hold over reticle or dial?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by RidgeRebel, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. RidgeRebel

    RidgeRebel Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2011
    Hey fellas, I am trying to decide on a scope for a hunting rifle. I have used a Vortex Viper PST and always dialed corrections. But, I would like a little faster system. I was considering a Zeiss Conquest 3.5-10x44 with the rapid Z800 reticle. Are the rapid Z reticles accurate? or I was considering a Leupold VX3 same power with the CDS. What do you guys suggest?

  2. JackinSD

    JackinSD Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2012
    Just throwing another possibility out there, a custom turret?
  3. Sourdough

    Sourdough Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    I use a Night Force 3.5-15X50 for long range, and have always dialed it for shots past 450 yards. The retacle has several lines under the cross, and I had noted where they were in relation to before I dialed then after I dialed.

    Last year I was scoping a meadow and saw a Grizzly crossing it. I knew from experience that the first line down was 600 yards with the scope set to zero (400 yard zero). I took the shot using the first line, worked perfectly. Of course this came from experience with this scope.

    I also use a Nikon scope with Ballistic Plex reticle. I have it on a 30-06. The users manual with the scope said to use with a velocity of X, (can't remember off the top of my head) and a bullet weight of 165gr with a Coefficient of X (again can't remember the value) the lines will correspond with 100 yard increments. Works when I have time to use a range finder.

    Now I also have a Range Finding scope I got from Cabela's. Circles getting smaller each is 18" at the corresponding yardage. I find this to be very effective. But the scope is calibrated for bullets at 3200 ft p s.

    I have found the holdover type is much faster to use, but you have to do your homework. The load has to match the calibration on the scope.

    As someone else said earlier, you can work up your load with a good scope like Leupold then once you have the load you want to shoot send the scope and the information to Leupold and they will do a set of custom turrets. Then the turrets are calibrated, and I have found these to work well also.

    I honestly can not make a suggestion since I use many myself. I guess I like the Nikon.Cabela's hold over the best, they seem to see more use.
  4. cummins cowboy

    cummins cowboy Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2010
    I think it depends on how far you want to shoot, out to 400-500 yards I think the run of the mill ballistic reticles will work, beyond that you need to dial or although I haven't used one a nightforce velocity reticle might work great since its more matched to your load.
  5. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    The PST has the best of everything you need to hold over or dial. I assume you were using the EBR-1 reticle as that is what the PST comes with. Simply look at the drop chart dial or hold over. With practice you can do a hold over very quickly after ranging and a glance at the chart. A proven drop chart for the conditions you hunt in is the way to go if you hike a lot and don't want to carry all the "stuff" to dope a shot.

    You can have a custom turret dial built for a lot of different scopes but then you are locked into one load or a pocket full of turret dials.

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2008
    Why not consider the horus system and get the best of both worlds.
  7. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

    May 22, 2011
    I agree with others here that the bullet drop compensated (BDC) reticles are useful out to about 500 yds. Beyond that range, you should dial elevation.

    You should calibrate the reticle for your load and elevation. Calibration is done by first zeroing the rifle, then using the lowest holdoff line to fire at a long range target (that is, use the 500 yd line to fire at a 500 yd target). If the elevation is off, rotate the zoom ring a bit to get the point of aim to coincide with the point of impact. Then check the accuracy at an intermediate range. Finally, mark the zoom ring with tape or paint.

    I use a boresight collimator to rough in the magnification setting. I like the Bushnell Professional Boresighter, but others will work too. The collimator has grid lines separated by 4 inches at 100 yds. Ultimately, you still have to confirm with a live fire test.
  8. LouBoyd

    LouBoyd Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    The advantage of the Horus system is that it effectively uses precision holdoffs in both elevation and windage all of the time. Horus reticles are simply a grid in milliradians (mils) with 1/5 mil ticks so they are cartridge/bullet/atmosphere independent. . The Horus system assumes you'll use either calculations or lookup tables to determine the aim point of all shots in mils, but it's big adavntage is you don't have to twiddle knobs to make precise shots. Just move the target image to the calculated point on the grid. The precision is about the same as with target knobs but setup is faster with less chance of error from not counting clicks correctly. In my opinion it's ideal for long range shooting in conditions where drop and windage need to to be corrected from measurements of range and atmosphere. There is also no faster or more precise system for making followup shots if you can see your first shot's point of impact. They are excellent for subsonic rifles which typically have large drops and large wind deflection.

    Horus scopes are not particularly useful shooting at fixed targets (like highpower or benchrest) or for CQB or short range hunting (under 300 yards). At less than about 8x (at least for my senior citizen eyes) ) the reticle markings becomes unreadable.

    I own four Hurus scopes. two Falcons and two Raptors. I have each of them on quick release rings, one of each set up for ARs and one of each set up for bolt actions. They are easy to switch between rifles.. The Falcons are heavy but allow the longest range as they are designed to mount on a 20 MOA rail (H37 Reticle) It's suitable for my 6.5 Creedmoor AR10 and 7mm STW and 338 Norma Mag Rem 700s. I use them for long (but variable) range target shooting.

    The Raptor is lighter, (aluminum instead of steel), 20 moa less usable drop than the Falcon, not illuminated, more practical.for hunting, and a few hundred less expensive. I have one each in H59 and H25 Reticles. They are similar but I slightly prefer the original H25.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  9. chucknbach

    chucknbach Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2011
    Get one that you can calculate a chart for it. Nikon and Vortex both have programs for it.

    The problem with most BDC reticules is your stuck on 1 power setting. I have accidentally had the scope on a lower power and wondered why I shot over.:rolleyes:
  10. sscoyote

    sscoyote Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2003
    Lou, i was taking inventory of my scopes last week and came across an old Horus Predator 8-26x with an IPHY system that nets me 20 at 26x and 76 or so at 8x. My Magnum Research Picuda handgun just popped into my mind at that moment and i thought it just might fit on that rig without the bell hanging over the 10" barrel. Sure enough not only did it fit, but it looked good too. Took it out and let my nephew, home from the USAF, shoot it and we eventually worked our way out to shooting at 500 yds. with it--man did we have fun! This is a dedicated colony varmint rig and the big old Horus fit it perfect. Will post a pic in AM as i'm at work now. Really got me thinking on the HV optics, and intend to get another soon.
  11. sscoyote

    sscoyote Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2003
    Nothin' better in a PD town...IMO--

  12. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    I tried out the hold over using BDC reticle and also had a turret tape made from Custom Turret Systems which is a sponcer here by the way, the reticle seemed like it was going to be awesome but I found in hunting situations if was an utter pain in the butt and required much more thinking than it should. Using the turret tape it's really range, dial and shoot.
    I shoot a Vortex HS LR and it was just awesome yesterday to range and shoot a bull, had very little time to pick out which bull I needed to hit and they were standing from 100 yrds out to 600 yards out across a field but when I found him I was able to range, turn to 4 on the dial and put two through his chest before I could have even pulled out a card or program or figured out which line to hold, and I wasn't hunting for which line to hold when I put a second one in him.

    Out past 800 though I would have plenty of time to pull my program and dial precise MOA!!