Ballistic Reticle Showdown

idfishnhunt

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2012
Messages
39
Location
Middleton, Idaho
I've been doing quite a bit of research on these, and have narrowed it down to three reticles that interest me. This is based on the ability of using their ballistic software as well.

Nikon BDC
Zeiss Conquest Rapid Z
Vortex Dead-Hold BDC

My daughter currently has the Nikon on her Savage, and along with the software I have found it to work really well.

I tried out both the Zeiss and Vortex software online, and both seemed very usable.

The problem with the Zeiss that I have is it seems the reticle lines seem a lot thicker then other scopes I've looked through. I see this as being a problem with longer range shots.

The Vortex BDC...well, I wish there was more lines on it rather then just a few, seems like it would be hard to get those ranges in between.

I'd love to hear any comments on any of these, pro's or con's from those that are or have used them. It will be very helpful in me making my final decision.

Thanks in advance!
 

ShawnS

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Messages
14
Location
Colorado
I have the Vortex Viper HS 4-16 44 BDC reticle on my 300 win. mag. The hash marks match my round very well, it is on out to 600 yards which is as farthest hash mark. This is my go to mid-range hunting rifle set up for now. However, I find the reticle hard to see on game in the morning and afternoon due to its slim thickness, but it's manageable. For paper punching this wouldnt be a issue, but for darker skinned animals it can be hard to see.

I have taken a bear and multiple deer from 50 to 405 yards in the past 2 years with this scope. I regularly punch steel with this setup out to 600yrds, overall I am happy with the scope and reticle. It has been through a lot and never had any shift or the need for a re-zero.

I have not shot much with higher quality scopes but for the money I paid for this scope I couldn't be happier. I have a custom rifle being built now, once it arrives I will put the scope through its paces while I save up for a nightforce. I know I wont be disappointed.
 

idfishnhunt

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2012
Messages
39
Location
Middleton, Idaho
This is one of the scopes I'm looking at. I wish there were more hash marks though on it. I totally get how thin the lines are, and this is one drawback of it IMO. Seems the Vortex are too thin, and the Zeiss are too thick. The Nikon has a lot of benefits with all the different holdover points, and the good thickness of the lines. When you print out the range card from their site after calculating your loads...it gives yardages on all those points.
 

Tikkamike

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2009
Messages
5,138
Location
Big Horn Basin, Wyoming
I have and use the rapid z 800. the lines at the main cross hair are a little thicker than I like but it doesnt make me feel handicapped in anyway. I have killed a lot of animals with my Z800 the furthest being an antelope at 760. its very easy and the lines get thinner the further down you go. I feel very well equipped with it out to 800
 

B-P-UU

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Joined
Dec 16, 2010
Messages
344
Location
ND
This is one of the scopes I'm looking at. I wish there were more hash marks though on it. I totally get how thin the lines are, and this is one drawback of it IMO. Seems the Vortex are too thin, and the Zeiss are too thick. The Nikon has a lot of benefits with all the different holdover points, and the good thickness of the lines. When you print out the range card from their site after calculating your loads...it gives yardages on all those points.

I actually really like the fine cross hairs on the Vortex. I have the HS LR in 4-16x44. The deadhold BDC is a very functional and 'clean' reticle IMO. I had no issues finding the x-hairs on game. The circles on the Nikon are too busy for me - personal opinion only. Also, a circle doesn't really give you a precise aiming point either (if you're worried about finding the fine cross hairs on game - a similar argument could be made against the circle is what I'm saying). No experience w/ the Zeiss.
If you like the Vortex, I see Midwayusa has their exclusive Vortex/midway 5-15 power scope in stock.. it's basically a Viper HS w/ mil/mil hardware (mil reticle and mil elevation) for $500.. they go on sale sometimes for $400. I'm not sure what the cross-hair thickness is on that model.
 

D.ID

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2008
Messages
838
Location
Boise IDAHO
I like and use the nikon bdc and it's software. Thick rings but they work. Have not used the others. I would not buy one that only had 3 hash marks do to its lack of reference points (vortex, burris) If it came to that I would just get a mil-dot ret.
 

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