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How To Level Your LPVO [Quickly and Easily]

Antonio Salituro | Updated January 24, 2024 | Why You Should Trust Us | How We Earn Money
Cover photo of How To Level LPVO showing a scope mounted on a rifle

Picture this: You’re all set up with the best LPVO and in a comfortable shooting position. But each time you take a shot, you notice it goes off target. Well, the culprit could be a misaligned scope. 

Perfecting your aim starts with a well-leveled LPVO. So, if you’re not sure your setup has that, here’s a guide on how to level an LPVO and avoid this mistake again.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper leveling of an LPVO involves a few carefully executed steps involving specific tools and techniques to ensure the accuracy of your alignment.
  • Leveling an LPVO is crucial for aligning the reticles with the rifle’s bore, ensuring consistent, accurate shots, and boosting shooter confidence, especially at longer ranges.
  • Avoiding common mistakes such as not using the right tools, failing to level the rifle, and rushing the process is essential for effective scope leveling.

For similar reading see our buying guide where we talk about the best LPVO mounts, including our favorite Geissele LPVO mount.

Step-by-Step Guide to Leveling Your LPVO

You won’t realize the full potential of your LPVO if it isn’t well leveled with your firearm. To ensure every shot counts, here is a step-by-step guide on how to level your LPVO.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

The first thing is to get all the tools needed for the leveling process. You will need the following items:

  • Bubble levels: You will need two bubble levels. One will sit on the elevation adjustment turret, and the other will go on top of the receiver or barrel.
Bubble level on top of the elevation knob
  • Torque wrench: You use a torque wrench to apply the right amount of pressure as recommended by the LPVO manufacturer when tightening the mounting screws.
  • Plumb line: This is optional but comes in handy in reticle alignment.
  • Cleaning materials: These aren’t necessary per se, but we still recommend them. Clean the scope mounting surface, as dust residue can cause the LPVO to sit unevenly on the rifle. You can use a microfiber cloth and the right cleaning solution to clean the rifle mount, mounting rings, and other important hardware.

Step 2: Mount the LPVO on the Rifle

Man pointing at the scope on top of a rifle

Now that you have your tools gathered, start by mounting the LPVO to your rifle using the mounting rings. Make sure the scope is seated evenly before you tighten the rings. Keep the rings loose to allow slight adjustments but tight enough to hold the scope in place.

Step 3: Initial Leveling

Bubble level on the elevation knob

Place one bubble level on the flat surface of the receiver. You may need to adjust the rifle until the bubble is centered. Then, place the second bubble level on top of the elevation adjustment turret. Adjust your LPVO in its rings until that bubble is centered, too.

Step 4: Align the Reticles

The next step is to look through the scope, focusing on the reticle. The goal is to ensure the reticles are perfectly aligned to the rifle’s bore. Now, this step can take a couple of minutes. That’s because you’ll have to rotate the scope within the rings to achieve the perfect alignment.

Reticle crosshairs aligned to the plumb line

To make your work easier, use a plumb line as a reference point. Adjust the scope until the vertical crosshairs align with the plumb line. The whole time you’re doing that, keep checking the bubble levels, ensuring your LPVO and scope haven’t shifted. 

If you find the levels off, readjust the rifle and scope while not messing with the reticle alignment. You may have to do this several times to ensure everything is properly aligned.

Step 5: Tightening and Torquing

Man securing the mounted scope on a rifle

Once your LPVO is leveled, you can now tighten the mounting screws using the torque. Do this in a crisscross pattern to ensure you apply even pressure on the LPVO and prevent it from shifting. 

As mentioned earlier, always apply the recommended torque settings from the LPVO manufacturer. This last step ensures the scope remains leveled for a long time.

For a visual guide on how to level a scope, check out this video:

Why Do You Need to Level Your LPVO?

One of the main reasons to level your LPVO is to align your reticles with the rifle’s bore. This alignment is important, especially when hitting targets that are far away. A canted reticle, even if only by a few degrees, will throw off your shot by several inches.

Leveling your scope ensures your shots are consistent and predictable. Otherwise, your point of impact will shift, causing you to miss your target. You’ll likely notice this issue at longer ranges where even a small error results in a huge deviation. 

With a well-leveled scope, you’ll feel more confident as a shooter. And as we all know, confidence is key if you want to deliver accurate shots, especially in high-pressure situations.

Common Mistakes When Leveling Your Scope

Some of the common mistakes you should avoid when leveling your scope are:

  • Not using the right tools: It’s important to gather the tools for scope leveling to avoid inaccuracies. You can look for a quality scope leveling kit to ensure you have everything you need.
  • Forgetting to level the rifle: As much as you’re leveling your LPVO, your rifle needs to be leveled as well for optimal accuracy.
  • Rushing the process: Set aside adequate time to level your scope. Be patient and pay attention even to the smallest details, as they can influence your accuracy.
  • Over-tightening mounts: Avoid applying too much torque when tightening the scope, as that can cause the scope to be misaligned. In addition, after tightening the scope, check the leveling, as the act of tightening can alter the scope’s position.
  • Failing to test shoot after leveling: After leveling the scope, test shoot your setup to be sure. If you run into issues, resolve them immediately and do a retest shoot.

For more reading see our guide on what size of scope rings do you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does an LPVO work?

An LPVO works by offering a range of magnifications, starting from a true 1x up to higher levels like 4x, 6x, 8x, or 10x, allowing shooters to quickly adjust the zoom for both close-range and distant targets.

Does my LPVO need to be perfectly level?

Your LPVO needs to be perfectly level to ensure shots don’t veer off their intended path.

What are the downsides of LPVO?

Some of the downsides of LPVOs are that they can be heavier and bulkier compared to fixed magnification scopes or optics like red dot sights, potentially affecting rifle handling, and they are often more expensive, representing a significant investment compared to simpler sighting systems.

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