Segway Reticle Leveler – Product Review

The Segway Reticle Leveller is easier to understand in a picture than it is to explain. Those ears on the side line up with your reticle crosshairs, so you twist the scope until they are even with the lines. If you make the picture bigger, you will see the squared bar that holds the ears together. This is the key to the system, because the squared bottom “levels” the Segway on the rail.

The Segway is great in theory, but when you try to use it with the actual eye relief of a high magnification scope, you can’t see the lines on the sides. Rocking your head side to side to try to line up the lines with the reticle isn’t much better than regular eyeballing.

This is what you get in the package. One ear comes off the end of the bar so you don’t have to slide the ear under the scope, and the product is a great idea. It just falls short for the needs of a professional shooter.

This 1.5-4x Meopta was within the eye relief, but it doesn’t have a side to side full crosshair reticle, so you have to eyeball the smaller reticle to the sides of the Segway, which isn’t any real help. Note that the level on the Segway is superfluous and not required whatsoever. There may be a theoretical optical illusion that might occur trying to match up lines that are not plumb to gravity, but not at the precision of the Segway which is extremely course.

This is not a negative review of the Segway. As compared to the Wheeler Professional Reticle Levelling System the Segway is a silly joke, but this is a picture of our Sales Director Jamie Van Gilder using the Segway to level a scope on our Ambush Rifle, and when asked what he thought, Jamie said “I think it works pretty good.” Bam!

Straight Shot LLC – The Segway Reticle Leveler
$21.95 at Midway:

With many things in life you get what you pay for. If you remember, back in December, we reviewed the Wheeler Professional Reticle Leveling System, which, if you click through to Midway, is currently $45. Within about an hour of that article coming out, we got a comment that there was a much more affordable system that was “much better” than the Wheeler, called the Segway. Rather than let the commenter hijack the post, we asked the manufacturer, Straight Shot, for a sample, and we got one of what we found out later was the old model right away. The owner of the company then stopped by our booth at SHOT to drop off the newest model, the Segway Mark III, and we are finally getting around to telling you guys about it now. But don’t worry, if you already bought the Wheeler, it is a far superior device, and uses an overall superior approach to making sure your reticle is plumb with your bore. The Segway is available also from Midway for $21.99, but it isn’t half the product of the Wheeler. The Segway Reticle Leveler isn’t a bad product. Not by a long shot in fact (pun intended). But if you are shooting truly long range, over 300 yards it is probably better to stick to the Wheeler.

The Segway reticle leveler relies on the crosshairs of your rifle scope to level the scope to the axis of your bore. The kit itself consists of two plastic “ears,” a squared metal rod, and an elastic band. The squared rod is meant to lie flat on your rail, or scope mount, under the scope, so that the lines on the ears are, theoretically, plumb with the axis of your bore (if your rail is plumb, which is also an assumption with the Wheeler). When you lie the scope down in your rings, or better, attach your ring tops and leave them finger loose but not sloppy loose, the crosshairs of the reticle will be plumb to your bore when they line up perfectly with the lines on the ears. Twist your scope until the lines match up, and there you have it, a leveled scope. Tighten the rings, re-check your lines, and you should be able to shoot long distances without “hooking” your shots due to a scope that is out of plumb with your bore.

The problem is, it isn’t that simple. There is something called “eye relief” on a scope, which you have of course experienced. There is only a very short place where you can position your head on the stock and actually see through your scope. Too far back or too far forward and you can’t see the reticle. The problem with the Segway arises because your eye is too close to the scope to actually see the ears around the sides. I found that I had to rock my head back and forth on several scopes just to see the lines at all, and that there was no way to keep a constant angle on the reticle side to side so that I could reliably level the scope. It isn’t an issue on low power scopes with long eye relief, but a reticle leveler is really only relevant beyond 200-300 yards or so. A scope that you “eyeball” level should be relatively plumb with your shot out to moderate distances.

The Segway doesn’t not work on short eye relief, high magnification scopes. It just probably isn’t substantively better than eyeballing. For long distance shooting, where high magnification and short eye relief is the norm, the Segway is not going to do a lot for you. Compare that to the Wheeler system, which only costs a family trip to McDonalds more than the Segway, and the two products are worlds apart. The Wheeler system levels using the flat of the turret and the flat of the rail before you put the scope on. Then you level the level to the level, er, yea. That’s correct.

The other issue with the Segway is with non-traditional reticles that don’t have crosshairs that go all the way side to side. If your reticle just has a middle crosshair, or a post and crossline, or has a box in the center, then you are back to “eyeballing” with the Segway and there is no advantage to using the tool at all. That isn’t to say that the Segway has no place in the market, or even that this is a negative review. If you are using a traditional crosshair reticle and your scope has reasonably long eye relief at low power, $22 isn’t that much of a stretch for something that could give some piece of mind that your scope is relatively plumb. Some people aren’t comfortable eyeballing at all for even Whitetail distances of 100 yards and less, and for that application the Segway is a perfect product. But if you are a serious long distance shooter and you want a product that is made for professionals, pass on the Segway and get the Wheeler. It is worth every penny.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Scott in Michigan June 18, 2013, 9:28 pm

    I just re-read the article and examined the pictures. Had the author mounted the Segway in the rearward most Picatinny slot it would have been very easy for him to line up the crosshair with the lines. There would have been no “rocking his head from side to side” to see the lines when having his eye near the objective. I’ve actually found the Segway actually much easier to use if you don’t try and get into the normal position behind the scope, but instead have a sight picture similar to the one shown with the Meopta scope.

  • DCT June 11, 2013, 10:50 pm

    I haven’t tried this product but have bought the wheeler and have had both levels lose the fluid ,I have found it to be of poor quality for a $60 price from Sportmans warehouse

  • varmint man May 30, 2013, 12:21 pm

    “Normally I enjoy your reviews however I found this one confusing. On one hand you say it’s a silly joke but on the other hand your sales director says it works pretty good. I have used the old Segway for 15 years and recently purchased the newer version which I think is even better because it is double sided. I have also tried most of the wheeler products and quite frankly the Segway does the job better and is the best bang for the buck. “

    • Administrator May 30, 2013, 7:56 pm

      No it isn’t. You probably just didn’t understand the wheeler. I think it is pretty clear that it works, but it isn’t a precision tool for long distance shooters.

  • Kent Hillery May 21, 2013, 9:29 am

    The Segway was invented/developed by a practicing MD, shooter hobbyist for his own use because no one in the shooting industry had thought up or produced anything like it up to that time. I have one of his first and it worked fine for me. I spoke with him and he was very nice….he just put it on the market just to share the tool with the rest of us. He should get points just for doing that. I haven’t tried the others, but where were they when there was nothing else to use?

  • Mike May 20, 2013, 2:01 pm

    I tried the old plastic Wheeler levels and found them inaccurate. Have not tried the Segway, but found the EXD Engineering tool to be bullet-proof. It is self-aligning and uses a single bubble level to square the scope tube with the barrel and the vertical reticle. The barrel in front of the scope has to be has accessible and not covered by a handguard or other hardware. I used it on a Ruger 10/22 and a Winchester 70 with excellent results. I double check with a laser boresighter. Project the dot onto a surface say 25 yds away, then crank the elevation knob up and down. The dot stays right on the verticle reticle. I’d say that’s aligned at any distance.

  • Bob May 20, 2013, 1:04 pm

    I have a laser leveler/sighter I really like. It uses a filter with a level built into it, that when you place it over the end of the boresight, it produces a red horizontal laser line that makes it a piece of cake to level the reticle. Of course, the firearm must be level as well, so I use a separate level for that task. Once the reticle is leveled, you use the sighting dot to get a fairly close dial in of the scope. I like to start at 50 Yards. It gets you on the paper every time, and works great for iron sights too.

  • GreyFox71 May 20, 2013, 11:39 am

    I’ve tried both the Wheeler and Segway. They both work but both require your rifle/scope to have the correct attributes, i.e., level spots on the receiver or a flat spot on the vertical turret. As well, it is important to be able to rotate the scope through very small arcs to achieve results better than “eye ball” accurate. This can often be difficult to do unless just the right amount of tightening of the rings is accomplished.

    Sounds a LOT more complicated than it actually is. Good luck

  • Scott in Michigan May 20, 2013, 7:01 am

    I’ve used the older style Segway without the level for probably 15 years and lamented the fact that it was discontinued a few years ago. I agree with the author that it’s much easier to use if the cross hairs are of the traditional style, but eye relief is not that important. It is impossible to use if you do not have a flat spot on your receiver.

    The biggest problem with the Wheeler system is that it depends on the vertical turret of the rifle scope to be flat on top and you have to be extremely careful not to knock the rifle off plumb while mounting the scope. The best solution is to own both systems depending on which system will work the easiest on your particular set-up.

  • waterfowlhunter May 20, 2013, 6:30 am

    You do realize that the Segway is adjustable? You can make it wider by just not butting it against the scope. I have been using them in my shop for many years and have never had a problem seeing both sides of the device and the crosshairs of any scope including very high power magnification units. I also have compared them to the wheeler I have and I will take the Segway over the wheeler every time. just my preference but I have never had an issue getting the crosshairs completely square with the rifle’s mounting base and have had no complaints with shooters shooting well over 300 yards. (600 in a lot of cases). I can see why it would be hard to use on a scope where the crosshairs do not go completely to the sides but have never had a long range shooter (or anyone) ask for that type of scope to be mounted so far.

    • Administrator May 20, 2013, 6:51 am

      It doesn’t have that much that you can pull them out that much.

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