# Mil Dot Ranging

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Mike6158, Jan 21, 2003.

1. ### Mike6158Well-Known Member

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302
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Jan 19, 2003
Howdy. I presently do not shoot long range or ultra long range but I have to admit that the thought of doing so intrigues me. I bought a piece of software called Long Range Shooting 2. No it's not the same or even close (the story Crow Mag told about shooting a crow in the head gets me every time that I read it ) as pulling a real trigger. The software is pretty decent for teaching basic things like using a Mil Dot reticle scope for ranging, wind correction, etc. I can't seem to get it down though. I always range short. I've read, pondered, studied, and researched until I'm at my wit's end. What's the "secret"? Is the Mil Dot as coarse as it appears to be (especially at 1000 yds plus)? or am I just a complete rookie? Both? Neither? Just me?

This is what I do. The target is 30" tall with a 12" red square 3" down from the top. I try to find something in the target that fits between the centers of a pair of mil dots. The software designer was a cruel beast in that nothing ever fits. You have to eyeball it. So, if I guess .8 mils, I then calc MOA like so (30"(target) X 27.778)/.8 = 1,041.7 yards. I go to the ballistic table and in this case I would use 1050. Sometimes I extrapolate to get the number closer. The software has range conditions in it. In the most recent case the range was 110 deg F and 3,450 MSL. That, as I've learned, has a drastic effect on POI. So, is there a better way to correct for atmospheric conditions? Is there a formula? What about wind drift. That is affected too correct? Can I use the Mil Dot's on the actual impact and adjust from there? From my point of view, if I missed, then I don't know the range, so the Mil Dot displacement of the miss means nothing.

Sorry this isn't about using a real rifle.

2. ### Dave KingWell-Known Member

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Too much information!

Can I use the Mil Dot's on the actual impact and adjust from there?

First, if you miss you can use the MilDot to correct, determine the mil distance from Point Of Aim (POA) to Point Of Impact (POI) and that is the correction and become your hold-off. As example, round impacted 1 Mil low and .5 Mil right, hold 1 Mil high and .5 Mil left, BANG ----- CLANG!

We just finished a thread on this very subject. You can either lock the rifle up and adjust the scope from POA to POI or used a scaled reticle and hold-off.

I try to find something in the target that fits between the centers of a pair of mil dots. The software designer was a cruel beast in that nothing ever fits. You have to eyeball it.

Welcome to the club!!

There are sometimes better places than the centers to use as markers for MilDot ranging. USMC vs US Army. Army dots are .2, USMC are .25. To measure exactly .75 Mil use the distance from the edge on one dot to the near edge of the next dot (USMC), or .8 would be the edge of one dot to the near edge of the next dot US ARMY.

1.2 Mil = outer edge of one dot to the far edge of the next dot US ARMY. .9 Mil = Center of dot or reticle to near edge of nearest dot. 1.1 Mil = center of dot to far edge of nearest dot. That should be enough to get you going.

On a variable power scope with Mil Dots you can "calibrate" the system to your own standard, change from 10 power to 20 power and the dots are .5 Mil center-to-center.

Hope this help some.

One last item.. When I range with MilDots I convert/think of the objects in mils rather than inches..this gives me a 100 yard base value. 30 inches is 8.333 Mils. If you have standard size target items convert them to Mil values and commit them to memory, it then become a simple division problem. 3.6 inch = 1 Mil, 7.2 = 2 Mil, 14.4 = 4 Mil. 23 inch wide human = 6.4 Mil, 18 inch deer chest = 5 Mil, 9 inch tall human head 2.5 Mil. Then when you Mil an object it's fairly simple to get a quick questimate, deer is 2 Mil at chest (5/2=2.5) (2.5 x the 100 yard base = 250 yards)

[ 01-22-2003: Message edited by: Dave King ]

3. ### GuestGuest

Mike, check out the Nightforce scope's NP-R2 reticle. It is the same principle as Mil-Dot except is uses MOA instead of Mils.

It is much easier than mils!

Good Luck

4. ### MysticplayerWell-Known Member

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Jul 27, 2001
Mike,

You are doing nothing wrong. What you are seeing is the inaccuracy of subtension at long range. Your eyes and the resolution of the optics just don't allow enough accuracy to get within 25yds or more at long range.

That is why we use rangefinders both laser and optical (Wild) to get our ranges. This way we can be accurate to within a few yards which we need to get our drop correct.

The original concept of mil dots and the Russian subtension was adequate to put a bullet into a head/torso at any practical range. Most of the time this was under 600 meters. At these distances, it works very well. Beyond that, practise and a skilled operator is required.

The mil dot and other "marked" reticles do provide one very nice feature, a point of reference when a bullet misses the mark. As another poster said, just compare where you aimed to where you hit. Move the crosshairs accordingly using the "dots" as a reference and hit your target. With practise, this is very quick to do (under a couple of seconds to correct and engage).

Enjoy the game. I am sure it will teach you a lot about the basics and how different conditions affect your POI. Get yourself a good factory rifle and join in the fun.

Jerry

5. ### Mike6158Well-Known Member

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302
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Jan 19, 2003
Good stuff. Thanks.

The software was cheap. The new gun, scope, etc are not going to be so cheap I'm afraid that I'm hooked. I just started reloading for my pistols. I guess new rifle dies are in my future too.

This is a great site. I'm glad that someone pointed me to it.

Thanks for all of the info.

Mike

6. ### Mike6158Well-Known Member

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302
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Jan 19, 2003
Well, that helped. Out of 3 tries I had scores in the 70's amd 80's (out of a possible 100). That beats the sox off of 40's and 50's. "Short" yardage like 1,000 and under were much much easier to range with the mil dots than 1,500 - 2,000 yards. I never did get one of those right.

Thanks again.

[ 01-22-2003: Message edited by: Mike ]

7. ### Ian MWell-Known Member

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2,410
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May 3, 2001
Mike
You can speed up the math process if you mil (estimate) the target from side to side (18") and simply divide that reading into 500 (27.77x18). Obviously the other costant is the vertical heights times 27.77. You can create such constants using body measurements on the game you are hunting, simplifies the math a bit or you can pre-do the math and make simple charts.
You should also consider obtaining a Mildot Master if you are going to use the dots in the field.
Bottom line is that the NP-R2 reticle lets you think and do your math in inches, rather than doing conversions from mils to inches or moa.
As Dave stated, mildots make very good constant referance points - variable power scopes enable you to employ "variable constant referance aiming points" (ain't that a mouthfull...).