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Mil-Dot Reticle - Who likes them?

bisleybisley Senior MemberPosts: 10,788 Senior Member
I'm trying to practice a little more at longer distances, with .223, and soon with 7mm-08. I'll be buying a scope for the 7mm-08, and I'm thinking about a Mil-Dot, but I've never used one. I've had some decent groups at 200 and 300 yards with a BDC reticle, but to shoot bulls eyes, some estimation is required, and I'm thinking the Mil-Dot would provide better points of reference than the BDC circles. I don't know if I would ever utilize the range-finding capabilities, since I have a laser range finder, but I might get interested in it at some point. It would be more for fun than any great need for long range shots.

So, what are your likes and dislikes about Mil-Dots?
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Replies

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,531 Senior Member
    I like and use the Mil System. Most of my scopes have dots. They are useful when you know how to use them.

    There are better systems than dots, though. Even though they still use the Mil System. There are even MOA Systems out now. Same concept as Mil but in MOA.

    I've gotten so use to them, I don't like scopes without them.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    I like them....sometimes easier to use them than cranking on the dial for hold-off.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,759 Senior Member
    I like Mil-Dots....as has been said, once you learn to use them properly, and know the external ballistics of the round you're shooting, they can be a great shooting aid.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    I like them because they aren't trying to dial in for a particular round - ranging stays the same, and knowing the correct holdover is up to you.

    My preference these days is for Leupold's TMR (Tactical Milling Reticle), which could best be described as "Mil Dots Mark II". This has hash marks at the usual spacings, with half-mil hash marks between them. At the outermost mil on each post are 0.2 mil hash marks, which are for use in ranging stuff that is waaaaaay out there. All in all, it makes for a little more precision that the older USMC "football", or US Army round dots.

    As to laser range finders - some of the new Leupold units will give you range, up/down angle compensation, AND can be programmed to give you a holdover readout in mils. For the mathematically challenged, it ain't a bad way to roll.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,425 Senior Member
    Not much for the dots but I like lines/dashes better. Can use mil but prefer MOA. Seems like those starting with no experience tend to prefer MOA.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Not much for the dots but I like lines/dashes better. Can use mil but prefer MOA. Seems like those starting with no experience tend to prefer MOA.

    I have both a Nikon mildot scope and actually two Nikon BDC reticle scopes. I don't know how really to use either one because it's hard to practice it on a 200 yard limit range. But I can see the benefit of both. I may be all wet, but just in my uneducated mind's eye, the Mil Dot would be better for long range target shooting for score. However, for a hunting reticle, the BDC such as Nikon's would maybe be better. Whatever. My one mil dot scope is a Nikon 6-18-40 Buckmaster. I have it on my .223 Rem. Stevens Model 200. That scope almost requires a sun shade on a bright day. Then i have two Nikon BDC models, one 3-9X40 Prostaff and one on another Buckmaster 6-18X40.The first bubble down below the center of the crosshairs hits the bull at 200 yards when I have the center of the cross hairs lined up on target and zerod for 200 yards. This means it must bring the POI up about 1.5 inches at 100 yards. But all this is only good for shooting at 200 or so yards. If you do any real long range work, you had better know how to use the system or have a lazer range finder.

    However, I prefer the mil dot system in my blissful ignorance.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,788 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    I like them because they aren't trying to dial in for a particular round - ranging stays the same, and knowing the correct holdover is up to you.

    This describes pretty well what I don't like about BDC. As I said, it's OK for groups, but then you have to use the 'too big' circles for estimating how to actually get the round on target. It's good enough at 200 yards, but gets confusing beyond that because the BDC spacing seems to not necessarily be consistent with the trajectory of the particular round being used. I don't want to have to adjust my loads to fit the scope, but rather I would like a consistent system for estimating hold-over. The TMR sounds more like what I want - I'll check it out, as well as the others mentioned.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,788 Senior Member
    snake284-1 wrote: »
    ...However, for a hunting reticle, the BDC such as Nikon's would maybe be better.

    I'm a little ways away from being confident enough to shoot game at longer distances, and truthfully, the opportunities I have had are rarely much over 100 yards. But, since I spend much more time shooting at paper than fur, I might as well shoot as far as my equipment and abilities will allow. The little bit of practice I've done at 200 and 300 yards is only helping me shoot better from the bench - a good thing, because it is challenging and fun. I wish I hadn't waited till I was 61 years old to start doing it, but I can still learn things that I'm interested in.

    Also, with a little bit of tree trimming (next year, probably) I can shoot 300 yards plus from my deer blind. If I could consistently hit a spot on paper at that distance, I might try a whitetail - hogs, coyotes, or bobcats, for sure.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,788 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Which is why I am not real warm on them. Never really used them the way they are supposed to be used. And honestly at the ranges that I hunt, I would never need them. They are a little "busy" for my taste. I like plain and simple reticles.

    I have always felt the same way, but I now find that shooting farther out is fun.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,788 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    I like Mil-Dots....as has been said, once you learn to use them properly, and know the external ballistics of the round you're shooting, they can be a great shooting aid.

    I have a land surveying background that includes some pre-'electronic age' experience, where we used the stadia crosshairs on an old fashioned transit to measure distances across deep swamps, etc. - any place we couldn't drag a chain (tape). I think I could pick up on the Mil-Dot method, with some practice.

    I'm also taking another long look at the Redfield Accu Ranger. I would have to give up my beloved side focus, but I do like the reticle.
  • RiflemannRiflemann Member Posts: 269 Member
    I have both Mil-dot and BDC scopes, I will not be buyibg anymore BDC's. I just seem to like the mil-dots more and as I learn more on how to use them I like them better. (I know enough about mil-dots to be dangerous)LOL. Some people like mils and some don't, see what you like and go with what you like, not what everyone on the internet tells you to get. Good Luck with your choice,----Riflemann
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,636 Senior Member
    I bought one for my AR a few months ago. I didn't think it was going to help me until I got the 2X lens for it. I haven't really had an opportunity to see if it would improve my aim because of a lack of rifle ranges in this area, but as soon as I do I'll report the results.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,425 Senior Member
    If you are going to use your reticle to shoot distance I really prefer for the MOA or MIL to be numbered to avoid confusion.
    If you have multiple lines or multiple dots it is easy to get confused and put the wrong line/dot on the target/animal and make a bad shot, especially under pressure.
    MOA is a finer subtension/measurement than MIL and that is another reason I prefer it, plus it is easier for me to think in MOA (Shooter's MOA):
    True MOA is 1.047" at 100 yards
    1MOA=1" @ 100 or .5 MOA = .5" at 100 yards
    1MOA=2" @ 200
    1MOA=3" @ 300
    1MOA=5" @ 500 yards or 1/2 MOA or .5 MOA= 2.5" at 500 yards
    1 MOA = 10" @ 1000 yards or .5MOA=5" @ 1000 yards and .25 MOA is 2.5" at 1000 yards

    Just imagine having a MOA reticle and trying to count lines (With no MOA listed beside the lines) to shoot under pressure.
    This is why my preferred reticles list the MOA or MIL in the reticle itself. I have seen guys get confused and use the wrong line even on BDC/Ballistic Reticles.
    IMG_7183.jpg
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    I like for most of my hunting a regular simple duplex cross hair. Now that said, every once in a while I have come across an LR Duplex that I like and matches up to my desired load like the FX II 6x36mm LR Duplex Leupold on my 7mm08 shooting the 160gr Speer, but that is the busiest I want my scope to be on my hunting rifles.

    885246.jpg
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,425 Senior Member
    To me, there is no reason to have MIL or MOA reticle, unless you are using it for distance shooting or to reticle range something.
    Other than that, you are just paying for something you don't need.
    If you want "Cool Factor," spend your money.:wink:
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,788 Senior Member
    Yep, cool is what I'm all about. Thanks for the info.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,569 Senior Member
    If you're looking for small groups on paper, fine crosshairs and target turrets are the way to go, IMO.
    The Prairie poodle posse taught me that.

    I like BDC of some sort for a hunting rifle. I have Nikon, Leupold, and Burris BDC type reticles. I much prefer the Leupold and Burris, too much going on in the Nikon.

    A Leupold scope, with BDC reticle, and the CDS dials might be right up your alley. A good mix of both.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,425 Senior Member
    What is the MOA subtension of your reticle, and then what guns do you use that with, and what is your zero and the distances for 1st plex, 2nd plex, and post tip?
    I like for most of my hunting a regular simple duplex cross hair. Now that said, every once in a while I have come across an LR Duplex that I like and matches up to my desired load like the FX II 6x36mm LR Duplex Leupold on my 7mm08 shooting the 160gr Speer, but that is the busiest I want my scope to be on my hunting rifles.

    885246.jpg
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,425 Senior Member
    That is the truth!
    cpj wrote: »
    SHooting far is fun.
    :agree:
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,788 Senior Member
    Good information and suggestions from everybody.

    I have checked out everything that was mentioned, and haven't ruled out any of them, except the ones that exceed my price range. I may just wait till I get the 7mm-08 in my hands and get a load worked up for it. If I really like it, I might be willing to spend a little more on the scope. For now, I can use a 3-9x40 Nikon Pro Staff that is presently unattached, to find the load I want. I may even decide that the BDC is good enough for my kind of shooting, and do some swapping around on my other rifles.

    Thanks to all who have responded, and keep 'em coming. This is a good topic and very informative for people whose knowledge and abilities are on the same level as mine.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    What is the MOA subtension of your reticle, and then what guns do you use that with, and what is your zero and the distances for 1st plex, 2nd plex, and post tip?

    here are the calculation figures if the drop is sight in at 200yds zero for my 7mm08 160gr Speer SBT

    Range Aim point inches of correction Actual drop point of impact


    100 yards Cross hair +1.78" +1.78 +1.78

    200 yards cross hiar 0" 0.0 0.0

    300 yards first dot 6.57" - 7.9 - 1.33"

    400 yards second dot 19.2" - 23.1 - 3.9"

    500 yards third shot 39.1" - 46.7 - 7.6"

    Here is how my 160gr load with .519 BC works out at 2820fps and works on gallon jugs out to 500yds and I posted the results on an earlier thread.

    Range Aim point inches of correction

    100yds Cross Hair +1.7"
    200yds Cross Hair 0"
    300yds First Dot -7.4"
    400yds Second Dot -21.4"
    500yds Top of post -42.8"

    Also used this type scope with a 30/06 and 300Wby Ruger #1 in the past
  • wildgenewildgene Senior Member Posts: 1,036 Senior Member
    What is the MOA subtension of your reticle, and then what guns do you use that with, and what is your zero and the distances for 1st plex, 2nd plex, and post tip?

    ...Leupold Manual for using their asst. BAS...
    http://www.leupold.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/BAS_Inst_Manual_17July12.pdf?9d7bd4

    ...or my favorite...
    P8250016.jpg
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,425 Senior Member
    Bisely,
    If you are wanting to just shoot at distance, and not hunt, the best thing to do is to get a scope with target or CSD (low profile) turrets. This way you can dial the exact MOA to the specific distance instead of trying to hold under or over like most do with with a ballistic/BDC reticle. Even if you get some type of multi dash/dot reticle make sure you get turrets so you can zero your elevation and wind adjustment dials.
    The thing with just using a BDC to shoot precise is once it gets out there and you are shooting at distances that are in between the lines/dots you are guessing to some degree where to hold that empty space between those two lines between 400-500 yards. Say the distance is 475. Put up a piece of paper at 475 yards and now group on paper. Most will have a much more difficult time being accurate since they are not holding on a line. Add wind to the equation and it gets even worse.
    With target turrets you are going to dial the exact MOA required for your distance, and now, whatever the distance (Way past 500 yards or whatever the post/plex max is).
    You can also do the same with the wind.
    Now, with a good MOA reticle (lines spaced from 1 MOA to 1.5 MOA spacing) you have a line at equal distances (not varied like a BDC). They are closer together than a BDC too.
    If you do decide to use the reticle only, it will allow you to be more accurate at distance since the space between the lines is the same and they are closer together, so the room for error and confusion is less.
    Also, a good scope with a MIL or MOA reticle will typically have a turret that is resettable or can be re-zeroed.
    If can dial alone or I can use the reticle combine with dialing. Let's say I need 9.5 MOA for 500 yards. Let's say I have a 1 or a 1.5 MOA reticle (A line every 1 or 1.5 MOA).
    On each reticle there will be a line at 9 MOA. Put your 9 MOA line at 500 yards and dial up 1/2 MOA and hit your target-No guess work!
    Doing it this way, keeps you from dialing as much and making revolution errors.
    Again, I have listed multiple way for shooting distance.
    IF, you have a BDC reticle and adjustable turrets you can do the same thing, but most don't use a BDC reticle this way.
    For field accuracy on the bench or in the field, dialing, good MOA or MIL (Has more lines than just every MIL) reticle, or even the use of a good MOA/MIL reticle on it own or the combination of small amount of dialing and use of the reticle will beat out the typical use of a BDC reticle.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    All of the bullet drop compensating scopes do is give you various other aim points at specific distances from the main crosshair - using this fixed distance you can adjust your zero to most effectively use the aim points at the different distances. I happen to be a big fan of the LR duplex and the Ballistic plex by burris, but Ernie's way is much more precise and is better in the end.

    The Leupold LR duplex adjusts for the first dot is 2.19 MOA below the crosshair, the second dot is 4.8 moa below crosshair, and bottom aim point is 7.82moa below crosshair. This is at 9x and is dependent on magnification level. when you play with the numbers this equals out to.

    Long range sight in

    range aim point inches of correction
    100 crosshairs 0
    200 crosshairs 0
    300 first dot 2.19moa x 3 (for 300 yards) = 6.57"
    400 second dot 4.8 moa x 4 (for 400 yards) = 19.2"
    500 BAP (bottom aim point) 7.82moa x 5 (for 500 yards) = 39.1"

    They find this works out pretty good for most long range calibers with 200 yard zero. You can fine tune this even better by looking at drop values with different zero ranges to get the most out of it. I'll try to explain what I mean using my 3-9x40 LR duplex on my 325 WSM for an example. It worked out best with my friends 325 WSM with a 225 yard zero using 220 PP ammo.

    Range Aim point inches of correction Actual drop point of impact
    100 yards cross hair 0 +2.3 +2.3"
    200 yards cross hair 0 +1.2 +1.2"
    300 yards first dot 6.57" -6.1 +0.46
    400 yards second dot 19.2" -20.7 -1.5"
    500 yards BAP 39.1" -43.7 - 4.6"

    If I were to just zero at 200 yards using this method it would work out like this

    100 yards Cross hair 0" +1.78 +1.78
    200 yards cross hiar 0" 0.0 0.0
    300 yards first dot 6.57" - 7.9 - 1.33"
    400 yards second dot 19.2" - 23.1 - 3.9"
    500 yards third shot 39.1" - 46.7 - 7.6"


    If used with a 100 yard zero it would adjust for this

    100 yards cross hair 0
    200 yards first dot 2.19moa x 2( for 200 yards) = 4.38"
    300 yards second dot 4.8moa x 3( for 300 yards) = 14.4"
    400 yards BAP 7.82moa x 4( for 400 yards) = 31.3"



    I just play with the numbers until I find what works for me and my load for a given cartridge and then I go and try it on gallon jugs at the 100yds intervals.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,425 Senior Member
    CDS turrets for both elevation and wind-Just shorter than a typical target turret-Used this scope in a LR field match in the summer with shots beyond 1K.
    Has a MOA ART Reticle in it.
    DSC01227.jpg
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,425 Senior Member
    Leupold's turret for Mark 4 scopes and NightForce's NXS turrets
    IMG_5796.jpg
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Man, I love your pictures and especially those guns, really cool, makes a man want one.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,425 Senior Member
    Well, my first XP was chambered in? You guessed it, 7mm-08:jester:
    If you want to approximate 7-08 performance in a SP, you need to jump to a 284 Win.
    Shooting a well set-up SP is so easy, even a preacher can do it:win:
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Well, my first XP was chambered in? You guessed it, 7mm-08:jester:
    If you want to approximate 7-08 performance in a SP, you need to jump to a 284 Win.
    Shooting a well set-up SP is so easy, even a preacher can do it:win:

    Yes, I believe you have winner and it must be easy if a preacher can do it, and on top of that it does look like fun.:guns:
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Yes, I believe you have winner and it must be easy if a preacher can do it, and on top of that it does look like fun.:guns:

    This is Church of Christ Preacher to Church of Christ preacher!!! Must be some common insanity here, :silly::silly: :roll2::roll2::roll2:
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
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