Choose Your Reticle With Care

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Man, the choices now are staggering...

There are more reticles available than you can shake a stick at!

In most cases, these are also a substantial upgrade in scope costs, too.

Most of the newer reticles seem to be designed for long range shots (often called bullet drop compensating)- most of which seem very much out of the range of the average hunter.

I have a high end scope that has a range estimating reticle in it - I thought it was great when I bought it - and have never used it for that purpose.

I have taken deer using that scope - but ALWAYS with the standard portion of the reticle.

There are some useful reticles out there and some of these, I feel, are the ones that are aimed (no pun intended) at the shotgun and muzzleloader market. If they help you with the shots you will actually take, great - please do spend the extra money - but know that they will greatly reduce the sales appeal - and thus the value - of the scope should you ever decide to part with it.

Please take extreme care when shopping for glass and make sure the extra money you are willing to fork out for a reticle upgrade is really a case where you are getting EXTRA VALUE and EXTRA USE and not just a bell and whistle type thing.

In most cases, I feel it would be better to take that reticle upgrade money (in some cases, it is $150 or more) and move up to a higher grade scope - you may get better glass and pay the same that you were going to pay for the lesser grade scope with the "special" reticle in it.

One reticle I will recommend is the German # 4 style reticle. The lack of the top post is, in theory, supposed to somehow direct your eye to the game you are tracking. I am not sure exactly how or why but I have used one for years and highly recommend it.

In the final analysis, you will purchase what you feel is best for your situation - and if incredibly long shots are your forte', some of the reticle upgrades may be very appropriate for you.

My contention - and my hunting tip - is to be very careful and cost conscious when selecting the reticle in your scope - you may be able to get a "free" glass upgrade by selecting a standard reticle.


ManOfTheFall's picture

Thanks for the tip. If I ever

Thanks for the tip. If I ever get into rifles, I know I will be able to come back to BGH and find all kinds of good tips about rifles, scopes, or anything that has to do with rifles. Thanks for sharing.

hunter25's picture

I have recently switched from

I have recently switched from a duplex reticle scope to one with a bdc. For all around use I use the duplex sighted for the mpbr principle if I expect shots to be 300 yards or less. For antelope hunting I have switched to the bdc for the even longer shots I might encounter.

Bot types have thier places and uses along with all the other different reticles that are available to you. Plan your type of hunting and what will work best and then practice to get used to it.

groovy mike's picture

Thanks guys

Thanks for the information and opinions guys.  I've never given a reticle much thought. I have bought scopes based on objective and magnification and just used whatevr it came with in the past.  I probably haven't used as many difefrent scopes as some of you so I don't have a lot of experience to judge one style against another.  That makes you comments and opinions pretty interesting to me. 

CVC's picture

While I can agree with the

While I can agree with the tip about shopping and purchasing a scope with the right reticle for you, I disagree with a couple of points you make.  One, the scopes intended for muzzle loaders with the bullet drop compensating features will not greatly reduce the sales appeal when you go to sell it.  Do you have any sales data to back up that statement?

Why would the reticle greatly reduce the sales appeal?  As long as there is a market for it, the sales appeal will be there. 

Also, the bullet drop compesnating scopes are not intended for incredibly long shots unless you consider 200-300 yards incredibly long.  Perhaps if you're used to shooting in the east or the south, it may sound long, but hunt out west and that is just an average shot.

I have them on my rifles and I love them.  With my simple 3x9 standard reticle scope I have to remember how high to hold over an animal at 300 yards and then pick a spot to hold.  With the my Leupold Boone and Crockett reticle scope, i simple lay the 300 yard hash mark on the animal where I want the bullet to impact and squeeze the trigger.

The cost for the upgraded reticle is not very much...about $80.  It is well worth the money.

So, again your tip that you should buy the scope best suited for you is a good one, just don't knock the bullet drop compensating scopes.  They are not a fad and really won't lose value.

jim boyd's picture

No - of course I do not have

No - of course I do not have actual sales data, but I will offer this as good evidence.

Try to sell your muzzleloader.

Try to sell it with or without the scope.

You just about can not do it - they have very little resale value when compared to a centerfire rifle (which, of course, also loses substantially).

The same will be true for a scope that is designed for a shotgun or muzzleloader - since they are specifically designed, the range of use for them is reduced and as such, so are their resale value.

As for a 300 yard shot, if you are talking modern centerfire rifles (and yes, I do consider a 300 yard shot a long shot), why would you need a ranging reticle?

If you know your MPBR and are using a fairly modern rifle - most have a MPBR or close to 300 yards - or even beyond that anyway...

Even the standard 30.06 with a 150 grain bullet at less than 3000 feet per second has a MPBR of 285 yards - and now days, that is a fairly pedestrian cartridge - would you not agree with that?

Look at the rifle you are trying to win - a 270 WSM - it is sending a 150 grain at 3200 FPS and has a MPBR of 314 yards.

Now - if you move out to 400 yards, I really consider this a long range shot.... and then the reticle does start to come into play... but I do consider this a long shot.

I think I will stand by my original statements in the hunting tip and would certainly encourage further feedback from you and also ask that any other readers weigh in with their thoughts.

CVC's picture

Jim, you're changing things

Jim, you're changing things up a bit.  Your tip said the reticle on the shotgun scope affected its resale value and now you suggesting that it is difficult to sell a muzzle loader with or without a scope.  Perhaps, it isn't the reticle of the scope that is affecting the resale, but the limited market for used muzzle loader scopes.  Have you compared the price of these used scopes to new ones to see if the value is really affected?  i do believe if you offer a muzzle loader scope without the BDC and one with, you will be more likely to seel the one with the BDC reticle because it is what people want today.  Here is link to another forum where they talk about Bushnell's DOA muzzle loader scope very favorably.

Okay, so the .30-06 has a mpbr of 285 yards.  This means that up to that distance you aim at the kill zone of the animal and you shoot hit it.  You do not know exactly where your bullet will impact, but up to that distance it should be in the kill zone.

Compare that with my scope and knowing it is 285 yards, I will put my 300 yard hash mark on the kill zone and know that my bullet will impact exactly where I am shooting.  Uh oh, that animal just moved out from 285 yards to 350 yards.  Using the MPBR method, he is out of my kill distance and I have to pass, but with my scope, I just use my 300 and 400 reticle hash marks and center the kill zone between them and perfect shot.  Theory?  Nope, did it in WY last year. 

Now, I am not criticizing those that use the MPBR method, but I am defending the BDC reticle.  I prefer it and believe they promote greater accuracy and allow longer shots which are needed out west.

So your tip about choosing which reticle is best for you is a good tip, but I   believe you're off-base when you criticize the BDC reticles and suggest that they negatively affect resale value.