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    • #30783
      ZmanWakeForest
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      I’ll add some pictures to this post as soon as I transfer them off my phone….

      I purchased a nice Model 99 Savage in 250-3000 over a year ago, brought it home, stripped it down, cleaned it (a long process on a gun that had obviously been exposed to the “if it sticks a little bit, just add some 3-N-1 oil and run the action a few times” cleaning process), and put it in the safe for later project.

      A few weeks ago, I dug it out of the back of safe and moved it to the reloading room. I grabbed the dies, brass, and some 87 grain jacketed bullets to make up some test loads to see if the old 99 would operate correctly. Obviously I checked the new made rounds for proper cycling through the gun. No problems!

      Last weekend, I grabbed the 99 and off to my friends range I go. Get to range, go through my normal setup and checkout of used firearms, and everything looking good!

      I sit down at the ben and realize (can’t believe I got this far before I realized) that the Weaver scope that came on the 99 was mounted 90 degrees counter clockwise…..the windage turret is on top of the scope and the elevation turret is on the left side. Stop right there…..remove the scope and weaver rings, remove the screws from the bases, and sure enough there is a .015 shim under the front scope base. I looked up the weaver bases on my phone to make sure they were the correct ones (#19 on front, #14 on rear) and they were correct with no signs of modifications made to the bases on the 99.

      At this point I decide to leave the shim under the mount, re-install the bases and rings, and turn the scope clockwise 90 degrees to the proper mounting position. I didn’t bring my bore sight kit with me, so I moved the target in close, fire a few test rounds and got it close enough that at 50 yards I knew I would at least be on the target. Back out to 50 yards, fire a few more rounds (group looks promising, but it is WAY high (maybe 18″ above the bull). I adjusted the elevation turret and the closest I can get to the bull is 5 inches high when the scope is as far as I can adjust it. Disappointed, I packed up the rifle, moved on to some other guns I had brought with me, finished up and headed home.

      I get home, put the old 99 back in vise, remove the scope and rings, and start to look at my bases and the existing .015 shim under the front base. When I placed a straight edge on the top surface of the rear base, in relation to the top surface of the front base, there is a gap between the top surface of the front base (which keep in mind still has the .015 shim underneath it) and the edge of the straight edge of .064 inches. At this point I am confused, but I am assuming I have found the issue with the scope elevation adjustment. One other piece of information I forgot to mention, at some point earlier I realized that if I removed the .015 from under the front base, the screws were too long (or the tapped holes not deep enough), either way it would not “tighten up” without the shim installed. Also, as with some of the other 99s I have seen, this 99 was not factory drilled for a scope, but at some point in it’s life it was drilled obviously.

      Does the top surface of the rear scope base have to be parallel with the top surface of the front scope base? I compared the rings with the calipers and they are the exact same thickness, so I assume they must or should be like every other rifle I have dealt with. Lucky for me, I have limited access to very nice machine shop with a couple very helpful guys, so I had some shim stock cut perfectly the size of the underside of the front scope base and holes installed to add up to .064 in thickness. 2 shims at .025 and 1 shim of .015. I installed the shims this evening and everything appears to line up almost perfectly between the bases. I also ordered a new set of the correct weaver bases from Midway which included the new screws obviously that I need. The new bases measure up exactly with the original set that were on the 99 when I got it.

      I’ll get to mounting up the scope tomorrow, but to my measuring and verifying with the straightedge in relation to the barrel, stock, and receiver everything appears to be much better lined up.

      I’ll continue this saga tomorrow, but has anyone had this issue before? I googled it and some folks have had this issue, but it’s like most everything you google….the answers are all over the map and most don’t include any real measurement data.

    • #30785
      Goodsteel
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      Both bases should be level with eachother and oriented in a direction parallel to the center line of the bore, or slightly tipped down towards it (as is the case with a 20 MOA rail.)
      One method I have used on occasion is to determine the base that I would call the “primary” based on whether or not the adjacent base would move the scope closer to this ideal situation or further away from it.
      I install the rings in the bases and clamp them a lapping rod 1″ in diameter. The primary base is secured with screws, while the secondary base is allowed to float.
      bedding compound is applied to the underside of the secondary base (after it is thoroughly cleaned of course) and release agent is applied to the receiver.
      Electricians tape is turned around the rifle to hold things in place, with special care given to the alignment of the scope bases to the POA of the barrel (done with a steady eye).
      Once the bedding compound is dry, the rings are lapped with the self same rod, and then the scope is mounted.
      This method overwhelms any misalignment or bad contact with the receiver, and it works quite well.

    • #30787
      ZmanWakeForest
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      Tim, thanks for the input! Will look at that as well. Here are the follow up photos….

    • #30788
      Goodsteel
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      OK, there are several problems with the pictures you posted. First, putting shims under the front base is going to make for a spongy mount. It needs to be rock solid.
      Second, and to reiterate what I said before, you need to make sure that the scope wont be aiming for the treeline on yonder distant hill when the scope is mounted.
      The nature of the 99 and the way it is machined makes it far more likely that the rear base is pointing wrong and the front base is actually aligned with the direction the barrel points (the front base is nearly always the primary) so it’s the angle of the rear base that is the problem here.
      If you take a box and cut two Vs in the rim so the scope can be rotated in them, you can use it to get the crosshairs aligned perfectly in the middle of the scope as it is rotated. Point the scope at a distant mark. Rotate 180 degrees, observe the difference, and manipulate the cooresponding turret to make it so there is no change in that axis. What you will most likely see is that the POA is high or low, but always plumb with the POA. Do the same to the adjacent turret (be it windage or elevation) till you can roll the scope in the box and it never fails to point directly at your POA.
      Now you have a standard that will tell you very surely where the scope bases are pointing when the scope is secured in the rings and set on top of the bases.
      If you have a lead sled, line up the irons at the distant mark and co-witness the scope. If you don’t have that option, use a boresighting laser, or a collimator to find out which direction your scope needs to go.
      If I were a betting man, I’d lay $20 your scope as set with the shims above will be pointing for the treetops.

      That said, if I’m wrong and it actually points correctly, do consider making a shim from a single piece of metal, or better yet, use the bedding compound trick. A spongy mount may open groups.

    • #30793
      uber7mm
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      (can’t believe I got this far before I realized) that the Weaver scope that came on the 99 was mounted 90 degrees counter clockwise…..the windage turret is on top of the scope and the elevation turret is on the left side…..

      An old “Southpaw” trick was to rotate the scope 90 degrees counter clockwise in the rings to make the scope more left-hand friendly. This means that the elevation turret, becomes windage and the windage the elevation. Not really helpful with your scope mount problem, however, good to know when you replace the scope in it’s intended position, assuming you’re right handed.

      Thanks for posting through your journey.

    • #30799
      ZmanWakeForest
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      Goodsteel;n10670 wrote: OK, there are several problems with the pictures you posted. First, putting shims under the front base is going to make for a spongy mount. It needs to be rock solid.

      This is a very valid point, and my plan after testing more, was to have a custom from base made for this rifle with the proper height.

      Second, and to reiterate what I said before, you need to make sure that the scope wont be aiming for the treeline on yonder distant hill when the scope is mounted.

      In my mind, this isn’t going to happen since with the new front base height, when the bore of the barrel is leveled, my scope bases are also level, but time will tell! I been wrong before, and may very well be again.

      The nature of the 99 and the way it is machined makes it far more likely that the rear base is pointing wrong and the front base is actually aligned with the direction the barrel points (the front base is nearly always the primary) so it’s the angle of the rear base that is the problem here.

      Couldn’t agree more, but it is very difficult to test this theory with the resources I currently have available.

      If you take a box and cut two Vs in the rim so the scope can be rotated in them, you can use it to get the crosshairs aligned perfectly in the middle of the scope as it is rotated. Point the scope at a distant mark. Rotate 180 degrees, observe the difference, and manipulate the cooresponding turret to make it so there is no change in that axis. What you will most likely see is that the POA is high or low, but always plumb with the POA. Do the same to the adjacent turret (be it windage or elevation) till you can roll the scope in the box and it never fails to point directly at your POA.
      Now you have a standard that will tell you very surely where the scope bases are pointing when the scope is secured in the rings and set on top of the bases.

      Excellent comment here! This will be done before the scope is mounted!

      If you have a lead sled, line up the irons at the distant mark and co-witness the scope. If you don’t have that option, use a boresighting laser, or a collimator to find out which direction your scope needs to go

      Bore sighter will be used!

      If I were a betting man, I’d lay $20 your scope as set with the shims above will be pointing for the treetops.

      I’ll take that bet! Not because I disagree with you, but it makes this post all the better for folks to keep up with!!!!

      That said, if I’m wrong and it actually points correctly, do consider making a shim from a single piece of metal, or better yet, use the bedding compound trick. A spongy mount may open groups.

      As mentioned above, if it does work, a custom base will be in the works!

      And Tim, thanks again for all the input! I surely appreciate yours and any other members comments and feedback!

    • #30800
      Goodsteel
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      I have blank scope rail stock. Let me know if I can help.

    • #30808
      ZmanWakeForest
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      Will do, Tim! Thank You!

    • #30823
      Larry Gibson
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      The problem you have was caused by whomever D&T’d the receiver for the scope bases did not understand correct base spacing for a sloped receiver such as the M99. The rear base is to far forward up the slope of the rear of the receiver it causes the rear base to be higher than it should be. In other words the base spacing is too short.

      Try mounting the rear base so the front hole in the base lines up with the rear hole in the receiver. A single screw should hold it in place. Then check the level between the 2 bases. That may slide the rear base back far enough to lower it level with the front base (without the shim). If it does then the easiest solution is to D&T a new hole for the rear screw and put a filler plug in the now not used front hole. However, before D&ting another hole I would simply try the rifle with just one screw, well loc-tited, holding the rear base. I have used just one screw in Weaver bases before with rifles such as your 250 that don’t have a lot of recoil and they hold just fine.

      If that works it will save a lot of modification to the bases to get them to fit.

      BTW; I surmise, having done the same, the scope was rotated to allow easier access to the breech for loading and to prevent the ejection of a case from hitting the windage knob.

      Larry Gibson

    • #30830
      Goodsteel
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      Dang Larry, looking closer at the pictures, I think you called it! I didn’t notice the rear base is almost flush with the window. Good call!

    • #30836
      uber7mm
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      BTW; I surmise, having done the same, the scope was rotated to allow easier access to the breech for loading and to prevent the ejection of a case from hitting the windage knob.

      More likely root cause.

    • #30840
      ZmanWakeForest
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      Well, I was excited when I logged on an looked at Larry’s post…..ran upstairs….hmmmm….more pictures…

      Let me get this old Krag out of the way…nobody wants to see that…

      Here in lies the rub…..

      I can’t move the rear base back and mount it with just one screw. I have not had a chance to get back to working on the scope. Hopefully this weekend.

    • #30848
      Larry Gibson
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      See that plugged hole behind the cocked indicater? Move the rear sight base back there. That’s where it’s supposed to be.

      Larry Gibson

    • #30856
      ZmanWakeForest
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      Ok, so I removed the “plug” screw as you suggested. The screw that I removed is an 8-40 thread and the screws that are provided and fit the bases are 6-48 thread. No big deal, I could rework the mounts to fit the screws if needed. However just for conversation sake, I inserted the original 6-48 screw into the rear bases and scotch taped the rear mount to the receiver in the place you mentioned above. Placing the rear mount in this location and checking the alignment to my front bases (which still has the .064 shims under it as mentioned above) indicates that the mounts will be even further out of alignment.

    • #30857
      ZmanWakeForest
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      Goodsteel;n10670 wrote:
      If you take a box and cut two Vs in the rim so the scope can be rotated in them, you can use it to get the crosshairs aligned perfectly in the middle of the scope as it is rotated. Point the scope at a distant mark. Rotate 180 degrees, observe the difference, and manipulate the cooresponding turret to make it so there is no change in that axis. What you will most likely see is that the POA is high or low, but always plumb with the POA. Do the same to the adjacent turret (be it windage or elevation) till you can roll the scope in the box and it never fails to point directly at your POA.
      Now you have a standard that will tell you very surely where the scope bases are pointing when the scope is secured in the rings and set on top of the bases.

      GoodSteel, I followed your instructions and got the crosshairs aligned this morning as well. Pictures below.


    • #30859
      ZmanWakeForest
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      Larry Gibson;n10755 wrote: See that plugged hole behind the cocked indicater? Move the rear sight base back there. That’s where it’s supposed to be.

      Larry Gibson

      Larry, Also I poked around on GB for quite some time this morning looking at Savage 99’s that are scoped and it appears that rear mount on mine which is mounted ahead of the cocked indicator is where other 99’s are D&T’d as well.

      Not sure what to think?

    • #30860
      Daniel
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      I am looking at my 1952 vintage 99 (also not factory drilled or tapped) and in comparison to yours, your rear base seems reversed. Try removing it and rotating 180 degrees. My rear base gives the scope a distinct downward pitch toward the muzzle and is visibly shorter/lower on the muzzle face than the breach face. While at it, make sure someone did not grind on the rear base taking the taper out of it.

      Not to be at odds with Larry but the plugged hole to the rear of the cocking indicator is for an aperture sight.

    • #30861
      ZmanWakeForest
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      Daniel;n10776 wrote: I am looking at my 1952 vintage 99 (also not factory drilled or tapped) and in comparison to yours, your rear base seems reversed. Try removing it and rotating 180 degrees. My rear base gives the scope a distinct downward pitch toward the muzzle and is visibly shorter/lower on the muzzle face than the breach face. While at it, make sure someone did not grind on the rear base taking the taper out of it.

      Not to be at odds with Larry but the plugged hole to the rear of the cocking indicator is for an aperture sight.

      Thanks for the reply. The scope mounts have not been reworked at all. In fact I even ordered a brand new set from Midway and measured/compared my original ones with calipers to verify they hadn’t been modified and they have not been.

      I agree with you that the mounts/bases give the scope “a distinct downward pitch” which is what started the whole thread. That downward pitch which can be seen on most of the gun pictures on GB which are using weaver scope bases. As I asked in the original post and Goodsteel was in agreement with in one of his earlier replies, the top surface of the front and rear bases should be parallel. When your scope has that downward pitch, the top surfaces of the mounts are NOT parallel with each other.

      I tried your suggestion earlier and turned the rear mount 180 degrees and this is not possible with these bases as it make the parallel alignment of the front and rear scope bases WAY out of alignment.

    • #30862
      Daniel
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      Don’t know what else to suggest. With my Weaver mounts, the saddle where the scope rests is in deed parallel front to rear but the scope does have a downward slope toward the muzzle. Good luck.

    • #30865
      ZmanWakeForest
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      Well with the scope adjustments and my shims under the front base, I think we are getting somewhere! Everything still needs to be tightened completely, but I am well with the limits of the scope now. I also removed the rear iron site since I changed out the old style weaver rings for a new set of medium height quad lock rings and the scope was in contact with it. Difficult to see in the photo, but the elevation cross hair is ~2 inches above the laser bore sight indicator at ~50 feet. More pictures to follow….

    • #30869
      Goodsteel
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      Looks like you’ve got it on the run. Perfect.

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