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Do I need a bullet drop reticle??

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/12/2011 at 22:34
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Optics GrassHopper
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Hey guys brand new to the forum.  I am also new to big game hunting in Colorado.  I have purchased a Tikka T3 in 30-06, but need advise on optics.  I have several friends who hunt big/dangerous game and they love Luepold, Zeiss, Swarovski.  I don't have the money for Swarovski or really Zeiss so I am thinking Leupold is the way to go.  I will gladly take other preferences if you have them. The Leupolds I have been looking at are either the VXIII 2.5-8x36 or VXR 2-7x33.  Now I also was thinking of getting the Boone & Crockett on the VXIII and the ballistic fire dot on the VXR.  So my question is do I need a bullet drop reticle or is it not worth the extra cash??  Also what do you guys think of my choice in optics, remember all advise is welcome. 

Thanks for the help guys, and I am glad to be here.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/12/2011 at 23:31
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You won't need a reticle like that until you get tired of shooting only to 350 yards...and make sure you're really bored with that. There are better choices than Leupold for the money. You're definitely in the right mag range, however. Too often people err on the side of wanting huge magnification, not realizing that they won't have a low enough number on the other end to have a wide enough field of view when an animal busts out of cover 50 yards away.

Good luck with your hunting preparations and welcome to the O.T!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/12/2011 at 23:37
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Welcome to OT! no, you do not "need" a bdc reticle for big/dangerous game hunting, but it can be nice for some shooting scenario's. a very nice scope to consider would be the vortex viper 2-7x32 with bdc if it's still available.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 00:57
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I will suggest that you can benefit from using either BDC type marks on a reticle or using target / tactical knobs to dial in correction.  For a hunting scope it is really hard to beat this one.
Leupold 6x42 FX-3 Riflescope Long Range Duplex Leupold 6x42 FX-3 Riflescope
Stock # - LEU66820
  • Matte
  • Long Range Duplex
  • 1"
  • Xtended Twilight Lens System
$429.95 


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - April/13/2011 at 00:57
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 01:12
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One of the problems that plagues BDC reticle scopes is they only work on the highest power so at any lower power the marks are wrong. Not so with a fixed power because you only have one power so its always on. Scopes that are brightest in low light are 6x42 or 7x50 or 8x56 and the higher the power the darker the image will appear so a BDC reticle on a 6.5-20x50 scope is virtually worthless in low light.
Other scopes that are a really good choice for an all around scope are the 3-9x42 Super Sniper and the
3-9x40 Zeiss Conquest.  By the way you can use a plex similar to a BDC by setting the center crosshair at zeroed at 200 yds then go out to 300 and 400 and aim the center of the crosshair at the target and shot a three shot group at each distance.  Then go up to the target take a marker large enough to see from 300 and 400 yds and mark where the bullets hit then go back to 300 and 400 and look at where on the reticle the marks on the target appear note the relation in comparison to where the crosshair goes thin to thick below center.  Those are you hold over points.
 
The SS has lots going for it great glass tactical knobs and the mildot reticle can be used both for range finding of a known  size target and for hold over at known distances and being FFP first focal plane it all works at every power.  You can dial in correction with the knobs and you can have knobs custom engraved marked in yards  so if something is 500 yds off you put it on 5 if its  600 yds off put it on 6 dont let the tactical look scare you off this scope is the one I selected for my sons 300 Win Mag
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 
 
Zeiss 3-9x40 Conquest Rifle Scope Z-Plex Zeiss 3-9x40 Conquest Rifle Scope
Stock # - ZEI5214609920
  • Matte
  • Z-Plex
  • 1"
  • Etched Glass
  • 2nd Plane
$399.95 


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - April/13/2011 at 01:12
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 01:56
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You definitely don't need a bdc reticle. Also, the good news is that if you have the money for a VX-3 or a VX-R then you have the money for a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 with a plex reticle. I would buy that scope, mount it, sight that 30-06 in about 2" high at 100 yds and start practicing. There are lots of options in the category you are looking at. Some other good options you may want to consider if you decide that you want a bdc reticle:

Sightron SII Big Sky 3-9x42 (bdc reticle available)
Vortex Viper 3-9x40 (bdc reticle available)
Minox ZA3 3-9x40 (bdc reticle available)

I would get any of those before I overpaid for a VX-3 with a B&C reticle.

If you go with Leupold I would go with the VX-R for the illumination. My preference would be the Firedot 4 reticle, but that's just me.




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 07:04
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The VX3 would make a great scope and is comprible to any glass in the $400-500 range. The Zeiss Conquest is also a very nice scope and great value.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 07:33
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Take a look at Minox, conquest level glass for cheaperWink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 10:08
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Originally posted by SVT_Tactical SVT_Tactical wrote:

Take a look at Minox, conquest level glass for cheaperWink


i haven't actually looked through the minox yet, since i can't find anyone here who stocks them... but i've read here and elsewhere that optically they're more comparable to swaro's than conquests.

take that for what it's worth.

honestly though... find a store that stocks as many of the types of scopes you're interested in, as you can... go there, and do a side by side with everything you want to consider.  go outside with them and look around.  do it at dusk or early in the morning or with crappy weather... they'll all look pretty good in bright light.

once you decide on a scope, you can start scouring the internet for the best deal on it... don't forget things like the samplelist here (samplelist.com), but make sure if you do buy a used, demo or floor sample, you're buying a scope with a transferable lifetime warranty(most of the big boys do).

finally, great choice on the tikka... i have one in .270 and it shoots like a dream.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 10:45
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I'm sure you guys are going to be shocked when you hear what I have to say.... If your new to big game hunting and want to be comfortable..... at least take a look at the Burris Eliminator. It's a bit more than the 4-500 price range but I saw 2 Elk get smoked at 460 and 480 with a 30-06. one of those shots was by a 12 year old. 

Burris also makes a great selection of other more traditional scopes that would fit your budget and they are made in Greeley, Colorado. 

Your initial investment will be pale in comparison to the money you spend traveling around going on hunts trying to bring home the buck or Bull of a lifetime... get the gear that will help you be as successful as possible. 

a 30-06 is not a Flat shooting round and could be seriously helped by the technology of the Eliminator. 


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 10:49
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oh ya... and save the money you would have spent on a range finder.... and you don't have to pack it with you..... 

There is a pile of upsides to this scope... if your new to Rifle hunting.... Knowing how far your target is, is a key factor.... shooting uphill or downhill... it compensates for that as well.... I can't find anything negative for your situation. 

also.... try the Hornady GMX superformance ammunition for that gun. Hornady is not a sponsor and have not given me a single thing... I have just witnessed the quality and consistency of their rounds..... it's what I use on every hunt. 


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 12:00
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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Push a button and the Eliminator does it all for you.
Burris 4-12x42 Eliminator Laser Rangefinding Rifle Scope Burris 4-12x42 Eliminator Laser Rangefinding Rifle Scope
Stock # - 200112
  • Matte
  • Plex w/ Illuminated 1/3 MOA Dot (Where Bullet will Drop)
  • Ultra Low Mounting System
  • Remote Activation
$899.95 
Or you could use a Super Sniper 6x42 mildot for $299.95 with no battery or on board rangefinder and do it the old fashioned way.
http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmtraj-5.1.cgi use on line software to print a balistic chart with drop in both mil and 1/4 moa and you could use a  mildot master to figure distance or just make a simple chart regarding how mil 's relate to an 18 inch brisket to backbone deer  (elk are 24 inch)
1mil      = 499 yds
1.25 mi = 400 yds
1.5mil   = 333 yds
1.75 mi  = 285 yds
2 mil      = 248 yds
2.25 mil = 222 yds
2.5 mil   =200 yds
Once you know how far away it is you can either hold over using the mil dots or you can dial in correction using the tactical knobs.
 
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 
 
SWFA SS 6x42 Tactical Riflescope SWFA SS 6x42 Tactical Riflescope
Stock # - SS6X42
  • Matte
  • Mil-Dot
  • 30mm
  • Rear Focus
  • OK for .50 cal
  • 1/4 MOA
$299.95 


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - April/13/2011 at 12:01
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 12:06
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So is the Eliminator a FFP scope or will it only BDC correctly at the highest power?  What happens with it when you dial it down to 6x to see in low light???????  Does it shoot over the top like most BDC scopes do?  Also does it have a setting for 50 cal musket?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 12:55
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well from the top.... it must be at 12X to properly adjust for bullet drop. That has not been a factor for me because even at a hundred yards the target is very stable in the scope and it is an easy shot. 
I have used this gun under some pretty low light conditions and it has performed very well even up at 12X. as it gets very dark.... you can't see out there past a couple hundred yards so just put the cross hairs on um and pull the trigger. This is just a tool... if you get one, use it as much as possible, get familiar with it and your gun. Get to know your trigger.... I find it very helpful and the technology has helped me tremendously. '

They are currently making the Eliminator to coincide with slug guns and Muzzleloaders... give um a shot and let us know what you think. 

thanks guys. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 21:57
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OK guys, well I think the eliminator is out of my price range and I am more of a good quality/simple kind of guy.  I don't really like the idea of the scope doing all of the thinking for me, I'm kind of a old school kinda guy.  I will look at the Zeiss I hope it comes in a smaller magnification.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 22:05
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Personally I have stayed away from BDC type scopes for the simple (and IMHO idiotic) fact that they work only on the highest magnification.  If I do get one it will be something like the Leupold 6x posted above.  I watched the Elk video and really couldn't tell if the guy just had buck fever or was getting buck fever because he was trying to get the reticle at 12x to steady down enough to shoot.  He never seemed to get really comfortable.  While the bull went down, he didn't stay down and went dragging his hind end behind him.  I think 6x is plenty for that shot and maybe the shot would have been better if he could have been steadier.  The more you shake the harder you fight it and the worse it gets.  Not many hunting situations give me any confidence with 12x magnification.  Just too hard to steady up enough. 
 
I do agree however that this seems to be a good sort of scope.  The scope has always seemed to me to be the place for a combined rangefinder, not a binocular.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 22:28
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I didn't see a lot of respect for that elk. Again, a simple, quality scope set 3.5" high @ 100 yards will get you out to 350 yards. If you have to aim up or downhill more than 15 degrees, hold low on the chest. Wind is your biggest problem and another reason to get within 300 yards of your target. If you can't then keep learning until you figure it out.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2011 at 23:20
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Unfortunately, the Zeiss Conquest does not currently come in a smaller magnification range than 3-9x40.
 
However, don't fret because another quality optics company has what you seek -

http://swfa.com/Minox-15-8x32-ZA5-Riflescope-P48151.aspx

....or with #4 reticle:  http://swfa.com/Minox-15-8x32-ZA5-Riflescope-P48153.aspx

Very good glass, designed in Germany, assembled in the USA, lifetime warranty from a well respected company. 

http://www.minox.com/index.php?id=3969&L=1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/14/2011 at 05:34
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   Put me in the camp whats the use since it only works at max power . While that may be OK at the range it is useless for hunting, If I was to get one as unimaginary friend states it would be on something like a fixed 6x. I did the math and worked out a matrix for the marks on a scope at each power from 3 to 9 power and at the lower powers it was getting pretty ridiculous/useless for the range adjustments. I would much rather use a 300yd PBR zero and then say judge 12" drop by saying I need to hold about 3/4 of a deer high. I feel much better using the relative critter size as a yard stick than the dots in a scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/14/2011 at 07:15
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Rather than trying to get a BDC reticle to correspond with your particular cartridge, you might be better off with a scope that has target turrents. Once you know your velocity and bullet weight, you can input the data in the chart below and it will calculate your MOA at various yardages and it even converts it to "number of clicks" for bullet drop and even windage. I make little charts and tape them onto my stock so all I have to do is - range target, adjust turrent, shoot.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/14/2011 at 07:32
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BDC scopes do NOT only work at highest mag... you just have to do more calculations for the different powers.  OR, you can purchase a Nikon with their BDC reticle and use their online software, which is also downloadable to iPhone, iEtc, and it will calculate bullet drop for a particular cartridge at any power.  While the transition is slow, we are moving optics and optics use technology beyond the 60's...  If you have a Nikon BDC scope, go here  http://www.nikonhunting.com/spoton/
 
   It's the FUTURE, guys...
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/14/2011 at 10:19
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There's nothing wrong with having these things, but they're more useful to someone who thoroughly understands the fundamentals of drop and wind within max. point blank range for a given rifle and load. For a .30-06 that's typically out to 350 yards and if you are confident you can hit a deer at a distance over three football fields in length in a 20 MPH crosswind, then it could be time to get fancy.

I don't mean to sound like a jerk about this, but there are no magic bullet solutions that are going to substitute for understanding the fundamentals. And you can only do that by getting out to the range. Go on calm days until you have your zero firmly set. Then go on the nastiest, windiest days you can. I didn't even bother going this winter unless it was blowing at least 20 MPH...and man was I humbled sometimes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/14/2011 at 11:55
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That beg the question why dont we see a  -- BDC +  FFP --- scopes that way hold over works the same at all powers.
Correct Dan you can take a BDC scope and work with it at every different power to figure out where the bullet will be in regard to the reticle marks.  But in actual field use I have hunted with guys who had their BDC scope and shot way over their deer at 200 yds because they dialed the power down to 3x while stalking and used the mark that would represent 200  yds at 9 max power then  didnt understand what happened.   With a second focal plane scope the reticle appears to remain the same while you can see field of view obviously change from narrow to wide as you reduce the magnification.  As the field of view changes so also does the amount of area between those fixed marks.  Guys with a BDC if you dial down your scope to 6x or 3x or whatever power put in range time with it there.
The Mildot FFP 3-9x42 Super Sniper can be used by using the mil dots for known distance hold over and they stay true at all powers.  You just run a balistics chart with drop in mils and you can either use the knobs to dial in or the mildots to hold over.
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 


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - April/14/2011 at 13:16
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/14/2011 at 12:18
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You may also want to look at the Burris 3X-10X-40mm Signature Select and the 3X-9X-40mm Fullfield II.  Both scopes come with the Ballistic Plex reticle.  With an aerodynamic bullet in your 30-06, it will allow for holding dead on out to 500 yards, and that is a long way away.  I have a 3X-10X-40mm Signature Select on my 30-06 and I love the scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/14/2011 at 12:30
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Unimaginaryfrnd is right. When I made my calculations to build a matrix for the scope at various powers assuming a 100yrd zero and 1.5" height above the bore.at 9x the hash marks were 205,310, 405 and 505. At 3x the hash marks were computed to be 315,505,680, and 820yds. respectively. Now I may be off a bit from rounding but you can see the magnitude of relative differences you can roughly expect and how you could easily shoot over a deer at 200yds as in his story. My conclusion was who wants to hunt with their rifle set at 9x all the time. and who wants to shoot at 820yds with their scope at 3x. The only way I would want a BDC reticule is say on a fixed power scope that I was using strictly for ground hogs etc. or target shooting.

Edited by powderburn - April/14/2011 at 12:30
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