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BDC vs Boone & Crockett Reticles?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 09:23
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Optics GrassHopper
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Looking for new scopes for my 270wsm and 308.  I'd like to buy a range estimating reticle like the BDC by Nikon or the Boone & Crockett by Leupold.   These reticles seem to serve the same purpose, just marketed a little differently.  Any advice or feedback.  I like the fact the Leupold VX-3 is a much lighter scope than the Nikon Monarch.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 09:42
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IMO, the BDC type reticles are too "busy" and cover too much area in the view. I did have a Leupy with the B&C reticle about three years ago. I liked it o.k, but I eventually sold it. Between the two, I vote Leupy. Sightron puts a hold over type (HHR) in the Big Sky series that's pretty good also. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 09:49
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Because both of these scopes are second focal plane, the "ranging" function is only going to work at one magnification, usually the max. After I did research on these types of scopes, I went with a mil-dot and a fixed power S.S. 10x42. It just seemed as flexible as the BDC scopes, without the worries of remembering to check what setting my scope was on.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 10:06
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Are you looking for ranging data, or hold over points?  Maybe both?  What are you shooting at and at what ranges?
 
For ranging I prefer a laser.  Cheap, compact, accurate.
 
For holdover I like the Burris Ballisticplex and the Leupold Boone and Crockett.  Both work very well.  I just do not like the Nikon BDC.  Too much stuff going on there for my tastes
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 10:59
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I also believe their to busy for general hunting, it takes alot of range time and practice to fully use the capabilities of these reticles.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 12:07
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If used as a holdover retilcle, I'm sure both are fairly quick for hunting. OT's Cheaptrick has shot some excellent groups with the BDC.
I have used the BDC in low light and in the woods. It is hard to pick up and not very good in that environment. I can't say anything about the B&C in that regard.

Doug
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 16:53
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X = 180 Y = 90 (X+Pyro)+(Y-Pyro) = ?

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The only complaint I have with the Nikon BDC is that at longer ranges, the circles are a bit too big in my opinion. For 3-400 yds, they're fine. My experience with the B&C reticle is pretty limited, but the short time I did use it, I found the lines to be more precise than the Nikon's circles. I prefer the Rapid-Z in a Zeiss to both of them, but that's also what I'm most familiar with.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 17:26
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In addition to the ranging issues the other problem that arises is how visible they are in low light conditions. 

A year ago I did a side-by-side comparision of a Zeiss Conquest with Rapid-Z Varmint and a Leupold VX-3 with the Varmint Hunters Reticle, both were 6.5-20x50 with the purpose being to check reticle visibility in dark conditions.  The clarity, light gathering and all were pretty close with a slight edge to the Zeiss.  However, the reticle in the Zeiss was visible where as the Leupolds was difficult to see.  I chose these two reticles because they were the thinest ones in the store with comparable scopes.
 
Unless you pick a scope with a lighted reticle, I'd give the Zeiss a good look.  Light gathering, clarity and all of that are great but seeing the reticle is a must.  Based on the calibers you mentioned I'd consider a Zeiss Z-Plex myself.  You would have a hard time seing the fine cross hairs in the middle but the Duplex portion is very well seen and you can bracket the animal with those in low light conditions.
 
FWIW, I have a Burris FFII with a ballistic plex reticle and in the dark areas here in the gray wet Northwest those little tick marks just don't register, otherwise, they're quite useful.  If you find yourself hunting in conditions where its not very dark those ranging scope reticles would look very appealing.  Also, I have a Swarovski with a BR reticle that suffers the same fate as the Burris ballistic-plex, just not as bad.
 
I've only seen the Nikon's in the store and I believe I would rather have a Duplex style (for big gane hunting) than those BDC cirlcles because I don't feel they would show up very well in the dark either.
 
HTH,
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/04/2010 at 00:09
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Leupold 6x42 FX-3 Riflescope Long Range Duplex Leupold 6x42 FX-3 Riflescope
Stock # - LEU66820
  • Matte
  • Long Range Duplex
  • 1"
  • Xtended Twilight Lens System
$409.95
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SWFA SS 3-9x42 Tactical Riflescope Mil-Dot SWFA SS 3-9x42 Tactical Riflescope
Stock # - SS39X42
  • Matte
  • First Focal Plane Mil-Dot
  • 30mm
  • OK for .50 cal
  • 0.1 MRAD
$599.95
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Mil-Dot Master Mil-Dot Master
Stock # - MD1
  • Estimating Target Size
  • Determining Range to Target
  • Correcting for Bullet Drop
  • Correcting for Wind Drift
  • Correcting for Uphill/Downhill
  • Correcting Correction to Mil (holdover)
  • Correcting Correction to MOA (sight adjustment)
$29.95
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Leupold 4.5-14x40 VX-3 Riflescope Duplex Leupold 4.5-14x40 VX-3 Riflescope
Stock # - LEU59270
  • Matte
  • Duplex
  • 1"
  • Custom Dial System
  • Xtended Twilight Lens System
$639.95
Add Leupold 4.5-14x40 VX-3 Riflescope to Cart 
Here is the problem -  balistic reticles work at the highest power - only.  Dial the power down to brighten the scope in low light and use the hold over marks and you will shoot over the game. Only the center X on a BDC is true at lower than max power.
 
A 6x42 fixed power with balistic reticle hold over marks are always the same and always work and 42mm divided by 6 power gives a 7mm exit eye pupil =  very bright scope.
 
Fix #2  A FFP (first focal plane) reticle scope can be used like a balistic reticle for known hold over but the beauty is that it works at every power.  Mil dots are 3.6 inches apart at 100 yds.  You would go to the range Zero at 100 then hold crosshairs dead on at 200 or 300 and shoot a hole in the target then look to see what mildot the hole lines up with and that is your hold over point for that distance test it to see.
 
Option #3 the NEW  CDS  (Custom Dial System) is an idiot proof way to correct for known distance they will engrave the knob for your caliber and bullet.  Want 300 yds put it on 3 want 500 yds put it on 5  this works at every power.
 
As for determining distance to target one can use a laser rangefinder or can use mildots on known size targets and the mildot master aids you in determining range to target.
BDC reticles dont really find distance they help to compensate for bullet drop at known distances and if used one must check to see how well they correspond to the caliber and specific ammo.  Every  different change in ammo makes a difference in its trajectory.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/04/2010 at 09:31
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I feel that the mil-dot is the best for ranging and hold over points versus any other reticle out there.  But everyone has their preferance.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/04/2010 at 09:43
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To me I suspect the potential downside to mil-dots for the smallest critters is all of those dots can obscure the target way out there.  Otherwise I agree with you as long as they are visible for the hunting conditions you're in (same goes to the BDC types too).

Chapel Hill, huh.  I grew up in that neck of the woods, sure has changed a lot though.
 
Jim
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/05/2010 at 21:10
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I use many different rangefinding and BDC reticles for both rangefinding and downrange zeroing. Love them all really. I also love my mil-dot reticle...as long as i can apply it at a higher than calibrated power (6-18x Buckmasters) where the dots and dot to dot subtensions are smaller. This is my go-to optic on one of my long-range handguns for prairie dogs.

Edited by sscoyote - January/05/2010 at 21:12
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2010 at 16:50
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I have a B&C reticle in a VXIII 4.5 x 14 that works very well on a .300 WSM out to 300 yds w/180 gr handloads at about 2900 fps.  That's a far as my range goes so I haven't tested it further. Wouldn't shoot at an animal over 300 yds anyway most likely. I aslo have a Nikon 2.5 x 10 on another .300 WSM. Have not played with it as much as the Leupy but I tend to agree that the circles are very large at 200 and 300 yds. I like the B&C better. My two cents.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2012 at 08:36
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Billyburl2: Because both of these scopes are second focal plane, the "ranging" function is only going to work at one magnification, usually the max. After I did research on these types of scopes, I went with a mil-dot and a fixed power S.S. 10x42. It just seemed as flexible as the BDC scopes, without the worries of remembering to check what setting my scope was on. "
 
This is only partically correct.  Your point is valid, but only as it applies to manufacturer published ranges for that respective magnification power (They usually publish ranges for recticle reference points highest magnification power).  
 
You can use the rectile reference points for different distances on different magnification ranges, you just have to remember what magnification you have it on when coming back to that distance.  It's not nearly as as complicated as it sounds, esp considering your might only need 1 or two references other than the ones offered by the recticle at high power.
 
I personally think the BRT on the Swarovski scopes is the best, though I do not have any experience with one---YET :)  It seems to be the simplest concept with the lease amount of varaiables.  Obviously the price of the scope is perhaps the biggest obstale for most.  It's a simple recticle (without noisy reference points) combined with an adjustable turret that THE HUNTER can custom dial to his/her load/range.  It can be changed/tuned by the hunter on the bench (unlike Leupold's where you have to buy a new turret cover).  The flaw at present with Swaro is that they don't make glossy or silver finishes.  You'd think for this price, you could get whatever you wanted. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2012 at 10:07
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I have had Leupolds CDS in several different hunting conditions without fail. Very simple no worry system.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2012 at 00:36
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Originally posted by rainco rainco wrote:

Billyburl2: Because both of these scopes are second focal plane, the "ranging" function is only going to work at one magnification, usually the max. After I did research on these types of scopes, I went with a mil-dot and a fixed power S.S. 10x42. It just seemed as flexible as the BDC scopes, without the worries of remembering to check what setting my scope was on. "
 
This is only partically correct.  Your point is valid, but only as it applies to manufacturer published ranges for that respective magnification power (They usually publish ranges for recticle reference points highest magnification power).  
 
You can use the rectile reference points for different distances on different magnification ranges, you just have to remember what magnification you have it on when coming back to that distance.  It's not nearly as as complicated as it sounds, esp considering your might only need 1 or two references other than the ones offered by the recticle at high power.
 
I personally think the BRT on the Swarovski scopes is the best, though I do not have any experience with one---YET :)  It seems to be the simplest concept with the lease amount of varaiables.  Obviously the price of the scope is perhaps the biggest obstale for most.  It's a simple recticle (without noisy reference points) combined with an adjustable turret that THE HUNTER can custom dial to his/her load/range.  It can be changed/tuned by the hunter on the bench (unlike Leupold's where you have to buy a new turret cover).  The flaw at present with Swaro is that they don't make glossy or silver finishes.  You'd think for this price, you could get whatever you wanted. 
This also leads to the question of, "is what is marked on the mag ring correct?" Most scope manufactures really worry about the bottom and the very top end of the mag ring. The rest are just numbers, usually. Of course there are exceptions, usually on scopes in a higher price bracket than being discussed here.

 Can it work? Of course it can. But after my first scope purchase (a Burris FFII), it readily became apparent that BDC reticles, and I didn't get along. After the 10x that served me superbly, I bought a SS 5-20 FFP. With a First Focal Plane reticle, I can range or hold-off using my reticle no-matter where the scope is in the mag-range...All with no-extra math! 
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