I just ordered one for a custom 300WSM that I'm setting up for a Colorado elk hunt. My gunsmith told me basically same thing dragman said. You might miss a groundhog or 2 at 500, but you won't miss an elk. I ordered the VX3i 6.5-20. Looking forward to shooting it.
Anyone have a leupold Custom Dial System scope? Does it work well...looking to shoot 500yds...not extreme long ranges...
Custom dials I would not go farther then 500. I have one made for my Zeiss conquest by Kenton Industries they specialize in this and will make you one for any scope. I would recommend you get a custom dial from them in MOA. One you learn MOA you can make drop chart and carry with you out west. Remember that bullet flies different here in the east at 800' above seas level then out west from 5k-10k' elevation. You can figure it out ahead of times different elevations you might be hunting and carry a small note pad or actually have it on your phone. If your dial say is in 100 yards increment's as most dials it sure will be different out there unless you tell them that elevation. Might sound confusing but not hard to figure out.
I don't do a lot of long range shooting anymore and am certainly not disputing what anyone has said so far. But, I fired a rifle with a B&C reticle the last time I was in NFLD on a moose hunt. We were all done hunting and just wasting time until the plane came to get us the next day. Anyway, the one guy had a stainless Browning .338 WinMag with a Leupold VX3 in 4.5-14x40mm scope with the B&C reticle. We were on the dock and there was a rock out in the lake. We ranged the rock at 604 yards and it had a white spot right on top of the tip that was out of the water. The guy let me shoot his rifle so I sat down on the dock and rested off my knees. I never fired that rifle before and zeroed that white spot exactly on the first shot. Perhaps some luck involved, perhaps not, but I was pretty impressed with it. I don't know how much messing around he had in getting it sighted in like that but it worked.
I have a leupold 4.5x14-30mm tube with SF and CDS on my rem 700-p in 300 win mag and its good to go for ranges out to 750 yards with hornady 178gr amax tap precision ammo #82035. you do need a very good range finder and be able to dope the wind, the last one will be the killer to long range shooting. but gallon milk jugs at 500 yards are a piece of cake from a decent rest. eastbank.
Basically it is the simple form of dialing, rather than remembering the drop in MOA you simply dial to your range and shoot. The downside is that the turret is good for only one set of environmental conditions any deviation will start to cause the bullets to no longer hit where the turret says.
So let's for example take the 178gr Precision Hunter ammo in .308, at your normal shooting conditions your 600 yard drop is 14.25 MOA which is what the turret is made for at 130ft elevation and 50 F temp. Now say you head to visit your buddy in the mountains of central PA over the summer. At 1100 ft and 80 degrees your 600 yard turret throws your bullets 3" high, not enough to miss a deer but enough to miss a groundhog.
I personally think the ones who do this system best is Gunweks, by using the ballistics turret on the scope in conjunction with their rangefinder you get the best of both worlds. Rather than simply giving a range to the target the rangefinder has a ballistics calculator that matches your turrets. So in the above example rather than dialing for 600 you would dial for 590 and be dead on.
On the topic of the BDC I attached the calcs to get the exact drop for my dad's Varmint hunter reticle on his 30-06.