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Reticles: MilDot vs BDC?

Rob Tompkins

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My current 3-gun sight / scope combo is JPSRTS and a 2-7x Nikon with duplex reticle. I'm not concerned with getting a real low power (~1x) range with the JPSRTS so I’m considering switching to either a Nikon M-223 3-12x w/BDC or an MTAC 3.5-10x w/ MilDots. Similar prices and both have lots of good user reviews.

Most of my 3-gunning is local with rifle shots under 150 yards so the duplex has been just fine. However, I'm looking to shoot a major 3-gun match or two this year and for the next few and feel I need something better than the duplex reticle to help with the 400-500 yard targets.

How I see it:

BDC: Pro's-clear and uncluttered, faster holdovers if you know ranges and have calculated range values for the dots. Con's-not as useful to estimate range, or windage hold-offs, need to calculate dot ranges for each load

MilDot: Pros-good range estimation capabilities, easy to hold-off for windage. Con's-need to keep (or learn) a range-bullet drop table for each load close at hand

As far as I can tell, both reticles are good and useful but different. Does the forum collective find one reticle better than the other for 3-gun games?

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Ranging on the clock is not practical, so don't use that as a criteria. In our game, gimme a BDC every time.

Thanks, good point. Related thought is with a 25/250 yard zero I'll be +/- ~2" drop & rise variation out to ~275yards so holdover is only a real issue at 300+ yards.

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I would pick the BDC only if the hold over marks fit your load better than the mil-dot.

For my 75 gr load, I use 1mil @ 300 y, 2 mil @ 400 y, 2.5 mil @ 450 y. Those hold overs are easy to remember.

The other thing you need to consider is your small FOV at your max range. Since the scopes you mention have second focal plane reticles, you have to use it at max range for your holdovers to be accurate or use more math at the intermediate powers.

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I'm going against the grain- I prefer mil dot. I don't use it for ranging, more similar to a bdc, but it give me more reference points. I zero my rifle -1mil at 300 yards. This makes my dot on at about 200. (190 yards actually w/ my load) I'm -0.5 at 250, -1.5 at 350, -2.0 at 390, -2.5 at 425, etc.

At the walk-thru, I range the targets that require hold, write it down, match up the distances to my dope, and memorize the holds. At this point, the distances are not important, only the hold. As far as I'm concerned, the targets are now -0.5, -1.0, 0, 0, -1.5 instead of 250, 300, (under 200), (under 200), 350.

Whichever system you use, only w/ practice will you become efficient.

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