My fellow Canuck, Prairiebomber: I just sent in my Burris 2.5x10x50 Burris Signature, with Posi-Lock to have the Ballistic Plex Installed. I saw last yr. what this "COOL" reticle can do on a split second notice, as in HUNTING. A calf moose at 425 yrd. and a Whitetail buck at 503yrds. We where using Range Finders also. Mind; you have to balance the velocity of your gun and bullet, to the drop table to their (BURRIS) spec's. This is used at 9 power on my older scope, and 10 power on their newer ones. I went with this scope back in '93 because it was the only one with no CHEAP springs in it for my Lapua Mag. Recoil was to much!.
We use a lot of different scopes, have most of the ones mentioned plus the TDS, Cabelas, Leatherwood, etc. etc. and I have shot them as point of aim holdoffs out to 1000 yards quite a lot.
In my opinion if there is time to crank the elevation on, your control of elevation and where the bullet will hit EXACTLY is much better than when you use a holdoff type reticle. Placing the crosshairs where you want the bullet to hit is the best aiming procedure, not holding them up in the greenery somewhere (we have even used clouds as hold-off reference points when hurling real long at rocks).
There are some exceptions - the dots, lines, hashmarks, whatever can be determined to be "on" at certain distances and then you are very accurate - if the critter is standing at that particular distance. Move him 25 or 50 yards way out there and you are into wild-*** guess country.
If the critter is relatively close, within 500 for most of the reticles I have tried, the poa/poi is close enough to kill most big game animals. I have found real nice correlation to the bars on the Horus or TDS with certain loads and hunted with them with success, out to that 4-500 yards for deer. After 450-500 I would much rather crank elevation from a good drop chart. I find that with the Horus, if I have a spotter we can get onto the target pretty quick with the second shot, but am just not impressed with doing the math to figure what line, tick mark etc. to hold with in the real world. Second shots aren't good for hunting...
A while back I had the opportunity to work with virtually all of the current reticles and shot a lot of targets at varying ranges. Like I said, some dots or bars were bang-on at a given distance, all the way out to 700 with some magnums, but what if the critter is at 765?
I would get a scope with good turrets and mildots (or the NPR2 and learn its benefits) and do a lot of shooting to develop drop charts and then to find out where your load happens to match mildots downrange. Keep that info handy (preferably memorized) for shots were you don't have time to crank on elevation.
Getting reliable base info involves calculation from a computer generated drop chart (to correlate to your reticle), which is way to frigging much math for me anyhow, or determining the actuals from shooting in the field. There are so **** many variables in hunting that I really like having drop numbers that I trust, so we go to a lot of bother to shoot good drops.
Here is an example of what I recently hunted with - did not bother to get hold-off info for this load because I wanted to shoot longer shots:
As Ryan stated, Premier Reticles can produce any reticle you want if you provide inches required between stadia lines. A conversion to 1st plane reticle is even possible with some Leupold variables so that the value subtended is constant across the scope's magnification range.
1. Putting round specific information on the reticle assumes that the shooter will always be operating in the same set of environmental parameters. (Barometric Pressure, Temperature, Wind, etc.) So it is better to work with a measuring reticle such as a Mil Dot or Premier's Gen II.
2. However, MIL Dot and it's derivatives were designed to work in the metric system.
My current favorite therefore is a reticle calibrated in MOA. The WERM formula for such a reticle is:
Height Target(in) x 100
_______________________ = Range(Yards)
Note that the scope adjusts in moa as well, so there is no problem with multiple systems or strange conversion numbers. Further, if your come up chart is in inches, you just put that number on the reticle on the target and squeeze. No conversion charts, MilDot sliders, etc.
For example, if you were IAN and your target was at 450 yards, you just center the 7.5 line on the heart of that big Elk and bang.
Do you have any idea how fine the manufacturers could make graduations? Could they do 1 moa tick marks, hashmarks or whatever, if so would they be useable? Could they do matching numbers that would be readable?
I have always wondered why the mildot design does not have 1/10s right on the reticles.
For me, I go with IanM recommendations and dial up elevation. If there is not enough time to turn a dial, there is not enough time to shoot at the game.
I hunt LR alone most of the time and this is how I set up. Find a place, get comfy with rifle and spotting scope, glass till find appropriate game. Range, dial up, watch conditions, put a bullet through the ribs, get out the knife.
It is not a hurried sport. Too much can go wrong if you can't watch the conditions or get a proper rest. So the time it takes to dial in the elevation you need is minor.
I have scopes with mil-dots and use them to adjust my shots. I don't use them to range as they can be too inaccurate at longer ranges, plus it reduces the flexibility of the scopes and its magnification.
I like the idea of a MOA reticle. Much more intuitive then the mil-dot. The only problem is that under 2MOA spacing, the dots are going to be very close together and hard to see. Had a scope that had something similar and trying to count all those little dots was a real pain.
For most ranges inside 1000yds and flat magnums, the 2MOA spacings will be plenty. I think this will be the replacement for the mildot. Whoever thought up that system was probably an engineer, not a shooter.
Fractions, any math, calculators are simply not items well suited to under stress shooting.
As to the Ballistic type reticles, they work if your load fits. Otherwise, they are more of a liability then aid. Most are spaced 100yds apart. At ranges beyond 500yds, the gap between hash marks is going to be pretty large so you will be guesstimating on a verticle reticle against the side of an animal. No thanks...
Actually guys, Mil Dot as developed by the Corps is based on radians and not degrees. Minute of Angle is in Degrees. The beauty of the Mil Dot system is allows the choice of the Spacing of the Dots to be something the Shooter is comfortable with, ie Meter or Yard (36 inches at a 1000 yrd or meters. The use of Radians over Degrees causes less discrepency in the optical measuring system than does Degrees. This is because the Mil Dot spacing works out to be 3.6 inches at 100 Yards and 2.5cm at 100 meters. 3.6 inches at 100Yards is 0.05733 degress or 3.44 minutes. if one takes a scientific calculator and converts degrees to radians ie 360 degrees = 2PI Radians, we find the spacing equals 0.00100065 radian or 1 milliradian. Hence the choice of the dot spacing.