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Thread: Bullet Drop Compensating Reticles?

  1. #1

    Bullet Drop Compensating Reticles?

    I've seen a few scope manufacturers offering this type of reticle, but I don't know if they're actually any use in practise.

    95% of my shots on live quarry are going to be at under 150m, but it would be nice to know exactly where to aim if I'm shooting at longer distance on the range.

    Anyone here using a scope with BDC? What do you reckon to it? Any advantage over a mildot type?

  2. #2
    I have gone down the route of Ballistic Turrets instead. Can be much closer calibrated to your own calibre/load. Don't bother messing with it out to 150/175 yds and beyond that just dial up the distance and put the crosshairs on it. Very effective, quick and accurate.
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  3. #3
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    BDC reticles, as you might expect, only come into their own when their is a significant amount of drop to compensate for. That means long range or low MVs.

    In my opinion....


    1. If you shoot an air rifle, or a .22LR with subsonic ammo, then they're useful (but see 5).
    2. Likewise, they're an asset if you do any long-range target or vermin shooting with a centrefire.
    3. With a stalking rifle at normal ranges I find it sufficient to know my POI at 50/100/150/200 m and aim off by rule of thumb.
    4. I prefer BDC/stadia-type reticles to classic mil-dots because I find them easier to read, and particularly like the "Christmas-tree" type which makes it easier to assess and compensate for wind drift.
    5. However, in many second-focal-plane scopes the BDC element in the centre of the reticle is simply too small and ends up cluttering up the image. Thus in most cases it only comes into its own in a first-focal-plane scope, where zooming in also shows you all the reticle detail.
    6. When shooting well beyond point-blank range I use the reticle to aim off when using air rifles and .22LR, whereas with CF I dial in and use the reticle to measure the necessary correction if the first round misses the target. The difference in approach is due (i) to the greater precision of the second method -which matters more at long range- and (ii) to the fact that I generally have less time to engage a closer target and aiming off is quicker.


    On my stalking rifles I like a nice, simple Duplex or No.4 reticle, preferably with an illuminable floating central dot with plenty of top-end brilliance and bottom-end fade (and as few wasted settings in the middle as possible).
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan_Terrier View Post
    I've seen a few scope manufacturers offering this type of reticle, but I don't know if they're actually any use in practise.

    95% of my shots on live quarry are going to be at under 150m, but it would be nice to know exactly where to aim if I'm shooting at longer distance on the range.

    Anyone here using a scope with BDC? What do you reckon to it? Any advantage over a mildot type?
    I like my Swarovski Z6 with the BR reticle. I don't often use the first dot down, but it's handy to know it's available. I work in MOA, so I've not used and don't plan to use a scope with mil dots. I do use a set of Leica range finder binoculars and I try to practice at ranges longer than I plan to shoot.

    I did practice the other day in a strong cross wind and couldn't hit the gong for toffee.

    Regards

    JCS

  5. #5
    I have used several kinds. The Burris Ballistic Plex, which the others have sort of copied, works well, Vortex has one like it, and Swarovski and Zeiss have theirs with windage offsets. The Zeiss is very good, too. But, as noted, they are really not needed at most hunting ranges.

    On the other hand, since so many of you UK hunters zero at 100 yards, rather than at 200 like I do, you would get a lot more use out of the Burris, or its clones.

    And on a .22 LR, .22 WMR, Hornet or .17 HMR, or something loopy, like a .30-30, you can really use these things.

    How well do they work? The Burris is might close on to its published ranges for different ammunition, but you have to tune it exactly for long ranges. But I have shot my .270 with it at 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 on small targets, going up to a gallon paint can at 600, and hit each one first shot with the Burris markings set on 9x.

    centerfire
    100 yds /200 E1 Reticle Muzzleloader Rimfire drops and yardages

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Southern; 04-04-2015 at 18:49.

  6. #6
    Am I right in thinking that these rectifies only work on fixed mag scopes?

  7. #7
    I use a burris on my 270 and it works really well it has been all over the world for different types of hunting, jacks mine is set up on 9x for it to work,atb wayne

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 4535jacks View Post
    Am I right in thinking that these rectifies only work on fixed mag scopes?
    No. I use the BDC on my Swarovski Z6 5-30 x 50 BR at various magnifications. Regards JCS

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by 4535jacks View Post
    Am I right in thinking that these rectifies only work on fixed mag scopes?
    Good question, and I should have explained that.
    All these reticles are calibrated for a certain power, usually the highest power, which makes sense, as they are for long range and lots of bullet drop.

    But they work at other powers.

    All the Burris scopes have the same MOA drops for the same reticle, at the highest setting. But they also publish a set of drops for each power range, for the other powers.

    The same is true of Mil Dot, and half Mil Dot or G2 reticles. These are normally used for range finding with a 10X scope, then using the turrets to adjust for range. But It works well at 9X, because that makes the dot spacing an even 4 MOA. I use a 4X Mil Dot on a .22, which is kind of coarse at that low power, to hit a rat or crow at 150 yards.

    There are also mixes of offset reticles and turrets. Burris makes a scope, the C4 Plus, which has turrets for .223, 308, .270, and .30-06, with a G2 type horizontal reticle for windage standoff. So you range with the horizontal reticle, dial in the yardage rather than MOA, and hold off into the wind using the horizontal marks.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by 4535jacks View Post
    Am I right in thinking that these rectifies only work on fixed mag scopes?
    it depends if the reticle is in the first or second focal plane. If in the first focal plane the reticle will become larger in proportion to the image. In this situation a BDC will work irrespective of what power the scope is at. If the reticle is in the second focal plane then the reticle will remain the same size as the image zooms in. Second focal plane BDC reticle will only be calibrated at a given power (usually max power for the scope)

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