Question - how many guys use their mildots as hold-over points?

Ian M

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2001
Sask. Canada
We are starting to make out drop-charts with two sets of data, first is the MOA elevation for each distance, and then the relationship to the distance/point of impact for each mildot for the calibers we hunt with. My partner even gets fancy and draws a mildot diagram to scale down the right side of the MOA drops, so you can instantly see where to hold at a given distance.
Anyone else doing anything like charts for mildot hold-offs?
One of our guys is making some pretty good kills out to mid-500 with mildot holds only, no scope crankin'. We have killed quite a few mule deer in the last week or so on the CWD cull, great learning experience.
I use mil dots, and MOA on my r2 reticule. I also do a hold over chart at 10 and 32 power with my R2 reticule since the MOA scale is set for 22x. I do 24 power and 12 power on my B&L 6-24. The mil dots are only mils at 12x so I convert the hold over to 24x as well.
I use a mildot where I have zeroed the main cross hair at 300 yards and my load just so happens to be dead on at 400 yards with the first mil, dead on at 500 yards with the second, and dead on at 600 yards with the third. NO adjustments needed. I adjust for wind and shots past 600 yards. A ballistic program also shows the math to be right.

I let a buddie use my rifle this year to take a dall ram at 600 yards uphill. I deducted 7 clicks for the angle and he held the 3rd mil right on and we collected him.

I also use computer technology to make diagrams of reticles and how to use them for my ballistics. I have a program that contains diagrams of all popular reticles, including all the Nightforce and leupold and the springfield armory 7.62 3rd Gen. From there they can be edited and drawn on via a paint type program for your specific use.
Must be nice to be able to calculate the math for those scopes, I am pretty near hopeless at that. That is why I like to go out and shoot the drops, we are going out shortly with a 14' high target to get actual drops in fifty yard increments. Hope to correlate the drops to the dots as we shoot, then make new tables since we are testing some relatively new bullets. Buddy is going elk hunting and will be shooting 168 Triple Shocks in his .308.

One of my friends lined up on a mulie doe yesterday at just over 500, broadside shot, he held the forth mildot on her shoulder, wind was zip. For some reason she turned her head to look our way just as he shot, took a 168 J4 right between the eyes, exit back of skull between the ears. Amazing thing was the bullet did not hit her again, although she had swung her head towards us.

We also tried a double on another doe, my shot broke a fraction of a second before the other guy, we found his nicely mushroomed J4 lying in a divot in the dirt about 10' behind the dead deer. I used a 150 Interbond, nice small entry and about 1" exit but lots of inside damage. J4 exits are much larger at various ranges.
I have not seen a shoulder hit yet with a J4, lots of ribs getting cut and blown apart. Interesting question, although I can tell you that there isn't much left of the back of the skull after the bullet hit between the eyes - even at 500 yards.

We are shooting .308's at 2700-2750 fps, velocities probably drop off pretty good out at the ranges we are hitting (500-550).
If we smack a few shoulders I will let you know.

I hit a couple with the Interbonds yesterday and they were very loose on the exit side, about a 1.5-2" hole but lots of bone and tissue damage. Have not recovered any Interbonds, they are punching through but cause a hell of a lot of internal damage. Might be about perfect for deer, very quick mushrooming and high weight retention - plus shooting extremely accurately for me.
I was just going over this method with some guys at the club tonight - they were amazed how rapidly things can be killed (at our club, we only go to 600 yards, but they got the idea...).

This is a main benefit of the fast 30 cals and the R2 reticle - we've discussed this all before.

At my altitude, zeroed at 600, my current load "runs on the reticle" - on the tick marks - to 700 yards or so, 1000 is 10 minutes from 600 and 1300 is 20 minutes from 600 - all on the reticle.

Being able to simply range, holdover with the reticle and shoot to 1300 yards is just cool...
Ian, i just went out today to test some loads out of my 16" XP 6.5-284 to 800 yds. Unfortunately i haven't found a bullet that shoots good yet out of the rig, although the 129 SST seems to be the best so far. I've got a 3-12 Burris LER with Ballistic Plex reticle/target turret. I've been doing some calculations with it to determine the best way to use a tactical system while hunting. Here's what i've come up with. i've established the minimum magnification i need to set the scope at for MPBR between the upper post and x-hair using ratio and proportion formulas once i know 100 yd. reticle subtension(for my load and a 19" steel target it comes to 6.6X-- kind of hard to find actually on the power ring, but my "guess" has been fairly close so far). I use this minimum magnification system for hunting conditions since the eye relief on that scope @ 12X is pretty critical. I then calculate the 6.6X zero's for the ballistic lines with Exbal. I then run another zero system for 12X. If it's not close to 50 or 100 yd. increments, i simply apply the power optimization option that Gerald has on the program to "fine tune" the reticle zero's @ a different magnification. All this info. and windage holdoffs is noted on a sticker and placed on my scope ocular (the simplest reference system that i've devised for my needs so far). Now here's the interesting part. Instead of running clicks for distances beyond the lower post zero, i've been trying to use the power optimization option to establish additional 50 yd. zero's to 800 yds. But so far i've found this system isn't as easy as running clicks. I tell you though, Exbal is just the most valuable long-range resource i have--- not that this all has much to do with mil-dots, but i think holdovers/calculations (especially relative subtension changes with magnification changes) would probably be similar.

[ 10-18-2003: Message edited by: sscoyote ]

[ 10-19-2003: Message edited by: sscoyote ]
I am more comfortable holding under than over. I zero at 100 yds and add come-ups (17 moa) so that 5 mils under coincides with 100 yd impact. I calculated the holds using a simple calculator, being careful not to get confused between 3.438 moa and 3.6" per 100 yds for each mil, then verified through actual firing. My load for my last barrel put the 190gr SMK on the crosshairs at 775 yds using this method. Farther than that I get on the el turret.
Ian, the math is pretty easy on the B&L. The mil dots are calibrated for 12x so they are half mils at 24x. The NXS I have is a 8-32x, so I just use the R2 at 22x most of the time. But I have it calculated for 10x, and 32x as well. 10x works real well for multiple target engagements at ranges under 1000 yards. With the marks at just over every 4 moa at 10x you can dial almost any range in with the use of a mark for major elevation and just a couple of clicks in either direction to fine tune.
I use holdovers, in MILS. Zero at 100 / 300 yards, then hold off of my mils from then on. Check out Lou Schwiebert's "Ballisticards". He makes beautiful, laminated cards specifically for your load, bullet velocity and bullet BC. You will like them alot. The cards have a column for MOA, MILS and inches of drop based on your data and elevation that you are shooting at. I am not sure, but I think that a Fed Agency purchsed 5,000 of these. Also, there are some Great software packages out there that do run on PDA's if you are willing to spend $300.00 and up.
I used the hold over system when I went to Africa this summer. I used an IOR 2.5-10x42 MP-8. I taped a chart to the objestive bell houseing. I shot cridders form 30 yards on an impala to 425 yards on a red hartebeest. It really worked well. Quick and accurate enough for kill shots everytime. 8 animals in all.
I use a 4.5-14x50 Premier tactical on my custom 22Lr shooting subsonic ammo, I zero at 70 metres and 5mils gets me out to 150m. Just last weekend I shot 3 rabbits for 4 shots between 145-150m hold off was 1 1/2 mils for the wind, the rabbit I missed with the first shot was lying down trying to imitate a log.
For my type of shooting the only thing better than a mildot would be a Gen-2 mildot so that I can use the hold overs on any power.
I have a table taped to the side of the stock with holds from 10m out to 220m (10 mils).
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