Beginner w/ LR optics. How do they work?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by SDBoltz, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. SDBoltz

    SDBoltz Member

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    Hello everyone, thank you for your time. I've been a long-time lurker here, trying to learn as much as possible. Now that I want to start longer range shooting (I've rarely needed to shoot at distances past 300yds). My hunting scopes have always been "set & forget" and I'd use hold-over and Kentucky windage once its zero'd. So now I have a couple of questions about scopes.

    1) How do target scopes differ from hunting scopes? Specifically, how do you use target scopes once you have sighted in the rifle? Doesn't changing the turrets change your zero?

    2) How handy are Mil-Dot reticles? I use a laser range finder, so are they still the go-to reticle for long-range shooting? And for Mil-Dot estimations (distance/height of target etc) what power are those estimations made under?

    This is an awesome site, I'm glad I'm here... Thanks everyone
     
  2. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    This one's easy:

    1. yes

    2. yes
     

  3. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    Just kidding, welcome to the site.

    1. Target scopes and hunting scopes are usually the same on this site, I mean we use target scopes as our hunting scopes. For the most part target scopes usually have larger marked turrets and more internal adjustments. Once sighted in, some guys still use hold over/hold off but use a reticle with reference marks to judge the distance they hold, such as the mildot reticle you mentioned. Others will turn the turrets so that their point of aim (POA) and point of impact (POI) are the same, and some guys do both (dial turrets and use a reticle). Yes turning the turrets changes your zero, that’s the point. You are basically “zeroing” the scope to the range of your intended target.
    2. Mildot reticles are very handy. As far as being the “go-to” reticle, that subject is open for debate. That is a personal preference; there are too many different reticles to list. The power a scope needs to be on for the reticle’s designed sub tensions to be true will depend on the scope itself. Different scopes need to be on different power settings, and is the scope first or second focal plane… There is no one answer for all.
     
  4. SDBoltz

    SDBoltz Member

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    Hey thanks Bravo. Yes I own a Leupold with their LR Reticle as well as versions of Nikon's BDC stuff, so I get that part. I guess when I see someone write about their LR rifle, I'm expecting to see a target type scope with adjustable turrets etc instead of the hunting stuff like I own. So thats why I get confused when I see hunting scopes used for targets.

    So that brings me to the 2nd way you mention. POI = POA. I watch episodes of shows like "Extreme Outer Limits" where for every shot, he dials in MOA based on distance and I'm wondering; where does he start? Like for instance, on my rifle I have it zero'd to hit about 2.5" high @ 100yds and I just point the crosshairs on whatever I'm shooting at all the way to 300yds. So if I wanted to go to say 550 yds, and I start dialing in elevation on the scope, do I just dial it back when I'm done for my initial zero? And what does a scope that has a "resettable zero" or "zero stop" do for me?

    Lastly what kind of software programs are you all using to determine how much MOA etc. to dial in? Are these available for things like my iPhone? Or do I need some sort or proprietary hand-held device?
     
  5. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    You can start wherever you've zeroed, whether that is 100 or 200 yards or some point in between. The important thing is that you know where that its and how to get back there.
    Have you ever shot your rifle beyond 100 yards to see where it is actually hitting? If not, you may be surprised. Just asking.
    Yes, that would be correct.
    A zero stop generally prevents you from rotating too far and going beyond your zero in a negative direction. Not much point in being sighted in for -100 yards. :D

    There are some for the iphone and some for other devices. I have iStrelok, Ballistic, BulletDrop and others on mine.
     
  6. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    The resttable turrets means that after you have the scope zeroed, at whatever distance you desired, you can (through some mechanical means-usually losen a screw/screws) and turn the turret till the numbered "0" lines up with an index line on the back of the turret housing (from the shooter's perspective) then tighten the mechanical release back down. That way you don't have to count clicks and can actually use the numbers on the turrets for adjustments and as a way to go back to your initial zero. A zero stop is just a luxury, it keeps you from dialing back down past your initial zero. Just another way to be lazy.:D If you are dialing for an extended distance that requires you to turn the turret past one or more full revolutions, you can lose track of how many times you have turned it. There are also lines under the turrets on the housing (on most scopes, these are called base lines) that let you know how many revolutions you have dialed.

    Dr Vette has a point, sounds like you don't know where you are really sighted in. You are kinda using a max point blank range type of shooting. This is where you sight your rifle in to hit a specific sized target out as far as posible with your rifle/load while aiming center mass of the intended target.
    Example: Lets say a deer has an 8" target kill area behind the shoulder (just an example...). You sight the rifle in so that the maximum ordinance of the bullet (max-ord is a projectile's highest point in it's trajectory or flight path) is not higher then half the target size when aiming center, in this example 4". The max point blank range would be where the bullet drop would hit 4" lower then center. Some guys do this because they know they just have to aim center mass and can hit at the furthest range their rifle/load is capable without having to compensate for bullet rise or drop. Lets use my old 30-06, go to JBM - Calculations and hit trajectory. All I did for this example is punch in .308 cal/180gr bullet/.474 G1 BC for the partition/ 2700fps (what my rifle does), go to the bottom and change the vital zone radius to 4 and checked zero at Max point blank range (I didn't change anything else guys as this is an example so don't tear the data appart:D). I get a MPBR of about 300 yards with a max-ord at 150 yards. I can aim center mass on a deer all the way out to 300 yards and expect a kill (not counting any wind compensation, but that is another subject).
    That's just one technique.
     
  7. SDBoltz

    SDBoltz Member

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    Yes definitely, at 200yds I'm right around 3" high and at 300yds I am right around 3" low - It's a 7mmRM -

    On the BALLISTIC apps, after it gives you the data, what figures are you using to change the scope? Below is a screen shot for the app. Take the red line for instance showing trajectory data for 237yds. It gives you 2.0 MOA drop and .12 MOA wind. Do you then dial in that adjustment on the turret?

    http://ballistic.zdziarski.com/iPad/IMG_0010.PNG
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  8. SDBoltz

    SDBoltz Member

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    Yes MPBR is exactly what I am using. I have used this method of shooting for the past 20yrs using standard reticle scopes and MPBR has been a pretty good way of putting meat in the freezer. I just don't trust myself to judge holdover at longer distances for fear of a wounding shot, and so I limit my shots to 300yds. I have since gone to the Leupold VX-II with the LR reticle I mentioned. With this I have been playing with the holdover dots etc, but I'd like to be more precise. On my coyote gun (.243) I have it set dead on @ 200yds. I use a Nikon BDC reticle and the Nikon Spot On iPhone app and I have been practicing with the holdover circles. With this setup I have been able to make kills up around 450yds. I am more confident that an errant shot on a coyote with a high-powered rifle will still be a kill shot, so I can lengthen the distance and remain comfortable. But it just seems like using a well made target scope and practicing, practicing and practicing some more in order to be effective with the POA=POI method is just more precise.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  9. MachV

    MachV Well-Known Member

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    There is a 3-9 Sightron with midot on my 7mag=It works great to six hundred yards with 160 grain Partitions for most big game.
    I know your looking for precise but the gun is a factory MOA shooter and 9x is enough power and allows me to turn it down to 3x for close quarter work.
    The mildot while not precise does allow this unit to be used effectivly out to 600Yards,
    Zeroed @ 100 yards
    .5 mill @ 200
    1 mill @300
    1.4mill @ 350
    1.7 @400
    2.1 @450
    2.5 @500
    2.9 @550
    3.3 @ 600

    I have had a few different scopes on this rig over the years.
    3-9 fine duplex Leupold=Good point plank scope but limited to 300 yards or so
    16x IOR=Too heavy, too much power for close work But the MP-8 reticle is great!
    4.4-14 Leupold with Boone and crocket reticle=Way too limiting on range @ 14x
    3-9 Sightron with mildot just plain works for me=Light,simple and effective within the 600 yard limit of the gun.
     
  10. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you'd move the turret 2 MOA to account for the drop from 100 to 200 yards.
    Some people sight in at 100, then leave the scope at the 200yd setting so they're ready to go out to 250+ at a moment's notice. For my hunting rifles I sight in at 200yd, varmint at 100yd.
    You can use white tape on the turret and then write on it your yardage points and make it easy. If you need to change it just remove the tape, install new tape and re-mark.