I recently had the pleasure of reviewing an innovative new product for the long range hunter on a recent deer hunt in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming, and an elk hunt near the Flattop Wilderness of Colorado.
The ACCU/LEVEL from Flatline Ops. Inc. is an ultra precision, articulating scope level. Its design is well thought out and at the leading edge of the scope level industries. Honestly, it blows everything else out of the water.
I received a phone call from Chuck McCoy, owner of Flatline Ops. Inc. Chuck had an ACCU/LEVEL ready to ship for a product review 2 weeks before my 1st fall hunt, and with the rifle still in the process of being barreled, I thought, “Hey, what the heck. I’ll try out this newfangled level.”
When I opened the package I was a bit surprised. This aluminum housed system was more than your average clamp on level. Some of the new features include fine level adjustment, a “flip” style level that is usable in 2 positions, an integral Angle Degree Indicator mount, and all stainless steel hardware.
A one page sheet of easy to read directions comes with the unit, which is always a relief in this day and age of multi page owner manuals. Also included were 3 Allen wrenches for installation and adjustment of the unit. The mounting bracket on this model was a clam style hinge that allowed the mount to be slid into position on an already mounted scope. Two Allen screws then secured the unit to the scope tube. One of the very unique features of this scope is the fine level adjustment screws.
Here is how it works with the rifle on a bipod and leveled out. (I place a small level across the bolt raceway in the bolt handle cut-out.) The scope is leveled and secured via a perfectly vertical line drawn on the shop wall opposite my work counter. At this point the ACCU/LEVEL is clamped tight to the scope tube with the level bubble approximately level. If it’s a bit off, no big deal, as the unit contains a fine level adjustment. Once the ACCU/LEVEL is secured to the scope tube, the fine adjustments can take place, via two set screw stops that the level hinges against in the open and closed position. This is a quick and easy process, taking all of about 5 minutes to mount the ACCU/LEVEL perfectly level to the scope/rifle.
The great thing about this level system is that it can be folded inward for a low profile, and then folded to the left during the process of setting up a shot. This enables the shooter to see both the level and the ADI from the shooting position without having to lift one’s head. Simply open the left eye and glance at the indicators/level and confirm the information. The best part is, I mounted this system behind my turret gang. This allows me to see the elevation, windage and parallax adjustments without having to look over or around a traditional level that is mounted between the turret gang and the ocular housing.
With load development and trajectory verification taking place on my home range, I was able to quickly adapt to this new leveling system. In Wyoming I used the ACCU/LEVEL on a 5 degree downhill shot at a young 3x4 mule deer buck. The process of leveling the rifle became second nature and quick, allowing me to stay behind the gun and make the single 660 yard shot, cleanly harvesting my meat buck.
During my Colorado hunt, I continued my blossoming romance with the ACCU/LEVEL. A lack of elk in our area the first few days gave me ample opportunities to hunt rocks a various distances. With heavy snows arriving 2 days into a 7 day hunt, it was the end of the 5th day when we started to see fresh elk sign. The heavy snows had moved the elk down off the tops and into secure bedding areas. Out of necessity, I carried the light gun within 30 yards of a small 5x6 bedded bull elk. He got the notion to escape but made it a mere stone’s throw from his resting place before taking a permanent dirt nap.
Can it be improved?
That’s a good question. I thought so, but a follow up call from Chuck asking for any design feedback cut me short, as it seems Chuck has already thought of everything. I had asked Chuck if he could make the detent that holds the level in the folded position a little stronger, as a few times the level folded itself outward while slinged on my back, and rubbed open on my clothes, pack or brush. Chuck told me that there is a detent adjustment screw that will apply more pressure to the spring and ball thus increasing the lock-up. So much for joining the engineering team!
You can buy the Flatline Ops items at the LRH Store.
Chuck has been in the tool and die business for over 25 years, and it shows with the quality of this new product. I am expecting Chuck to refine and develop more products for the long range shooting industry, and if he follows the foundation he has laid down with the ACCU/LEVEL, we can expect some great new products down the road.
Overall, I must say I really fell in love with the ACCU/LEVEL. As a specialized piece of equipment for the long range hunter, I have not seen a better designed nor better functioning system. The refinements made to the classic ACD bubble level with the new ACCU/LEVEL will stand as the most accurate adjusting system on the market for some time to come.
You can e-mail Chuck McCoy at email@example.com
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