Wheeler Engineering Anti-Cant System

By Dr. Jim and Mary Clary

Wheeler Anti-Cant System
Illustration courtesy of Wheeler Engineering, Inc. and Battenfeld Technologies.

Benchrest, Palma and F-Class shooters are keenly aware of how canting can change the point of impact on the target. However, most hunters are unaware that sometimes cant angles can result in a missed shot, particularly on small targets such as varmints. Most shooters cant their rifles to some extent, yet few hunters have ever invested in an anti-cant device, let alone worried about the effect of canting on their shooting.

We hope that the following example will convince you of the effect of canting and why you need to avoid it: You are at the range and have just finished sighting in your rifle. You pass it to a friend or relative for a few shots and, low-and-behold, the point of impact on the target is not the same. One (or both) of you is canting the gun.

Cant errors can become really noticeable when the rifle has been sighted in by a left-handed shooter and then passed to a right-handed shooter. How do I know? Well, I am left handed and routinely test new loads with my bride's rifles. When I hand the gun to her (and remember, she is a better shot than me), it never holds on the same point. Either I canted the rifle while sighting it in, or Mary canted the rifle when she was shooting.

Using the Wheeler anti-cant device, we determined that I have been canting my rifles years. Mary, who used to shoot F-Class matches, holds level and steady. Thus, when she took her gun that I had sighted-in, it was not.

If you regularly practice at the range with the Wheeler device installed, you will get in the habit of holding your rifle level. The old saying "practice makes perfect" was never more true than when learning to avoid canting your rifle. With enough practice, you won't have to worry when you shoot at a once-in-a-lifetime trophy; you will be dead on.

A little cant when shooting at big game animals at short range is probably of no great consequence. However, if you are shooting at small targets at long range, as when varmint hunting, it can become a major problem. We will never know how many animals of all sizes have been missed or wounded due to canting, but the problem can be avoided with this device.

We kept the Wheeler Anti-Cant device permanently installed on our primary hunting rifles, just to check ourselves from time-to-time, as it folds out of the way when not in use. The Wheeler Anti-Cant device comes in four sizes, one for 30mm scope tubes, one for 1" tubes, one for 34/35 mm tubes and one for Picatinny Rail attachment. With an 2013 MSRP of $39.99, it can be a good investment.

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