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Old April 17, 1999, 11:57 PM   #7
David Schmidbauer
Retired Screen Name
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 396
>are you opposed to SA's proprietary ranging system?

In theory no. In practice yes. You have to remember that I’m a Retired Marine and Marines are not known for their intelligence. We like the “KISS” principle. Keep It Simple Stupid. That said here is my thoughts on proprietary systems. I’ve never shot a SA proprietary system but I did do a work up with a Shepherd (DON’T even get me started on THAT scope!)

First off… there is, IMO, WAYYYYY too much happening in the scope. All those lines and +s or circles all over the sight picture. Additionally, you have multiple ranging areas that are suppose to subtend 18” (or whatever) at a given yardage (usually in multiples of 100). Now in theory what you are suppose to do is find one of the ranging areas that line up with an 18” part of your target. Fine… in principle. But what do you do if none of them line up? You know what you do… you guess. When you guess you stand a chance of being wrong on the range.

With a MilDot the reticle is “clean” and uncluttered. All you need to know is the approximate size of your target in yards and you can get your range. Also, a MilDot retcicle can be broken down to 1/8th Mils (that’s 4.5” @ 1000 yds). You can get more accurate ranging when you use fractions of Mils in the formula.

Secondly with a MilDot not only can you range with it but also you can use the dots themselves as aiming points for hold overs/hold unders/leads/windage. Good example… my deer stand sits at the bottom of a field that is shaped like a V. The right leg goes out to about 110 yards, the left 290. I have my scope zeroed for 200 yards. With the trajectory of my hunting round I use the bottom of the first mildot above the cross hair for any deer that shows up to my right (hold under). I use the first mildot below the cross hair for any deer that shows up at the far end on the left (hold over). I know where 200 years are on my left so I hold dead on. No knobs to turn, no anything… just use the correct aiming point and shot. Took a few deer this year this way.

The same can be used for leads/windage. Say your target is 300 yards out and you got a strong wind. Yeah Yeah you could “dial” it all in but you may not have time. OK so you use the MilDots for your hold over and Kentucky windage. Nope… you won’t have a “aiming” point but your eye will be able to draw intersecting lines down/over from the correct dots. It is kind of hard to explain, but in practice it is fairly easy.

I’m sure the proprietary systems work well (or might they just be a Sales Gimmick?). But think about it for a minute. What recticle do the people who make a living at precision shooting, have a real need for accurate ranging, might need to make quick shots w/o adjusting their knobs and whos life may depend entirely on weather or not they make “this one shot” usually use. 10 to 1 it isn’t a Proprietary system… it’s a MilDot.

After you understand the MilDot you'll be saying to yourself... "How friggen simple... how friggen versatile". If it were at all possible I'd have a MilDot recticle in every scope I owned. I'm going to check with Leupold to see if they could put a MilDot in their Scout Scope (though I doubt it because of the low power of that scope and there is probably not that much demand for it)

As I said in a previous post had the Gen III SAs been available when I was in the market for a Precision Scope I probably would have gotten one. But with a full MilDot recticle, not their proprietary system nor the bastard combination proprietary/MilDot.

A great write-up on MilDots can be found in Maj. J Plaster (sp?) "Ultimate Sniper".

Disclaimer... the above is the rantings of a hard-headed, brain washed former Marine who is, in fact, in love with MilDots.

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

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