New Nightforce Reticles!

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Buano, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    I just heard from Ken Pratt, Technical Support, Customer Service, Nightforce Optics. He told me: "Nightforce is currently projecting the release of the new 1K versions of the Velocity reticle as well as the Horus H-58, around the first of the year. These new reticles will be available on a new scope or also for retrofit if you already own a Nightforce.

    The Horus reticle will be available within the F-1 line, NXS 3.5x15x50 F-1 only
    The Velocity reticles will be available in the 15X and the 22X optics."
     
  2. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    So how well do these reticles work for a first round hit if say you are shooting at 1k yds. at 1K' elevation with 29 inHg pressure and 60 deg F one day and the next day happen to find yourself at 7K' elevation, 22 inHg and 40 deg F?
     

  3. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    Like any shooting system, whether a simple cross-hair or a full grid, you need to have a way to know where to hold or adjust. No shooting system is idiot-proof. Ideally you will have ballistics software that can tell you how to adjust your hold for differing conditions. Absent that you need to develop a chart of how to hold in differing conditions. Note: that doesn't change whether adjusting the cross-hairs via the turrets, holding off target (Kentucky windage) or using a grid reticle.

    All a grid reticle does is allow you to know where to hold without adjusting your turrets. This is an advantage in some hunting situations, as when deciding between targets at different ranges. Our military is now moving to Horus Reticles for just that reason.

    In hunting situations most rifles will shoot close enough to the same point of impact out to 500 or 600 yards that the same hold points can be used regardless of barometric pressure, temperature, etc.. Beyond these ranges those variables must be taken into account IN ALL TARGETING SYSTEMS. This makes grid reticles much faster inside the range other variables come into play, and those ranges are where most game is shot.

    What ballistic reticles are not: They are not a replacement for learning your ballistics. Sadly, the sales people give exactly that impression.
     
  4. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    And therein lies the rub!

    Sans the the 'other' other company's reticle discussion around here.

    Sales to to the gullible seem to be the marketing motivation by many.

    Oh and by the way, didja know that the word 'gullible' isn't even in the dictionary. No kiddin'!
     
  5. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    According to the Horus website, the H58 is graduated in mils. I didn't know that and was wondering what they based the reticles on.

    As you can probably tell, I'm just a bit biased against reticles of this type for exactly the reason that Roy brought up and buano brought up in that latter part of his post above, even though I shoot an NPR1 on an NF. Way too many people thinking that because they have this or that special reticle, they can shoot out to 600 or 1K at a game animal.

    What a misconception and shame on some of these companies for marketing the way they do--often not mentioning the devil in the details in terms of time spent training, knowing ballistics and using a ballistics calculator when needed, proper equipment, etc. Longrange hunting is a fine tuned 'system' with a tremendous amount of knowledge of details of that system (most importantly knowing your limits in a given conditions), not just a special reticle.

    Most factory rifles are not designed with shooting at 600yds + in mind and some of these reticles make folks think they can do it.

    How long could it be until MSNBC does an investigative report on hunters using ballistic reticles (instead of remington)? I'm sure they can find quite a few folks happily using them that don't have much of an idea of ballistics at all.

    Sites like this will really educate people to this end if they are willing to spend the time, energy and money to do so. Hopefully they won't be shooting lr if they haven't spent that time, money and energy to understand what is going on to some degree--it's tough enough when you have some understanding. :cool:
     
  6. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    Amazingly, it appears WE are all in agreement. Ballistic reticles are not "the problem", people believing that a ballistic reticle is all they need to shoot a muley at 750 yards is THE PROBLEM. Horus used to have a simulator on their website where you can calculate holds for various distances with their reticles & you can see if that's something you might want in your scope. When I tried it I liked it — a lot. Others I know have not liked it. To each his own. I believe Nightforce is offering the Velocity 1,000 reticle only because with it they do not have to give Horus a licensing fee & because of marketing done by other scope manufacturers have done for their ballistic reticles. The Velocity 1,000 is still valid, so long as a person knows what ranges the scope demarcations correspond to WITH THEIR RIFLE under actual hunt conditions.

    I believe we need a book to hand people, "The Idiot's Guide to Long Range Marksmanship". In it we could summarize what it takes to make a rifle accurate beyond 500 yards & what it takes to reliably hit targets from 600 yards to more than a mile away. In theory long-range marksmanship is not that complicated — so long as every variable is removed from the process. Removing those variables is THE issue in long-range marksmanship, and it's why most hunters I know should never shoot at game more than 200 yards away.

    When I try to explain long range hunting to a novice it's fairly easy to show bullet drop at various distances & under various conditions. What's hard to show is the effect of wind since the wind can only be estimated over this distance & can even be blowing in opposite directions along the bullet path. Once they get a basic understanding of wind doping they have newfound respect for long-range marksmanship. At that point most know they are not interested in learning what they would need to learn and spending what they would need to spend for long range marksmanship. A few, those with our mental health issues, are intrigued by the challenge & want to learn to do it right. Those we welcome with open arms!
     
  7. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Well stated.

    This is a thread that is going unusually very well!

    What about this? A range finder with environmental inputs plus automatic angle correction capability which reads out in yards to be used in concert with the ballistic turrets or reticle? Or a drop chart with the same inputs included in the calcs?

    Would not all disagreements/arguments be taken away?
     
  8. partisan1911

    partisan1911 Well-Known Member

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    It took me four minutes to open this thread so I figured I might as well put a post in it.

    I have an ar-15 I am going to use primarily for predator hunting in the winter where environmental conditions remain pretty much the same....really cold. I don't see myself shooting further than 400 yards for these critters so I figured a velocity reticle in a 2.5-10x nightforce will be perfect. Figured I can shoot paper to verify drops, shoot a couple shots in the area I am going hunting that day to confirm. I might be off an inch at 400yds. I can live with that.

    As far as expecting to use a 1000yd velocity reticle. I imagine it would work on a purpose built rig used only in the same enviroment and terrain which is how alot of guys hunt?
     
  9. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    What was going on that required the four minutes to open this thread?

    Don't want to hijack the thread but have been hearing rumors of this, though I never have. PM me if you wish.

    BTW, I agree with your comment regarding reticles. Good luck on your 'cold' hunts.:)
     
  10. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    I was surprised to see NF come out with the velocity because it just didn't seem to be their style but at least it made some sense, to me anyway, in that out to 600 yards atmospheric changes don't have a big impact on POI. I would be more comfortable with 500 yards though.

    The 1k velocity is really surprising. I just can't see it being at all practical unless verification shots are going to be taken before each shoot, or shot if one is hunting, to get dialed in to all conditions. That is one of the reasons I never could buy into the zeiss z reticles. Once I ran some numbers there was no practical benefit to it.

    Am I missing something here?
     
  11. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    Scot,

    If you are comfortable adjusting turrets for every shot, even those within 500 yards, and you don't shoot where you might need to quickly go from targeting something at 546 yards to something at 311 yards, there is no advantage in having the velocity (or Horus) reticle. If you need that ability to quickly change from targeting things at different ranges, there is an advantage. It depends on the shooter & how/where they are shooting.

    Ron
     
  12. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    You still have to run these ballistic reticles that aren't based on mil/moa through a ballistic calculator after having double checked your drops experimentially in a certain set of conditions, then programs like Exbal can tell you what yardages the various hash marks will be at. But by the time you do that, what's the point? You're worse off than if just you used a mil/moa reticle in the first place! ...a moa/mil reticle is much more functional for other reasons and you can do the same thing as these ballistic reticles with a moa/mil reticle to begin with!

    Exbal has a number of these reticles programmed into it so that you can check where the various hash marks will have you hit in various environmental conditions, if you've confirmed your drops in a certain set of conditions already entered and saved into Exbal--I set up my brothers Leup B&C this way...but the numbers are off quite a bit sometimes from what Leup says they should be to the point that much past 400yds and you could be very likely to not hit that deer.

    To just buy one of these reticles that is matched to such and such ballistic curve where, they've got about 10-20 chamberings lumped into one ballistic curve and think that's all you need to do to hit critters that far...! Some will realize the situation, but many likely not.

    It bothers me that NF went out to 1k--it bothered me enough that NF did the reticle out to 600 a couple of years ago...I thought they might be a hold out company in this regard for philosophical and ballistic reasons...but now...out to 1K!...hate to say it, but it sure seems like a grab for market share from those 'hunters' who may just not know any better.
     
  13. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Buano,
    Do you think that's more the case with the mil based Horus reticle vs. the very poplular Leup B&C reticle, for instance?

    Edit: I'm just wondering if we may need to 'separate' the mil/moa based reticles from the reticles that are based on yardages such as the B&C and the Velocity, etc., to have a more clear discussion?
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  14. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    Any reticle needs to be correlated to what OUR load does under OUR conditions. This goes for the basic cross-hairs as well as the slightly complex B&C & the complex Horus reticles.

    The more "aiming points" a reticle gives us, the more points we have that we need to translate to where that puts our bullet "on target".

    Since what needs to be done is largely the same whether we are talking about a simple cross-hair, B&C style reticle or a Horus style reticles, the only functional difference is that the B&C reticle has a marketing plan that oversimplifies what the reticle will do for the hunter. I definitely disagree with the marketing plan.

    On my last elk hunt I used a Leupold 3.5-10x50 with a lighted B&C reticle. I chose that rifle/scope combo since my guide told me he had never had a shot at an elk taken at over 300 yards & he told me that in most situations a shooter has 3-5 seconds to take a shot. I zeroed my rifle using the 300 yard point of aim & found I was within 2 inches at 100, 150, 200, and 250 yards. I was dead on at 300 yards. The 400 yard mark was on at 440 yards, the 450 yard mark was on at 485 yards and and the 500 yard mark was on at 530 yards. Knowing that I was very comfortable with any shot out to 550 yards and knew I would not need to adjust my turrets out to 550 yards. Note: that was for My rifle with the load I was using on that hunt. I do not pretend the same holds would work for other loads, with other rifles, under different conditions. Anyone taking the time to "learn" a B&C reticle as I did preparing for this hunt is just as prepared as someone developing a turret chart.

    On the same hunt, another hunter showed up with a .270 Weatherby that had been zeroed in lowland Texas & consistantly held tiny groups. When the zero was checked in the mountains of Montana it was shooting tiny groups that were INCHES high. The hunter was shocked at the difference in the point of impact. The issue was not the reticle, but rather the need to know the point of impact for that reticle under hunt conditions.

    I believe anyone with ballistics software on a PDA is best-served with a Horus type reticle or simple cross-hairs for most long-range shooting. In either system the shooter ranges a target & estimates the wind, barometric pressure & temperature & translates that to a hold-off or a turret adjustment. With that level of precision measuring your variables, truly long shots are quite predictable. Unless a shooter is measuring all those variables & taking them into account, anything over 600 yards is simply a "Hail Mary". If someone is not measuring all those variables, there will be more error built into his shooting. Because I knew I was not going to be measuring & accounting for all those variables I told the guide I was working with that I wasn't planning on taking any shots past 500 yards even though I knew I might under ideal conditions. (I simply didn't want him planning on me taking extreme shots.) I can say my guide was very impressed that I showed up & could tell him what the B&C reticle translated to with my load in my rifle. I chose the B&C reticle because I believed it would be the fastest reticle for the type of hunt I was planning. I still believe that.

    No, there is no reason to segregate reticles into groups before we discuss them as each does the same thing in different ways. With each reticle WE are responsible for knowing where an aiming point will put our bullet. For most hunters there is no need for more than a duplex cross-hair as most hunters should never shoot beyond 250 yards. For long shots where there is "all the time in the world, target turrets & a duplex reticle are great, if more speed is needed a Horus type is a little faster. If more speed is needed & shots will not be extreme, a B&C style reticle is optimal. This is not religion, this is science. We learn what works & stick with it until someone convinces us there is something better. The point is not to believe our reticle will perform magic & relieve us of our responsibility to learn our ballistics.

    For what it's worth, on the hunt I was describing I shot a beautiful 6x6 bull high in the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana as he was standing broadside to me, with no clue I was present, while I was seated on a rock under a tree all of 9 yards away. I didn't need a scope. I wish I had been carrying my bow & could have used a spear.