Hold over or Dial??? Plus scope suggestions?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Dgutter, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Dgutter

    Dgutter Well-Known Member

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    I have a .25-06 that I've been handloading for and have been wanting to stretch its range out a bit. I have yet to shoot an animal past 200yds but currently practice out to 300yds. I have attempted 600yd shots (on plywood) with not so good results. I have a simple duplex reticle and don't trust my scope enough to dial.
    So what do you do? Do you hold for elevation and wind? And if you do, do you have a mil-dot (or equivalent) reticle?
    Or do you dial? If so, do you have mil-dots (or equivalent) as well?
    Also, what would you suggest to a guy on a limited budget for scopes?
    Should I just go with a simple mil-dot scope and just hold for everything? Should I get something that allows me to dial? Or both?
    I would most likely never shoot past 600yds but if I felt capable I would like to try some 1000yd target shots. This is primary rifle (actually my only at the moment) and use it for everything from bobcat up to large whitetails.
    Thanks, Jason
     
  2. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    With practice hold over alone is more than adequate in hunting situations to get you out to five or six hundred yards with most calibers.

    Even with a plain duplex reticle (again with practice) you can learn to bracket an animal use a known body measurment such as from top of shoulder to bottom of brisket to judge your hold over.

    Beyond that you need to either dope and dial or use something like the MP-8, Mil Dot, or TMR reticle.

    Nothing is as accurate as doping and dialing though IF you have a quality scope that has consistently repeatable adjustments.
     

  3. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    If you want to precisely place the bullet , dial it. There is no way you can have enough hash marks on a reticle for each distance. And if you did it would look like screen wire. Past 400 yards your bullet is dropping at a very fast rate. Every few yards make a difference. Can you learn hold over and be affective at 500 yads? Sure but you simply can not place the bullet as well as if it were ranged with a laser RF and dialed for. Period.

    Whatever you choose practice is the key, and lots of it.

    Good luck!

    Jeff
     
  4. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Well-Known Member

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    On a tight budget, go pick up a Nikon, "Prostaff" is memory serves me correct. They run around $200 or less. They have a BDC reticle with small circles in it. The scopes are very nice for the money, waterproof, shockproof and have nice crisp click adjustments. Nikon also has a ballistics program "Spot On" that will show you where your point of impact in the reticle will be if you know your velocity and obviously the bullet you are using. My brother put one on his stock Savage 300Win with Berger 168 vld handloads and we had him to 600 yards in the last circle and out as far as 850 yards accurately using the intersection of the thin/heavy duplex and some extra scope dope. The adjustments have tracked very accurately. In my opinion the Nikons have become a much better and more reliable scope than even the Leupolds under $1000.
     
  5. 405win

    405win Well-Known Member

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    Hi Dgut.

    I went thru this same deal 2 years ago. I too have a 25-06 and have been very pleased with the ziess 3.5x10 with the z800 reticle. You can get a ziess 3x9 with the z600 reticle for about $575 which isn't cheap but maybe cheap enough.
    I'm not smart enough to figure out milsdots, (I tried) so this was my solution. Best of luck but what ever you choose, practice practice practice.
     
  6. yotehunter73

    yotehunter73 Active Member

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    I too shoot the 25.06 i just recently took it out 500yds. It was shooting 27 inches low at that range. it could be difficult to guess what 27 inches looks like in different shooting situations. Dialing seems more accurate if you have the time to dial each shot.
     
  7. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    I shoot the .25-06AI and its a great caliber. I use to think it was good to 700 and it will suffice on Antelope and Deer out to that distance and maybe a bit more with the right optics and bullet but for out to say 600 I had the best luck with dial ups. I did do well with a 6.5X20X40 Leupold with the Varmint hunter reticule out to 500 using hold offs but its a lot more precise with the dials.
     
  8. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Either works very well if your comfortable with both methods. Generally, those that dial up will fall back on the comment that using hold over is not nearly accurate enough for hunting, BUNK.

    Those that hold over will generally say that its MUCH faster then dialing up, Maybe slightly more so but again, not dramatically.

    Simple fact is there are limits to each method, if you know those limitations and get good with either system you will be a very successful long range big game hunter.

    The comment about not having scopes with enough reference marks for accurate shooting at long range. That simply is not true. There are MANY out there that work great. The NF NP-R1 is a great scope reticle. I prefer the 5.5-22x version as you can use it on 22x with 1 moa line spacing or on 11x for 2 moa line spacing. Its a simple mater to braket a target between the lines for 1/4 and 1/2 moa spacing. Again, its simply a matter of getting used to doing it and not relying on your dials as much.

    I guarantee I could use hold over and compete head to head with anyone using dial up out to 1000 yards with no problems at all. Is dialing up more precise, certainly, but we are big game hunting, not BR shooting. IF you can put your first shot within 1/2 moa of your point of aim out to 1000 yards you will easily be able to take any big game animal out to that range. Hold over will easily get you within that amount of precision.

    Either way, you need a quality scope. IF you dial up, you need a scope that will give you consistant dial ups all the time. I recommend the NF NXS, Vortex Razor and Leupold Mk4s for that purpose.

    If you want to hold over, I recommend the NF NXS 5.5-22 with NP-R1 reticle or the Leupold FFP Mk4 scopes for lighter rifles. THe FFP feature is a huge bonus for hold over shooting as your not limited to one power setting.

    You also have to consider if a scope has a quality paralax adjustment. If the scope will adjust the center of the field of view for paralax but the outer edges of the field of view are not then you will have distortion and issues with accuracy at longer range hold over shot placement.

    Its for this reason that I do not recommend using hold over for much past 1000 yards with the most potent chamberings and generally less then 800 is best with conventional chamberings. YOu should limit your hold over to no more then around 20 moa. If you want to shoot at ranges that require more hold over then this, I DO recommend dialing up but that is because of issues with paralax more then anything else.

    Do not mean to ruffle any feathers but when both systems are use correctly, they both work extremely well and both have their advantages and disadvantages.

    Try them both, pick the one that you like best and then practice ALOT to make it second nature for you to use whatever system you prefer.
     
  9. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Well-Known Member

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    +1 on that Kirby. I have used a 10x Shepherd for several years now with surprising precision. I get upset if my poi is not within .5moa of my hold in the reticle, because it absolutely should be at any range if I calculate conditions correctly. I use a specific aiming point in the reticle for a given range, calculate shooting angle (if any), temp. altitude, ect and make those fine adjustments with the turret so there is no guessing between reticle marks. I have taken out milk jugs at 1,600yards with this method. Those jugs are aweful small at 1600 yards with only 10x though:D Like you said, either method can work wonderful if a person takes the time to learn the system.
     
  10. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    For a great quality scope on a tight budget, search LRH classifides, or your local Craigslist list, buy a used Leupold (VX-lll or better, in the magnification you want, with an A/O, or P/A) for way less $ than a new scope, then send it into the custom shop for upgrades such as turrets, reticle etc. Warranty is lifetime. - no matter who owns it, or who made the origional purchase. IMO its a very cost effective way to get a great scope.
     
  11. newmexkid

    newmexkid Well-Known Member

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    I recently went with the Kenton Compensation Turret. It's my first venture into dials. Couldn't be happier ! Our range only goes out to 500 yards. I sighted in at 200 hundred yards. Put the new turret on and dialed her up to 500. Took a shot at the gong and nailed it!!. Also, if I want to change loads or put the scope on another rifle I just take the turret off and the scope is ready to go.
     
  12. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    My vote is HOLD OVER and mucho practice!!
     
  13. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Much more important then which method you use is ALOT of practical field practice.

    Get off paper as soon as you can. Go out to an area where you can shoot at targets of opportunity, best ones are small rocks in the 1/4 to 1/2 moa size. I see alot of guys going out and shooting at rocks that are 3 to 5 moa in size and are happy when they hit them every time. That, in my opinion is not good enough.

    Find small targets, as mentioned, aim small, miss small. 1/4 to 1/2 moa sizes are perfect. Set up your rifle just as you would hunting in the field. Range the rock, look up the dial up or hold over and take the shot just as you would hunting. Record your shot placement hit or miss. Do not adjust anything yet. Find several other targets at different ranges, do the same thing and record all impacts. In 10 shots you will get more information and drop chart testing then you will with 100 rounds on paper.

    If possible, take a video camera with you to video the shots. Its amazing how different what you "THINK" you see through the scope is compared to where that bullet ACTUALLY lands. This can be invaluable to tweaking your drop chart.

    When you get back home you can take your impact recorded data and confirm or tweak your drop chart to match up. I generally shoot at 500, 750 and 1000 yards. If my drops are on at these three ranges, it will be on for all ranges out to that max range.

    Again, get off paper ASAP, find a load that is consistant and shoots well, do not get a case of tinkeritis thinking there is always greener grass. Yes we want an accurate load but a 1/4 moa load will perform no better then a 1/2 moa load in the big game hunting field, save your time and barrel and put it toward practical long range field practice with whichever method you decide you like best.

    In the end it makes very little difference which method you use out to 1000 yards or so. The important part is that your well trained in the method you want to use so its second nature. In my experience, 90% of the misses at long range are because of shooter error with their drops or windage adjustments which admittedly are much harder to concentrate on when your setting up to shoot at a big game animal, thats why it needs to be second nature and that only comes from ALOT of practice but again, that does not have to mean massive amounts of bullets down range. Thats why some very intense chamberings can offer a very long big game hunting career life in spite of what many EXPERTS will claim.
     
  14. Dgutter

    Dgutter Well-Known Member

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    Thank you guys so much. This has been some great advice. For a little more background. My rifle is a savage 110 accutrigger. Its just a plain jane synthetic sporter stock, sporter barrel. Last 3 round group at 100yds with about a 15 mph quartering wind measures right at .6 moa. I think instead of load tweaking my next step will be to lap the locking lugs and bed the action. Then when I mount the new scope I'm going to use a 1 piece 20moa cant base. I feel that once I get all of this accomplished I will have a rifle capable of more than what the operator will be capable of.
    Kirby, I'm glad you brought up the idea of getting off paper. I agree 100% that I will be better off ranging and engaging targets at random distances (and the size of vitals).
    Anybody have anymore thoughts? I'm open to all sorts of opinions and advice.
    Thanks again, Jason