Anyone using the Horus Reticle?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by teddy12b, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. teddy12b

    teddy12b Well-Known Member

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    Last night I just finished the Magpul "Art of the Precision Rifle" dvd and the instructor had them using the Horus reticle. I've been shooting long range for a couple of years now and I've used several types of scopes, but I've never really spent the big bucks on a scope. For example, the most expensive scope that I've got right now is a SWFA 10x with side focus.

    So, after watching the DVD I thought the horus reticle seemed like a pretty good idea because it eliminates the margin of error that can happen when adjusting turrets.

    Are any of you guys using a horus reticle, and if so what do you think of it?
     
  2. LouBoyd

    LouBoyd Well-Known Member

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    I have two Horus Falcon scopes with H37 reticles, one on a DPMS LR-65CM and the other on a 338 Norma Mag Rem 700.

    The Horus reticle effectively trades the use of target knobs for a reticle calibrated in MILS with 0.2 mil subdivisions. I believe it is easier and more reliable to use than counting clicks with target knobs and it's certainly much faster. The way it is used is very similar to using target knobs. It still requires either range cards or a ballistic calculator. It still requires knowing the range to the target. It has about the same capabilty as a mil-dot for determining range. I use a laser rangefinder The scopes have no anti-cant device and no inclinometer. It's usefulness for measuring downrange wind is similar to any mil-dot scope for first shots.

    I like the H37 reticle (of the Horus choices) because it's offset design allows using about 2/3 of the area of the field of view, maximizing the useful range. Doing that requries a 20 MOA tapered scope mount so the zero will come out right. That's little different from using a 20 MOA base with scope with target knobs.

    The place where the mil-grid reticle is superior to any other scope I know of is for second shot correction for both drop and wind deflection. If on your first shot you can see where your bullet impacts (from vapor trail or dust puff) you simply return the scope to the point of aim of your first shot, note where the impact point was on the reticle, then move the rifle so that point is on the target and fire again. That takes very little time particularly if you get back on your point of aim before the bullet impacts. It requires no scope adjustments or calcuations between shots. The first shot point of aim does not need to be the actual target, rather a point at the same distance and in the same wind pattern as the target which will aid in seeing the bullet impact.
     

  3. cummins cowboy

    cummins cowboy Well-Known Member

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    here are my initial thoughts on the horus setup. keep in mind I havne't used one but watched some videos on it. what happens if you need to shoot in light that isn't the best?? oh but the reticle has illumination, what if the battery runs out, scope is left on, or for whatever reason the battery will not work?? you must also monkey with the illumination to get it the right brightness. the other thing is you must consult a drop chart everytime unless you happen to memorize it. a BDC has this marked on the turret, dial the turret, hold for wind, BANG. no fumbling around and digging out a drop chart.

    next it clutters up the reticle and takes away from the usefullness of it. I would think it would be hard to shoot moving targets as well with it. with all those marks and you being nervous I think it would be easier to hold on the wrong mark of the scope much easier. I personally think the reticle is more for a shooter and a spotter 2 man arrangement. the spotter has the same reticle in his spotting scope, has the drop chart and range with him, then calls out the right hold point. that is where I see it making sense, not in a hunting scenerio, and even at that a marked BDC turret with a reticle that has wind hold offs I still say is very tuff to beat with any system
     
  4. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    Once again, there is no substitute for hands on experience. I've used a Horus reticle for long range shooting. It is far superior to turret or BDC knobs and mil dot reticle. Yes, the reticle is busy - you get used to it. Like most things, you have to train with it to be effective. The benefit is not having to manage the turret knobs when you're focused on the target.

    If scene illumination is low, you have the same issues with any reticle. The concern over a dead battery is FUD. Thats like saying, "what if I forget to bring my ammo"? You come prepared, or suffer the agony of defeat. I suppose you could always default to using turret knobs with the Horus reticle.

    A marked BDC turret is simply not accurate for long range shots in in varying elevation, pressure and temperature conditions. You have to use a ballistic calculator of some kind.

    You don't need a spotter to use the Horus system effectively, but having a spotter does save time. Hitting moving targets at long range is difficult with any set-up because you have to estimate target velocity. Fast second shot correction helps here and is a feature you don't get with any other scope. For long range work, this process is very slick and also does not require a spotter.

    Some folks have complained about the quality of Horus scopes. Nowadays, other scope manufacturers sell scopes with a Horus reticle. Hell, even Bushnell sells a high end scope with a Horus reticle.

    The only issue in my mind is the initial cost of entry because you have to buy the Horus Atrag software and a PDA as well. Oh well, you pay up one way or the other if you want to play the long range game. Hopefully, someone will offer a smart phone app soon.
     
  5. teddy12b

    teddy12b Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Bruce,
    Could you recommend a scope with the Horus reticle? I've been looking at them and it doesn't seem like there's a single option out there for under $1,000, and few under $2,000. I'm not afraid to spend the money, if I know I'm going to be getting something good.
    If I'm used to using mil-dot scopes based on MOA adjustments am I in for a learning curve with switching over to mils?
     
  6. LouBoyd

    LouBoyd Well-Known Member

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    Horus vison sells the Hawk model for $650. It's H425 reticle is calibrated for 12 mils of drop which is over 40 MOA.

    If you understand mil-dot you shouldn't have a problem with the Horus reticles. Generally the knobs are only used to zero the scope. All measurements are done in mils.

    All sighting methods have limitations. The limitations may be largest from lack of precision. Or they may be from the inabilty to measure the various parameters which casue point of aim to differ from the point of impact. Or they may just be too slow to be practical to use.

    What system is fastest? No question, it's point blank shooting. Use a flat shoooting bullet with low wind drift and limit the range to under 300 yards. Put the sight on the target and fire. The bullet will fall witthin a known radius in any reaonable conditions.
    If the radius is too large, shorten the distance.

    Target knobs give the most precise adjustments. But to use them you must gather precise drop, inclination, air density, cant, and wind information. It's perhaps the slowest system to set up. It's the primary method for military snipers.

    Mil grid (Horus Vision) Essentily like target knobs, but a grid reticle is used instead of moving a single crosshair with knobs. It's faster to use than target knobs, and has special benefit for second shot corrections where both the target and the first point of impact are visible on the grid. The fact the grid is in mils is not particularly important, but it must be readable to be of use. It's not a good choice for low light where target knobs can stilll be used.

    Ballistic calibrated reticles. As on some miltary scopes. Ballistics calculations are built into the reticle for specific ammo. Measure orestimae the distance, guess the wind. Move the scope to the appropriate place on the reticle Fire. A good tradoff of speed and accuracy at medium distances.

    Ballistic calibrated knobs. Like ballistic reticles only slower since it needs target knob adjustments with change of distance or wind.

    None of these automatically correct for shot inclination. Some scopes have a built in level to minimize cant.

    You can also close your eyes and use "The Force". I've not had much luck at that.

    None of these scopes are useful if downrange wind deflection is the major source of error. Shooter skilll in observing the subtle effects of downrange winds is all that's currenly available. That takes lots of practice.

    What's in the future? All of the needed sensors could be placed in a rifle scope including downrange wind sensing at least as good as a skilled human. Such instrumentation has been demonstrated. I don't know of any commercailly available.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  7. teddy12b

    teddy12b Well-Known Member

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    Barret has about the only one I've seen that's gotten anything close to a good review.
     
  8. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    This is not an exhaustive list but a place to start.

    The hot scope seems to be the Bushnell HDMR 3.5-21x50 FFP with the Horus H59 Reticle. It's not illuminated and costs about $1600. You can get it from Horus.
    Horus also sells Horus branded scopes in the $1,000-1,300 range.

    Leupold sells the Mark 4 4.5-14x50 and 6.5-20x50 ER/T scopes with a variety of Horus reticles ($2,200-2,400).

    At the high end of the price spectrum is the Nightforce NSX 3.5-15x50 F1 H58 at nearly $2,800. Makes the Bushnell seem like a bargain.

    Other mfrs have announced availability of Horus reticles from time-to-time, but availability can be a challenge.

    Adjusting to mil turrets is easy. Frankly, you won't be using them much if you go with a Horus reticle.
     
  9. cummins cowboy

    cummins cowboy Well-Known Member

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    your on a hunting forum and to say the horus reticle shines as a hunting reticle over a turret with marked ranges on it I just don't see it. I take most of my shots in the mornings and evenings light isn't the best. the spotting your first shot and adjusting doesn't fly with me, we are shooting at animals, do they stand there and not move after a shot?? no, what about people in a sniping situation?? the argument about spotting your shots and correcting faster doesn't hold water for me outside of using the system at a range.

    as for having to dials to adjust on a turret system. me as well as most people I know doing long range hunting, dial for elevation hold for wind. for me its just a matter of turning my turret to 650 and holding for the wind which is also marked on my elevation turret. no fumbling around with range cards or charts, or PDA software. if the conditions don't match my BDC turret exactly, I know that roughly I made need to add or take away a click here or there when the ranges get longer than 700 yards or so. I still don't see how a grid reticle is going to shine here. all the reticle is is a BDC reticle on steroids.
     
  10. teddy12b

    teddy12b Well-Known Member

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    There are cases where shots are fired from far enough away that animals will freeze, or jog a short distance and then stop and in those cases the horus reticle would shine. If you don't like it that's fine, but that's really got nothing to do with what this thread is about.
     
  11. LouBoyd

    LouBoyd Well-Known Member

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  12. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    It's also a LONG RANGE hunting forum. Perhaps you missed the five times I said LONG RANGE in my first post.

    When I'm shooting long distance at dawn or dusk, if there is sufficient light to see the target well enough to make the shot, there is enough light to see the reticle.

    At long range animals and humans (in combat) often move a only short distance and then stop after being missed by a bullet. The gunshot is distant and the supersonic crack or impact is often not recognized as a threat. Or it's misinterpreted as a threat coming from the wrong direction.

    I agree that using turret knobs and a mil dot reticle is the most common method for making long range shots. Using a Horus reticle is superior because it's faster and less susceptible to error. Whether or not it's more accurate depends on the specific scopes being compared (some turret knobs are far from accurate). It's also relatively new and expensive, which is why it's less common.

    A "click here or there" at >700 yds? Really? I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt on this one. Perhaps you're using a super flat shooting cartridge, you never shoot up or down hill, you always zero your rifle at the same elevation you hunt at, and the barometric pressure never changes where you hunt. For me, however, a one click correction or a BDC reticle won't cut it at that range. Variations in elevation, barometric pressure and inclination can easily throw a shot off a foot or more at 700 yds, which turns an ethical shot into a miss, or worse, a wounded animal that wanders off for hours. I wouldn't attempt a shot at that range unless I was using a ballistic calculator and was confident in my wind estimation.
     
  13. Augustus

    Augustus Well-Known Member

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    BDCs work nice but you are limited to a certain class of firearms and weather conditions can change the trajectory causing problems at longer ranges. Using a Mil or Moa based scope eliminates this problem when used with a ballistic computer. I have used the Horus H25 a long time and I love it. I have a n easy to use formula for a 308 and an Edge or Lapua for drops and wind. I keep it in my head so it don't need batteries.

    308 175 SMK 2650
    Drop= Range minus 2--- example 450 yds. -2 = 2.50 mils, this will get you close from 300 to 650 yds.

    Wind calss are Distance times wind speed the double the result.

    Example, 9 mph wind 600 yds = .54 times 2 = 1.08 mils




    338 Edge 300 SMK at 2850

    Drop is range - 3. 800 yds -3= 5 mils

    Wind call is Range times wind. 800 yds 7 mph wind = .56 mils


    This will usually get you within a tenth of a mil or so from 300 to 600 yds for the 308 and from 400 to 1000 yds for the Edge or Lapua. For distances closer or further I have learned to tack on a tenth or two where needed.

    Also the Horus is deadly on targets close to a mil in height for wind calls and movers.
     
  14. cummins cowboy

    cummins cowboy Well-Known Member

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    yes a click here or there, run the numbers I hunt from about 5000 feet to 10000 feet a turret that is setup for 7-8000 feet will not be that far off same with temperature, you know all this before, heck I have a turret that I have not changed out yet that is for a 3200 fps load, I have since backed my load off to 3130 fps, I know at about 550 yards I need an extra click, at 750 2 extra clicks, at 900ish 3 extra clicks beyond the marked range on my turret. It still works fine for my use.

    all the problems of barometric pressure, inclination all that are all the SAME problems the horus reticle has to deal with as well. again is it easier to know and remember you need extra clicks because its 10 degrees outside or will it be more confusing looking at a range card and remembering that. I will take a marked turret EVERY time.

    John Burns Whitetail Buck 760yds 2011.mp4 - YouTube!

    watch this video around the 29 second point, how can anyone look me in the eye and tell me adjusting that turret to 750 is going to be slower than digging a range card out of your pocket and holding on one of those little points. the reticle does not need to be powered with a more complicated illumination setup, its useable in fading light and the bottom 3rd of the reticle is still useable. the only thing the horus has IMO is it does not need to rely on how good the scope tracks, however with .2 mil the smallest measurement I would argue that even a cheap scope should be accurate to that too. also when using the horus for wind hold offs most of the time you will not having a specific aim point but rather be holding inbetween non existent lines. I think that while not too big a deal will make alot of people second guess their hold.