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Help me learn to use my scope

 
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  #1  
Old 04-13-2014, 11:56 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Help me learn to use my scope

I recently went to the range with my 308 remington pss and ended up shooting a 5 shot group with 3 of the shots in .253in at 100yards. This got me wanting more so I went out to 300yards and since I have never used my scope as I should I just did a little Kentucky windage, which needless to say didn't work out so well.

What I'm asking is really where do I start at learning how to use my scope(it's a cheap BSA 8-32 with a mil dot retical and moa turrets)

Also since shooting it for accuracy I have finally realized that $100 scopes are pointless for decent shooting so I begin looking at high quality scopes. I found Nightforce NXS 8x32 zero stop and thought it looked pretty good but honestly I have no idea. And looking it over I wouldn't know wether to get MOA/MOA or MIL/MIL. I guess I understand MOA a little better but at this point I could probably learn MIL DOTS pretty easily.

Most of the time I will be at the range but I plan on going out west in the future, and I also just want the ability to be able to range unknown distances and I'm thinking this would be easier with mil dots.

Any help advise or links I could read would be very helpful!
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2014, 01:56 PM
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Re: Help me learn to use my scope

To adjust for ranges other than your zero distance, you first need accurate ballistic data for the load you shoot. If you don't have a way to measure your velocity, then check the published drop data from your ammo manufacturer and use that as a starting place. With your rig zeroed at 100 yards, use a tall target at the 300 yard line. I suggest getting some desk blotter pads (cheap, and usually measure about 16"x22" or so) and staple one above the other on cardboard. Put an aiming point at the very top edge of this, and fire a group aimed at that dot, without making any adjustment or holdover. Measure from aimpoint to center of the group. Now here is where life gets interesting. Your scope has MOA turrets, but a Mildot reticle, so you have two different kinds of math for adjusting- one way if you dial, but a different way if you hold. When you do decide to buy the next scope, I urge you to buy matching turret/reticle calibration. Doesn't matter which, just don't mix 'em i.e.: buy MOA turret/MOA reticle, OR Mil/Mil. (check out THLR.NO on youtube for a quick fix for your present scope). Now, let's say for example, that your 300 yard group is 22 inches down from the aiming point. One MOA is 1.047"@100yd, or 3.141" @300yds. 22/3.141=7 MOA. If you want to dial for range, dial up 7 MOA. OR... one milliradian (mil for short) is approx. 3.6 in @ 100yd, or 10.8" @ 300yds. 22 inches of drop divided by 10.8" = 2.03 mils. If you want to hold for distance, use the second dot below the reticle center. Sounds easy, right? Well here I must warn you that there is no guarantee the turrets or the reticle of your particular scope are accurate as advertised. I test every scope I buy for both turret tracking and reticle subtension before trying to shoot long range. One thing IS certain, you are going to have a great time learning all these things and will be glad you did. Google "box testing scope turrets" for starters..... and buy Brian Litz's book on applied ballistics for the "graduate course".
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2014, 09:07 PM
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Re: Help me learn to use my scope

Ok I shoot my reloads so load data is no problem but I don't have a chrono I'm sure I can get close though. I was looking at buying the "balistic AE" iPhone app, it looked like it can acount for numerous things most of which I have yet to learn. I really need to go down and check if my Curent scope has some kind of zero stop feature.

One thing I'm unsure of though is the Mil radians, I want to be able to use them but for me it's kinda Confusing, for example I know one MOA is basically 1in at 100 yards, 2in at 200yards and to me it's kind of a yard stick of sorts, I understand you want to be around 3 MOA at 300yards so I follow you when you said 22/3= 7moa. But When you said 300 yards should be 3mils you kinda lost me. How does 3mils=3moa? I'm looking at it like 3moa is about 3in where as 3mils is about 10.8 like you said but why wouldn't it be .833mils(3inches) at 300yards?

That is why I'm not sure what to system I want to use when I buy a scope. But like you said I'm either going to go MOA/MOA or MIL/MIL.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b money View Post
... I understand you want to be around 3 MOA at 300yards so I follow you when you said 22/3= 7moa. But When you said 300 yards should be 3mils you kinda lost me. How does 3mils=3moa? I'm looking at it like 3moa is about 3in where as 3mils is about 10.8 like you said but why wouldn't it be .833mils(3inches) at 300yards? That is why I'm not sure what to system I want to use when I buy a scope. But like you said I'm either going to go MOA/MOA or MIL/MIL.
You need to retread 7mag's post. His explanation is correct. Your second post is not.

Ballistic AE is a good program for the iPhone. I use it for both work and play. It also has a great target analysis feature. You just take a picture of your target with the phone, and the software helps you calculate extreme spread, etc.

BTW, you already have an MOA/MOA scope. You just need to set the magnification to the correct value to make your mildot reticle read in MOA instead of mils. For example, if your mildot scope has 1 mil between dots at 32X magnification, then it will have 4 MOA between dots at 27.5X. Use the formula: mil mag x 0.86 = MOA mag, or 32X x 0.86 = 27.5X.
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  #5  
Old 04-14-2014, 11:49 AM
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Re: Help me learn to use my scope

Ok thank you for the info. Like usual I was wayyyy off I do apologize to 7mag. After re reading his post a few times and watching a few videos on YouTube I'm beginning to understand it I'm going to go out to the range here hopefully in a few days and just try a few diffrent concepts and ideas out.
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  #6  
Old 04-14-2014, 07:32 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Lebanon County PA
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Re: Help me learn to use my scope

No need to apologize, b money. It takes some getting used to. Personally, I'm an MOA guy, mostly because I learned it first a long time ago. MILs work the same way, they are both angular measurements, just different units. The popular adjustment increment on a MIL turret is usually 1/10th MIL per click, or .36" @ 100yds. and the most popular MOA turret increment is usually 1/4 MOA per click or .262" @ 100yds. We tend to round this stuff off for convenience anyway, so three clicks on a MIL system is a change nearly indistinguishable from 4 clicks on an MOA turret (but only for those first few clicks, before anyone else reading this goes nuts- yes, rounding errors do add up). Of course, before you become too heavily invested in those numbers, you want to do a tracking eval on your scope and quantify its ACTUAL click values. After you KNOW what your turret really does, you can write your dope for your scope's reality. The most important thing is the consistency of the clicks, not so much the actual measurement. Example: you test your scope and find that four clicks (1 MOA) is one inch @ 100yds, but 40 clicks is something other than 10 inches. That kind of inconsistency will cause you to tear your hair out when trying to shoot long range. On the other hand, if your scope tests out to 1.5 inches from 4 clicks @ 100 yds, and 15 inches from 40 clicks, then you have consistency that will work, you simply write your comeups based on the observed angle performance of your scope instead of a true minute of angle. Same principle applies to reticle grids- set your mag to the calibrated setting, and get a buddy to mark the target paper where you tell him the dots are as you look through the glass- be absolutely certain of your distance when you do this, one of the ranges I frequent has a 100 yard line that is actually 104 yards. If you haven't measured the range you are shooting on, you must get that information settled before any of this fancy math will work. We can work with distances other than nice even 100 yard increments, but it complicates the math for your dope creation. Using a magnification change to make your MOA turrets work in concert with your MIL reticle as suggested by Bruce Ventura will also require a calibration verification done at a confirmed distance, and for the same reason. Many people start out in the long range game questioning the reliability of the ballistic program they chose when what they have on the printout doesn't get them the point of impact expected on the shooting range. The culprit is almost always inaccurately measured distance to target, muzzle velocity, ballistic coefficient of the bullet, or a combination of the foregoing. If you don't have a good laser, get one. Even if you have the most expensive chrony ever made, when we consider what a chronograph is measuring and HOW it is measuring it, we have to expect some small error in MV readings. BC data from bullet makers can be really spot on from those who sell mostly to competition shooters, or they may "gild the lily" if mostly marketing to hunters who aren't as likely to performance test in a structured fashion. I must again recommend Bryan Litz's "Applied Ballistics" which includes field tested BCs for many popular bullets. In the process of "trajectory validation", I adjust the MV input until the drop chart matches the real life targets at three distances: zero (usually 200yds for my hunting rigs), mid-range(500 or 600) and max range (the farthest distance you intend using the rifle/load combo, or the longest practice range you have access to). In your search for a scope, I say buy the best you can afford. If Nightforce/Zeiss/Swaro and company are out of reach, I will mention that I have been having great experience with Vortex Vipers, and you can get whichever unit of measure you decide is best for you, they make both choices available in the Viper lineup.
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  #7  
Old 04-15-2014, 01:59 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 14
Re: Help me learn to use my scope

Wow looks like I have some serious reading, buying, and shooting to do. That's ok though! Thank you for all the information! I was already looking into buying Mr. Litz's book. I think before I go out and start buying all kinds of equipment, I should do a little range testing first to make sure I grasp the concepts. Then after I have a general idea I'll start getting serious into it.

Again thank you for all the help!
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