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Swarovski & Kahles TDS reticle info.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2004 at 18:04
Chris Farris View Drop Down

Joined: October/01/2003
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 7842


 The TDS reticle system is designed to accurately place a shot from short to very long distances without any adjustments of the turrets. This reticle is designed to perform several different tasks.

The first is to take the guesswork out of holdover by using the short horizontal lines called marker bars. All TDS scopes come with about a dozen decals. You have to first choose which decal to use depending on the cartridge you are using. This decal will represent different yardage points on the main horizontal crosshair and 4 marker bars.


You first have to determine what factor number is correct for your rifle and cartridge. The factor number is simply the bullet drop in inches from 200 to 300 yards with a 200 yard zero. For example, you are firing a 30-06 180 grain Nosler Partition bullet at 2700 feet per second. Ballistic data will show that this bullet will drop 8.5 inches at 300 yards with a 200 yard zero so the factor will be 8.5. In this case you would use the decal that says Factors 8-9.5. On this decal the main horizontal crosshair would be 100 yards, the 1st marker bar 200 yards, the 2nd marker bar 300 yards, the 3rd marker bar 400 yards and the 4th marker bar 450 yards. Here's an example of the same bullet in a different cartridge at a faster velocity. You are firing a .300 Weatherby Magnum with a 180 grain Nosler Partition at 3240 feet per second. With a 200 yard zero the bullet will be dropping 5.5 inches at 300 yards. Since the factor is 5.5 you would use the decal that says Factors 4.7-5.7. On this decal the 100, 200 and 300 yard points will all be on the main horizontal crosshair, the 1st marker bar 400 yards, the 2nd marker bar 500 yards, the 3rd marker bar 600 yards and the 4th marker bar 700 yards.

Another feature of the TDS system is that you can correct for wind. Each end of the marker bars are calibrated for a 10 mph crosswind from the center vertical line. If you have a 10 mph wind blowing from right to left and you've determined the animal is 400 yards away, your decal shows 400 yards is the 3rd marker bar down, hold the left end of that marker bar where you want the bullet to hit.

Distance to a target can also be determined with the TDS system. You must first know the chest depth of the animal you are hunting. There is a chest depth chart for most big game animals in the back of the TDS instruction manual. On every TDS decal there are also numbers on the left side of the decal descending vertically from 0 to 11. This series of numbers is called the grid line. Now suppose you are hunting an elk with a chest depth of 24 inches. To determine the range place the main horizontal crosshair on the top of the back at the shoulder area. Look to see where the bottom of the chest lines up in relation to the marker bars. Say in this case the bottom of the chest falls just slightly below the 3rd marker bar. Look at the decal to see what grid line number is at that same point where the bottom of the chest is. You will find that number 8 most closely corresponds. Take that 8 and divide it into the chest depth of 24 to get 3, multiply that 3 times 100 to get 300 yards away. Now use the 300 yard bar on the reticle and fire.

The TDS reticle can also compensate for trajectories fired at sharp angles say from 30 to 45 degrees. Most people have a tendency to shoot high in these situations. Bullet trajectories are figured over a horizontal plane. If to have a 500 yard shot at an animal the ballistics are pretty straightforward. If you have that same 500 yard shot at a 45 degree angle, up or down, the effect of gravity on the bullet will be over a much shorter distance. This is a case where most people will have a tendency to shoot too high. In this scenario with the TDS system you simply move from the 500 yard marker bar to the 400 yard marker bar.

This is a brief summary of what the TDS reticle system can do. A more detailed explanation is in the TDS instruction manual.



Depending on the model scope you have, the reticle or crosshair is placed in the 1st or 2nd image plane. If the scope has a 2nd image plane reticle, the target will change in size but the reticle will remain the same size as you turn the power up or down. In this system the target changes size against the reticle. TDS scopes with second image plane reticles are designed to be used at that scope's maximum power for the marker bar spacing to be the correct indicated yardage. On the other hand the zero on the main crosshair will always remain the same no matter what power the rifle scope is on meaning you still can use the scope at lower powers when game may appear at close range where the main crosshair would normally be used. 

In a 1st image plane scope the reticle stays the same size against the target at all powers. The reticle will get larger as you turn the power up and smaller as you turn the power down staying the same size against the target. Because the reticle is always the same size against the target or game animal a 1st image plane TDS rifle scope can be used at any magnification for the marker bars to indicate their respective yardage.

2nd image plane TDS rifle scope models        


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/29/2005 at 11:02
Brady View Drop Down
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Joined: May/20/2004
Location: United States
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Points: 1843

Here is a little more info:


The TDS-plex and the TDS-4 are designed to be used the exact same way. The same instructions go out with both scopes. Currently the TDS-Plex is available in the Swarovski 3-12x50 PV, 3-12x50 SR, 3-9X36 AV, 3-10x42 AV, 3-10x42 SR 4-12x50 AV, 4-12x50 SR, and 6-18x50 AV. The TDS-4 is only available in the Swarovski 4-16x50 PV, the 6-24x50 PV and the 6-24x50 PV/S. There are some subtle differences. There is no heavy post at the 12:00 position down on the TDS-4. There are two dots on the horizontal crosshair that are designed as a lead point on a running boar target(a popular target game in Europe). The subtensions are very slightly different as far as distances between the lines.


The distance between the lines on the TDS - Plex are as follows:


1st bar = 2.0 inches low at 100 yds

2nd bar = 4.8 inches low at 100 yds

3rd bar = 7.5 inches low at 100 yds

4th bar = 10.5 inches low at 100 yds


The TDS-4 are as follows


1st bar = 1.8 inches low at 100 yds

2nd bar = 4.7 inches low at 100 yds

3rd bar = 8.0 inches low at 100 yds

4th bar = 12.2 inches low at 100 yds


These measurments are with all the scopes at their maximum power with the exception of the 3-12x50 PV and SR. It does not matter what power the 3-12x50 is used at because it is a first focal plane reticle. These slight differences in subtensions make virtually no difference in how the scopes perform in most big game hunting applications.

Keep in mind that the zero of the main crosshair (of 2nd focal plane models) does not change regardless of what power the scope is on. If your cartridge requires the scope to be zeroed at 100, 200, or 300 yards on the main crosshair, that zero will remain there just like any other rifle scope. It is the 4 marker bars below that will change their meaning if the scope is used at lower powers. If the scopes are used at lower powers the marker bars will indicate further distances away the lower the power is turned down.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/14/2006 at 15:54
Chris Farris View Drop Down

Joined: October/01/2003
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 7842

S w a r o v s k i  O p t i k  T D S  B a l l i s t i c  C a l c u l a t o r



We warmly welcome you to the Swarovski Optik TDS Ballistic Calculator for your TDS reticle. The

following account provides you with a few tips to make it easier for you to use it.


The TDS reticle is a distance reticle for long-range shooting, which allows a consistently precise sightin distance. It offers the shooter a simple means of achieving the necessary sighting corrections for precisely hitting a distant target without having to undertake any adjustment on the scope. As with any other targeting device, the marksman still needs a good and careful shooting technique, discipline, and practice.


This program will allow you to choose data from a wide variety of factory ammunition. If you are a

handloader we offer the means to enter your own ballistic data to precisely indicate the distance each marker bar. Because there is such a large volume of information to choose from be careful in picking your individual cartridge / bullet specifications to ensure the most accurate result.


If you still have questions on the program, contact us, we would be pleased to help you further



The following instructions guide you through the program with brief explanations on the various input items.





In order to be able to access the program, go to under the heading

“Products/Scopes” where you click the relevant link. Please begin by entering your e-mail address and the serial number of your scope. The serial number can be found on the bottom of the ocular on your scope.


Then click the LOGIN field to arrive in the Main Data Form. Please always login with this

combination of e-mail address and your serial number.





You are now in the Main Data Form. At the beginning, you see an example of how your input could

look. The following applies for each of your subsequent inputs: When finished, click CHECK/SYNC DATA to update your data.


You are initially in the English system (output in yards, inches, etc). However, you can switch to the

metric system (and output in meters) by activating both fields at the top right.


The input fields are explained in more detail in the following steps. In order to input your specific data, just click on the respective field and change the data.



The fields BULLET/LOAD and CARTRIDGE have no direct influence on the calculation; they are

solely there for information after selection from the database and can also be left blank.








Two options are presented as follows on how you can input your specific data into the fields b), c),

and e): If you already know your ballistic data, you can simply enter it into the fields provided. If you

do not have these data at hand, you may also take the information for common types of projectiles

and (predominantly American) calibers from the database. For this purpose, go to the far right to

the field GET BULLET DATA (BC) or GET FACTORY DATA (vel) where you select your bullet or cartridge.



Click on the field GET BULLET DATA (BC) to arrive at the BULLET DATA

FORM. Here you find different bullet types, and you can also obtain their respective ballistic



In the BULLET DATA FORM, you can select your bullet type by selecting the particular bullet

manufacturer on the left and then clicking SHOW DATA and clicking the exact bullet

type with its weight in the lower field. Then click UPDATE to update the selection and

MAIN DATA FORM to return to the Main Data Form. Your personal selection is then

accepted by the program.



To select your cartridge from the database, click on GET FACTORY DATA (vel). You then arrive at the CARTRIDGE DATA FORM. Data input is basically the same way as above for the BULLET DATA FORM.


You can select your cartridge in the Cartridge Data Form. To do this, click an ammo manufacturer on the left and then on

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/06/2007 at 15:53
Chris Farris View Drop Down

Joined: October/01/2003
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 7842



TD's early life progressed at an average enough pace: A football scholarship helped with college, followed by a stint in the merchant marines. But he found his home in the Air Force behind an F4 Fighter. Flying over 200 missions into North Vietnam and Laos out of Korat, Thailand was only one landmark in his amazing career.


It was prior to his Vietnam experience that someone recognized one of Tom's extraordinary gifts: He could shoot a pistol like another Texan, Van Clyburn, could play the piano.


Smith won his first match and kept on winning, year after year, championship after championship. At the 1963 Pan-American Games, TD set the only World Record in pistol held by the U.S. The 1964 U.S. Olympic Games lists Smith as a member, shooting eighth in the free pistol. And again in that year, he won the National .45 Championship. In 1965 he won the National Indoor Championship at Fort Benning, the National .22 and .45 Championships at Camp Perry, and the Air Force Service Pistol Championship at Camp Perry. Smith was also the first pistol shooter to hit 300x300 with the .22 and .45 handguns in registered competition.

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