Reticle help...

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by wilkup, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. wilkup

    wilkup Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the process of deciding on a new scope for my rifle and was hoping to get a little more light shed on the advantages/disadvantages of the various options out there.
    I'll throw some terms out and hopefully someone will come along and enlighten me on what they mean and how they relate to my intended use. I plan to use this scope primarily as a hunter, but will also be practicing with it as well and would like to be able to reach out to around 700yd (long range for me, I'm assuming mid-range for the criteria here?)

    With that little bit of information, I'm hoping to learn which option will suit my needs the best. So here's the terms I'm trying to figure out and the pros/cons to hunting that go along with each of them:

    First Focal Plane
    Second Focal Plane
    BDC Reticle - Maybe a little more depth on this subject would be helpful. I own a Nikon with the BDC reticle and understand how it works, but maybe some other company's options would be useful too. Are there some that are better than others?
    30mm vs. 1'' Tube

    I think I'll let this be my first post and go from here as I get responses.
     
  2. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    This may be the best source for explaining of First vs Second focal plane differences.
    It saves a lot of typing time.

    Vortex Optics - First vs.Second Focal Plane

    This post may help with understanding BDC

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f19/could-someone-explain-bullet-drop-bdc-reticles-me-11705/

    Difference between the 30mm and 1" tube is about .18 inches. OK, sorry for the joke. Just had to include it. :)

    The 30mm scope will give you a greater range of elevation and windage adjustment but they tend to be slightly heavier than the 1 inch scopes.

    For hunting, take a look at the Zeiss Conquest with Rapid Zee 1000 reticle. It's very nice.......
     

  3. WyoElk2Hunt

    WyoElk2Hunt Well-Known Member

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    Second focal plane
    30MM Tube
    BDC setup for your gun.
    How much money on scope and what type Rifle?gun)
     
  4. wilkup

    wilkup Well-Known Member

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    I have a loose maximum budget of $500 for the new scope =) With that said, there's a couple I've got my eye on within this price range but I was hoping to get a better idea of what I need before pulling the trigger on one of them.

    The rifle is a 280 Ackley with a 24'' barrel.

    I'm looking at these scopes, in no particular order:
    Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x44mm Dead Hold BDC
    Zeiss Conquest 3.5-10x44mm Rapid Z-800
    Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16x50mm FFP XLR
    Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x42mm DOA-600

    These are all within/close to my self-imposed max =)
     
  5. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    For a hunting scope:

    I personally don't think the BDC systems are worth fooling with. With a second focal plane scope I prefer a good duplex reticle and if the target is at distance dial it no hold over.

    I did the home work and read all the bad reviews about a FFP scope and the reticle being to heavy on the high power's and to thin on the lower power's. I made a decision to learn to use a FFP scope and purchased the HSLR 4-16 with the XLR reticle and have used it for a little over a year now. At first the XLR reticle was way too busy but now its kick *****. The reticle on 4 power is quite thin but with low light or in the timber all that needs done is roll it to about 5 power and it's good to go. I shoot out to 800 yards on paper and have no trouble seeing a 4 inch bull and holding center on 16 power.

    This is the only scope I am familiar with on your list. I'm building a 300 WM and am planning to use the HSLR FFP XLR 6-24 on it. Good luck with whatever your choice may be. They are all good scopes but I like the HSLR now that I have played with it.
     
  6. 406precision

    406precision Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't agree more I run the 4-16x hslr in ffp with the xlr reticle on my 338 lapua and am really pleased with the scope. I really like the capped windage turret for use in a scabbard and the xlr reticle is kick@@@.

    I think the 2c reticle design by vortex is one of the best in the game offering it on the pst line of scopes was also a great move by an awesome company.

    Reticles are a personal choice and to each his own, but I have found the one for me.
     
  7. wilkup

    wilkup Well-Known Member

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    The Vortex options are top of my list but I do wonder whether FFP is worth the extra buy in vs. the BDC option. I may get the BDC for now and if I'm not "in love" could upgrade and sell it off...

    How have you guys liked the Viper glass? How's the clarity compare to the other options listed?
     
  8. wilkup

    wilkup Well-Known Member

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    kcebcj,
    This has nothing to do with thread but the pic in your signature wouldn't happen to be you, would it? How tall is the horse? He looks really tall unless it's the angle. Couldn't agree more with the quotes =)
     
  9. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    Yes that is me a few years ago with Crooked Horse He is 16 hands 1/2 Quarter Horse and 1/2 Thoroughbred. Very powerful horse with good feet and balance but if you let him have too much time off he would get pretty cranky. I traded him off for a 14.2 Mustang with a much better attitude and some cash as I'm getting to old to be fighting with a horse his size.

    That picture is at the top of Queens River where the South Fork of the Payett River and North Fork of the Boise River head waters in the Sawtooth Wilderness. Fine elk country before the wolves moved in.
     
  10. wilkup

    wilkup Well-Known Member

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    Mustangs have a very special place in my heart. I purchased my first last year and she's shaping up to be a real awesome girl. She turns 4 this year. A 15.3 chrome buckskin.

     
  11. sscoyote

    sscoyote Well-Known Member

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    I remember looking at that reticle several years ago and though it'd be just the ticket for longer ranges. Sure would love to play with reticle ranging using the .5 MOA subtension units. Interesting how a lot of companies put too many of the finer units for rangefinding purposes when only 1 unit is needed.
     
  12. dromsky

    dromsky Member

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    Camofire has the Zeiss Conquest 3.5 x 10 up for $499 now?
     
  13. bkondeff

    bkondeff Well-Known Member

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    I too am a hunter who 8 years ago decided to stretch my range. Originally I became enthralled with BDC type reticles and own a few Conquests as a result. Best glass for the money of any scope, but not necessarily the best system.

    Now I focus more on dialing for the shot. The downside to dialing is taking the time to plug in variables, or look at charts, or having a photographic memory. Some times you need to make a fairly quick set up and shot. Of course I would never take a quick set up and LONG shot.

    So now I prefer a good dial system with a good BDC for 1) quicker shots to ~500yds and 2) backup if my Shooter App or Chart somehow fail me.

    The first limitation to BDC reticles of any kind is to know what the drops are and see if they can match your load, or be close enough to make the kill with confidence. For example, the Zeiss 600yd reticle and most other BDC reticles are the equivalent of about a .500bc bullet launched at or just under 3000fps. Even if you shoot say a .600bc bullet at the same speed you will be fine to say 500yds, so you have some leeway. What you can't really do is use an UltraMag of 3300fps, or a 308 going 2600fps and expect the same. The Zeiss 800yd is more for the UltraMag, and suprisingly the Zeiss 1000yd is more for a 308.(Confirm these as I'm saying this from memory).

    The other big factor is wind correction on a reticle. Zeiss has the dots, which I like, BUT again they are for that same .500bc at 3000fps, not a .617 berger. I much prefer the MOA hashmarks on the horizontal stadia line.

    So my go to reticle right now is the Vortex Dead Hold with the 2 moa wind hashmarks and drop lines down to ~600 yards. I have/had the 3.9x44, 4-16x44, and 4-16x50 all with the same reticle. Last 2 are the HS version with .50moa clicks. I always try and dial first, but have that reticle for back up.

    In 2010 I lost my drop card while making a 2hr stock on a 188 muley. I used the reticle and made a 1 shot 575 yard kill, holding 1moa for wind.

    On FFP vs SFP, I would think about in which situations would you find yourself using less than full power in the field? Well at shorter ranges and quick shots, so no adjustments needed there, think SFP. Secondly only if you have a very high magnification scope, so stick with the 4-16power.

    I do like the XLR type MOA based reticles, but they just duplicate what the dial does and while you may be able to save a second from having to dial, you still will NEED to have access to that drop data and won't be able to just pick the pre-designated vertical hasmark for 450 yards and focus on the trigger. Certainly if you get and intend to use any holdover type reticle, make sure you get a good bubble level attached correctly and make sure that gun is lever when you shoot.
     
  14. 7magcreedmoor

    7magcreedmoor Well-Known Member

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    I'll throw in another vote for the Vortex Viper HSLR FFP. The reticle is excellent for measuring targets, group size, corrections for missed shots, and holding for wind if you don't want to dial both dope elements. Glass clarity is very good for the price. You could spend more money, but I don't see the need.