Illuminated reticle

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by AlexBaldwin07, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. AlexBaldwin07

    AlexBaldwin07 Active Member

    Jun 14, 2007
    I do alot of varmit hunting but, i've never used this feature i was wondering if the buzz is worth the extra money. Tell me about some of your experiences with them. To me it kinda seem like it really not useful only in those last segments like when its rather dark.
  2. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

    Jun 11, 2005
    I've never felt it was something I needed for typical varmint hunting. However, for early morning or late evening coyotes and big game it can come in very handy.

    Just remember that some states don't allow electronic devices etc. for hunting big game.:)

  3. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2001
    I agree with Dick, and despite a few reservations about its use I have done some interesting tests to try to determine how effective it really is. In my experience it is amazingly effective. I used Nightforce, Nikon and Leupold scopes and shot well past total darkness at steel targets out to 1000 yards. Some evenings we fired in very conditions and I was impressed first at how well we could still see the targets through the scopes and second how easy it was to make hits with the illumination on. I recently participated in a nice test of the Leupold MRT 3-9 with illumination and we made consistent hits on LVSteeltargets at 700 yards. Matter of fact I was surprised how well the scope let us shoot compared to how poor an image I was getting through a very good spotting scope.

    I believe the optical qualities of the scope will be a big factor in shooting in poor light and that illuminations ensures we can work with the crosshair intersection.
  4. bwaites

    bwaites Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2007
    Regardless of how well the reticle performed, how can you see the target in "total darkness"?:)

    My experience, although limited, is that many of the scopes with illuminated reticles have too much illumination on the reticle. Nikon seems to get it right for me, with very dim illumination at the lower levels.

  5. blygy

    blygy Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    I tried them in some cheap scopes for shooting beavers in the late evening.

    Nothing longrange strictly under 50 yards but I found that my eye tried to focus on the reticle instead of the target.. It may have been due to the poor quality of the scope though..

    I bought a Bushnell Banner Dusk til Dawn with the 3-2-1 reticle and it works excellent.. not a longrange reticle though too coarse..
  6. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2004
    I like illuminated mil-dot reticles. Even on the cheap scopes. The first thing I look for is the lowest intensity. If you can see it lit on the lowest setting in normal light, it may be too bright. Also I prefer the green light. The red tends to be slightly fuzzy to my eye. The real challenge is not to make the shot in poor light, it's to be absolutely sure what you're shooting at. Also, in Texas there is a legal limit (for protected game) on morning and evening shooting times. The lighted reticle allows you to make a precisely aimed shot in light that is low enough to sometimes make absolute target identification questionable. Example, even a clear silhouette, or a part of a silhouette. You may be able to positively identify a deer for instance, but not a buck or a doe. Unless you have something else to go on, the lighted reticle is no help, because you just can't take the shot. It's also harder to be sure what's behind the target, (there might be another animal back there in the dark) and you have to know. I've passed shots with my .338 x .378 because I wasn't sure that I had dirt to stop the bullet. Thick cover is not enough.
    All that said, when you can take the shot, you can confidently place the bullet and not have to estimate where the center of a reticle that disappeared might be.

    Boy, that's a long answer to a short question. Also, just my opinion. Tom