SIG Electro-Optics’ LevelPlex sets new standards in long-range riflescopes.
What makes SIG Sauer’s LevelPlex digital anti-cant system a game changer?
- LevelPlex is an integrated leveling system designed to eliminate the cant to improve accuracy, particularly at long range.
- The system features two indicators, one on either side of the reticle. These indicators come in the form of yellow arrows, which describe the direction the scope needs to be adjusted to remove the cant.
- It is six times more accurate than a typical bubble level with a +/- 0.5-degree of accuracy, with a user-selectable option of +/- 1-degree of sensitivity.
Take a minute to think about the cell phone you were holding to your head a decade ago. Did it have a hinge? How about a telescoping antennae? Heck, did it even have a screen?
And now look at the cell phone sitting on your desk, hanging on your hip or resting in your pocket as you read this. Things have definitely changed in the world of cell phones due to technological advancements and consumer demands.
But let’s bring this back to the gun world. Are things really so different here? Think back to the setup you were shooting a decade ago — competition, long-range, hunting, long gun, handgun — the platform doesn’t much matter. Does it look anything like the setup you’re shooting today? The odds are good that it doesn’t, and if it does, you might be missing out.
With this being the new technology column inside the Gun Digest long-range issue, it’s fitting to dive a bit deeper here and examine the recent technological advancements in a long-range setup. These days, half-MOA groups from rifles that are also capable of delivering consistent hits well past 1,000 yards are not exceptional … they’re expected. And shooters who, a decade ago, considered 600 yards to be long range now test the limits of their setups on 1-mile targets. In the words of Tracy Lawrence, “The only thing that stays the same is that everything changes.” Everything.
So what’s changed? Man has not evolved so dramatically during the past 10 years that new hand/eye coordination techniques have allowed us to suddenly ring steel at previously unreachable distances. We have, however, discovered new manufacturing techniques for building rifles, new tweaks for enhancing the ballistic coefficient of ammunition and improved components for optics that allow us to see farther and aim more precisely than top shooters of a decade ago ever imagined.
In today’s long-range shooting world, there is no keystone. A setup is only as good as the weakest link in the chain, and with thanks given again to the technological advancements in rifles, optics and ammunition, it’s become much easier to make sure the weakest link in your setup is you — and that’s a very good thing.
“Looking” Into The Future
Even the best long-distance rifles out there, those capable of shooting a group measuring a fraction of MOA, are all but worthless without a riflescope of equal — or superior — quality. That’s not the rifle’s shortcoming; it’s the shooter’s … we simply can’t see without them.
So what measures quality in a long-distance riflescope? Superior glass with state-of-the-art technology is obvious, and so are meticulously machined components for precise and accurate windage and elevation adjustment. And given the wide range of people who have recently taken to long-range shooting, a handful of reticle options should also be available. Of course, a rugged design is also necessary to withstand the hard and active use of a modern gunner.
But in my opinion, all those are standard, must-have qualities to establish a baseline. It’s 2017, and anything short of exceptional will not keep pace with the rapidly changing and growing world of long-range shooting and long-range hunting.
A short time ago, SIG’s Electro-Optics division unveiled its LevelPlex technology, which is nothing more than an integrated leveling system designed to eliminate the cant from a long-range shooting setup. I say “nothing more” because the system is amazingly simple to operate even though the technology is refining industry standards.
Think about this: Even with today’s ultra-high-end riflescopes, the reticle is very unlikely to sit perfectly plumb with the turrets. I’ve heard varying statistics, but most sources put the reticle off plumb from the turrets anywhere from 0.1-5 degrees. Think about that — 5 degrees! Even at half that deviance, you’ll miss your target by as much as 2 feet at 1,000 yards for simply assuming that the reticle sits plumb with the scope’s turrets that you used to level the scope to your rifle.
The takeaway here is to remember that accuracy depends on having your reticle plumb to your rifle, not the turrets plumb to the rifle. This same principle also applies to shooter-introduced cant on a riflescope that’s already been mounted plumb to the rifle: A perfectly mounted riflescope is futile if the shooter cants the rifle upon firing. You’ll likely never notice a 3-degree cant at 300 yards, but you can bet the farm that the repercussion will be measured in feet — not inches — as you close in on 1,000 yards.
Here’s how LevelPlex works: When you look through the riflescope, two indicators will be present, one on either side of the reticle. These indicators come in the form of yellow arrows. So, if your rifle is canted to the right, the right “up” arrow/indicator will illuminate, instructing you to raise that side back to level, at which point the illuminator will turn off. Same goes for left cant. It’s literally that simple.
According to SIG, the LevelPlex anti-cant system is 6 times more accurate than a typical bubble level with a +/- 0.5-degree of accuracy, with a user-selectable option of +/- 1-degree of sensitivity. At present, the technology comes in SIG’s Tango6 line, available in 5-30x56mm, 4-24x50mm and 3-18x44mm models with four reticle options — though it’s likely a safe assumption that this technology will spread like wildfire through other SIG riflescopes, including the “tactical hunting” Whiskey5 line.
While LevelPlex is the coolest and arguably most technologically advanced piece of the Tango6 riflescope, SIG has incorporated a pile of other sweet features, including a free SIG Ballistic Turret (SBT) Dial that’s custom-engraved to match your unique ballistics and environmental conditions — and a fully transferrable lifetime guarantee.
Here’s the hitch: Depending upon model specifics, the SIG Electro-Optics Tango6 with LevelPlex will hit you in the pocketbook at a tune of $1,700-$3,200. Now, that said, let me remind you that there’s nothing else on the market like this and, when playing the 1,000-yard game, nothing comes cheap — or easy.
Editor’s Note: This “Modern Gunnery” column is an excerpt from the June 2017 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.
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