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View Full Version : How do you use a Mil dot scope?

Josh
April 26, 1999, 06:58 PM
I was wondering if anyone could give me a brief description on how to use a Mil dot scope?
Is there any book that you would recommend that could teach a novice how to use it?

Scott Evans
April 26, 1999, 08:39 PM
The Mil dot reticle is used to determine the range to a target.

To determine range the following formula is used:

Height of target in yards x 1000 divided by height of target in mills = RANGE

Dots on the crosshairs are 1 mil apart

1 mil is equal to 1 yard at 1000 yards

You must know the approximate size of your target to use the system. For instance the avrage height of a man is aprox 6 ‘ (or 2 yards)

If you sighted in on a standing man and in the view of your scope he measured 3 and ½ dots (or mils)

You estimate the size of the man as 2 yards tall

2 yards x 1000 divided by 3.5 mils = 571 yards

David Schmidbauer
April 26, 1999, 09:52 PM
Scott

>Dots on the crosshairs are 1 mil apart

Going to be a little retentive here. The Dots on the crosshairs are 3/4 Mil apart. The Dots themselves are 1/4 Mil.

Measured Center to Center (or top to top/bottom to bottom) of the Dots is 1 Mil.

Now, MilDots are MUCH MORE then range determination! They can be used for hold overs/unders & or leads/windage also.

IMO the most versitle recticle on the market.

JOSH - If you can get your hands on a copy of Plaster's "The Ultimate Sniper" (available from Paliden Press) it has 9 pages dedicated to the understanding & use of a MilDot recticle (in additional to alot of other info on the subject of precision riflecraft. If you can't get your hands on a copy drop me a e-mail with your address and I'll forward you copies.

------------------
Schmit, GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"

[This message has been edited by David Schmidbauer (edited April 26, 1999).]

Scott Evans
April 27, 1999, 08:12 AM
Gunny,
Mil dots are ¾ mils “between” and 1 mil center –to-center, however, I quoted “the book” (FMFM 1-3B ; PCN 139 000107 00; Titled “Sniping” U.S. Marine Corps; chapt 2, pp 6) when I said “1 mil apart”. No gig there.

I agree that the mil dots can be used for hold overs and windage however, if there is time it is far better to adjust the scope’s elevation and windage for a “centered” point of aim point of impact. The further you move your aiming point from the center of the scope’s field of view the more aggravated the effects of “Canting” the weapon, and “shadowing” in the scope. (shadowing is caused when the eye is not directly in line with the sight line of the scope) By using a mil dot as an aiming point you must also make adjustments in sight alignment (something I would rather not do once I’ve found that perfect spot for my stock weld). With “Leads” I still would not use the mil dot as the aiming point. The dot is better used in assisting in estimating where the moving target will be when the round arrives. Aim at that point using the center of the scope. Also, for leads the mil dots can be used to “pace” the speed of the moving target.

I do agree that the mil dot system is the best but IMO it must be used with a scope that allows for quick accurate adjustments for windage and elevation facilitating “centered” point of aim point of impact.

David Schmidbauer
April 27, 1999, 12:10 PM
Scott;

>however, I quoted “the book” (FMFM 1-3B ; PCN 139 000107 00; Titled “Sniping” U.S. Marine Corps; chapt 2, pp 6)<

Books, MC Pubs, FMs, FMFMs have been know to be wrong. This seems like another case of that. I was just wanting to clarify for Josh least he start mis-ranging.

And I couldn't agree with you more that "Tis better to crank a knob then use a dot". But sometimes time does not permit.

------------------
Schmit, GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"

Scott Evans
April 27, 1999, 02:26 PM
Gunny,
I think we agree and are simply using different words to describe the same thing. I too have seen a few FMFM’s that were off the mark however this one has remained un-changed since April 1976 in its description of the use of the mil dot reticle. This would be meaningless except for the fact that it is primary information, mastery of which is required by every Marine Sniper, in a profession demands precision.

Yes spacing of the mil dot is 1 mil center to center. They are also correctly described as “1 mil apart” as the distance from the top of one dot is 1mil to the top of the dot above it. The GAP between the top of one dot and the bottom of the dot above it is .75 mil. (27” at 1000 yd aprox. the diameter of an average car tire). The dot it self is .25 mil (9” @ 1000 yd) and half a dot is .125 mil (4.5” @ 1000yd).

David Schmidbauer
April 27, 1999, 08:27 PM
Scott;

Yep.. we agree. I just don't like the way the sentence is worded. I've had to write directives and test questions so that there was NO way to they could be misunderstood. That sentence in the FMFM leaves room for misunderstanding.

------------------
Schmit, GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"

Schantz
April 27, 1999, 09:29 PM
Very interesting post you two have going. Just to let you both know the wording of the FM is no longer the way it is taught in the Marine Corps, at least not as of 2 years ago.

The FM may give the distance as 1mil but the instruction given is 3/4 mil between mil dots and 1/8 mil on each side.

The primary function is range est., with the next most used funtion being leads for movers.

Just had to put my two cents in.

Scott Evans
April 27, 1999, 09:54 PM
Thanks Schantz … you should know.

Schantz has more than adequate credentials, as he is an actual Marine Corps Sniper.

Which scope do you suggest?

[This message has been edited by Scott Evans (edited April 27, 1999).]

Schantz
April 27, 1999, 11:43 PM
Just want to start by saying I was a Marine Corps Sniper. As with all things if you do not do it everyday it slowly fades. There are plenty of men out there deep-in-it right now learning somthing I wish I had.

I guess if I could have any scope it would be the Leupold Mark 4 M3 10X40mm. I like a fixed power, I guess because that is what I know best. Bullet drop compensation would be a must. There is nothing better for making adjustments easy.

I beleave that Unertl puts out a civilian scope, I have yet to look through one so I can only assume it is as good as the military version. I would prefer something a little more sturdy than the Leupold but really have not seen anything that can take its place for the price.

David Schmidbauer
April 28, 1999, 04:53 AM
Schantz >Leupold Mark 4 M3 10X40mm. Bullet drop compensation would be a must.<

My turn for a question. ;)

Given that we are talking Snip... Precision Rifle Scope and the M3 is set for a specific projectial (Match .308) and the availability of different .308 ammo (all with different BCs, trajectories)(i.e. .308 Linked MG for DOD and numerous comercial loads, to include those hot .308s that give almost 30-06) performance) wouldn't the M1 be a better choice?

What I've done is zeroed mine for 300 yards using Match ammo (this is the card I have most memorized) and have made up cards for two other types of projectials (hunting rounds). If I change rounds I just "click" to my new zero setting and work from there with the new card.

Having never "worked" with a M3 and not knowing how the knobs are marked I chose the M1 for this reason. The M3 seemed "kind of" limited in that it was cammed for a specific projectial. Not a problem until you start shooting at longer ranges with the trajectories start to come into play. With the M1 if you can get a hold of other rounds you can make up cards and have precise Clickage.

Just my \$.02

------------------
Schmit, GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"

Schantz
April 30, 1999, 12:26 AM
I like your idea Gunny. I did not say my way was the only way. Alot of time in Quantico was spent to get me to do something one way. You know the Corps, there may be better ways but this is ours. I am a big fan of the KISS rule. I do not want to have to remember which round I am using this year or season. With the fixed power, bullet drop scope I just have to worry about range, wind speed, temp, wind dir, target speed, position, trigger control, B.R.A.S.S.F. So like I said there are more ways then mine but this is the one is the one I use.

Semper Fi

David Schmidbauer
April 30, 1999, 07:11 PM
Schantz

The biggest decideing factor on wheather to purchase the M1 v M3 was that I wanted the option to interchange rounds and with a few clicks be at a different zero. Of course this requires access to the rounds to do the card work ups with.

------------------
Schmit, GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"

bald1
May 11, 1999, 10:30 PM
Scott, Gunny, et al:

There was an interesting article in either Precision Shooting or Tactical Shooter several months back which detailed the differences between the Marine and Army Mil-dot systems. Yup, they're different starting with one using oval dots and the other circular dots. The layouts are different enough to warrent making sure you know what you have. Interestingly Leupold markets scopes that use both systems!!!!
Plaster's book only addresses one system and ignores the other by the way, so his formulas only work for the one covered.

-=[Bob]=-

PS Got to be careful too. The Sightron 30mm 4-16X Mil-Dot reticle has dots equal to one mil which of course is nothing like our military systems. I pointed this out to them and they claim they're going to have newer production use the proper military reticles.

[This message has been edited by bald1 (edited May 11, 1999).]