Armament Technology
15-Minute Tapered Shims
Elevation Made Easy!

< 1999
By Scott Powers


Many of our readers have expressed frustration when mounting a tactical scope on their favorite rifle. The problem often stems from the fact that many mid-priced scopes do not have enough elevation adjustment to reach 1000 yards with typical .308 match ammunition. Once the scope is installed and zeroed, the shooter discovers that he runs out of elevation travel anywhere from 400 yards to 600 yards out. This can be the result of an improperly mounted scope base or screw holes that were improperly drilled in the receiver -- or a combination of both problems -- and of course limited internal travel in the scope. Most often it is the latter causing grief. For example, when mechanically zeroed, a scope with a total of 60 minutes of angle (MOA) of elevation travel will have only 30 MOA of travel left to either elevate or lower the point of impact on the target. Assuming that by some miracle your rifle is dead on at this point - a very unlikely scenario - you will only be able to dial up to approximately 800 yards with a 168-grain HPBT match round. Chances are you will not be this lucky. The expensive fix is to opt for a one-piece tapered scope mounting base. These items are excellent and well worth the expenditure as they are very rigid, precisely machined, and solve the elevation problem while possibly increasing the integrity of the action. The downside is their cost and the fact that, all too often, the rear of these mounts are high enough that one now requires a cheek rest to maintain a good spot weld. Their cost can be very prohibitive to the casual shooter, and for the individual that has already invested in a mounting system the idea of spending money twice can be both frustrating and deadly if the spouse finds out! And law enforcement budgets are tight to begin with. So, in steps Andy Webber of Armament Technology.

Andy has come up with a simple and very effective answer to the above problem... shims. What is so special about shims, you ask? Well, Andy's shims are not made of one flat thickness as is often found at your local gunsmith. Andy takes a full length piece of material and mills it down in a constant taper so that it is very thin at the front and thicker at the rear. He then cuts out the middle to match the receiver in question. The result is an elevation increase of about 15 minutes of angle! You can slip this shim set under the base or bases you have already purchased, remount the scope and see an instant increase in your maximum range. Added to the theoretical 30 MOA you currently enjoy, this extra 15 minutes will generally be sufficient to get you all the way to 1000 yards and possibly beyond. In standard conditions 42 minutes of elevation are required to reach 1000 yards. With the above scenario, you now have 45 MOA to play with. These tapered shims have other advantages as well. Often an inexperienced tinkerer will shim a rear base to gain needed elevation. This does work but places unwelcome stress on the scope, and possibly even the receiver (never a good option). On the other hand, tapered shims -- assuming everything else is square -- will not put any stress on the scope. A second advantage one immediately appreciates is the fact that Webber has milled these shims so thin that one will not need an adjustable or raised cheek piece to look through the scope. Also, as the slant angle is so minimal the chances are that you will not run into any problems with the objective bell of the scope contacting the barrel. It appears that Armament Technology has gone to great lengths to make these tapered shims as user friendly as possible.

The shims I have in my possession are for a Remington 700 short action. Armament Technology will make shims for several receiver types upon request. The shim is approximately .030 at the thickest (rear) portion and .006 at the front. Once installed you will hardly notice the difference in scope height until you rezero the weapon! At $25 US, tapered shims are well worth the money. Installing this product will save the shooter from the otherwise necessary hassle of purchasing specialty rings, or having his base modified. Best of all, this fix places no undue stress on the scope, receiver, or the shooters budget! Kudos once again to Andy and the Armament Technology crew for another excellent product! For more information on these tapered shims, contact Armament Technology at 902-454-6384 or FAX them at 902-454-4641. You may also write to Andy directly or visit the Armament Technology website. As a final note, if you are a varmint shooter using a scope with 1/8th-minute adjustments, these shims may be the savior of your rig. My B&L Elite 4000 6-24x has very limited elevation, something on the order of 26 MOA. The addition of these shims will certainly make doping the dogs easier as I will no longer need to use hold over at the farther ranges. From this perspective then, the cost of these shims is inconsequential as I will be saving a fair amount of ammunition in spotting rounds. No more sending a round down range, judging the holdover based on the impact, and sending a follow-up based on a "SWAG." Now, I can very accurately "dial in" and place the first round very close to the intended target -- if not into it!

Storm Mountain Training Center is proud to be the only official source for Armament Technology products in the United States. You may either visit the Storm Mountain website or contact their pro shop at 304-446-5526.

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