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BDC reticles

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  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    You have heard from the experts, and I defer to their superior skills and knowledge. I read all of the negatives and understood them well, before I purchased a BDC. I now have four of them, but not because they are the best choice for shooting beyond 100 yards.

    My reasoning is that, since I grew up understanding the basics of bullet drop, and applying 'Kentucky windage,' as they called it when I was a kid, the BDC was an improvement over the simple crosshair. The men who taught me understood about holding off of the bulls eye so that the wind would drift it over, and holding over the bulls eye for longer shots, so that it would drop in at the extended range. None of the people whom I learned from ever owned a scope, and only a couple of them could consistently hit small targets beyond 300 yards. All of them had occasionally guessed windage and elevation correctly, and were regularly able to surprise the uninitiated (me) with some of the shots they made. I tended to remember their successes, and forget their failures.

    All you really gain from a BDC is the additional reference points on the vertical axis, unless you happen to have ammo that is ballistically matched to the reticle. I understand that 55 grain ammo in .223 fits certain BDC reticles pretty well, but I've never seen it, to know for sure. Personally, I use my rifles mostly for whitetail deer hunting, although like everyone else, I spend many hours on the range, preparing to fire one or two shots a year, hunting, which makes me fit the description of 'hobbyist' better than 'hunter' or 'shooter.' The BDC retical provides reference points that can aid a shooter, if he practices enough to remember how to use them at differencet ranges and different magnifications. This works OK, out to about 300 yards. I've never tried it beyond that, but obviously, it's efficiency is going to decline as the range gets longer. My longest shot on a whitetail is about 120 yards, so obviously, I neglect my practice for longer ranges. But I have experimented out to 300 yards, and I know the BDC is workable, if I ever need to use it enough to put in some more practice.

    All I'm saying is that the BDC is not useless, in every case.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,502 Senior Member
    Bisley,
    Nothing wrong with a good BDC reticle, especially for hunting out to mid-ranges which is further than most here hunt/kill game at.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    This thread has taught me that my deteriorating eye sight is somewhat of a blessing. Now days I don't feel the least bit compelled to try a shot out past 500 yards and rarely that. I've never taken any game at that distance anyway. I guess I could deal with the elevation problems but the windage and Mirage give me a headache just thinking about them.

    I'm not sure which kind of reticle I'd prefer for shots out of my zip code, but out to 400 yards the time or two I shot that far at game or varmints I guessed the range and after the shot confirmed it and I was close enough to hit the target. However, I know about how far a couple of rifles I own drop with my loads but like linefinder said, after 400 yards most cartridges BC sucks and about any cartridge is displaying plunging fire past that. To hit anything that far out you better know the distance to target within 10-15 yards. anything that far out in my opinion would require a good range finder and lots of experience.

    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,495 Senior Member
    I've not shot long range, but my one thought regarding BDCs is...

    yeah, you've accounted for drop, but what about wind?  If you're shooting at any distance, that should be a concern, no?
    Overkill is underrated.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,502 Senior Member
    I've not shot long range, but my one thought regarding BDCs is...

    yeah, you've accounted for drop, but what about wind?  If you're shooting at any distance, that should be a concern, no?
    Some BDC reticles have wind lines or dots. 
    Sometimes the distance lines get wider as you go down the reticle for more wind correction.
    Like any reticle, check out the subtensions and see where they match up or don't match up with your load at that distance at what full value wind speed.
    Look at the Burris veracity reticle, and you will see what I mean.  I have one in 3-15.
    Since the reticle is in First Focal Plane the subtension remains the same regardless of magnifications changes.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    bisley said:
    You have heard from the experts, and I defer to their superior skills and knowledge. I read all of the negatives and understood them well, before I purchased a BDC. I now have four of them, but not because they are the best choice for shooting beyond 100 yards.

    My reasoning is that, since I grew up understanding the basics of bullet drop, and applying 'Kentucky windage,' as they called it when I was a kid, the BDC was an improvement over the simple crosshair. The men who taught me understood about holding off of the bulls eye so that the wind would drift it over, and holding over the bulls eye for longer shots, so that it would drop in at the extended range. None of the people whom I learned from ever owned a scope, and only a couple of them could consistently hit small targets beyond 300 yards. All of them had occasionally guessed windage and elevation correctly, and were regularly able to surprise the uninitiated (me) with some of the shots they made. I tended to remember their successes, and forget their failures.

    All you really gain from a BDC is the additional reference points on the vertical axis, unless you happen to have ammo that is ballistically matched to the reticle. I understand that 55 grain ammo in .223 fits certain BDC reticles pretty well, but I've never seen it, to know for sure. Personally, I use my rifles mostly for whitetail deer hunting, although like everyone else, I spend many hours on the range, preparing to fire one or two shots a year, hunting, which makes me fit the description of 'hobbyist' better than 'hunter' or 'shooter.' The BDC retical provides reference points that can aid a shooter, if he practices enough to remember how to use them at differencet ranges and different magnifications. This works OK, out to about 300 yards. I've never tried it beyond that, but obviously, it's efficiency is going to decline as the range gets longer. My longest shot on a whitetail is about 120 yards, so obviously, I neglect my practice for longer ranges. But I have experimented out to 300 yards, and I know the BDC is workable, if I ever need to use it enough to put in some more practice.

    All I'm saying is that the BDC is not useless, in every case.
    This is exactly how I use my two scopes with BDC Reticles.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    I've not shot long range, but my one thought regarding BDCs is...

    yeah, you've accounted for drop, but what about wind?  If you're shooting at any distance, that should be a concern, no?
    As a BDC user, I would say that if you live in an area that consistently has winds above 5-10 mph, you could do better with a different reticle. I have only needed a wind correction one time when shooting at a range, and that was about 3" at 300 yards, which I could do using the 1" squares on the target, ( I was using a 6-18x Nikon, and I had bolded the reference lines with a thick marking pen). This was with a 5-10 mph 'breeze,' blowing straight across at right angles to my bullet path. Mostly, the wind here is 0-5 mph, and nearly always out of the SW.

    If I still lived on the prairie where I grew up, I would definitely want something better suited than the BDC.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    This thread got me to thinking about my Nikon BDCs. So I took one out of the safe and looked at it. With my skill level of long range shooting (which is pretty nill over 300 yards) the Nikon BDC reticle would do everything I need. I don't see anything about the BDC reticle that would make it anymore difficult to adjust for wind than most others. My main bitch with the Nikon BDC Reticle is it's just too damn thick for my use. I like it on my .30-06 because that's my favorite night time hunting rifle (Hogs) and I can see it with a spotlight. I have one Nikon with a Mil Dot Reticle and it has nice thin cross hairs.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,051 Senior Member
    Excuse me......I had to post this in order to get rid of a draft that was no longer needed.

    Please proceed with this conversation as if uninterrupted.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Well right now it's pretty dead. I think we beat it to death.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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