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Your opinion on the Nikon BDC reticle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by sleepyone, Nov 22, 2009.

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  1. sleepyone

    sleepyone Member

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    I bought a Nikon Buckmaster scope with BDC reticle last year w/o knowing anything about the reticle other than what magazines and Nikon reported. After reading the instructions provided with the scope, I discovered the process to actually use the BDC reticle effectively is laborious and expensive. I spoke with some gunsmiths and other hunters who feel the same way. Even a Nikno rep was unable to defend it.

    It seems to me, if you simply know the ballistics of your grain, you can accomplish the same thing in many calibers by zeroing at 2" high at 100 yards and usually you will not have to worry about holdover until you get past 300 yards. Is that an accurate statement?
     
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    My gripe about the BDC reticle is the inordinately thick crosshairs. Making it very difficult to shoot this scope for groups
     
  3. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    +1. Nikon does a lot of mysterious stuff with reticle sizing. The BDC was possibly invented for their muzzleloader joint venture with T/C. They also make an 8-32 Monarch not offered with their fine crosshairs. ***??? Anyone who's ever dealt with their customer service probably knows Nikon just barely knows what they're doing in the sporting goods market.
     
  4. berettashotgun

    berettashotgun Member

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    The BDC reticle is an excellent idea, just carried out in a crappy manner.
    I had one and sold it to my brother, he had an actual legitimate use for it- a beginner 300-350-400-450-500yard target scope.
    I originally bought it with hunting purposes in mind; it was terrible for me, I hunt deer on open plains and need a circle that approximates 18" at the calibrated distance.
    I THOUGHT this was what I was buying, I'm an idiot. I will read up more on any purchase over $30 from now on. my bad.
    As far as the glass - it was pretty decent, and the scope itself seems to be of great value.
    More than likely I'd never buy any more Nikon products; I like (B & L) Bushnell Elite rifle scopes and Steiner binoculars best (value- money) for the task I use them for.
     
  5. robphillips

    robphillips Member

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    I have one of those too. Why the heck couldn't they have just put a line across the crosshairs?
    I have a weaver that is setup up with lines across it, it is much better.
    Who lines up through a circle anyway?
     
  6. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    i like the bdc reticle, but the circles do not accurately line up as they are claimed to be. you'll still have to shoot the gun at various distances to get the actual zero for each circle.

    i don't care for most of the range compensating reticles out there, but have not had a chance to try the doa by bushnell or the rapid 600/800 by zeiss, yet. i think the hhr by sightron, the lrd by leupold, and the whatever by pentax are possibly the worst 3. well, maybe the brx in swarovski's z-3 line rates up there w/ the hhr (but the z-5 line is good).

    anyway, i find it best to zero your rifle for 250 yards, and then you can hold on hair out to 350 yards. beyond that, you have time to twist turrets, or plan and execute a stalk...
     
  7. Red State

    Red State Member

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    I know this is an old(er) thread, but I just had to chime in with some of my new experience.

    I LOVE the BDC reticle. It works really well for my .308 with an 18" barrel. If the center of the cirlcle doesnt tie exactly in to a given range, the top or bottom of the circle will.
    Zeroed in at 100 yards, I can use the circles to bust clay pigeons at 200 and 300 yards.

    On my 30.06 with a 24" barrel, I like the Sightron HHR. With cross haris zeroed in at 200 yards, the hashmarks are almost right on at 300 and 400.
     
  8. lopezni

    lopezni member

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    it gets in the way
     
  9. juk

    juk Member

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    Works on my 308 out to 350. I have no doubt it will work farther, I just don't have a longer range. It took a little time for me to figure it out, but it is bang on now. Best 100 dollars i've ever spent on a gun related item.
     
  10. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Just like all scope manufacturers these days, when in doubt make a new reticle then overhype the heck out of it in magazines and the public will be duped once again with something that was perfected by Leupold when they developed the duplex reticle.

    If anything it convinces mediocre shooters they can take longer shots which is never a good thing. Of course the rifle and hunting media would have you believe 300+ yard shots are childs play and anyone can do them with minimal rifle handling experience.

    Basically it is a gimmick that plays at the minds of the inexperienced and the Jones'.

    Not to mention it is an imprecise system. They claim it works for a certain range of bullets at certain velocities and thats great but I guess if I was going to invest in a reticle I would want it to be spot on with my particular load. A little handloading experimentation might be able to narrow the margin of error but once again, something like this is not needed on a HUNTING rifle that may not ever see a 300 yd shot and if it does should the shooter be trying to make that shot anyway?

    Opinionated rant done. I need a good reticle thread every once in a while to keep me evened out. Just noticed this was an older thread as well. Oh well. It still worked.
     
  11. skoro

    skoro Member

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    I have a Team Primos w/ BDC on my 30-06. Works pretty well for me. I can see where some would find it distracting, though. A lot of things to line up together to make a long distance shot.
     
  12. Rokman

    Rokman Member

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    I don't care for it. It is distracting for me also. I would prabably like the rapid Z on the Ziess if I could afford one.
     
  13. viking499

    viking499 Member

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    I like the scopes and the BDC idea, but could be improved on. Other scopes out there do a better job with this.

    I own 3 Nikons with the BDC and one without. Mainly because I got terrific deals on them. Would buy another one because they have good glass for the money.
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep. Great idea. Really screwy reticle. I like the Vortex and the Burris BDC reticles much better. It's a shame, I really like Nikon scopes.
     
  15. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    I haven't shot with yesteryear's BDC reticle, but I have shot with the current Nikon BDC. The girth of the current models' reticle is not an issue whatseoever. As other posters have pointed out, it actually offers more reference points than other bullet-drop comps. From what I understand, the models available right now have thinner lines than the ones from 2 years back.

    Now, while I haven't been on a hunt, I realize that this is the arena in which Nikon has marketed it. From my side of the world, this reticle is a good match for a lot of the semi-auto rifle applications we see today. If this reticle were matched with a rifle capable of sub-MOA, I can see how it would be a letdown. On the other hand, it is a great match for rifles like the AR10, FAL, and M1A, where absolute precision is hopeful, but making hits on a general area is acceptable within the weapon's capabilities.

    If Nikon gets wind of this we'll see it next year badged as the "Tactical reticle." :D
     
  16. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Nikon is a great scope, good optics, good durability, fair price, and the worst BDC reticle I have ever seen. I would recommend going with the duplex and investing the extra cash in a different scope that actually offers a BDC reticle instead of Nikon's three ring circus, or just get something better to begin with (Vortex is the first that comes to mind).

    :)
     
  17. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    Nikon is a great scope, good optics, good durability, fair price, and the worst BDC reticle I have ever seen. I would recommend going with the duplex and investing the extra cash in a different scope that actually offers a BDC reticle instead of Nikon's three ring circus, or just get something better to begin with (Vortex is the first that comes to mind).

    Of course, you're going to tell us, in your own experience with this scope, how the reticle is the worst, or how Nikon's offering might not constitute a BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) reticle? Or maybe we'd be asking too much? :rolleyes:

    Over the years I've used various compensating reticles. Again, Nikon's BDC is no slouch unless you are expecting pinpoint precision and have it mounted on a rifle that is capable of such performance.

    Enough with the hear-say and the "I don't like how it looks..."
     
  18. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    I call it like I see it. I have used it and find it to be inaccurate, and cluttered despite having very little valuable information contained within. The only more cluttered reticle that I know of is the various ones by Horus, and at least they afford a multitude of elevation and windage points. Windage is a bigger factor at long range, than is the elevation, and if you can't effectively utilize the reticle for windage calculations then it is near useless to me. The reticle is also thick, despite your claim of it being improved, I have noticed no such improvements, and therefore would (and have) put my cash into better scopes with better reticle choice when a BDC reticle is required. I guess I just ask to much of a scope. :rolleyes: Good thing there are a multitude of other manufacturers that cater to my needs and don't mimic Nikon's designs...can't imagine why that would be.

    An optic, particularly one with a BDC reticle, is nothing without precision. The sole use of such an scope is (or at least is intended) for use at long range, and precision is very important for long range. Again there are reticles that are better designed for this use and that is what I have purchased, will continue to purchase. Take the Zeiss Rapid-Z series which incorporate thin, easy to acquire, stadia for precision as well as hashes for windage adjustment. I even prefer a standard Mil-dot over the Nikon abomination, because it incorporates better precision, less clutter, and windage markings.

    As for yourself, you can buy up every last one of them...wouldn't bother me one bit.
     
  19. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    I call it like I see it. I have used it and find it to be inaccurate, and cluttered despite having very little valuable information contained within. The only more cluttered reticle that I know of is the various ones by Horus, and at least they afford a multitude of elevation and windage points. Windage is a bigger factor at long range, than is the elevation, and if you can't effectively utilize the reticle for windage calculations then it is near useless to me. The reticle is also thick, despite your claim of it being improved, I have noticed no such improvements, and therefore would (and have) put my cash into better scopes with better reticle choice when a BDC reticle is required. I guess I just ask to much of a scope. Good thing there are a multitude of other manufacturers that cater to my needs and don't mimic Nikon's designs...can't imagine why that would be.

    Couldn't disagree more. Despite your claims otherwise, Nikon's BDC offers two reference points per circle. Plenty of folks have gotten along just fine without windage stadia for many a decade. Heck, even the majority of currently used magnified optics used in combat don't have much in the ways of windage compensation, ACOGs being a good example.

    Thick reticle? I'm not sure what you're comparing it to, but again, I couldn't disagree more. This is a photo through the scope at 3x, taken by me, looking at an area 150 yards away from where I was standing. This is not a FFP scope, so the reticle size remains the same. If these lines are too thick for you to use, then a visit to the optician might be in order...

    [​IMG]

    An optic, particularly one with a BDC reticle, is nothing without precision. The sole use of such an scope is (or at least is intended) for use at long range, and precision is very important for long range. Again there are reticles that are better designed for this use and that is what I have purchased, will continue to purchase. Take the Zeiss Rapid-Z series which incorporate thin, easy to acquire, stadia for precision as well as hashes for windage adjustment. I even prefer a standard Mil-dot over the Nikon abomination, because it incorporates better precision, less clutter, and windage markings.

    Lemme guess, all of your rifles shoot sub-MOA and you can outperform all of their mechanical abilities. Man, I need to buy rifles wherever you guys are shopping and train with you snipers! The BDC is intended to make hits. Pinpoint accuracy will depend first on the inherent accuracy of your rifle/ammo combo, and then your ability to shoot it from field positions. Feel free to compare a Zeiss Rapid Z ($1k+) to the Nikon BDC all you want, but the bottom line is that the BDC is not complete unusable crap. Money where my mouth is? Here's my last 15 shots from last Sunday at the 200 yard line, using my M1A and the Monarch 3-12x42 with *drum roll* BDC reticle. I used the 200 yard holdover. These were fired from the bench off my bipod, but they were fired after I had already shot 100 rounds of surplus and commercial loads. Not bad for a fatigued shooter with a worthless holdover reticle...

    [​IMG]

    If you don't like the scope, fine. I don't stand anything to gain by convincing anyone. However, you'd be hard pressed to say that the BDC is NOT a working bullet drop compensator. Not liking it and expressing your opinion on it is one thing. Trashing it b/c you couldn't make it work for you is another. There's a lot of things that don't work for me, but that doesn't make 'em crap.

    I'll be putting my money where my mouth is again at 575 yards in a few weeks.

    Enjoy and shoot safe!
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  20. Red State

    Red State Member

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    Nice shooting Borica!

    Not bad at all.
     
  21. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    Easy, now. I fall into neither catagory, and this type of generalization threatens to disturb my calm. I like the BDC. I do not care for the circles, and I still sight them in 2" high @ 100. I really like the German #4 reticle, and sans circles this is pretty close. Contrary to an earlier post, I find the crosshairs finer than nikoplex; it is the reason I prefer the BDC to the standard offering. I just ignore the circles.
     
  22. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    So my opinion is wrong...that is a tough argument to make. :rolleyes:

    Plenty of folks did fine with irons for many a century...I suppose I should retire all of my magnified sighting devices. :rolleyes:

    All of the ones outfitted with a scope equipped with BDC reticles do. I don't feel the need for a BDC reticle for a rifle that is incapable of a shot at the distances for which the stadia are designed.

    A Rapid-Z 600 equipped Zeiss Conquest is $575.00 shipped from Liberty Optics (ask for the THR discount and it is less) while the Nikon goes for about 30% less. Want a good example of another reticle done right...try the Vortex with similar quality for 25%+ less money. Furthermore I do find the reticle to be crap, and I won't share my experience with my own scope with that reticle...why?...because I don't own one, and refuse to because I find it to be inferior. I am not going to buy something that I find inferior just to prove a point...I don't like it, that isn't likely to change...deal with it.

    :)
     
  23. PedalBiker

    PedalBiker Member

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    My biggest gripe with the BDC is the same as the Burris, Leupold and others. It's in the second focal plane. Unless I'm missing something obvious, the hold overs work only at max magnification.

    A while back I sent Leupold an idea for a reticle that could go in the first focal plane and not have a lot of the disadvantages of the current crop. So far they don't seem to like it. I'll post it here for grins.


    The principle was to have thick stadia out at the perimeter with either steps or a gradual tapering into the center. That way no matter what magnification you're using you'd have precision in the center and good visibility of the lines at the outer edges. The key for me is having a reference that gives me a ball park figure of the range of my target and whether it's in range. I don't shoot beyond my point blank range ~250 yards for deer ~300 for elk.

    Cabelas has a good stab at a first focal plane reticle, but it's a bit busy for me, and the scopes are too big. I really like 2x7x32 scopes.
     

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  24. WYcoyote

    WYcoyote Member

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    I'm sorry, BDC fans, but I can't stand the circles. I would never buy one.
    But I do like the Burris Ballistic Plex.
    I have matching Burris Signature Selects with regular duplex reticles on my 7mm RM and 300 WM and where the post reduces to the crosswire is right on at 400 yards on both when sighted 2" high at 100 yds.
    That is all the reference I need.
    The Ballistic Plex on my .223 Rem R-15 is still a work in progress but I think it's going to work out great.
    No circles, please.
     
  25. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    The BDC reticle is a good way to shoot long distance if your scope does not have enough elevation adjustment. I have a nikon monarch with bdc that I use on a remington 513T, and since I do a lot of rimfire shooting 22lr, it allows me to shoot to 300yds easily. I use the bottom of the reticle as my baseline and elavate with adjustment knob as needed.
     
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