Originally Posted by ranger_sxt
Since I don't use my rifle to hunt with, I really have no idea what your babbling about. I also don't do much long-range, but I do seem to remember that a mil-dot scope is quite easy to use to estimate distance, even on targets that are not human. If you have a general idea on the size of your target, you can make them work. I am lacking in this skill, mostly because I don't see a need for shooting anything that far out, so perhaps someone else could counter your ramblings better.
Yeah bro, I can take a stab at it, as I have a bit of training with the thing. I do own one, and I do have it mounted on my .308, which was purpose built for Urban work - not for hunting. I don't personally advocate using it for a hunting scope, because it's a busy reticle package if you aren't real familiar with it.
The mil-dot is basically a set of small circles aligned vertically & horizontally in the reticle to represent distance, and compensate for it, without making adjustments to your rifle scope.
The thing with the Mil-Dot that causes a lot of problems is that one single circle, "one" of the vertical or horizontal dots, is actually equal to almost dead nuts on 1 yard at 1,000 yards, or 1 meter at 1,000 meters. The math works out damn near perfectly for both, so who ever came up with it, was a lot smarter than the guys I went to school with.
So, if you have any known size - a fence post, the width of an animals' chest, the height of the animal in question, pretty much anything, you can make a pretty damn good estimate as to the range.
The formula is:
The Measured Object’s Width
Or Height In Yards x 1000 = RANGE IN YARDSObject’s Width Or Height In Mils
This will work for meters too, but you have to do all the math in meters, instead of yards. It's a direct conversion.
So, say you know that a stump in your line of sight/hunting field of view is 3 feet tall, for the sake of easy internet math.
Height ( 3 feet - so 1 yard ) times 1000 = 1000
Now, you put the crosshairs on the fence post and it measures 2 Mils ( again, for the ease of internet math )
Height in Mils = 2
1000 ( height ) divided by 2 ( height in Mils ) equals a distance of 500 yards from you.
You can do these measurements on the fly with just about any known size.
Know how big a pop can is that is laying in the field? Do the math.
Know the size of the pumpkin across the way? Do the math.
Know the height of the "leader" ( I mean shooting dummy
) across the plaza? Do the math.
Known size, in yards ( or meters ) times by 1,000 then divide by the number of mils in your scope. ( 6 feet tall? 2 yards tall - times by 1,000 equals 2,000. Measures 8 mils in the scope? He's 250 Yards away. )
It's not rocket science and it's a pretty great tool, but it's not for a novice and you have to practice with it to get the best use out of the thing.
Now, a lot of commercial variable power rifle scopes have an indexing mark on them to identify their preferred usage power to align things correctly. You have to factor that in, because if you don't, your measurements will be way off.
When I first got mine, I bought one of these handy calculators
which allowed me an endless source of practice runs without having to worry about doing it wrong. Make your measurements, do the math, then check with the handy pocket guide. You don't even need to be at the range. After about, oh, I don't know, 500 trial runs, I got to the point where I was pretty familiar with the process.