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Plain Cross Scope or New Fancy Range Finding one???

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by folsoh, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. folsoh

    folsoh Well-Known Member

    I would like to know if anyone has any experience with range finding type reticles in scopes. I am specifically looking at something like the Nikon’s BDC or Zeiss’s new Rapid Z ballistic reticle. I am really thinking of purchasing a new Zeiss 3x9 scope for my newly purchased Sako A7 rifle in 30.06.

    I have heard stories of the reticles not working or getting in the way in the field by causing focusing problems. I doubt I will take many shots out past 300 yards but I would like a scope that would enable me to quickly shoot out to 500 or 600 yards. I just don’t want to spend a ton of money and not like the reticle in my field of vision especially if it doesn’t work.

    If you have any other suggestions I would love to hear them as well. I would primarily use the scope for hunting as I don’t get to the range to do a lot of target shooting.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  2. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Well-Known Member

    The average 30-06 shooting a 165gr bullet at 2800 FPS (Muzzle velocity) will drop in the neighborhood of 13" at 300y with a 100y zero.
    Can you guess what 13" is on the side of a deer? Pretty easy! So the need for these fancy, field cluttering reticles is mute at best.

    Most of these reticles are not calibrated to an exact round and load, even if the reticle is calibrated to, say, a 165gr bullet at 2800FPS (muzzle Velocity) your particular rifle might shoot that load a bit different than what the scope is set for.

    Learning to shoot the particular load you choose to use is paramount! Learning to hold over, or hold off, in the wind, of that same load is even more important.

    Don't let technology be a substitute for marksmanship!
  3. ColeK

    ColeK Well-Known Member

    Listen to Uncle Mike. He hit the nail on the head.
  4. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    I have a Zeiss Rapid-Z 600, 3-9x40.

    I zero it for 200 yds and know which dot to use for 300. That's where I am with it now. :)

    It takes a lot of practice estimating wind to shoot beyond 300 yds, IMO. I'm not there yet. Maybe a few more years of practice.

    Various ballistics programs support (for this scope) calculating either 1) the power setting so the 300, 400, 500, 600 yd tick marks match your load, or 2) the actual yards where these tick marks match at maximum power setting. The Rapid-Z 600 is configured for the ballistics of the .30-06, .243, and similar. (Zeiss has other reticles for magnum cartridges and for varminting.)

    This reticle also has ranging hashmarks on the verticle line above the center, similar to mil-dot but with a different spacing.

    And, of course, there are little bars to use for windage, if you know the wind.

    It is an interesting and potentially useful tool. However, at longer ranges if you can't estimate wind, you're going to miss laterally even if you're dead on in elevation.
  5. Boba Fett

    Boba Fett Well-Known Member

    +1 for mil-dot scopes. Easy and simple to use.

    I would suggest visiting SniperCentral.com for more info on mil-dots and their application, and I'd paste some quotes, but the mil-dot section it is part of the membership areas.
  6. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

    i also like mil dot. forget the BDC reticles. they work for one load, in one condition, at one shooting angle. with mil dots, you have to learn how much a mil-radian is at certain yardages (3.6 inches per hundred yards) and you can use the marks for holdover pretty easily.

  7. [Pb]

    [Pb] Well-Known Member

    I really like the BDC reticle and I think it is very helpful. You need to look through a BDC scope in a gun store, once you do, you will know if it's right for you I think.
  8. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Well-Known Member

    Well... by the time a feller' gets done with the mil dots, palm pilots, cranking on elevation and reticle range finding.... the kid with the 4 power, plain crosshair reticle, steel tube Weaver has just busted your deer! whoops! lol hehehehe
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Sight in at 200 yards. Most common cartridges drop 5-7" at 300, and 18-24" at 400, then sighted in at 200. A .30-06 sighted in at 200 will have about 2.5" of rise at the highest point, and maybe 3" of drop at 250. So, out to 250 or so, you can point and click. You don't have to know your range for most shots. Not so with a 100 yard zero. Sure, you only have to hold 13" over at 200, but you have to KNOW that you're shooting at 200, and that takes precious time, sometimes. Here in the mountains and open canyon country, guessing range is not so easy -- I hike with a rangefinder, and sometimes I can guess within 10 yards, but sometimes I'm 100 yards off.:)

    I really liked the drop reticle I have, until I actually took it hunting. The next scope I bought does NOT have one. The reticle is a fun toy for popping balloons at 325 yards. It's a really crappy tool for an all-purpose, all-range hunting rifle. I'm sure it works fine if all your hunting is done from a luxury stand, and you have every landmark ranged weeks before the season, or if you "hunt" by waiting for a deer to come get some Purina Deer Chow from a big bin (probably a felony in most of the West). That's not me. On foot, the thing sucks.

    AT LEAST, if you get one, get one with a 200- or 300-yard zero, and very small dots or tick marks like a Leupold. Most of the marks clutter up your field of vision and make snap shooting difficult. And 100 yard zero is a serious handicap for a modern rifle to be used in open country, because it introduces excessive drop as close as 150 yards. Also, the drop reticle only works at the maximum magnification. Do you really WANT to be set to 9X with deer that are moving around? I don't.

    I posted long about this in another thread:

    Details about my reasoning: http://thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6162035&postcount=2

    The deer I lost: http://thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6162238&postcount=8
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  10. Fremmer

    Fremmer Well-Known Member

    Or just don't shoot at anything past 200 yards or so. Unless the terrain you hunt in really requires those long shots. I personally won't take a 200 yard + shot, but then again, I suck, lol! :D
  11. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

  12. Geno

    Geno Well-Known Member

    I'll take a plain-jane scope any day. :D I dropped plenty of deer and boar at 250 to 300 yards with a 4X Tasco on my Mark V .270 Win.
  13. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member


    Suddenly got an attack of thrift between buying the rifle and scoping it?:D
  14. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

    no need for goofing and dialing. mil dots are great for more accurate hold over & hold off, not to mention estimating range. do remember that if you're using a 2nd focal plane scope, it will only be accurate on one power setting.
  15. bhk

    bhk Well-Known Member

    Plain old Duplex reticle for me. I sight in at 200 and can easily estimate holdover to 400. I don't think I would ever try shooting further than that anyway. I have killed over 85 head of deer and antelope, with the average distance being will under 100 yards. Can't see the need for cluttering up my scope with unneeded trash.
  16. Boba Fett

    Boba Fett Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree. Especially on some of the gimmick scopes, the mil dot system had been distorted to be tacticool not practicool.

    Hence the reason I like the mil dot on the Mueller I've got.

    Versus something like you have in your other post above.

    But I still prefer the mil dot. Maybe when I actually take it hunting my like will change, but I doubt it since the scope is very nice to look through even with the dots. I don't really even notice them.

    Not sure why I would need any of those things. Just use a little "Kentucky Windage" method. Since each millradian equals a certain MOA (depending on the scope), just using the dot as your marker should be adequate right?
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  17. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the reticle Boba Fett's got looks good. It provides some points of reference that aren't distracting. Leupold has something similar for a drop reticle: just unobtrusive little dots, not big lines, not big circles.

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