The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 9, 2013, 10:42 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,121
shooting style... help wrapping around mil dot reticles, & scope repeatability

I'm in the process of replacing a few cheap 3X9 scopes on some of my rifles... the "real" hunting rifles, can keep a good quality 3X9, but the bulk of my shooting now, is relaxed shooting off my bench at ranges from 50 - 300 yards, & I'm looking to improve my casual shooting ( both with wind... though I get 300 yards is not "long range" & with elevation changes needed for increased distance )

with my aging eyes, I'm looking at 12-16X scopes for the longer ranges at paper targets... however as I make the transition, I have a couple questions

is a mil dot scope reticle just a band-aid for a scope that doesn't have good repeatability ??? my understanding, is if I'm reading wind, or distance correctly & my scope is good & repeatable, that I'd be better off with a fine target crosshair, & a couple clicks to the windage knob to compensate for the wind, or a couple clicks to the elevation knob for increased distance... if I have a mil dot reticle, there "should" be no need to touch the knobs once the rifle is zeroed, I should just use the dots... correct ???

... if I were shooting further than the dots allow ( or in a stronger cross wind than the dots allow ) what is the purpose of cluttering up my sight picture, if my scope is of good enough quality to shoot the box test ???

just looking for everyone's thoughts, before I spend my money...
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...

Last edited by Magnum Wheel Man; July 9, 2013 at 10:48 AM.
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 04:33 AM   #2
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,445
Mildots have nothing to do with scope repeatability, they have to do with range estimation, but can also be used for quick holdovers for drop or wind.

If you have a laser range finder, you don't need mildots unless you WANT to use them for holdovers. For precision shots, you don't want to use holds, you want to dial in the shot.

I would rather have repeatable adjustments over a mildot reticle, but with a lot of brands of scopes, the reticle difference between models has nothing to do with the adjustment precision of the scope.

Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 05:52 AM   #3
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,121
for my use, ( the target backers are at 50 yard increments to my 300 yard backstop ) I don't need to do any range estimation, that & I have an early 600 yard laser range finder...

I wonder how many are actually using the mil dot reticle for hold over, & to word my question differently...

if adding a mil dot reticle to a scope, lets the scope manufacturer off the hook, as far as building repeatability into the controls, knowing that most will just use the dots, rather than adjust for range or wind with the turrets???

as a guy that gets to play with some machining equipment occasionally, I can only guess how precise the controls would have to be, to eliminate all the backlash totally from the controls, which must be needed, to run a box test with success ???

still open for thoughts...
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 06:43 AM   #4
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,445
Even Leupold recommends adjusting the turrets further than needed, then back to the correct adjustment, to deal with backlash or "slop" in the mechanism.

Many good things have been said about Sightron's adjustments, as well as IORs and USO. Burris scopes have "sloppy" adjustments but are fine for tactical use if you follow the same method as using a Leupold scope.

If you want the real skinny on precision scopes, contact Scott Berish of libertyoptics.com and see what is in your price range.

Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 07:02 AM   #5
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,121
one of the scopes I've been looking at is a Leupold VX-3... on this model, they at least use a couple "buzz words" that sound like they are trying to insure good repeatability...

Quote:
The precision twin spring erector has cryogenically treated adjustments to provide the utmost precision and 30 percent more holding force to ensure reliability.
In reality, I think I'd be happy with a fine plex, or target dot, that would run boxes all day long ... in my research, it sounds like some cheaper scopes start out fine, but the materials they use, don't hold up to heavy use, so they might "box" the 1st couple times out, but either not hold up to lots of adjustments, or to heavy recoiling rifles... the 1st rifle I'm hoping to upgrade on, is an older Remington 700 in 22-250, the next is a custom rifle in 25-06, 3rd is another Rem 700 in 30-06... right now I'm happy with the scopes on anything heavier than 30-06... though I have not finished my custom long range 6.5 X 284, it's close to ready for a scope, but on that rifle, I'll be looking for the best I can afford, & my budget will be bigger, as I have more expectations there... so to start with... the 22-250 shouldn't be too hard on the scope, as far as recoil, but I expect to be adjusting for wind & distance a lot... I also have to admit, I have not "wrung out" some of the scopes that "I think I'm happy with" like a Redfield 4-12 I have on my 17 Fireball, or my Burris 2-10 on my fast twist 22 Hornet... both of which are pleasant rifles to take out & casually shoot off the bench

BTW... JIM... where did you find the recommendation to over travel & bring back the adjustment ??? it makes sense from my little machining experience, I've just never seen the recommendation in print... ( of course the snipers never do that in the movies either )
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...

Last edited by Magnum Wheel Man; July 10, 2013 at 07:11 AM.
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 12:42 PM   #6
taylorce1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 5,381
First off if your old optics are upgraded I think you'll see that you can still get by with a 3-9 power range scope. Scopes are much better today than they were 10 years ago with coatings and lenses. I'll bet you put your old eyes through a good quality scope in 3-9 you'll be amazed how well you can see.

I have one mil-dot scope and I do use it for holdover in the wind. It is easier to keep track of only adjusting one knob. I usually just adjust elevation and use the mil-dots to take care of windage, the dots make it nice for that. However if you just want to turn knobs then you don't need the mil-dot or MRAD reticles.
__________________
NRA Life Member
The Truth About Guns
taylorce1 is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 03:23 PM   #7
buckhorn_cortez
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2010
Posts: 389
Mil reticles are useful because you can tell how far a target is from you through the following:

Size of target x 1000 divided by number of mils the target covers.

Another way to put this is:

Height of the target in yards divided by the height of the target in milliradians multiplied by 1000 equals the distance to the target in yards.

An example would be someone estimated to be 6-feet tall (2 yards). The top of his head lines up with one dot and his feet line up four dots down. So: (2/4) x 1000 = 500 yards away.

With most adjustable scopes you use the elevation knob to dial in the bullet drop compensation for the distance and use the horizontal mil scale to hold past the target for wind drift or to lead the target. Once you know the distance, you can easily compensate for leading or wind drift because the mil scale distance between dots or marks equals 3.6-inches at 100 yards (36-inches at 1,000 yards). It expands equally so that 200 yards is 7.2 inches, 400 yards, 14.4 inches, etc.

MIL scales are most useful if you are using a first focal plane (FFP) reticle scope. With the FFP scope, the Mil scale covers the same area at any magnification. They are a bit disconcerting to use at first as the reticle size changes as it is proportional to the amount of magnification, unlike a second focal plane reticle that always stays the same size.

As for repeatability - that's a function of the scope construction. I use a US Optics 3.8-22X scope. Once you know the bullet drop for the ammunition you're using, the scope adjustment is repeatable for any distance. You do not have to "dial past" then "dial back" - you simply dial in the amount of elevation change needed.
buckhorn_cortez is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 07:09 PM   #8
Jim243
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Posts: 4,367
My personal favorite is the P-4 recital. But it is not always available in the scope I want so for me the Mil-dot is the next choice. As to power I like the 6-24 x 50 mm scopes they allow me to see my hits without having to drag out the spotting scope. As far as setting the scope for each range, I don't, I use hold over since it is easier for me to adjust for point of impact on changing distances.

Depending on the caliber of rifle and weight of bullet the trajectory will be the same from shot to shot, bullet drop will be the same from shot to shot. So a rifle zeroed in at 200 yards will need approximately (3 MOA) 1 mil hold over at 300 yard ( 9 inch bullet drop) and a (-1.5 MOA) 1/2 mil hold under at 100 yards ( 4.5 inch bullet rise). This is not exact but i use a 3 MOA bullet drop per mil-dot, like I said it is not exact but close.

Once the scope is zeroed, I leave it there and use the mil-dots for any changes in range or wind.

Just the way I do it, should work for you as well at fixed distances.
Jim

If you have a smart phone you can download a ballistic calculator app for free. This is one I use on an old iPhone that I no longer use as a phone.
It is set for a 130 grain 270 round with a 5 mph wind from the left, scoped zeroed at 200 yards, shot to be taken at 300 yards, for my 6-24 power scope.

__________________
Si vis pacem, para bellum

Last edited by Jim243; July 10, 2013 at 10:39 PM.
Jim243 is offline  
Old July 11, 2013, 07:53 AM   #9
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,371
Quote:
is a mil dot scope reticle just a band-aid for a scope that doesn't have good repeatability ???
No, not at all, it has nothing to do with good repeatability. That is the quality of scope (didn't say price, I said quality, there are lots of good scopes out there that don't require selling your kids into the slave trade to buy).

I've seen expensive scopes that sucked, I've seen in-expensive scopes that were outstanding.

The Mil recital is a type of recital that suites a purpose and does it well. So does a MOA scope. I have several scopes, some are MOA/MOA, some are MIL/MIL some are MIL/MOA, each has its purpose based on the shooting venue you use.

I like the MOA/MOA for long range NRA target shooting, (I'm not talking short range such as =/< 300 yards. But 800-1000 yards. The scoring rings are a known distance apart, so the MOA works moving the group to match those scoring rings. Plus I also shoot iron sights at long range, they are MOA adjustments and its easier to use the same adjustments with the scope and irons.

For hunting I like the MIL/MOA, Meaning the MIL recital with MOA adjustments. I can use the MIL recital for range estimation, and knowing the body size of the animal in inches, I can adjust in MOA. Knowing the body size I can instantly look at the animal and determine if its in my MPBR (Max. point blank range) area.

An example, lets say I'm hunting antelope. I know the vital area of the average antelope is 8.5-9 inches. I know the average size (top of back to bottom of stomach) is 14.5 inches. I sight my rifle in at 275 yards. I know that if I look at the critter through my scope see that the animal fits within 1.5 mils then I aim for the center of the shoulder area and know that I'm in range, or I wont be above or below the 9 inch vital area.

If there is more then 1.5 mils, then I have to adjust or hold over, normally I like to adjust. At extended ranges you normally have more time to adjust. I know the animal size in inches so I like to adjust in inches.

For precision rifle shooting with unknown size targets, I like the MIL/MIL, meaning I have the MIL Recital and can adjust in MIL with its .1 MIL clicks.

Also the MIL Recital makes for fast follow up shots, I shoot and see dirt kick up 3 MILs from the target I can easily hold 3 MILS and make the follow up shot.

I don't like high powder scopes, they tend to pick up too much mirage and wash out the target or pick up the heat waves coming off the barrel and confusing the actual mirage from you to your target.

Scopes are like rifles, there is no one size that fits all. Also there are bad expensive rifles and good cheap rifles, the same with scopes.

One of the best scopes I have is a Weaver 3-10 MIL/MIL. It cost about 300 bucks. I've had expensive scopes that weren't worth the cost of the screw to mount them.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old July 11, 2013, 10:08 AM   #10
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,445
Quote:
BTW... JIM... where did you find the recommendation to over travel & bring back the adjustment ??? it makes sense from my little machining experience, I've just never seen the recommendation in print... ( of course the snipers never do that in the movies either )
I heard it from a friend....

A sniper I know had a Leupold Mark 4 M3 that wouldn't pass the box test to his standards, so he sent it back to Leupold for service. They tested it just fine, and sent it back. It failed the box test for him again, so he sent it back, with a scathing note. Once the service department got it, a phone call was made and the discussion on how to adjust the turrets for precision was discussed. The scope was sent back again (with no repairs) and it passed the box test with the prescribed technique.

Now the M3 turrets are 1min vertical, 1/2min horizontal, so any slop gets magnified a bit by having such coarse adjustments. I doubt that you would notice slop with 1/4 or 1/8 MOA clicks. If you had a real sharp rifle you might notice with 1/10 MIL adjustments (around 1/3 MOA) but that is still tighter than most rifles can shoot.

My personal scope is an IOR 2.5-10x42 with 1/10 MIL adjustments and the MP-8 mil line reticle. I find Mil Line is easier to use than mil dot, but I've no problem seconding Kraigwy's recommendation of the Weaver 3-10x40 tactical, it is a fine scope, I think made by Light Optic Works of Japan with the same components as Bushnell's Elite 3200 line.

Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is offline  
Old July 11, 2013, 03:54 PM   #11
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,121
well I guess a guys got to try a few... it would be great if I always guessed right

I have 2 scopes coming right now...

1st... a Vortex Crossfire II Rifle Scope 6-18x 44mm Adjustable Objective Dead-Hold BDC Reticle

2nd... a Burris Timberline 4.5-14X32mm Riflescope Ballistic Plex Reticle

I'm strongly looking at...

a Nikon PROSTAFF 5 Rifle Scope 4.5-18x 40mm BDC Reticle

a Sightron SII Rifle Scope 4.5-14x 50mm Duplex Reticle

a Leupold VX-2 Target Rifle Scope 6-18x 40mm Adjustable Objective Target Dot Reticle

... to try after I can afford another scope
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old July 12, 2013, 02:21 AM   #12
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,445
Consider a Vortex 4-12x50 Cossfire with BDC reticle instead. Magnification isn't that important at 300 and under. The larger main lens will give you a 4.1mm ocular diameter at max power, where the 6-18x44 gives you 2.4mm. I think you'll find the 4-12x50 easier to work with, and more forgiving on eye relief.

Also, if you want some quality glass for not too much money, I say take a look at the Swift 4-12x40 Tactical scope. It has Schott glass, and a 3.3mm ocular diameter at max power. SWFA has the Swift at a very reasonable price, and it comes with side parallax focus.

Another option would be the 4-12x42 Redfield Revenge with AccuVarmint reticle, although it lacks a parallax adjustment.

Hope this helps,
Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is offline  
Old July 15, 2013, 07:57 AM   #13
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,121
I started a scope review thread in the gear & accessories section... I did some testing on a Vintage Redfield 4-12X AO plex scope that was already mounted on my 17 Fireball, over the weekend... the scope ( because of the power range ) was in my hope to keep "pile" & I'm happy with it's repeatability ( a perfect box, without having to over adjust & bring the adjustment back, to allow for backlash... optics were not as clear as most of my more modern scopes, there was no audible or felt click on the adjustments, & turrets weren't adjustable to zero after sighting in... but over all, I think I can live with it for how I'll use the rifle... provided I can find a way to mark the turrets so I can adjust for distance & wind ( wind being more important on the 17 ) BTW... I assumed it would be adjustments of 1/4" per mark, but 10 marks netted me a perfect 5" box, indicating 1/2" per mark
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old July 17, 2013, 08:48 AM   #14
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,121
Well as I've wrangle through the scope information, & run my 1st box test on the older Redfield... a couple things I'll be looking for...

1st... repeatability
2nd... turrets that reset to zero
3rd... Parallax adjustment ( needed at 50 yards to 300 shooting distances )

the newer scopes provide much sharper images, than the older Redfield ( for example ) which helps with the aging eyes...

I've also found I don't like battery powered scopes, for my use in this group of rifles... I moved a lit reticle Vortex 3-9X to one of my Contender carbine barrels, both because of it's magnification level, & the fact that it has a battery
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old July 17, 2013, 09:58 AM   #15
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,371
Quote:
Parallax adjustment ( needed at 50 yards to 300 shooting distances )

the newer scopes provide much sharper images, than the older Redfield ( for example )
I want my Parallax adjustment to infinity.

Not sure I'd agree with the comment on older scopes. The best (clearest) scope I have is the Weaver T-10 I got in the late '70s for 1000 yard shooting.

I also put a Redfield 3-9 Widefield on the rifle I carried as a LE sniper rifle, put it together in '78. It's still clear and easy on the eyes.

And then my El Paso K 2.5 I put on my M1903a4 for the CMP Vintage Sniper Matches leaves nothing to be desired in the clarity department.

Don't discount old glass, old rifles and old shooters.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old July 17, 2013, 10:10 AM   #16
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,445
I'm with Kraigwy on this one, there is only so much improvement you can get in "light transmission" and "optical clarity."

I use a Weaver "Marksman" 4x on my M41 Swede clone for NRA vintage sniper, and I have no complaints. I can't tell the difference between a Marksman 4x and K4 other than the roll stamp.

If you want very repeatable turrets, go with Sightron SII's. They are the cheapest of the best, or the best of the cheapest however you want to put it.

Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is offline  
Old July 17, 2013, 10:50 AM   #17
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,121
KRAIG... the 50-300 is the distance I'm shooting, not what I'm looking for in a scope...

since there is more adjustment to be made at the shorter distances, seems that since I'm shooting shorter "long distance" ranges... the parallax adjustability would be an important feature

just using the new Vortex I just bought, & the older Redfield, the Vortex has much crisper image, especially around the edges
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...

Last edited by Magnum Wheel Man; July 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM.
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old July 18, 2013, 01:40 AM   #18
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,445
When adjusting parallax, don't use the range markings, they are almost always off.

Adjust the parallax until the reticle is clear and crisp on the target, and there is no percievable movement of the reticle over the target when you shift your head. That is it.

Most scopes without parallax adjustment are set to be parallax free from 100 yards to infinity, so it is only short range shots that the shooter needs to worry about parallax, and at that short of a range it isn't much of an issue (for hunting anyways).

Good shooting,
Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is offline  
Old July 18, 2013, 05:45 AM   #19
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,121
thanks for the info...

BTW... from my other thread... last night I made up the 1st 5 shooters notebooks to go along with these rifles... looking forward to the weekend & getting 1 or 2 rifles out

this is the next scope I'm trying...

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/681...-_-ProductLink

reason they are out of stock right now, is because mine is on the way...

another I really want to try is this Burris...

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/232...Link%20target=

unfortunately it was out of stock, & came in after I ordered the other... but this Burris is next on the list to try...
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old July 18, 2013, 06:17 AM   #20
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,445
I expect you'll have very good results with the Nikon. Last sniper match I attended my shooting partner used a Nikon to good effect.

Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is offline  
Old July 18, 2013, 06:32 AM   #21
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,121
Thanks... & I hope so...

Likely ( hopefully ) I'll end up with 4-5 new scopes that all work out fine ( in the $300.00 - $500.00 range for this group of rifles... but maybe after 1-2 or 3, I'll already have something I love so much, that I buy the same thing for the last 3-4 needed purchases...

once I get to scoping up my 6.5 X 284... ( this one was built from the ground up, to be a "real" long range shooter ) my budget will go up a little... hopefully I can find something with the features I need, for around $1,000.00... but that glass won't get budgeted until next summer ( hopefully I'll have the stock reshaped & a finish coat on it by then... too many other projects )... but one benefit of having all the guns displayed in my walk in gun safe, is I keep seeing the things that need working on, they are not stuck away in a steel box somewhere... they are staring me in the face when I'm reloading... so I'm more apt to work on them... part of what got me motivated on getting this group of rifles going & ready for fun shooting
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14967 seconds with 9 queries