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mil-dot vs bdc

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2010 at 04:38
ASNAKEYE View Drop Down
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I'm new to this, but here I go.........

I need to get a rifle scope for a Remington 700 in 300 Win. mag.
This rifle will be used out west for mule deer.
My question is, what type of reticle is best for this purpose ? Mil-dot, BDC or Standard crosshair ?
Thanks for any info.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2010 at 05:24
8shots View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
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Depends on your budget.
I have a BDC scope. Problem is it works only on one power setting and on one specific load. So it is a little bit of "best fit". However with some practice on the range at different targets and distance, it certainly beats "kentucky elevation" hands down.
Mildot can be a bit confusing when you have a limited time to engage your target. Again practise makes perfect.
Certainly the best option is the scopes with adjustable BDC, where you can adjust each BDC reticule for your own bullet drop and distances. Enter the $$$$
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2010 at 10:19
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In my mind most people thing of the BDC and mildot scopes the wrong way.  The reticle basically offers several more aiming points at a given magnification.  We say that it doesn't "match" my trajectory, so it is not good, but really it doesn't "match" any trajectory. 
 
What you need to do is figure out your bullet trajectory based on velocity, BC, and density altitude (combining temp, elevation and barometric pressure) and then make some cards which tell you what ranges the points on your recticle correspond to.
 
For example, at a given temp, and elevation, and load, the first lower BDC marking might correspond to 190 yards, with a 100 yard zero, the next might correspond to 270 and the next 350.  Your bdc works, it just doesn't happen to match up with 100, 200, 300, 400 yards. 
 
I think this is easier to do with a mil dot reticle because the intervals between the markings are constant, although there is no reason why you can't do it with any BDC.  I have not tried it, but I believe Nikon has a calculator on their website which will do all this for you if you enter in the values .  Of course, the results need to be verified in the "real world", but a program should get you close.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2010 at 17:23
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Welcome to OT Asnakeye,real good info 8shots.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2010 at 23:02
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A BDC is too generic for the variety of loads available. A mil-dot really won't help for shots under 300-350 yards and is only worth it if you're willing to learn how to use it...Then it still should never be used to range a game animal. Do the humane thing and use a laser range finder. In most cases, a good ol' duplex reticle and a maximum point blank range zero within a tight 8" kill zone will do just great and certainly better than relying on a system you don't know thoroughly.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2010 at 23:40
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Guys you are in luck! I just returned from the Texas Trophy Hunters Show in Fort Worth. Stopped by the Nikon booth and was thourghly impressed by their big screen TV showing the new Spot On Ballastic Match Technology Program. This site will save you hours trying to figure things out and $$$ on ammo going who knows where. Check it out. Pretty cool. Maybe I'm a bit of a hunting/techno geek, but for me, taking the guess work out of your shot might be the difference between a wall hanger and a cull. Let me know what you think? 

http://www.nikonhunting.com/spoton/


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2010 at 02:54
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thank you all for the information. This gives me alot to think about. Maybe even more questions !
And bman, I looked at the Nikon/spoton program a few week ago, it does look like a time saver.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2010 at 03:20
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So are you saying that the BDC/Mil-dot , points of impact (or yardage values) will be different at different power settings ?
Whereas at 4 power ,the second dot down could be 200 yards, but at 16 power ,the second dot down could be 230 yards, with the same load and conditions ?
Do most scope manufactures make scopes with adjustable BDC reticules ? Do you have brand names for me to look at ?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2010 at 03:39
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Optics GrassHopper
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Wow, I just looked at the Nikon/spoton program, and I just answered my question.Yes the power setting does change the point of impact.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2010 at 03:56
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OK then......................
With a standard duplex reticle sighted in at 200 yards on 4 power , and I shoot at 300 yrds. and hit 5 in. low on 4 power , will it still be 5 in. low if I change the power setting to 12 ? Or will the point of impact change ?
[ The Nikon/spoton program would not let me change the power setting on the 4x16x42( with a nikonplex reticle ) scope I chose to see if it would make a differance at different yardages ?]
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2010 at 06:54
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From what I can tell the SpotOn program only works with the BDC reticles by labeling the circles at different powers on the scope.
Obviously you can glean a heck of a lot more information then just that by really looking thru the program.
You can check the trajectory and drop of any cal. bullet and make adjustments accordinly on your scope with elevation adjustments. I find it amazing that a program with the kind of impact this one has for hunters has just recently become available. What would be cool would be an iPhone app  or program you could download and take to the range but thus far I have not seen either.
The more you look the SpotOn program over the more useful info you will find. Even on 22LR which my son loves to shoot! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2010 at 07:16
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No matter how many programs these companies develop,bottom line" Practice Practice Practice "
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2010 at 09:33
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To get back to your original question, what is the best reticule?
Probably the BDC.
 
Another option to consider is a tactical style scope with vinger adjustable turrets. This would enable you to dial in elevation exactly and take all the guesswork away.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2010 at 16:47
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Tough question as shooters can vary so much. I think the Monarch is a fine scope and an excellent excellent value. I do however find the BDC to be to much/busy for me and find it reduces my taget acquision and can cover much of the target especially at longer ranges.
 I do like multi placement reticles and have used them from most manufacters. I do not use those scopes with multi point rangefinder functions for rangefinding. I use a laser rangefinder and use the reticle points for hold positioning.  Between these options in this scope, I like the mildot. Just me and I know many who like the BDC.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2010 at 20:24
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Amen! No substitute for range time. On the other hand, make the most of it with what you have.
I have spent hours looking at the Nikon SPotOn Program, at everything from 22LR to 375 H&H.
Pretty amazing all the useful info you can glean from it. I have seen programs before but never one that gave you so much data about any load you shoot.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2010 at 21:32
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Practice/Range time is critical to proficiencyaccuracy, Like golf or any other other endeavor.
I would also recommend that with these calcualtors, that you actually chronograph your favorite rounds to get accurate velocity ratings, if you are longer shooting. 50-150 FPS variance from the manufacters velocity will significantly affect your calculations at longer ranges. The manuf velocity ratings are developed in a fashion not entirely like your standard rifle and their stated velocities are routinely higher than those you will achieve.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2010 at 05:36
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Gerald Perry's Exbal Ballistics program has had a 2nd focal plane reticle subtension change with magnification change for about 5-10 years now. I think most of those other programs are based off his.

A little bit of math and any ballistics program can give you the kind of info the Spot-On system provides with any multi-stadia reticle once u know your reticle's subtensions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2010 at 05:49
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Originally posted by ASNAKEYE ASNAKEYE wrote:

OK then......................
With a standard duplex reticle sighted in at 200 yards on 4 power , and I shoot at 300 yrds. and hit 5 in. low on 4 power , will it still be 5 in. low if I change the power setting to 12 ? Or will the point of impact change ?
[ The Nikon/spoton program would not let me change the power setting on the 4x16x42( with a nikonplex reticle ) scope I chose to see if it would make a differance at different yardages ?]
 
When u change the power on a scope the center axis of the reticle should not change POI, because it's always at the optical center of the scope, but any other stadia point's subtension will change. It's actually inversely proportional to magnification. As the mag. INCREASES, reticle subtension DECREASES. In other words if u have a point below the center x-hair that measures (subtends) 5" at 100 yds. at 9x, then at 4.5x it will subtend 10" at 100 yds. (assuming the power ring is calibrated properly--most are close enough for downrange zeroing purposes).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2010 at 08:31
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Very well stated. That is what I  found that I really appreciate about the SpotOn Program, it takes all that into account for you so you can concentrate on making the shot. You also don't have to take the 10-15 sec. to dial up or down your distance on your elevation knobs. Quick and easy because as we all know, sometimes you don't get a lot of time to make that critical shot.
I am impressed by all the informative replies to my inital post. Thank you.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2010 at 08:48
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I concur 100%. I wouldn't want to show-up opening day of deer season with my Nikon Monarch 2.5-10x42 with BDC reticle only sighted in and shot at 100 yards. I sight in at 100 ( my ranges max. distance) then I practice shooting using the BDC circles. Making sure they are hitting where they should be on the target.
Thankfully, now that I have discovered the Nikon Spot On Ballastic Match Program I will know the exact distances for each circle at whatever power I use my Monarch. That to me is the real difference maker. The program also has a way to let you print the BDC reticle and distance each circle represents to put on your gun. I haven't done this yet but I will by opening day! In the past I have only had the opportunity to hunt 3 days a year, I don't want to miss an opportunity because my scope is smarter then I am. If you haven't looked this program over, here is the link. As I have said previously tons of useful and interesting information for whatever caliber you shoot.

http://www.nikonhunting.com/spoton/
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2010 at 11:17
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The problem with using marking on a scope @ 100 yards to determine come-ups at longer distances is that it isn't as accurate a test as actually shooting out to those distances. Nor will it give you any wind practice. (Wind drift @ 100 yards is neglible...great for zeroing, but not for learning to shoot at longer ranges). The plain and simple truth is that using a maximum point blank range zero with a tight kill zone of 8-10" will work with any reticle and any decent hunting caliber to get you out to 300-350 yards.

Beyond that, it's a whole other game and then you really need to learn how to shoot in the wind. Other than when zeroing in, I never go to the range anymore unless it's blowing at least 15 mph. It's a humbling experience out past 400 yards if you're honest with yourself that only the first shot counts. So to recap, either keep it simple or make the investment of time and money in practice and the proper equipment. You can make 90% of the shots that any hunter should make with a simple, rugged scope and decent range time.

P.S. Only an FFP (first focal plane) scope keeps the relationship between reticle markings and the target size constant (that is they both get smaller with reduced magnification or larger as you increase it). That means you can range on any power.


Edited by jonoMT - August/22/2010 at 11:18
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2010 at 16:57
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I completely agree, If your shooting inside of 250 yards it addresses about 96% of shots. Windage is actually more of a concern past just over about 300 yards over elevation(depending on your weapon, initial sighted in distance and of couse wind speed). Again most would not need to account for this, but at longer ranges it can be actually the most significant consideration.
Practice at all practical distances and if you have access to a really long range, shot 300, 400, 600, 1000 yards what whateve you have access to. I promise you will learn your weapon and round better, but also your shooting techique.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2010 at 17:11
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Here is a test i did recently using the NP-R1 reticle in a 3.5-15x NF on top of this Sav. Super Striker/8 twist McGowen shooting the 65 JLK Low Drag at some velocity. The 1st ballistics program profile for this load was off by so many MOA, so i plotted the correction into Exbal and it gave me another profile that was closer to correct, but not perfect. Then it was over to JBM where my data gave me a G5 drag fucntion at another velocity. Finall i shot at 600 yds. and hit the upper left corner of the plate, .5 MOA off. The profile gave me a .375 BC @ 3100 mv, and it was dead on. Here's the 325, 400 and 525 1st-shot connections for this soon to be coyote rig--
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2010 at 17:33
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BDC are really nice to have for holder.  Problem was that it really only worked at on mag setting unless you wanted to punch all the numbers yourself.  The new Nikon software does all that work for you, but is still no substitute for actual range time at all ranges you want to shoot.  It you are going to shoot only inside 300 to 400 yards, a simple duplex is the easiest to use.  I like the BDCs and mildot scopes.  Takes time to learn, but can be great once you have it down.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2010 at 20:42
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When it really comes down to push or shove--i'll take a ballistic reticle that's cald. for my load as close to even hundred yd. intervals as possible. Even if it means calibrated to a power lower then the highest. It takes little time to set the power ring correctly and for 0-~600 yds. that's accurate enuf. Have a buddy that killed 4 LR coyotes last season, and 3 of them were with reticle (VH in 6.5-20 Leup.). I'll take a tree reticle like VH also, since i like a windage system rather than just guessing

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