Mil-Dots - Help w/a Stupid Question?


August 19, 2007, 12:50 PM
I've been researching and reading up on mil-dot ranging for some while now, even mastered the demo at (probably going to order the full version)...and I want to know what I'm doing before I invest serious money into a good rifle and mil-dot reticled scope.

But, I have one question, that I can't seem to find the answer for anywhere.

Assuming a variable powered scope (3x9, etc.), at what level magnification should the target be measured in mils? The lowest setting?

If you see a man sized target (assuming 6 feet tall), he would show up as two mils at a thousand yards, right? But at what power magnification? 3x? 9x? 10x? 20x? All that would significantly change the size of the target in mils, thus throwing your range off dramatically.

Any help would be appreciated!

If you enjoyed reading about "Mil-Dots - Help w/a Stupid Question?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 19, 2007, 01:10 PM
It will depend on your scope. It should be listed in the user manual.
My burris XTR is a 3-16 power and has a mark on the zoom for ranging.
If you get a first focal plane scope it will not matter it will always range correctly at any power level.

August 19, 2007, 02:20 PM
Buy a cope with MOA Reticle, unless you ave military training and are Indoctrinated to that method.

Also you can get a mildot master

August 19, 2007, 04:30 PM
Every scope is different! Some mfgs mark the scopes power ring or tell you in the instructions what power setting to use. But many scopes don't actually magnify the crosshairs along with the image so there is usually only one magnification setting that will work with the mil dots correctly. So you need to go test your scope (even if your scope mfg tells you what power setting to use - just to verify). Go to the range and place a target 100yrds of a known size...preferrably one that will span exacly two mil dots. I'd alternatie colors every 1/2 mil. Check the scopes power settings till that target reads exactly 2 mil dots. Mark your power ring. Check other power settings see what happens. Its tricky but understanding your equipment will be vital making a long range shot using your mil dots to estimate range. Next you'll need to learn to correctly estimate the size of objects at long ranges or these wonderful mil dots won't do you any good.

August 19, 2007, 04:32 PM
Okay...time to introduce some confusion. Depends on whether the reticle is in the front focal plane or rear. If it is in the front focal plane, it will range the same at all magnifications. The downside is the reticle will seem really big or small depending on the power.

If it is in the rear focal plane, the reticle will appear the same size and be more precise at high power and bolder at low magnification, but only range at 1 power (usually the highest).

My Leupold 6.5X20 has a mildot reticle in the rear plane. It didn't say what power it ranged at so I had to figure it out myself by marking a stake in 3.9" increments and placing it at 100yds. Turns out mine ranges at 12 power, not 10 or 20. Leupold is introducing front focal plane reticles on some scopes now.

August 19, 2007, 11:46 PM
wouldn't it be 3.6" increments?

If you enjoyed reading about "Mil-Dots - Help w/a Stupid Question?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!