I clean it with a brass brush?


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7.62, soak and let sit an hour, scrub repeat. use patches, if you need to use a brush get a nylon one.
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:04 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I really like RB-17. It's cleaned up the dirtiest milsurps I've ever owned.

The bore on my Tikka is spotless. It just seems like it's finnicky when it comes to dirt, which is fine since it's a hunting rifle and not a match rifle. Woodchucks just give me a challenge, because some days I might take 20 shots without a cleaning. However, this rifle is also still newer.
https://www.brownells.com/gun-cleani...-prod1404.aspx

I do like Norm stated above, except 15 to 20 minute intervals. Once the patches stop coming out with blue on them the copper is gone and you can clean and lube as you normally would.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:51 AM   #25 (permalink)
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The gun I shoot most often gets cleaned about every 500-700 rounds. I use Boretech Eliminator, a nylon brush, and an aluminum jag to clean my guns. It is made to remove copper and carbon fouling, and its safe to leave in the bore for extended periods. Unless they've changed it 7.62 is corrosive if left in the bore or if you don't get it all out when cleaning.
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