The dashes are not hold over points.
The MIL in mil dot is a shortening of the term milliradian. You are familiar
with degrees as measurements of angle. You also know from high school geometry
that there are 360 degrees in a circle. As the circle grows larger in
circumference, the number of degrees does not change, but the distance between
each degree along the circle does increase. You may also know that degrees are
divided into smaller units called minutes. There are seconds, too, but they are
too small for this discussion. A degree is divided into 60 minutes. At 100 yards
distance, the angle of one minute is approximately one inch. So if the centers
of the two bullets farthest apart in a 100-yard group are about one inch apart,
we call that a minute-of-angle group. Get it? At 200 yards, a group measuring
two inches center- to-center equals a one minute-of-angle group. At 400 yards,
it's a four-inch group. At 50 yards, it's a half-inch group.
"So what's a mil?"
One mil of angle is approximately 3.6 inches long at 100
yards, and that is close enough to 3.5 minutes of angle to be convenient. In
Leapers mil dot scopes, the centers of the dots are one mil apart. If the scope
is variable power, this only holds true for the highest power
So, if your bullseye is 3.5 inches in diameter and 100 yards
away, it will touch the centers of any two dots next to each other. If it
appears only half that size through the scope (from the center of one dot to
half the distance to the next center) your target must be about 200 yards away.
If the same bullseye spans the distance between the centers of three dots (two
with an extra dot between them), your target is about 50 yards
Sniper rifles have mil dots on both horizontal and vertical
crosshairs so they can measure height as well as width through their scopes. A
six-foot tall man is also 72 inches tall. At 100 yards, he would appear to be
just over 20 mils tall. At 1000 yards, he would be close to 2 mils
Military binoculars and gunsights are usually equipped with mil
reticles. On the standard crosshairs are other short lines that mark mill
angles. These are often referred to as rangefinding reticles. To use them
that way, you have to know how to apply the correct mathematical formula, plus
you have to know the approximate size of your target.
What else can you
use the mil dot reticle for? Well, if you are shooting in a crosswind, you can
use the dots as additional aim points to compensate for wind drift. If you
notice the strike of your pellets in relation to the dots, you can aim off to
one side by placing a dot along the horizontal reticle over the target instead
of the crosshairs. By choosing the correct dot, you can easily adjust for how
much the pellet will drift in the wind and end up with a perfect shot every
time. Better still, there is no math involved!
Here's a chart that you can reference.
I would strong suggest that you get a Mil-Dot Master or visit www.mil-dot.com. The Mildot Master is an analog calculator designed along the
principle of a slide rule, utilizing logarithmic and inverse logarithmic scales
developed specifically for performing the following operations:
Rapid and simple calculation of range to
target, based on a measurement of the target with a mildot reticle, by aligning
the estimated target size directly opposite the mildot measurement, and then
reading the range at an index mark.
Rapid and simple calculation of the
amount of sight correction necessary to compensate for bullet drop and/or wind
drift for a given range, enabling the shooter to determine either the equivalent
telescopic sight adjustment (minute-of-angle, or MOA) or the equivalent
hold-over (mils), by reading equivalents in both MOA and mils directly opposite
the bullet drop/wind drift figure.
Additionally, angle of fire for uphill
or downhill shots can be accurately measured, and the up/down compensation can
be closely calculated to reduce the errors such shots can