Mil Dot system


May 16, 2004
Can you only accurately determine range at a specified power setting when you are using a variable power scope with a mil dot reticule or does the power setting come into play at all?

Can anyone share with me their opinion on the Leupold Duplex Ranging retcule? (For game not longrange target)
Yes, the power definitely comes into play. Most of the Loopies and the NF have to be at a certain power setting for the reticle to subtend 3.6" (one milliradian) at 100 yards.
Duplex is to coarse to properly range with, for that matter so is the mil dot.
That's why they make lasers!
get a Schmidt & Bender, then it doesn't matter what power setti8ng you are on, you can still range with the reticle.
As both Chris and Pete stated the MilDot system works and does not work, I'll try to expand on the info.

The MiDot system must be calibrated to subtend 3.6" (U.S. measure) at 100 yards to be used as designed. Many variable power scopes must be set to a predetermined power setting to get the correct Mil value, some scopes have the reticle in the proper plane so as to adjust the apparent size of the reticle as the power is changed and these scopes are calibrated to one (1) Mil no matter the power setting (Pete refers to these types).

There is an "art" to using a MilDot reticle, it takes practice to use it accurately. The operator must be able to judge portions of a Mil to get a good/accurate reading. The second part of the Mil ranging system, the part we can't well control in a non-target environment, is the target size. To accurately determine a target's distance the operator MUST know the target size and then judge the Mil reading and determine the range. Having only an approximate size for the target (critter) makes an accurate reading a little difficult and would probably shorten the distances the reticle can be used for accurate (realistic) readings.

Perhaps this helps a bit and maybe you can now better understand why ranging with a MilDot reticle is both accurate and inaccurate. It's a great tool and I have them on all the rifle scopes I hunt big game with but I also know that there are limitations.... AND I carry a laser.
Thank you for the responses to my question.

I looked for a fixed 10 power leupold with mildot, but it is out of my price range right now. I found a Leupold VXII 3-9x40 tactical with mildot for around $334 and a similar Sightron scope with mildot for a little more. I am leaning toward the Leupold but have heard good things about the Sightron. Your opinions?
Thats right Dave (say hi to your son for me by the way), now the mildot system was developed for ranging military applications and it works very well for that application, if you slightly inaccurately range an enemy soldier, the likely hood is you will still hit with an incapacitation shot, afterall if you hit anwhere from groin to head you are going to do dammage enough to eliminate the enemy from battle, you have almost a meter of target area in which to drop a bullet verticaly, that means if you misjudge the range by a few meters you will still hit, getting the dope on the wind is far more important than ranging to the exact meter for military applications, as the enemy provides a target that is approx 1m from groin to top of head, but only perhaps 40cm wide, hence misjudging the wind will lead you to more misses than will been a bit of with your mildot subtentions and estimations, now when you cone to range deer or pigs we definately have to hit within a smaller kill zone, the vitals on a game animal are not alll that big, and we want to kill that animal with the minimum of suffering, ie. none at all, so we must estimate range and wind as accurately as possible. The only way to become effective at this is to practice practice practice. If you use a lazer rangefinder often, try to estimate the range by guessing, then by using the mildot reticle and then verify with the lazer, you will then be constantly practicing and testing, thus increasing you ranging ability. Then when its foggy or the battery packs in, you will still be effective. With practice it is possible to become very proficient with a mildot reticle.
I prefer the scopes (like the S&B and most European scopes) that let you range with the reticle on any power setting, also by far the best policy is to forget about feet inches and yards altogether. work in Meters and centimeters, its all ones and tens, far easier to calculate than fractions of an inch or of an MOA. stick with mils, 1 mil(miliradian) = 1m @1000m, the S&B PMII's i have adjust in clicks or 1/10 miliradian @100m (ie. 1cm) it is just so simple to use this, no division by 36, no fractions, all easy easy to do. why the hell the US military range in miliradians using the mildot scope, then convert into feet inches and yards, adjust the scope in fractions of an inch, and measure distance in meters and Km is beyond me, if we stick to 1's and 10's its so much easier..
Bounty hunter. Tell me more about your reticle. Do you love it? Do you experience any drawbacks to this first focal plane thing?

Why do you suppose this is not done on all mildot reticles?

I'm on my way to thier website to read up on this. I know what I want for my birthday.

I have both a VX II 3x9x40 tactical and a Sightron 4x16x42MD. Both are good scopes for the money. I like the Sightron a little better, it seems to be a little crisper and it goes to 16X it also has an adjustable objective. I used to be strictly a Leupold man, but in this price range I think the Sightron has em beat.

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