600 yard scope


Mar 13, 2002
South Dakota
The more I read, the more I'm confused. What would be the advantages of the mil dot system of the IOR over the Burris Ballistic plex, Leupold Boone and Crockett,Swaro Tds or any other? I THINK all day, when I hunt, I'd like to know where to aim without doing a bunch of math in my head. I turn off my human brain and hunt with my "lizard brain" so to speak. My longest ranged shot(range finder) was 324yds. Some WERE longer, but not ranged. My 3 biggest deer were all under 100yds. So I think 600 yds would be about all I'd need. Thanks for your help.
I have tested pretty much all of the current rangefinder reticles for an NRA piece a while back. Have not shot the new Leupolds but they are no different than the TDS or Ballistic Mildots. These reticles range from the simple four-bar style to the Horus with about as many bars and intersections as you might care to try counting.

Holdover points are a compromise unless you get Premier Reticle to install custom dots in a Leupold scope for your particular trajectory. That would be the optimum but it also pretty much locks you into using that load only.

I found that the other styles, whether they are bars, hashmarks, diamonds, lines coming from circles or whatever are not as accurate as actually applying the correct elevation and windage required. We are talking extreme accuracy here. They are quicker than clicking tho and work well for hunting.

The holdoff reticles will enable you to kill animals out to the distances you are talking. I believe that the reticle designers have identified groups of bullet/cartridge combinations that have similar trajectories - if the BC is similar and the velocities are reasonably close apparently the bullets will fly in about the same arc. Therefore there are specific loads that work very well with certain reticles spacings. Some manufacturers require that you shoot specific procedures so that you can "categorize" your load to see where it will fit into their bars etc. Regardless, you should shoot any such reticle as much as you can to get familiar and confident.

There are some holdoff reticle patterns that enable simple, accurate shooting. The TDS on one of my .308 Win rifles with Winchester 150 grain Ballistic Silvertips gives me excellent correlation between the bars in one hundred yard increments - 100 is on the crosshair intersection, 200 first bar, 300 second bar, 400 third bar and 500 just a bit low with the fourth bar. Flatter shooting cartridges are frequently 1&200 on the crosshairs, 300 on the first bar, 400 on the second bar, 500 on the third bar and 600 on the fourth bar.

You can do the same thing with mildots, particularly if you vary the power to matchup dots with your poi's downrange. You might require a simple chart that says exactly how much high or low each dot is in 100 yard increments to jog your memory. Don't forget that the mildot reticle is a good holdoff reticle (constant aiming holdoff points).
get a rangefinder and click up lol

mil dot - too complex for avg joe unless you spend a ton of time practicing on it

ballistic plex is just burris hash marks for their own specific load. If you don't shoot the exact same bullet/load they used for the ballistic plex shot will be off.

Best range finding reticle is nightforce NP-r2. Fixed 2 moa hash marks.
I personally find the above mention Horus reticle to be very interesting. Shown below is the new H-25 reticle, which is basically a MilDot reticle with a calibrated matrix for both Windage and Elevation. It is only necessary to sight the rifle in at 100 yards. Then your come up chart gives you windage and elevation location, you hold that over the target and squeeze.

Alternatively, you can enter environmental, rifle specific and target specific information into a firmware program on a palm pilot and the program will give you windage and elevation hold points. For example my 7mm WSM with 180 Barnes VLD will get me to 1000 yards by holding at line 7.1 on this reticle. Big advantage to the system is that the reticle information is independent of specific ballistics and environmental conditions.

Look at www.horusvision.com for more information.



Please note that I am not recommending this reticle for the average hunter. It is special purpose technology for the very long range shooter or someone looking to improve his capability to shoot under difficult conditions. However, since it was mentioned, I thought for information purposes I would include the above data.


[ 03-04-2004: Message edited by: DMCI ]

I take it you're not a farmer but that could be an incorrect guess. I like the little reference to the reptilian brain and wondered where you picked that up. My immediate thought was Law Enforcement, but then perhaps medical fields somewhat???

If you're staying inside 600 yards and shooting a flat(er) shooter, you could easily learn the hold-off on a MilDot reticle. You mentioned you "ranged" (range finder) so apparently you won't use the reticle for ranging as a necessity. Deer, 12" kill-zone, hold center mass and use a 200 yard zero. 300 yards-first mildot down, 400 yards-second mildot down, 500 yards-third and 600 yards-forth mildot down. This is a rough startpoint (308 Win type cartridge) and you can change your initial zero (out further) to get a better fit to the dots.

I believe meichele recently posted a chart of ranges transposed onto a mildot reticle.

MilDot reticle is like a Swiss Army knife, lots of uses and you're going to start by only using the toothpick, later you'll have the option to use the rest of the system. Some of the other reticles are more like a toothpick, a nice tool but a little limited in it's use as a plumb bob or spoon.
Sodbuster,I am at 600 max as well for moose hunting. The abovementioned holdover reticles obviously work but I prever an uncluttered view and just dial in my duplex for the drop and wind. Wind is harder.

I also find it easier to hold under at close ranges, compared to holding over at longer distances out there. So,in this case all I need to remember is 13 clicks for 400, 14 more for 500 and 15 more for 600.

This 300 grainer goes 7 inches high at around 100 to 200 meters , no big deal to compensate for moose - I really don´t need to shoot that close anyway but it wouldn´t be a problem, even without touching a turret for those -12 clicks at 200.

This is one of my practise "ranges", easy to confirm the trajectory by any increments up to 500 meters. The added signs show 400 meters in these pics. No matter what reticle,this has to be done - and it´s fun plus you get some of physical exercise. 100 just doesnt work alone, all too many variables. Bipod on cartop,poacher stance.



I must add there´s nothing and nobody out there where I´m shooting. Good luck for your choice.
I just got my 338 lapua. Since I will be only shooting the 300 SMK, do you guys think that the premier reticle specific for this load would be make sense? I'm nmot concerned with switching load but I am concerned with location. If My sight in location in 1500 ft ABS & 55 Deg & I hunt out west in 70 deg and 8000 Ft ABS how off will I be?
I grew up on the farm and still hunt there. I'm now a Dentist. Funny, if I had to work as hard as I hunt, I'd find another job. Walking 5-10 miles a day, sitting in 30-40 below wind chill, etc. Probably what I enjoy is not having to talk to anyone, be anywhere at a certain time except before it's too dark to find my pickup.

If your really asking the question, here is my answer:

"You will be off some, longer the range the more you will be off. Probably fairly little out to 600 yards. I could run my ballistics program and tell you exactly if I had your BC and MV data."

The key is a scope that is repeatable and accurate in terms of clicks and erector movement.

Then develop a "come up chart" in 50 yard increments (50m ?). Do this by shooting your rifle in conditions you expect to use it by shooting at various ranges much like Petander has done with his. Now if you have a range finder like a Leica for spotting and ranging the game, in two seconds you can dial in your scope the appropriate number of moa. Turns out that my .260 varmint rifle for example gets to 550 yards with 11.4 moa and to 300 with about 3.6 moa. If your scope has an accurate mil dot, you can range an 18" high target with the following formula, which is a variation of the W.E.R.M formula, to wit:

500 divided by the mils observed equals the range in yards.

(If it is a big animal you can use the formula for 36" high target of 1000 divided by mils observed is range in yards.)

Accurate Mil dot scopes with good clickers are hard to find, but they are available.


[ 03-03-2004: Message edited by: DMCI ]
In response to the original question with my opinion.
Really the two advantages of mil-dot over the other reticles mentioned is that it works well for ranging if needed (batteries out on rangefinder) and it's wide distribution.

I have a Ballistic plex on one rifle, TDS on one I load for, Mildot on another and one with turrets. Mildot has been the easiest one to figure out for long ranges. I have an excel spreadsheet that I plugged in ballistics info into and got my mil holdovers. TDS is a bit more complicated, but with their "Factor" method it will come together fairly well. Ballistic plex works, but really came down to trial and error with a lot of shooting to find out what the lower bars REALLY equate to with a given load.

My next scope will have mildot unless I can only afford a Fullfield with Ballistic plex for some reason.

On the subject of range compensating versus clicking, I think range compensation is quicker and easier, but limited (realistically to 600 yards). Clicking come ups works well as long as you have the elevation and know what your round will do at any known distance.

That Horus reticle is scary.
When I plug the numbers in my Exbal program zeroed in at 59 DGF @ 500' ABS Im dropping 69.2' with 16.5" wind drift in a 10 MPH wind. Leaving the sight in condition the same and changing the field conditions to 90 DEG and 9000" ABS its 63.8 and 11.4 then going to 0 FT ABS and 0 DEG Its 72.7 & 19.8. Now I know that most of the time I'll be in between those conditions but even a gun shooting .5 MOA will still have another 3" to worry about at 600 Yards. Plus I guess with the money I spend for this rifle, I want to fine tune my accuracy to the max.
....So thanks for listening while I answer my own question!!
So, it looks like an IOR with the mil and 1/2mil marks would be the best for what I want. I can think before I hunt and make a cheat sheet and tape on the side of my rifle for the hunt.
If you know velocity and bc of bullet, you can run your trajectory through the jbm ballistic calculator and get the results in mils. Translates really easily with a 100yd zero. I shoot a 7mag as a carry rifle with a 3-10x mildot scope. I have killed groundhogs to 674yds with holdover. (no, not on the first shot, but was close enough to kill if it would have been a whitetail) No doubt that it's not as accurate as adjusting clicks but for quick ref. it's plenty close enough. My 7mag is .9 mil low at 300 when zeroed at 100. (1st dot down) 1.9 at 450 (2nd dot) 3 mils at 600 (3rd dot) On 10x a standing groundhog at 400yds will fill the gap between 2 dots so it's not hard to get on game.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR> On 10x a standing groundhog at 400yds will fill the gap between 2 dots so it's not hard to get on game. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

400 = Ht x 1000/1mil, so...

Ht(Y)=400/1000 Yards or .4 yards.

.4 yards is about 14.4 inches. That seems about right, even though GH appears a little larger than the average PD.


[ 03-08-2004: Message edited by: DMCI ]
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