My Vortex Viper HS Scope Is Not Tracking Correct — Solved

Vortex Viper HS Scope - Burris Signature Zee Rings

Burris Signature Zee Rings pinching a Vortex rifle scope tube.

I purchased a 2.5-10x44 rifle scope for my CVA Accura V2 muzzleloader this year. I had my favorite scope (4-16x50 Viper HS LR) on the muzzleloader last year but I moved that scope over to my 28 Nosler X-Bolt. After many trips to the range, I had just found that 300 yards was the extended range my muzzleloader, bullets and my abilities to ethically shoot were. With that knowledge, I felt a smaller scope was in order so I went with this 2.5-10x44 HS scope.

My only hunt with a muzzleloader this year was for elk here in Utah. After a number of trips to the range in preparation for the hunt, I kept getting poor accuracy with 300 Gr Aerolite bullets that have always shot really accurately for me in the past. I also noticed that vertically an adjustment of 2.5 inches up would change the point of impact by 5-6 inches at 100 yards. What was up with that? Then on two occasions, I noticed that when I went back to the range my zero had been lost and I would have to adjust the scope again. What the heck?!? None of my other Vortex scopes had ever acted this way.

After a couple phone calls and emails with Vortex. They very nicely let me know that they felt I had over torqued my rings and I was convinced that this couldn't be the problem. I use a Wheeler torque driver and originally torqued the screws to 18 inch pounds. After talking with Vortex I cleaned the loctite off the screws and torqued them to 16 inch pounds and back to the range I went. And once again the scope was changing the point of impact by double the amount I was adjusting. Ha, I was right or was I???

So back I went to Vortex convinced as ever that there had to be a problem with the scope. I had lost all confidence in the scope and wanted another one. It was at this point that I was just about ready to send it in when I had a great conversation with Adam at Vortex. Adam explained how the scope worked and why overly tightened rings could cause issues exactly like I was experiencing. Thank you Adam! Being a DIY kind of guy I wanted to figure out what was going on myself to make extra sure that is was or wasn't the scope before going to the trouble of sending it back to Vortex.

In discussing how the scope operates with Adam I learned that when a scopes rings get torqued too high it creates extra tension that makes any adjustment change the point of impact by more than it is supposed to, that is until over time the scope settles back to where it was "really" adjusted too. As I thought about it this was exactly what was happening to me. Adjusting the scope would move the point of impact twice as far as it was supposed to change. When I would go back to the range another day my zero would be off by half of the distance from what I adjusted the time before. And because it was in the process of settling to the right position my groups would be less than stellar.

So what was causing the extra tension on the scope tube? I figured the first thing that I would do would be to try some different rings. Before I ordered some rings I decided to give the setup a really good inspection. Had I messed up placing the wrong corresponding MOA shims in my Burris Signature Zee rings or something else? So before I pulled the scope off I looked it all over closely and I found what I believed could be the problem.

Becuase this scope was on a slow shooting muzzleloader I wanted to tip the scope down 10 MOA in the front to keep the reticle centered closer to the center of adjustment. So, I set the front rings with a minus 10 MOA on the bottom and a plus 10 MOA plastic insert on the top and on the back ring just two "0" MOA plastic inserts. In this manner, I would tip the front of the scope down for a 10 MOA incline. What I couldn't see was because of the 10 MOA incline the self-aligning plastic insert on the bottom rear ring was sticking out from the ring just ever so slightly and it was putting pressure on the tapered incline of the rear of the scope tube. This happened because I had set the scope as far forward as possible. When mounting the scope originally I was looking down from the top and could see that I had clearance from the ring to the taper of the back of the scope tube but I didn't realize that the insert was sticking out on the bottom and was applying pressure to the taper of the scope tube scope.

So, was this the problem? Yes, it sure was. I mounted the scope an 1/8th of an inch further back giving it plenty of clearance and headed back to the range. The scope is now tracking perfectly and my accuracy has returned. Awesome! Confidence restored and I didn't have to look like a novice shooter to the Vortex team by sending it back to find nothing wrong with it. :)

Vortex, thank you for your patience, help and for making great products!

 

300 WSM Handloads and Ballistics

 

 

Below are my personal favorite loads for my 300 WSM Hell's Canyon Speed X-Bolt rifle and Dallen's X-Bolt Long Range Laminate rifle. To view the loads you will need to read the warning near the bottom of the page, then accept the warning by checking the box inside the warning.

So far the only bullet I have been playing with in our 300 WSM X-Bolt's is the 200 Gr Hornady ELD-X. I've been really liking the ELD-X bullets from Hornady and have been moving more and more of my rifles over to these bullets.

If you are needing printable targets for sighting in your rifle you can get them here.

WARNING: The load information on this page is for my personal use in my personal firearms and is posted for entertainment purposes only. If you chose to reload the 300 WSM use only data contained in current manufacturer's reloading manuals. Incorrectly reloaded ammunition can cause serious personal injury and damage to the firearm due to excessive pressure. Reload only after proper instruction and in strict compliance with instruction and data contained in current manufacturer's reloading manuals. If you choose to use the load data on theDIYhunter.com • 243wssm.com you are doing so at your own risk. theDIYhunter.com • 243wssm.com is not responsible for injury and/or death resulting from data posted or referred to on this Website. Improper reloading is dangerous. Users assume all risk, responsibility, and liability for any and all injuries (including death), losses or damages to persons or property (including consequential damages), arising from the use of any data posted on this site. If you have read and accept this warning check this box to view my 300 WSM load data.

Dallen's 2017 Muzzleloader Mule Deer Hunt

Motorized Pack Wheel and Rogue 36 Pack Wheel Mule Deer Hunting

We packed another couple miles up the mountain this day with the Rogue 36 and Motorized Pack Wheel. We were hopeful to find some deer in some of these higher canyons.

 

While we haven't been posting about it lately, we have been very busy testing the motorized Pack Wheel on our family's hunts this fall. This video is from September going in five miles with enough water/Powerade for two people to last 5 days. @diyhntr has tweaked the design from what is seen here but the basic design is the same. And we can report that this system is absolutely amazing! With the ultra-high torque this system has it will climb like no other. You will have to hike yourself up the mountain but not the gear on the Pack Wheel. You only need to steer and operate the throttle as the motor will do all the work. Watch for more info to come. Available to purchase in January 2018. #goinheavy #motorizedpackwheel #climbingmachine #packwheel #hunting #whatgetsyououtdoors #hiking #outdoorlife #backcountryhunting #backpacking

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The end of July I broke my scaphoid bone in my right wrist while helping the scouts (Landen and KB) on their 50 mile bike ride for their biking merit badge. For a silly little bone, I had no idea how painful and extremely long it takes for this bone to heal. And yes, I finished the remaining 15 miles of the ride one armed. I felt I earned the merit badge.

Given my wrist was broke I was glad that I drew a rifle deer tag and I picked up a muzzleloader elk tag. These two hunts are Utah's latest big game hunts in the fall giving my wrist time to heal the most before my hunts.

Dallen drew a muzzleloader deer tag and wanted to pack in for a few days to hunt the area he rifle hunted last year. We loaded up the Pack Wheels with a bunch of Power Aid, water to last for a week and headed into the backcountry.

As it worked out a couple days before the hunt was my 8th week since I broke my wrist and the doctor removed the cast and upgraded me to a wrist brace just in time for the hunt making it so I could operate the Pack Wheel fairly well.

Dallen was using a Rogue 36” Pack Wheel and I was testing the motorized Pack Wheel I had been working on before my bike wreck. After this hunting trip, I can say the huge 36” wheeled Rogue is my favorite non-motorized Pack Wheel. It rolls really well uphill and over obstacles. However, when it comes to sheer climbing the motorized Pack Wheel is just amazing. With use, I have learned to change a few things with the way I operate the Pack Wheel. For instance, this summer before I broke my wrist I was operating the Pack Wheel similar to how I operate a non-motorized version. What I found is that having the weight rocked back to bump over obstacles just increased the load in my arms from the torque of the motor. To get all of the weight and torque of the motor to carry the load I learned to tip the Pack Wheel forward with your arms raised up in the air similar to riding a tall handled chopper motorbike. I would tip the Pack Wheel forward to the point that it almost wants to tip over forward and then use the variable speed throttle to pull the Pack Wheel forward. It works awesome. You don’t have to carry any of the weight, just balance, steer and operate the throttle. I have geared the system to have very high torque and slow walking speed travel. It with crawl barely even moving up to around three miles per hour and will not bog down even with the heaviest of loads and steepest of trails. It's just amazing.

To operate the Pack Wheel in the uphill climbing position I have since added bar ends and a different throttle than what I used on this particular hunt these changes have made the uphill travel so very comfortable.

Before this hunt, I checked and made sure I had permission to use the Motorized Pack Wheel on this public land. Hunting e-bikes are getting more and more popular and are in kind of a grey area for motorized vehicle restrictions. Are e-bikes a motorized vehicle, as they are definitely a vehicle with a motor? The Motorized Pack Wheel is quiet and does not carry the operator (aka not a vehicle) giving the Pack Wheel potentially a greater number of areas than an e-bike where it can be used without restrictions.

Another thing to note is that on this trip I used the motor to climb some pretty good elevation over four days of use and the battery still showed half power remaining at the end of the trip.

The night before the opener we headed in going a mile or more past where Dallen shot his buck “First Try” last year. We setup the tent in the dark and enjoyed a chicken and dumplings Mountain House meal.

The next morning we were in a great position to view a lot of country and glass and glass we did but we couldn’t turn up a deer one. Not good. Come afternoon we caught a glimpse of a single doe and that was it. So we hiked back to camp and moved another mile and a half or so up the mountain that afternoon. Again that evening watching other areas we didn’t find a single deer.

The next morning as we headed out we quickly spotted a couple 18 inch wide bucks moving out down a canyon. We swung around trying to get a better look and they made it past us into the heavy oak brush. Dallen was able to pick them up again later that morning and we confirmed that it was a 2 and 3 point in the 18 inch wide variety. Not what Dallen was after for now.

We spent the rest of the day hiking and glassing only turning up a few does in the distance.

The following morning we took off early and hiked into the very back of the property and down into some beautiful canyons only to find a single doe. Most likely one that we had found the day before. Chalk up another four miles of hiking on the feet. Thank goodness I found that trail running shoes make for the best hunting shoes as long as the weather is good so my feet did just fine carrying my heavy butt around the mountain.

That evening we met up with some friends on horseback and tried to locate the two bucks from the day before for their youth hunter but we couldn’t find the bucks again. Darn it.

That night we broke camp again and moved further to the north in the dark to hunt some different canyons the next day.

This move proved good. The next morning we found some deer. We ended up finding four small bucks and a number of does. We tried to outsmart a really tall narrow three point but somehow he gave us the slip. I thought we had a brilliant plan to trick the buck but the buck vanished. Who got tricked? LOL

That afternoon we packed up camp and started wheeling off the mountain stopping to glass along the way. We found a small two point and a spike. Dallen was ready to shoot the two point and I think I talked him out of it. So back to work we both had to go for a few days.

After work one night Dallen headed up alone to look for deer. Just before dark, I got a call that he had one down. I loaded up a Rogue 36 Pack Wheel and a minimal amount of gear and headed up the mountain to help him. He was about two and a half miles in and by the time I found him he had completely boned out one side of his buck. Incidentally, it turned out to be the same two point he passed on when he was with me the week before. Too funny.

We flipped the deer over and was able to take some photos without you knowing the other side of the deer was a skeleton.

Even though this was Dallen’s smallest buck he has ever shot I was most proud of him going out and doing it by himself. Nice job hunting solo Dallen. The pack out on the Rogue 36 Pack Wheel was an absolute breeze. 

The next day my two youngest boys wanted to go look for deer. Landen had a rifle tag and in Utah a youth can use his rifle tag for all of the seasons, so up the mountain we went. We found a great bull elk with a bunch of cows across on the private side of the fence and we also found some good bucks on the wrong side of the fence. We did find three small bucks that were the size of Dallen’s but Landen wanted to shoot something bigger than Dallen’s. Too funny.

Landen knew he still had the rifle hunt in about a month so we weren’t too worried about passing on the little bucks.

More great memories with my boys. 

So next up is the rifle elk season with Landen and Dallen both having tags. Blog entry coming soon.

Motorized Pack Wheel Testing — Hiking Speeds With High Torque

The DIY Hunter and his boys testing a walking speed high torque motorized Pack Wheel game cart.

In the summer of 2015 I tested a couple variations of a bike hub motor on the Pack Wheel. I found them to be very high speed with low torque or in other words they were geared for going 20 plus mph offering little assistance unless I was already near running up the mountain myself. Yes, they assisted but didn't have enough torque to carry the load on their own. I felt that I could go up the mountain easier without the "assist" of a hub motor and haven't used the hub motor since the two trips I took with it in 2015. 

This year I have been testing different motors and batteries using a chain drive system. By using the chain drive I am able to gear down the speed into walking speed power and power it is. My current prototype will operate from 0 to 6 mph controlled by a thumb throttle. Even just barely moving the motor will carry all the weight of the load right up the mountain. Although going up steep inclines did place some weight on my arms because of the steep angle, the torque of the motor, and I mounted the battery on the back side of the handle, but other than a small portion of this weight being held in your arms the motor will power the entire load right up the mountain, no need for any operator assistance in pushing the load.

When I tested the hub motor back in 2015 it was clearly a motor that offered assistance when you were already moving. This motor system has the power to carry the load right up the mountain entirely on it's own power. Low hiking speeds and tons of torque in this chain drive system.

I found that I operate the Pack Wheel a little differently for crossing obstacles. Typically without a motor when I need to go over a rock or log I would lower my arms to take some weight off the wheel so that I could bump the wheel up and over the obstacle. Doing this technique with the motor can make the wheel spin out by not having enough traction. So, to go over obstacles with the motor I don't lower my arms but instead push the wheel up against the obstacle to give the wheel extra weight to give it the traction needed to climb over the obstacle. Butting my waist up against the back of the handle and leaning into the Pack Wheel provided me the best solution for getting the traction to climb over deadfall and rocks. 

Some other cool features of this motorized system. Without any tools and in less than a minute you can slide the battery off, slide the motor off and remove the chain for a non-motorized system. Say you were deep in the backcountry and the motor seized of for some odd reason you can just disconnect the motor or remove it and still be able to use the Pack Wheel.

I'm still working on how long the battery will last. I need to run the numbers on paper as best as possible for number's sake, however, I trust in the field use over numbers on paper. I have more testing to do. I can say that on the first test with the 28 lb motorized Pack Wheel (see video below) we hiked up the mountain for a few hours using the motor stopping to check cameras along the way. I would guess that the motor received a solid hour of use and after the trip, the battery power level indicator LEDs still show full power.

All-in-all I really love this motorized system I still need to tweak the gear ratio and other components but am getting close to offering this as an option for the Pack Wheel.

Below are a couple videos from testing the motorized Pack Wheel this summer.

UPDATE: I have been using the Motorized Pack Wheel on my hunts this fall and have been loving it. Watch for more info as I catch up on my blog entries.

 

 

The DIY Hunter testing a motorized Pack Wheel game cart with high torque that operates at hiking speeds.

28 Nosler — Shooting At Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf Course

For my trip to Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf course this summer I was excited as always especially with taking my new death ray 28 Nosler X-Bolt rifle. 

I shot the master's course as usual. It wasn't my best score but I was very happy with the misses I had been well within where I thought they should hit. In other words, I didn't have any fliers that didn't make any sense. I just barely missed the small 1,000 yard target as also the other targets I missed.

After shooting the course I shot a three shot group at 1,200 yards on the driving range that from a distance looked to be well within a 1/2 minute of angle. I was using a floating holdover for the windage on these three shots since my Vortex Viper HS LR scope has a capped windage turret. In other words, I was very pleased with the group size at 1,200 yards given I wasn't holding on a specific point on the target nor my crosshairs just about halfway to the first windage marker on my reticle.

The 175 Gr ELD-X bullets were traveling 3,218 fps with a mild load of Retumbo. View my 28 Nosler load data.

Here are some of my shots from the day with my 28 Nosler.

 

 

 

 

Subcategories

  • Big Game Hunting

    Journal entries from hunting mule deer, elk and whitetail deer.  You'll find hunts with 243 WSSM and 270 WSM rifles to muzzleloader and archery hunts.

  • General Hunting and Shooting

    Journal entries covering general information related to hunting and shooting. Many of these journal entries are from shooting on the rifle or archery range. There are also entries related to my experiences with the 243 WSSM, rifles, optics and other equipment and products I use.

  • Varmint Hunting

    Journal entries from hunting coyotes, rock chucks, prairie dogs and the like with 243 WSSM and 223 Rem. rifles.

  • Backpacking and Camping

    Backpacking, Pack Wheel camping and other camping adventures.

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