mil dot rangeing


Active Member
Feb 15, 2004
Does anybody range with mill dots ?
does anybody know where i can find a listing of key physical dimensions of game animals deer, moose, coyote etc.
I have found the mil dot reticle to be of some help ranging big game, but my 1/2 mil IOR MP8 reticle is much more accurate for me. Currently I am using a Leica rangefinder and with it I discovered that I was off by a full 100 yards on an elk I had reticle-ranged to be 700 yds. Out to 500 I have been reasonably accurate on elk using the reticle.
COBrad, How are you ranging Elk? I have been told a six point Elk would be between 34"-40" from the top of the back to the bottom of it's brisket. I am thinking the average six pointer would measure right around 2 Mils at 500yds. The 1200 Leica is on my list for next year but for this year it's going to be Mils.
Have used everything but a rangefinder in the past, but from what the pros say on this board, the Leica 1200 don't lie! Have one on my wish list, and will be putting in some overtime to get the $$$ to buy it before Texas Whitetail season.
Did a bunch of ranging w/the mil dot scope. Worked quite hard at it. One example is a 595 yd 5X5 bull elk ranged several times over 20 minutes.

Later got a Leica 1200 and went back to the spot. It was 395. My 320 yard elk, cows etc, was actually 220.

NO more ranging w/the mil dot. Its near perfect for hold-over once the drop chart is made.

Mildots only work with practice. You can't just pick up a scope like a rangefinder, press a button, & expect results. It's an art, NOT a science.

I've used one to take coyotes out to 500 yards with a 308. The biggest factor besides practice is knowing the size of your target. I know I looked like a loon pulling over on the side of the highway, but every road kill & rifle shot coyote I saw for many months had a tape measure against it! It works...if you work at it.
Get a good laser they are much faster and more accurate. Use the mildots for hold over and windage they work find for that.
Many good comments here. I agree with speedbump's approach of KNOWING the size of your intended target, and with p dog shooters suggestions. I now use my laser rangefinder for most of my ranging, the exception being the quick glance made through my ranging reticle to verify if an elk is within 300 yards, in which case a dead on hold is all thats required. I use a figure of 27" top of back to bottom of chest for a mature bull. Thats 1.5 mil at 500 yards, which is also the hold over with my rifle for 500 yards.
Guessing range based on animal size is very difficult. I use the mil/dot as a fixed or known zero for each dot and a good rangefinder for exact distance.
After zeroing for max/point/blank/range.{5"}
I then find where each dot impacts by using balistic tables and then shooting to verify.
Using this method I have at least 5 or 6 good zeroes and after establishing exact
distance hold over/under is easy.

hope this helps
Mildot formula

Target size in inches multiplied by 27.77 for yards (25.0 for meters) and divided by the number of mildots covering the target
Example: Let’s say for the sake of argument that a whitetails chest is 18” from the top of his back to the bottom. 18 X 27.77 = 499.86. The deer’s chest covers 1 and 1/2 mildots. Divide 499 by 1.5 and you have 332 yards to the deer.

For meters it’s the same thing except you multiply by 25.0. 18 X 25 = 450. 450 divided by 1.5 = 300 meters to the deer.

Mildots are something you have to work at. It’s not something you can get good at in 15 minutes. Most folks can break the mildots down into ½ and ¼ increments. But those who practice a lot with them can break them down to 1/8 and 1/10th increments. It all comes down to practice, practice and more practice. The smaller you can break down the increments, the more accurately you can measure the distance.

Now you’ll also want to spend $29.95 and purchase a mildot master analog calculator. This is the single biggest investment you can make if you’re going to use them.

Hope it helps. Any more questions on them send them my way and I'll try to answer them for you.

Mildot master web page

[ 07-29-2004: Message edited by: Jeff In TX ]
mildot ranging works pretty good out to 500 yards or so. You have to have a dead solid rest and the animal has to cooperate and stand broadside for a while. The smaller the animal looks in the scope the tougher it gets.
There is a mildot ranging chart on the Pentax website.
Some of those measurements on the Kahles site seem a little big.
Try these:
Mule deer 18"
Coyote 10"
Antelope 15"
Bull elk 28 to 32
Thanks guys for all the replies
i have spent time since december working on grouping and drop tables ,but i think its time for ranging

nice sight dave king i printed a copy
cheers jaeger
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