Originally Posted by back wood
Trying to get ideas on what reticle to have installed in my scope, I have a leupold 3x9x50 w fairly heavy duplex. Last year I wanted to shoot a deer at 364yds, but when I got deer in scope the reticle covered the deer's entire shoulder (didnt take shot). I plan to send scope back leupold to have new reticles installed. My goal is to be able to be effective around 500 yd. Does anyone have a idea of what reticle I should have installed? I would also like to be fairly efficient in low light conditions.
The heavy duplexes are a good short range reticle for deer hunting. As you have discovered, they are a huge handicap for longer ranges. for the record, i have tried a Leupy fire dot crosshair reticle and they also cover too much of my target at longer ranges. I would sell your scope and put the money towards a good used Leupy. Leupy's carry a lifetime warranty, so buying a used one that has not been abused is no gamble. Here is a good Leupy reticle for your longer shots that will not blot out your target:
Varmint Hunters Reticle | Leupold Optics
You can get this on a VX3 4.5-14X50 with side (paralax) focus. If you are consistently hunting from a blind with sand bags and looking to reach out a little farther you might want to try this reticle: Target Dot Reticle | Leupold Optics
These are available on the VX3 6.5-20X50 with side focus. The dot will definitely not blot out your target and I like the "no clutter" view through the scope. I find that a scope with a too much "going on" reticle that interferes excessively with my field of view, to be a huge annoyance. The downside is this reticle will be a little tougher to find in heavy cover and low light conditions.
If your ship suddenly arrives, try a NightForce 3-15X50 with an NP-R2 reticle and zero stop. I think you would fall inlove with that for a hunting scope!