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Discussion Starter #1
Gonna get a new scope for elk/mule deer. Thinking of Nikon/Leopold custom "etched" scopes based on ballistics I provide vs using BDC scopes. Anyone use either? Both? Compare? Like the idea of dial and shoot but is it reliable? Ease of use? Normally won't shoot over 300 yds but have seen guys take 500- 600 yds successfully on elk. Any insight, advice or experiences? Thanks.
 

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I have both and would prefer to dial. Another nice scope to look at is Zeiss they have BR. in farther yardage than lupy. Regardless of either you have to send some lead own range don't go out and buy a scope like this with out practice. Dialing is the correct and most precise way but of course takes a few seconds longer. I have 3 nightforces with zero stop I can dial any range by knowing moa and return to my 100 yard zero. I have a 4.5x14 Zeiss with target custom target knob I can dial out to 800 yards. I prefer the knob for scopes like this from Kenton Industrys they ar in the business of making custom target knobs. You supply them with the bullet, bc, vel, and elevation they give you a knob of choice. There knobs can be in Moa, or yardage incriments your choice. But they are only good for that rifle and load. Ballastic reticle and I have a few are okey but you must remember due to the focal plane you must have it on the highest power to work. Normally you woud crank up the power if your shooting any distance but if you forgot you will miss. These reticles the hash marks represent a certain moa you might have to use Kentucky windage high or low to make that shot. If you dial you run you numbers on a ballistic calculator and get a drop chart than dial the moa. If you have a knob marked in yardage range it, click the yardage, send it. Also there is nothing wrong with having a ballistic reticle scope such as lupy or Zeiss and a custom knob on it. I can say NF, lupy, zeiss will track for you they are all I own so I cant comment on other brands.
 

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Zeiss has what they call rapid z 800 and 1k, or something like that. I don't own one but a few of my Colorado hunting buddys have them. We was shooting one day before we went out west and they go them twicked pretty good.
 

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I have a Burris Signature Series scope on my elk rifle......it is a 4-16x44 AO with the ballistic plex reticle...

I originally did not want that reticle, but it was the only one that I could find in that model scope so I got it....

I have it on a .300 WBY, and the ballistic tick marks are pretty much dead on accurate out to 600 yards, I think at 600 yards the group was maybe 3 inches high, aiming with the hash marks...........definitely quicker than dialing, and definitely minute of elk capable, I know I was impressed and surprised it worked that well
 

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Dialing is the only way to go
I like standard MOA knobs because if hunting different areas there are atmospheric changes.
Custom knobs are set up for specific conditions
 

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That's a good point I mentioned with the one I have from Kenton ind. about giving elevation info. If you are going to use it her plus out west I would buy 2 knobs. One for elevation around here and one for out west. For the average elevation out there I would go for around 6k'. If you need it be in yardage incriments. If you dial in Moa it wouldn't matter because you need to have a ballistic calculator for info and make charts to carry with you. When I go out west the place I hunted was around 5500. I ran those numbers on program printed the sheet, trimmed down in size than use clear scothch tape to attach to stock of gun.
 

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Outofstater and Hankster offer very good info. Problem with the BDC is that most of the scopes are second focal plane so those elevation marks change with power setting on the scope. Perhaps many are better than me but in the heat of the moment and you adjust power are you going to remember all those different yardages and they do vary tremedously from say 4 to 16. If you have a dial you can be spot on with a good rangefinder. I used to shoot high power silhouette back before the custom dials and used the standard target turrets and new the marks for the ranges to dial the elevation for each target range. I have done the same on my current scopes and once you run your numbers on a ballistic calculator and then shoot the rifle to verify they are correct you can then mark the spots with a paint pen or nail polish. Having just completed to western hunts this year I feel the BDC's are nice backup but the dial is the way to go and most of the quality scopes out there will track correctly.
 

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Thank you, I was kind of holding back with some of my opinion. I know there are guys who use b. reticles but to me they are not that accurate for every need. One needs to know and understand the basics and intermediate of how a scope and bullet works. I have spent a ton of money and countless hours playing this game and dialing is the way to go. Dialing in I can take my rifle to any elevation, temp. change, etc and be more efficient. Ground hog hunting is one thing but shooting at a deer, elk,etc., I want to know when I broke that trigger every thing was factored in to that shot. I have the new g-7 rangefinder that will hold several calibers oof information. When I take a range it figures elevation, temp, baro pressure, than gives me the yardage and how many MOA to dial in. Only problem it costs 1,600.00 but this is my hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm not understanding something....I ran a simulation on the Spot on ballistic program and show that a 200 yd zero the next circle shows 282 yds but the animal is ranged at 250 yds.....how do you make that shot?
 

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The spot on ballistic by Nikon uses the circles and gives you the distance of the top, center and bottom of the circle so if I recall correctly if there are 4 circles under the crosshair they give you 12 distances. Problem with the Nikon is that say you have a 4x12 scope which is 9 different powers so first you have to determine what power you want and they figure if that distance is 282 or 314 or 340 depending on power setting as each marker would have 9 different values. I don't care who you are but taping a chart with over 50+ values on your gun is going to get confusing and since there would be no exact you still have to use Kentucky windage to make the shot. Thus the argument for the dial as you dial 250 regardless of power setting and shoot. Simpler, cleaner and allot less to deal with.
 

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When I go out west I have a drop chart on my 338 edge out to 12 yards in 50 yard incriments. Its not bad, range 1000 than look at 1000 get moa. Not as bad ss you think
 

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If you would be interested in talking to me just send me a pm I will give you my phone number. I have a tough time typing what I want to say. I would be more than glad to speak with you.
 

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huntin-nut said:
Outofstater and Hankster offer very good info. Problem with the BDC is that most of the scopes are second focal plane so those elevation marks change with power setting on the scope. Perhaps many are better than me but in the heat of the moment and you adjust power are you going to remember all those different yardages and they do vary tremedously from say 4 to 16. If you have a dial you can be spot on with a good rangefinder. I used to shoot high power silhouette back before the custom dials and used the standard target turrets and new the marks for the ranges to dial the elevation for each target range. I have done the same on my current scopes and once you run your numbers on a ballistic calculator and then shoot the rifle to verify they are correct you can then mark the spots with a paint pen or nail polish. Having just completed to western hunts this year I feel the BDC's are nice backup but the dial is the way to go and most of the quality scopes out there will track correctly.
Yea they are second focal plane, but when are you shooting 600 yards with your scope on 4 power? If I am shooting a longer distance, I am taking the time to turn up to my max power every time..........It's not like you are taking snap shots at elk that are 400 yards away, at least I hope not...

I don't disagree though that dialing is the better option, I was just pointing out that the ballistic reticles (that I have experience with) work plenty fine in their own right.....
 

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The big thing is regardless of either way you have to send some bullets down range. Ive been in gun shops and see guys buying these scopes thinking right of way they can kill at 500 yards easy. I did shoot a deer few years ago at 500 + yards with one of my nightforces scopes that I dialed in. I was thinking it should of looked a little better, I had the scope on 10 power and it is a 5.5x22. If I went by the hashmarks and this reticle has has them I would of missed. It would of been basic elementary mistake but I dialed and was okey. I have also heard guys watching the Best of the west tv show thinking just buy that huskamaw scope easy shooting. To do this kind of shooting you have to spend the time understanding a scope and its principal and practice.
 
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