November 3, 2012, 09:44 AM
Hey all, I'm looking at getting a scope for my AR15. I want it to have Mil-dots so that I can learn to range estimate. But most of the mildot scopes I'm finding are adjustable power. Would having the power adjustable throw off the mildots because of the zoom? I want this scope for hunting as well as target shooting. I'm looking at the 150-200 price range. Or should I just bag the mildot idea for now and get a scope that has a BDC reticle and not necessarily mildots?
November 3, 2012, 09:56 AM
Yes on a second focal plane ( the most common made scopes ) changing the power will change the " mil " reading for range estimation . It is common though for the mil dots to be calibrated for 10x or the highest setting of the scope . On that cheap of a scope though it would be anyones guess how well calibrated the mil dots are . They are though still real useful for hold over/off when shooting even if you cannot use them to range a target .
November 3, 2012, 11:07 AM
Most variable power scopes are set up to have the mil dots read correctly at the highest magnification. There are exceptions to everything. If you get good at using it you can calculate the difference you need at lower magnifications.
If you save another $50 to $100 you can get a Leupold Mark AR scope for about $250. They have a bullet drop compensator.
If you are really set on a mil dot, and there is nothing wrong with that, I would save my money and get something worth having. You could find a good used Leupold that would give you reliable service and it comes with a lifetime warranty. It will take you a lot of shooting to get good with range estimation so having a scope that will keep up with your shooting and not break after a couple thousand rounds of abuse will be the better bargain.
If you get a mil dot with adjustable turrets you will want one that is of high enough quality to return reliably to zero. No $150 scope is going to do that which means you lose half of the utility of the scope.
November 8, 2012, 02:42 AM
Agreed with the above.
First focal plane reticles won't change with magnification, but they are far more spendy than second focal plane scopes.
Second focal plane scopes are calibrated to be accurate at the highest power setting. I know of no exceptions, though there probably are a few.
A third option is fixed power. They are less expensive than comparable variable power scopes, but sometimes lose utility in closer ranges.
Click value comes into play, also. Most scopes are MOA click and you need to convert MOA to Mil to adjust correctly. My opinion is to get either a 1/10 MIl click scope or make SURE befoe buying that you're comfortable with the MOA to Mil conversion. Not hard, but something else to remember when making the shot.
November 10, 2012, 04:15 PM
Second focal plane scopes are calibrated to be accurate at the highest power setting. I know of no exceptions, though there probably are a few.The SFP Bushnell Elite Tactical models are calibrated at the mid power setting (12x in the case of the 6-24 that I have). Nice thing about that is that the mil-dots are usable at min and max power with simple 2x math. At max magnification, the dots are 1/2 mil apart and at 6x the dots are 2 mil apart.
November 10, 2012, 04:22 PM
If you would like to practice range estimation with mil dots, check out shooter ready's simulations. http://shooterready.com/
November 10, 2012, 08:11 PM
Not to mention, it can give you your shooting fix when it's too cold or hot to go to the range. It teaches you mil dot ranging, judging wind, etc.
November 12, 2012, 05:38 AM
Using multi-stadia point reticles for rangefinding and downrange zeroing is a college course in mathematics unto itself, depending on how much you want to get into it. You can rangefind with any multi-stadia reticle, once you know the measurement (subtension) of any 2 points at any distance, from simple plex to mil-dot to Ballistic Plex (even archery sight pins), but this is rarely applied since lasers came along.
Take a look at my rangefinding Youtubes under sscoyote for the math behind the system (can't link it since i'm at work now).