Custom Turrets from Nikon and CTS

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by JackinSD, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. JackinSD

    JackinSD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    531
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Being the curious person that I am, I decided to see what a custom turret would do for or against my hunting. I bought a Nikon Buckmasters 6-18X40SF with mildot. A pretty decent scope, I like it anyway. Also, Nikon offers a custom turrent for this scope and the price for the scope was right ($325).

    I spent a few hours getting my exact dopes out to 1013 at the following distances: 408, 522, 726, 925 and 1013. I used these distances to validate my trajectory with the G7 ballistic calculator. I then used these values until I was able to correctly get the same results with my Applied Balistics app in my Droid. The Droid was my in the field ballistic tool.

    During Antelope season, I used the dopes supplied by the Applied Ballstics with great success. Antelopes taken at 633 yards and 435 yards.

    Sticking to my original plan, I decided to order a turret from Nikon. Once again matching the Nikon Spot-On ballistics with the G7 calculator. My hope was to have this installed and verified before Deer season opened. I placed my order on October 10th. Expecting to have the turret by the end of the month, giving me over 3 weeks to validate how the turret matched my dopes.

    October 29th, I get ahold of Nikon Tech Support and am told that it will be 3-4 more weeks before my turret is ready as they make them by hand (have my doubts about that). Wanting to have a custom turret for actual hunting evaluation, I went to Customturretsytems.com and ordered my custom turret labels, with dopes at 25 yard increments out to 1000 yards. Also included my Nikon turret measurements (circumfernce and height for the labels). I emailed Dan Nichols that I was not concerned with having wind value adjustments on my turret. I did this to maximize the distance that could be printed on a label and still maintain large enough print size to be seen quickly. The Buckmasters has 6 moa of adjustment per revolution, so there were going to be 5 layers/revolutions of print to get me to 1000 yards.

    To shorten my story a bit, I received the Nikon turret the day after they told me it was going to be 3-4 more weeks, which also happened to be the day after I ordered from Custom Turret Systems (CTS). I had my custom turret labels from CTS in 3 days.

    I had made a mistake in my measurements, and Dan was more than a great guy about everything. He immediately sent me his CTS tool, which you use for measuring both the height and the total distance around your turret.

    I used the Nikon turret during the 1st deer season and it worked just as well as using my moa turret. Range, dial and a wind check, no need for the Droid. I keep a wind dope taped to my stock.

    As the first deer season ended, I took the measurements of my moa turret using the CTS tool and emailed CTS my results. 3 days later and a new set of labels arrived, at no charge. I had made the mistake and he took the time, effort, and at their expense to get me replacement turret labels.

    I applied the label to my moa turret and everything looked great. But, as we all know the proof is in the pudding. Yesterday, I had the chance to check just how well these labels work. I went out and shot various distances, until I reached 900 yards. Every yardage mark was right on the money! I am expecting good things during the 2nd deer season, when I use the CTS labeled turret.

    Final thoughts:
    I found that using a custom turret did allow me to get set for a shot a few seconds quicker. A pretty nice addition for hunting.

    The Nikon turret works well, a direct replacement for a moa turret, is accurate to 800 yards (it's max distance in my instance). The down side with Nikon, $100, the wait time, and one hand not knowing what the other one is doing.

    The CTS turret also have worked well, can be changed to different atmospheric conditions by changing the labels, goes to 1025 yards (once again in my instance), $20-$25, and great customer service. Not sure I can find a down side to CTS, unless it's the fact that they are labels. More use will see if that becomes a factor or not. But, if you take care of your scope, I don't see that ever being an issue.

    Anyone who is thinking of trying a custom turret and just not sure if they are worth it, spend the $20-25 and try CTS. Just spend the time to get your ballistics perfect and use the CTS tool that they will mail you. It was still faster than waiting on a manufacturer of a complete turret. Besides, you can change them out quickly and inexpensively.
     
  2. joseph

    joseph Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,238
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009

  3. steelshooter

    steelshooter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    118
    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    How accurate are the turrets when atmospheric conditions change?
    I have tried taping paper to my turret with distances marked on it but found it to be very different in different temps. As much as 1.5 moa at a mere 400yds.
    Do you have different turrets for the cooler and summer months?
     
  4. JackinSD

    JackinSD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    531
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    I have used my single turret from 10-70 degrees. There are most definitley differences. Nothing to the extreme that you have experienced. As I have been doing this shooting I have kept track of any addition/subtraction to be exactly on. But, it was never my intention to use these turret for anything more than hunting. I was looking for a fast way to adjust.

    My turret is set up for 3400 ft, 40 degrees, and 40 % humidity. Here a few of the adjustments for 10 degrees: 500 yards, +1 click, 700 +2 clicks, 750 +3 clicks.

    As you can see the adjustments, for a 30 degree drop in temp, are not much until you get past 500 yards. If you throw in a healthy drop of elevation with a larger drop in temperature than you probably better get a different turret. Same for higher altitude and higher temp. In most cases, you will be good to go to 500 yards.

    Let me be clear, I use the custom turrets for hunting where speed of getting on target may be an issue. One turret should cover you to at least to 500 yards for a fair amount of variation in temp or altitude.

    The nice thing being that with CTS you can get different labels for the various mix of atmospheric conditions for your shooting fairly inexpensively. For the cost of just one from Nikon I could have gotten 4-5 of them from CTS.

    Not sure what temp difference you had, but if you are getting that kind of extreme difference (1.5 moa, at 400) I am not sure what to say. I guess the first thing I would rule out is the temperature sensitivity of my powder. You may be getting a large loss of velocity as the temp drops. And vice versa, velocity gain as temps go up.
     
  5. JackinSD

    JackinSD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    531
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Thanks for the kind words. You are shooting with my next scope, except I am going SFP.
     
  6. joseph

    joseph Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,238
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    If you have never used a FFP scope try one. Once you have one you may never go back to a SFP. :D

    joseph
     
  7. JackinSD

    JackinSD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    531
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Joseph,

    I am fairly verse in the differences between FFP and SFP. What do you see as a FFP advantage?

    Realize I have all the other toys.:D
     
  8. Bman940

    Bman940 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    286
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Jack, Thanks for the write up. I am following up to make sure the confusion is a one time thing. While I don't have custom turret's yet, just haven't ordered one yet, a few friends who do have had excellent long range accuracy. As you know and stated very well, the results will only be as good as the data you can provide.
     
  9. JackinSD

    JackinSD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    531
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Thanks Bman,

    Said perfectly.
     
  10. joseph

    joseph Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,238
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    The advantage I like is that if i don't have my laser range finder with me (or it stops working or it is snowing) I can use the hash marks on the reticule to estimate the range of the animal I am hunting at any magnification I wish. I do not have to adjust the power to the one that works without using any math. gun) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    joseph

    PS: It makes it a little more convent for me & it is cool to zoom in and have everything in proportion to each other.
     
  11. JackinSD

    JackinSD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    531
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Late season/doe season opened today. So, I finally had a chance to use the CTS labeled turret.

    I was with my dad, as we both had one license left to fill. We were camped at some hay stacks that the deer were hitting hard. My dad had a clear shot and I was on the wrong side of everything. He shot his doe at about 25 yards. She ran about 30 yards and fell. The remaining deer were on a full run by the time I could get into a position to see them.

    Figuring we would have to setup somewhere else to fill my tag, we retrieved his deer. Hauled his deer to the back of the truck and did the field dressing. As I am headed to get in the truck a look down the field and there are 3 deer feeding. Still having about 40 minutes of good light, I used my rangefinder to check distance.

    They were between 343 and 345. I got my Savage back out of the case, yeah I had already put it away. Load a round and take position to take the shot. Dial in the distance and nothing for the wind that was blowing from directly behind me. Bang/flop.

    When I got to the doe, she had a nice little hole right where I had put the crosshairs.

    The CTS labels by custometurretsystems.com worked exactly as expected.

    As I said before, give these guys a try if you are considering a custom turret, but don't want to spend $100+. $20 and quick, friendly service.
     
  12. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    838
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Well you sold me on a trial run of the CTS labels. Just got them today and they look good they fit perfect, their calculations added up perfectly out to 975yrds, so the only question is how long will they last? I do not know how long they have bean around so if anyone has tested these in weather or exposer I would love to here about it. Otherwise time will tell. In either case, thanks for pointing them out.
     
  13. JackinSD

    JackinSD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    531
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Wish I could answer that, but give me a while and I will.:D