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BDC reticles

VinootzVinootz Posts: 1 New Member
For my  .308 GA Precision build I would like to get a BDC reticle. Won't have much opportunity to shoot further than 200-300 yards. Once in a while will be able to do 500 yards.I wan't to try a BDC reticle. Already own 5 quality duplex reticle scopes for my hunting rifles(so they are out of the equation). Not likely I'd buy a $2000 scope (But might). Would you guys be kind enough to give your input regarding any brand of BDC reticle scope you have used?  I prefer 40 to 44 mm- no illumination. Please keep the opinions and suggestions within those parameters. Any experiences and advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Replies

  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,743 Senior Member
    I have one on a .22 rifle, with the BDC calibrated for .22 ammo.  It's a good scope and works OK.  Here's an opposite view, however, based on a .308.


    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,018 Senior Member
    I have used and like the newer Leupold CCH Reticle. 


    And my favorite is the Horus H59 Reticle. 


    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,047 Senior Member
    IMHO......forget a BDC reticle. I've tried some of the best and none matched my preferred loads. Go with target turrets instead and work up a come-ups chart matched to your load/rifle. 

    I went from zero hits against pdogs at 500 yards attempting to use a BDC scope to 90%+ using target turrets and a comeup chart.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,047 Senior Member
    MOA reticules in my opinion, are over-rated if your target is small and the distance is long. By small and long I mean a coke can at a quarter mile or more. At some point the human eye simply can't subdivide an MOA into small enough increments to insure consistent hits. An accurate rangefinder, thin stadia wires, and reliably repeatable target turrets are where it's at for consistent LR hits.

    However, if your anticipated range is 300 yards against big game, I'd take a standard scope sighted at 100 yards and hold 6" high. Meat in the freezer with any chambering suitable for 300 yard kills.

    I consider anything beyond 300 yards to be long range against big game.....but, if you're inside that, Kentucky windage is usually good enough.

    Mike


    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 10,922 Senior Member
    I have one on my Savage 30-06.  I tried it at 100, 200, 300 yards and with 3 different brands of factory ammo.  While close the POI was inconsistent for each distance. While plenty close for deer and elk I do not think it is a great choice for anything smaller. The gun groups well at each distance, just that poa and poi were perfect at 100 yards, not so much at further distance.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,960 Senior Member
    My only experience with BDC scopes is the Bushnell 1. 5 x 4.5 on my .358 Win. it came with about 6 or 7 inserts for different calibers non of which worked, however it did have one insert that was blank so i sighted it in at 100, 200, & 300 yards, the bottom line is i found if i left it at 200yds. i was about 2" high at 100 and about 3 - 3 1/2" low at 300, thats where its at today, hasnt moved in over 40 years.

    To me its worthless as i never carry a rangefinder and have never shot any big game it 300yds or beyond.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    I love theTMR reticle in my Leupolds, they make for fast shots on games medium ranges 500 or less for me, especially in the 200-300 yard range.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,018 Senior Member
    edited November 2018 #9
    So, what’s the difference between a MIL and a MOA reticle?  Besides the unit of measure. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,018 Senior Member
    edited November 2018 #10
    Here are two MOA reticles for Leupold. 





    I personally prefer a MIL Reticle as I posted earlier to either of these. MIL seems more precise with greater aiming points than either of these MOA examples. 

    And personally, I don’t like BDC reticles either. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,497 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    So, what’s the difference between a MIL and a MOA reticle?  Besides the unit of measure. 
    The actual subtension of said reticle/The thickness of the actual reticle.
    I doubt this is what is being talked about though.

    Vinootz,
    Welcome to the madhouse!
    There are only three or four brands of scopes that make BDC/Ballistic reticle in the first focal plane.  A bunch of companies make the BDC reticle in the second focal plane.

    A place where a newer shooter/hunter can make a big mistake is with the BDC reticle in the second focal plane (SFP).  Only on one certain magnification/power will that reticle have the correct subtension (distance between the lines).

    With a BDC reticle in the FFP, the reticle has the same subtension (distance between the lines), at every or any power.

    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,018 Senior Member
    I agree that under 300 yards, you might as well dial if you have a small or static target. 

    I don't agree that a unit of measure reticle (like H59) is useless. Guess it depends on your target and style of shooting.

    I like to dial at times. But, I also employ the H59 and similar reticles to good measure at relatively stupid distances of out to a mile. Not many standard scopes have enough turret to get that far without some assistance. 

    So, guess it’s user and task dependent. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,497 Senior Member
    Zee,
    Why do you like the Horus better than the Leupy?  More time with it?
    Finer subtension of the Horus?
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,018 Senior Member
    What is a Leupy?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,497 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    What is a Leupy?
    Uhhhhhh....Leupold B)
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,262 Senior Member
    If you're working under 300 yards, you probably want to expend some serious brain juice on the notion of building the rifle up for 1000.  Not that such exercises aren't fun, but if all you have to contend with is compensating for three to six inches of drop, then Zee's Horus-style reticles are massively overkill.  A more basic mil scale like Leupold's TMR might serve you better.

    Also worth considering is taking advantage of Leupold's Custom Dial System (CDS), available on the VX3's and maybe a few others.  You send them the variables - load info, scope height above bore, anticipated temperature and altitude, etc... - and they'll send you an elevation cap with the yardage settings for that load pre-engraved.  On a .308, you'll probably end up with a 600-700 yard dial that lets you reach that far in one complete turn of the cap

    For practical purposes, you can probably zero most .308 loads somewhere around 200-240 yards and not miss vertically by more than about 4 inches across your entire anticipated 300 yard operating range.  When your primary unit of measure is a deer's heart & lungs, that may be all the math you need.  
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,018 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    What is a Leupy?
    Uhhhhhh....Leupold B)
    Ah!  Much better. Thanks. 😁

    Finer subtensions and more windage in the reticle. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,018 Senior Member
    Bigslug said:

    Also worth considering is taking advantage of Leupold's Custom Dial System (CDS), available on the VX3's and maybe a few others.  You send them the variables - load info, scope height above bore, anticipated temperature and altitude, etc... - and they'll send you an elevation cap with the yardage settings for that load pre-engraved.  On a .308, you'll probably end up with a 600-700 yard dial that lets you reach that far in one complete turn of the cap
    For my personal use, CDS dials are useless. I play around with to many different loads and bullets to be roped into only one load combination on a turret. Besides, it’s only good for one temp at one altitude combination. Too limiting for me. 

    If I’m gonna use turrets, I want a unit of measure (MOA/MIL) that can translate to any cartridge, load combination with a simpme drop chart that makes a CDS superfluous. 

    In my opinion, it’s a scam to get money out of people. With a unit of measure and all the ballistic programs out there today........custom dials?  Really?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,096 Senior Member
    edited November 2018 #19
    Not a huge fan of BDC reticles myself.
    I have them in a couple of scopes, only because that's what was available in the scope I wanted at the time.
    The one I have on my 30-06 is a Burris. When I had access to a 500 yard range, I used ballistics software and the reticle "drops" from Burris to work up a load whose ballistics closely matched the reticle.

    Out to 500, I was able to match the reticle to within a couple of inches, confirmed.

    Furthest distance I've shot targets at with any regularity is 500 and for hunting, <200 is the max available. So they serve no useful purpose for me and just clutter up the field of view. Especially the ones that Zee and Ernie have been posting about.

    If I lived, hunted and/or shot regularly in the areas, or at the distances, they do, I suspect I might feel differently about them.

    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,047 Senior Member
    At the risk of derailing the OP's question, I'd like to take a moment to address the 900 lb gorilla in the room....or the TWO 900 lb gorillas in the room.......and bullet drop isn't either.

    Past ~400 yards, knowing the exact range is critical. Beyond this distance all shoulder fired projectiles have the flight path of a Craftsman toolbox. Slight differences in range yield surprisingly different results. Hence, either pre-set range markers or a good rangefinder. 

    Wind/mirage......Waay more unpredictable than drop. As to wind.....experience is the best teacher, and even then, you'll be wrong as often as you're right. Mirage, when your target appears to be dancing the hula both vertically and horizontally......aim for centermass.

    Range estimation. Wind/Mirage......these are the bugaboos. Drop is comparitively easy.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,018 Senior Member
    Just as an example of H59 use. 



    1,600 yrds on a man size target with a.308 Winchester and 168gr bullet. 

    25.5 Mils elevation
    14 Mils wind
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,018 Senior Member
    edited November 2018 #22

    Range estimation. Wind/Mirage......these are the bugaboos. Drop is comparitively easy.

    Mike
    I agree. But, once you have figured out or guessed both, you have to have a Reticle or turret that can get you there. 

    Or, just aim at the horizon and hope for the best. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,497 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Zee said:
    What is a Leupy?
    Uhhhhhh....Leupold B)
    Ah!  Much better. Thanks. 😁

    Finer subtensions and more windage in the reticle. 
    Your so cute!
    Guessed as much on the Horus.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,667 Senior Member

    This has been a very educational discussion for me.
    Ditto that - I had little idea the subject was so involved (and interesting!). This tyro finds it fascinating...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,497 Senior Member
    I know we have got off the OP's post, but it has led to another good discussion.  For people that keep one scope on the same rifle and hunting in the same area, where the distances don't go much beyond 500 yards, a ballistic turret works great and is fast to boot.  Some people, just like that style and I don't have a problem with that.   Ballistic reticle in FFP is good for people, who again are hunting at limited distances.  With a little figuring you can adjust your zero to where the lines will match up a good part of the time.
    I used second focal plane ballistic reticles (BDC) for years and competed in several roving steel field shooting matches out to a grand or so and used them for big game and varmints many times.  Typically didn't take game beyond 550 yards when using them.  But I practiced a lot with the system I was using.  Majority of the time these were long eye relief pistol scopes on specialty pistols. 
    My Preference:  A good MIL or MOA reticle in the first focal plane, combined with a good set of reliable turrets that match the reticle.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,262 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Bigslug said:

    Also worth considering is taking advantage of Leupold's Custom Dial System (CDS), available on the VX3's and maybe a few others.  You send them the variables - load info, scope height above bore, anticipated temperature and altitude, etc... - and they'll send you an elevation cap with the yardage settings for that load pre-engraved.  On a .308, you'll probably end up with a 600-700 yard dial that lets you reach that far in one complete turn of the cap
    For my personal use, CDS dials are useless. I play around with to many different loads and bullets to be roped into only one load combination on a turret. Besides, it’s only good for one temp at one altitude combination. Too limiting for me. 

    If I’m gonna use turrets, I want a unit of measure (MOA/MIL) that can translate to any cartridge, load combination with a simpme drop chart that makes a CDS superfluous. 

    In my opinion, it’s a scam to get money out of people. With a unit of measure and all the ballistic programs out there today........custom dials?  Really?
    Yeah.  Really.  Lots of load tinkering. across a lot of silly little projects.  Lots of real life distractions.  Loading Barnes to hunt with which penetrate really well and not sweating any notions of bullet energy transfer.  Find one load the rifle likes, pair it up with a CDS dial and a TMR to help compensate for cast practice loads and FUGGEDABOUTIT!

    Ballistic programs?  I still haven't embraced music that isn't on a CD, so. . .no.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,018 Senior Member
    Some folks read a book. Some folks read a library. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    edited November 2018 #28
    First of all, the Leupy was pretty evident to me but what the hell's  Horus?

    Also, getting back to the original question, I have two scopes with BDC reticles, both being Nikon. Nikon tried to make a reticle for the average shooter to adjust for drop at longer range. I guess it had some merit but what I don't like about the Nikon system is the fat x-hairs. I'd rather have a nice Duplex with fine hairs on the inside where they cross. I don't normally shoot that far anyway and when I do I usually have a good idea what the distance to target is within a few yards and know how much to hold over.

    Actually, 500 yards would be my absolute maximum for hunting. Shooting paper or whatever is not a big deal if you miss, but shooting at game you better be putting a lot of time and effort into it to insure they have the skills to do so effectively than if you were just casually shooting at game or you aren't very ethical in my mind.

    Everybody on this forum I know of that hunts at long range does do their home work and have the skills to do so ethically but I see and hear about people that just try to wing shots at distance. They see it done on TV and some don't realize the level of skill and the type of equipment necessary to do so ethically. This needs to be discouraged and the media needs to do a better job of informing the shooting public of the potential problems and necessary skills and equipment for long range hunting and the ethics involved. I'm not saying this to discourage it but only to insure people go into it with the skills and equipment needed.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,497 Senior Member
    Snake,
    Now you can do your homework:

    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Snake,
    Now you can do your homework:

    Ernie, I know very little about shooting long distance. All I know is it's a chancy game if you don't know what you're doing. It's not something I'll probably pursue. At 70 years old I don't have the natural equipment, eyes. I do alright for 70 and I would shoot out to 400-500 yards if I had the right gun with me and a shot presented itself, maybe.

    I didn't realize there was a company that manufactured and sold Reticles only. I did know that most Leupold scopes have changeable Reticles except for the entry level Rifleman. Do they make a model for each brand of scope? Such as a Model so & so Leupold 4-12 or model whatchimacallit Nikon and so on and so forth, whatever?
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,960 Senior Member
    snake284 said:
    I do alright for 70.


    Hell at 81 i can barely see the 200yd. target with a 24x scope.


    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
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