Bursting the Bubble – Send iT – Long Range Precision Shooting Level

The popularity of long-range shooting has fueled manufacturers to build a variety of new chassis style rifles and cartridges like the 6.5 Creedmoor and 224 Valkyrie. Scope manufacturers are also making optics capable of seeing and compensating for bullet drop at extended ranges. Although amazing shots have been made in combat and competition, there are still variables to overcome.

Although most of us can hang a picture level on a static wall, long-range shooting in varying environments demands precision of a different nature. When shooting in the mountains, you can’t depend upon your naked eye to make sure your rifle isn’t canted, and an uneven rifle can cause you to be 1-2 degrees off, due to the lack of a true reference. At distance, even a slight cant in your rifle can cause a missed target because the bore and scope are no longer in the perfect vertical plane that it was when you zeroed it. For years, long-range shooters and hunters have been using small bubble or spirit levels on their guns to correct for these conditions. As distances and equipment performance increase, so does the need for accuracy of the level.

The Problem

One of the biggest problems with normal bubble levels mounted on the scope or rifle was the struggle of constantly refocusing your eyes from the reticle to the bubble and back to the reticle to ensure the rifle was level.

Send iT electronic level mounted horizontally to receiver rail indicating Green for level. Rifle and scope are capable of reaching 1200+ yards so gun must be level to get hits.

The Solution

The Send iT electronic level from Long Range Arms corrects this problem by using lighted LEDs to indicate when the gun is level.

Small cant changes hardly noticeable in shooting are readily visible on the Send iT unit while still looking at the target and reticle. Here’s an easy way to keep track of what the colors mean: Green = Go or Send iT, Red = move Right, bLue = move Left

The glow from the Send iT’s LEDs can be seen out of your peripheral vision, preventing you from having to take your eyes off the reticle. This makes shooting much faster: a minimum 5-6 seconds faster! The “Green” LED is extremely bright, allowing your support eye to instantly see when the gun is level.

Since I’m at the maturity level where I need reading glasses, trying to refocus or even see the “old style” bubble level, is difficult without glasses. And it doesn’t work at all while hunting or shooting long ranges, or during low-light conditions. In fact, trying to judge when the little bubble is perfectly centered is a task in itself.

Mounting clamp provided a solid base for installation and requires very little clearance under the scope. Note recessed portion of mounting base to allow clearance under lower mounts.

The Send iT level can be mounted either vertically or horizontally to any Weaver or Picatinny rail. Long Range Arms also makes a special ring mount that is designed specifically for mounting the Send iT to your scope tube and is available in 1”, 30mm or 34mm, and retails for $70.00. These kinds of mounting options allow greater flexibility for customizing the Send iT’s location (where it is out of the way, but still easily seen by the shooter). The brightness of the LED lights is adjustable so it can be tailored to your shooting conditions, and even works with night vision or thermals.

The Send iT goes through a multi-axis calibration at the factory that allows it to recognize when it is mounted vertically or horizontally, much like a smartphone. Because of this the Send iT will provide true cant reading even when shooting at extreme angles of fire while in the mountains or on that once-in-a-lifetime hunt.

Send iT mounted in a vertical configuration with mounting ring and rail adapter. The unit is starting up and showing battery life, 5 LEDs means full power, one would be 20% remaining.

The cant sensitivity of the Send iT has 5 levels of adjustment, from .2 degrees to 1 full degree. The Send iT arrives with the sensitivity set at .6 tenths of a degree or 3 LED’s, which is where I left it for testing. The greater the distance and scope-to-bore height, the greater a cant error will be, so the sensitivity adjustments allow a shooter to tailor the unit to his particular needs.

The unit runs on a single 3 volt CR 1/3N lithium battery, which can be replaced with no tools. The Send iT also has a sleep mode that it will enter after 10 minutes with no movement to conserve battery life–smart folks. On start up, the unit runs through an indication cycle utilizing the LEDs to show the sensitivity setting and remaining battery life.

The Send iT comes in two models: the Send iT has a built-in bubble level, the XSL Send iT leaves off this feature for a cost-savings or for those buyers who already know they are going to run the unit only in a vertical configuration.

The mounting kit is well designed and outfitted with interlocking spacers to fit a variety of applications and prevent movement during recoil.

Range Testing

Installation was easy. I held the Send iT up next to the gun to find a location where I could easily see all 5 LEDs without moving my eye from the reticle, and clamped the unit directly to Picatinny rail of the upper receiver for a horizontal mounting.

Subsequent vertical (stop light) mounting was tried later with the 34mm adjustable scope-mounting kit, which also worked flawlessly. Vertical mounting tends to keep the rifle profile thinner and reduces the chance of snagging or hard knocks on the level.

While I didn’t find this out until after my testing, if the Send iT is mounted on your scope’s main tube just forward of your target turrets, the eyes will superimpose the LED’s inside the scope!

The adjustable brightness of the LEDs easily allowed seeing the lights when in direct sunlight and rapidly determining when the gun was level. Green means go or in the tactical world “Send iT!” While I took shots from a variety of positions and locations, the Send iT proved how easy it was to be a little off in my initial judgment of a level rifle, and how easy and fast I could correct my level.

Wind changes during the base grouping (Green) skewed testing a little but the group errors for just a .6 degree cant to each side can be seen even at only 475 yards. Slower bullets, higher scope mounting, more cant and longer distances could really start to add up the inches of error.

How much a small cant in the rifle really means down range depends on the distance you are shooting, the height of the scope above the bore, bullet velocity and caliber you’re shooting. I did a quick test with the very fast, efficient 6mm Creedmoor at just 475 yards and found that a .6 degree cant, one LED, was not a huge change, but was noticeable. Slower bullets, higher scope mounting, more cant and longer distances add up inches of error.

Bryan Litz teaches, as a general rule of thumb that a 1° cant will produce five (5) inches of lateral displacement at 1000 yards.

The Send iT level is for the serious shooter who is looking to eliminate errors in their long-range shooting. As the distance increases or the terrain adds uncertainty, errors in judgment take their toll. At $229 for the Send iT (bubble level built in) or $189 for the XSL (no bubble version), these are not inexpensive units. They are precision units that can sense down to 2/10s of a degree of cant error.

And, did I  mention they can be mounted either Horizontally or Vertically? Along with LED brightness adjustability, battery life and a sleep mode, the Send iT is weather resistant and can be thrown into a bucket of water without missing a beat. All in all, it is a compact and rugged package. This isn’t your grandfather’s bubble level.

The full explanation and calculations for canting errors is provided by Long Range Arms here.

The Send iT provides instant, positive indication of when the gun is level, providing a huge advantage when shooting extreme distances. I was often surprised that I would be a bit off-level between shots, but the unit allows rapid corrections to the gun’s position.

Conclusion
If you’re into long range precision shooting or plan to try it, this is great gear to have. The Send iT is a revolutionary new solution to an age-old problem. The multiple mounting options and adjustable sensitivity levels allow configuring it to accommodate almost any shooters requirement.

For those of us with older eyes, it opens new doors to being able to ensure the gun is level and get precise shots while not sacrificing speed. The Send iT is a well thought out piece of kit and worth checking out if you’re going long.

For more information or to order a Send iT go to Long Range Arms Here

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About the author: Jeff Cramblit is a world-class competitive shooter having won medals at both the 2012 IPSC World Shotgun Championship in Hungary and more recently the 2017 IPSC World Rifle Championship in Russia. He is passionate about shooting sports and the outdoors. He has followed that passion for over 30 years, hunting and competing in practical pistol, 3gun, precision rifle and sporting clays matches. Jeff is intimately familiar with the shooting industry – competitor, instructor, RO, range master, match director. Among his training credits include NRA Instructor, AR-15 armorer, FBI Rifle Instructor, and Officer Low Light Survival Instructor. As a sponsored shooter, Jeff has represented notable industry names such as: Benelli, 5.11 Tactical, Bushnell, Blackhawk, DoubleStar, and Hornady. He has been featured on several of Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery episodes and on a Downrange TV series. Jeff’s current endeavors cover a broad spectrum and he can be found anywhere from local matches helping and encouraging new shooters as they develop their own love of the sport, to the dove field with his friends, a charity sporting clays shoot, backpack hunting public land in Montana, or the winners podium of a major championship.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Darrell Burch July 17, 2018, 12:45 pm

    I think this is a great idea and plan to get one when I get my tikka tac a1 6.5

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