July 21, 2022
By Christian Berg
Sight leveling is one of the most misunderstood technical topics in archery.
While most bowhunters know that properly leveling the second and third axes on their sights is critical for accuracy in the field, few can explain why — and fewer still actually know how to accomplish the task.
The good news is that leveling your sight isn’t as mysterious as you think. In fact, October Mountain Products has developed a new product that makes it easy for anyone to do the job in mere minutes. In testing, I was amazed at how October Mountain’s Axis Sight Leveler simplified the sight-leveling process. This handy tool is an inexpensive investment in accuracy for any bowhunter who shoots at game from elevated stands, at steep uphill or downhill angles or from uneven terrain — which, when you think about it, is pretty much all of us!
Before I dive into the Axis Sight Leveler, I want to direct you to my bow-tuning article on p. 40 for a more thorough explanation of your sight’s axes and why they are so crucial to bowhunting accuracy. For the purposes of this review, suffice it to say that if your second and third axes aren’t properly calibrated, you will not shoot accurately at longer ranges or when taking steep uphill or downhill shots — all common bowhunting scenarios.
For those of you who have leveled bow-mounted sights by hanging a plumb bob and aligning the sight’s bubble level at full draw, you know that process can be quite cumbersome. So, perhaps my favorite feature of the Axis Sight Leveler is that it allows you to level your sight before you ever attach it to the bow — or to remove your existing bow sight, level it and replace it while maintaining perfect calibration.
The Axis Sight Leveler is a sturdy unit made from machined aluminum and featuring integrated vertical and horizontal levels. There is also a set of mounting holes that accepts your sight bar or dovetail mounting bracket. Once you attach your sight to the Leveler, you can either place it into an October Mountain Versa-Cradle bow vice and level it or simply use a C-clamp to mount the Leveler to any flat surface. If using the latter method, the Leveler has three built-in setscrews that allow you to fine-tune its position to bring both levels into perfect alignment.
Once the Axis Sight Leveler is leveled, simply follow your sight manufacturer’s instructions to adjust the second axis. This should allow you to make adjustments so that the bubble level on your sight is perfectly aligned with those on the Leveler unit.
After setting the second axis, pivot the Leveler to a 45-degree upward or downward angle using the Versa-Cradle (or by using a shim if using a C-clamp). Next, adjust the horizontal level on the Leveler so it is centered. Then, follow your sight manufacturer’s instructions to adjust the third axis. Again, this should allow you to make sure the sight’s bubble level is properly aligned with the horizontal level on Leveler.
That’s it! You can now mount the sight to your bow and be confident it is perfectly calibrated. For those who have leveled many sights in the past, I am confident you will find the Axis Sight Leveler a far faster, easier and more effective method than “the way you’ve always done it.” And for those who have never leveled a bow sight, the Axis Sight Leveler is just the ticket to help you do so and enjoy the bowhunting benefits that come along with it! — Editor Christian Berg