June 3rd, 2020

Shooting Skills — Canting Left or Right Alters Point of Impact

rifle level canting shooting rifle Ryan Cleckner

In a helpful NSSF video, Ryan Cleckner explains why you normally should avoid canting your rifle — rotating it clockwise or counter-clockwise. Cleckner explains that canting the rifle in one direction or another will change the point of impact: “When you rotate the rifle, not only does the [POI move] in the direction that you’re rotated, [but] it also loses some of its elevation as it rolls down.” This, Cleckner explains, can make you miss on one side or the other:

Cant to the Left — You’re going to miss low and left.
Cant to the Right — You’re going to miss low and right.

rifle level canting shooting rifle Ryan Cleckner

In this video, starting at the one-minute mark, Cleckner shows the effect of rifle canting when engaging a 600-yard target. A few degrees of cant (either to the left or to the right), moves the shot POI completely off the steel silhouette target. The POI change occurs mainly because you are lowering (and laterally shifting) the scope sight-line relative to the bore axis, effectively changing your zero.

David Tubb has explained: “Every 1 degree you are off on a cant, is about six inches of difference laterally at 1000 yards”.

Position Shooting with Sling — Rifle Cant Considerations
Cleckner’s discussion assumes that the scope or sights are set to hit center with the rifle level and plumb. That works for most situations when shooting prone off bipod, front mechanical rest, or front sandbag. However, many sling shooters, including David Tubb and John Whidden, do tilt or cant their rifles slightly inward because this allows a more comfortable hold with sling, or allows better eye-to-sight alignment. Holding the rifle at an angle can work — but the angle of cant must be consistent for every shot. Canting the rifle is not a sin by itself. However, after you confirm your zero on your target, the degree of cant must be the same for EVERY shot. You must maintain that exact same degree of rotation on each shot or you will experience the shot POI movement Cleckner illustrates. Consistency is the key.

John Whidden
John Whidden, 5-time Nat’l Long Range Champion, holds a Palma rifle. John now shoots a match rifle with an Anschutz stock which he holds more upright, but still with some counter-clockwise cant. John also installed his iron sights at an angle so that the adjustments are correct (and plumb) even with his canted hold: “While it may not be obvious in the picture, the sights on my rifle are set up so that they’re straight vertical and horizontal while I hold the rifle canted. Making sure your adjustments (scope or sights) are vertical and horizontal is a critical piece of the pie.”

Inexpensive Dual-Diameter Scope-Mounted Bubble Level
The best way to avoid inconsistent rifle canting is to use a bubble level fitted to rail or scope. One very affordable and versatile product is the Jialitte Scope Bubble Level. This features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes. The Jiaalitte unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. This costs just $10.99.

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

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July 11th, 2019

New ZEISS Precision Rings — Premium Quality & Integral Levels

Zeiss Precision Ring Set 30mm 36mm 34mm alumininum mil-spec Picatinny tactical

Now this is smart — ZEISS has just introduced a series of precision scope rings with integral bubble levels. These new ZEISS Ultralight 1913 Mil-Spec Rings for Picatinny Rails are beautifully made, making them a smart choice for mounting all brands of quality riflescopes. The rings are currently offered in 30mm diameter (low, med, high) and 36mm diameter (med, high), with 34mm versions coming out in the very near future.

CLICK HERE for Zeiss Precision Rings Brochure PDF »

We like the craftsmanship on these Precision Rings — they are “micro-radiused” on the machined leading edges to ensure a non-marring design. That special design feature helps prevent annoying marks on your expensive scope. Along with the built-in anti-cant levels, these rings feature an integral bottom recoil lug. That helps ensure the rings align perfectly and hold securely even with the high recoil forces generated by big caliber, magnum rifles.

Zeiss Precision Ring Set 30mm 36mm 34mm alumininum mil-spec Picatinny tactical

Though these Precision Rings are very strong, they are also relatively light-weight. Crafted from Mil-Spec 7075-T6 aluminum (Type III) these rings weigh just 4.4 ounces with screws for a 30mm low set. For durability, ZEISS UltraLight Rings feature a 30-micron hard, matte black, anodized finish. The ring sets ship with a nice hard case, which includes both T15 and T25 Torx driver bits. The Zeiss Ultralight 30mm Rings cost $179.99 while the larger-diameter 36mm rings cost $199.99

Zeiss Precision Ring Set 30mm 36mm 34mm alumininum mil-spec Picatinny tactical

NOTE: These rings are designed for correct, Mil-Spec Picatinny rails (aka MIL-STD-1913 rail or STANAG 2324 rail). Some lower-cost “Weaver-type” rails may not be ideal. ZEISS states: “For optimum performance and flawless mounting, we strongly advise that you mount [these rings] on a high-quality 1913 Mil-Std specification rail[.]”

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July 11th, 2018

Leupold Scope Detects Rifle Canting with Intelligent Reticle

Leupold VX-6HD hunting riflescope scope optics electronic reticle level motion sensor
New Technology — Electronic Reticle Level. Activate level by pushing illumination button for 15 seconds. The level warning deactivates automatically when you rotate the scope over 30 degrees.

The latest Leupold VX-6HD scopes have a feature we’d like to see incorporated in other optics: a tilt-correction warning system. When the rifle is canted more than 1 degree off level, the VX-6HD’s new electronic reticle level flashes, telling the shooter to square up his rifle. This kind of innovation helps both hunters and target shooters. Even a small bit of cant variance from shot to shot will change the point of impact at long range (Canting Demo HERE). Proprietary MST (Motion Sensor Technology) automatically deactivates illumination after 5 minutes of inactivity, yet reactivates instantly as soon as any movement is detected.

Leupold VX-6HD hunting riflescope scope optics electronic reticle level motion sensorThe electronic reticle level and other advanced VX-6HD features were praised by Petersen’s Hunting magazine, which awarded the VX-6HD an Editor’s Choice award. Leupold put a lot of advanced optics technology in this scope. Leupold says: “We gave it new high-definition lenses for sharpened clarity, Twilight Max Light Management System, an in-scope cant indicator, a throw lever for fast magnification changes, and a more robust erector system.”

Leupold offers six VX-6HD series riflescopes: 4-24x52mm, 3-18x50mm, 3-18x44mm, 2-12x42mm, 1-6x24mm, and 1-6x24mm multigun. All Leupold VX-6HD riflescopes are CDS-capable and include one free Custom Ballistic Dial with purchase.

Leupold VX-6HD hunting riflescope scope optics electronic reticle level motion sensor

The VX-6HD series of scopes also feature a very clever, button-controlled return-to-zero system for both windage and elevation. A visible button snaps out at the zero point, locking the turret. Press the ZeroLock button to release and dial your needed elevation or windage. Simply spin the turret back and the lock snaps into place automatically at the designated zero point. Simple, easy, effective.

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