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iowajohn 06-23-2009 08:37 PM

Milldot or BDC with rangerfinder?
I was curious if anyone has insight on hunting with a mildot scope.

1) I know with mildot you can calculate distances and thus be able to compensate for your bullet drop but how practical is this in the field?

2) Would it be easier to just a get a BDC scope and use a range finder?

3) Could you use a cheap golf range finder to get your distances?

I am going to be mostly deer hunting and plan to go with a 3-9X on top of my 30/06.

Dillinger 06-23-2009 09:11 PM

Welcome to the Community John -

For hunting, at most realistic distances, you don't need either. A 3 x 9 scope is only going to let you shoot so far, and Minute of Deer is a pretty big friggin target. If you miss your hold by 1.5" - you are probably still going to kill the beast.

Mil-Dot's are timely to learn to use and they are painful when you first start out. They have been surpassed by about a dozen new reticles.

BDC's are nice, but really, in the hunting realm, you aren't doing a sniper match where you need to instantly make a distance determination, compensate and pull the trigger.

Try this:

Zero your rifle for an AVERAGE of what you think you will likely encounter your animal of prey at. Just an average distance. Could be anything. 90 Yards. 63 yards. Whatever. Zero your rifle there.

Now, take a piece of white medical tape and wrap it around the top of your elevation knob. Mark your zero with a "Z" and a line that cooresponds with your Zero Elevation

Bag the rifle in place and set a target out at a reasonable increment distance from your zero. For easy math, let's say 90 yards is your base and you want another one 30 yards beyond that. You set a target at 120 yards, zero the rifle at that distance, put a mark on the white tape that cooresponds with that elevation setting.

Do the same thing for a closer shot. Say 50 yards is a "close" shot by you. Set a target at 50 yards, bang an "X" ring with the elevation knob turned down low enough, make a mark on the tape again.

Repeat as you feel necessary, but you effectively have a BDC for your rifle, with your ammo, in your chosen settings, so when you see that big buck, and you estimate the distance, you crank in the elevation on the knob to the pre-determined number and squeeze. :D

Pretty easy huh?


skullcrusher 06-23-2009 09:59 PM

That, JD is very well thought out. The problem may be with movement and sound. It is amazing how well deer see movement and hear even the slightest sound *click* that is not a sound they hear commonly in the woods.

I believe in Iowa, there are plenty of long shot opportunities and John has said that he will be mounting on a .30-06.

I believe it comes down to knowing your ammo drop at longer distances. If a range finder is used, it is easy to judge elevation. If he sights the rifle about 2" high at 100 yds, he should be good dead on at 250 yds or so, depending on the ammo. Just knowing the capabilities of the ammo is all he should need.

Your idea is a great solution for anyone who would have the time to adjust a scope while hunting, but there are few times when the deer just stands there long enough for someone to make scope adjustments. Those opportunities are few and far between in my experience. :)

mrm14 06-23-2009 10:47 PM

If your going to hunt with a Mil Dot scope it works out well for long range ethical shots. There is known average sizes of deer body parts that help you determine size that fill the Mil Dots for yardage to target. You won't have to do the math if you have a device such as the Mildot Master slide rule type device, and it's pretty quick to determine range for your target. This slide rule type device costs about $30.00 and is well worth the minor investment if you use a Mil Dot scope to hunt. You will have to know your ballistics for your ammo to really get this type of system to work well. If you know the ballistics well of your ammo this is a good system for long range ethical hunting shots. The laser range finder is a good device to have if you hunt long range with other reticle type scopes, paticullary if you use a scope with hold points for different yardage, but you dont need one if you have and know how to use Mil Dot scopes.

If you are taking game at long range the key word here is ethical shots.

I use and have used milled glass with milled windage and elevation knobs to match the glass that I'm shooting with. It works out quite quicker than using MOA knobs on your scope and then to convert from Mill Dot to MOA with the slide rule device that you can buy. The Mildot masters slide rule will calcuate your bullet drop even for the use of milled knobs, which is a good thing.

Any how thats my 2 cents worth.

Dillinger 06-24-2009 02:47 PM


Originally Posted by skullcrusher (Post 120854)
Your idea is a great solution for anyone who would have the time to adjust a scope while hunting, but there are few times when the deer just stands there long enough for someone to make scope adjustments. Those opportunities are few and far between in my experience. :)

I would agree if you are going on a true creep and just suddenly came across an animal at an unknown distance.

However, most of the people in this neck of the woods don't creep. They find a place and camp out, maybe patrol a bit from here to here, but they stay in a known distance area and can set the scope for that distance.

We aren't talking about trying to his the Golden Triangle like a sniper would have too. The kill zone on a deer is quite larger than 2" x 3" - you know.

A .30-06 isn't going to suddenly drop for -3" of impact to -164" of impact from 100 to 150 yards. :D

What the hell is the kill zone of a broad sized shot on an average deer?

My boss has killed just about everything on this planet, so I will ask him later on and get back to you, but I am betting it's as big as a large coffee can.

My point coensides with yours, in that the hunter should know drops for his ammo from various distances, which can quite easily be rolled into the simple tape trick during pre-hunt trips to the range. Set up one target, click in one known distance, then practice a hold over and a hold under. make a mental note and go from there.

I was merely trying to point out that your average hunter doesn't need to drop $1800 on a range finding system that is actually designed for hunting men, which are a tad cagier than your average deer. :D

But, that is just one non-hunters opinion....


Dillinger 06-24-2009 08:23 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Alright, let's get down to brass tacks here.

I spent some time with the boss. He's 60 - and he has killed everything that walks or flies all over the world. Been to Africa twice, spent 18 months in Alaska on Kodiak Island, goes every year on guided hunts, the whole nine.

His name is Don Rose, and he was published in June or July of 2007 in the Eastman's Hunting Journal for a story called "The Perfect Elk Hunt' - The picture below is a very poor attempt to show the story hanging in his office. The bull he nailed on this outing was a 10 year old 6x7 that grossed 355 (2/8) B&C. That is a pretty impressive score, even though he lost points for symmetry.

He also held two world records for bench rest shooting. 600 yards and 1000 yards for tightest overall groups.

Basically, when the guy talks about shooting, I listen because he knows what he is talking about.

He has about a dozen hunting rifles, and NONE of them have anything larger than a vari-x III 3.5 x 10 on them. He has a Boone & Crockett reticle in several of them, but he has NO high power scopes on his hunting guns.

What he told me is that he zeros everything he carries at 200 yards and he knows where his bullets hit based on 100 and 300 yards, so he makes all the corrections with hold ( ups or downs ) with the basic reticle.

Now, as for the kill zone on an "average" Northern American Deer that he has hunted, his response was "If the guy is on a paper pie plate at 200 with more than one shot, he can kill a deer if he just applies some basic shooting skill."

Now, I asked him to represent what he meant by a paper pie plate and he called me a name I won't repeat, but essentially, he is talking about an 8" pie plate.

So, at 200 yards, Minute of Angle would be a 2" grouping. Minute of Deer is apparently FOUR TIMES that size with the ability to kill an "average" deer if you just do your part.....

So, you don't need a fancy, hi power, super expensive scope with a Sniper's Reticle to hunt with - all you need is a good, clear scope, some range time and some patience on the hunt.


skullcrusher 06-24-2009 09:00 PM

I was not arguing with you at all, JD. I was offering a different point of view. Range finders can be bought for $150. I am not a fan of spending alot of money on a scope, as good ones can be had for less than $300. I was saying what your boss was saying, know the sight in distance (some guys sight high at 100 yds, others will go dead on at 200 yds), bullet capabilities and just crosshair up or down visually. I do almost all of my hunting from ground blinds and tree stands. We have big deer in Southern Ohio. Because of the heavily wooded and hilly country, glassing and stalking is almost nonexistent. That is all. :D

mrm14 06-25-2009 03:07 AM

Leupold VXIII 4.5-14X40mm Boone and Crocket Ballistic Aiming System.

I use Mil Dot scopes for target shooting, and have used them before only a couple of times for hunting. I even question the use of Mil Dot scopes for targets of known range.

Last year I bought the above mentioned scope and it is the way to go for hunting game IMO.

My prior post to your thread was in response if you already had the Mil Dot scope and wanted to hunt with it.

matt g 06-25-2009 05:11 AM

Look at Pride and Fowler's Rapid Reticle if you absolutely have to run a ranging reticle. I'll have a range report on them in a couple of months if you can wait that long.

SEI has the best prices that I've found so far:

jng2985 06-25-2009 05:28 AM

well said by every one, my only downfall I see with BDC scopes, "mine nikon 3x9x on a 30-06" is that you "I" might tend to over compensate. Causing me to inevitably hit high.. The longest shot i will be taking " in my norm" is 150yrds and the BDC really doesn't help. Now if i was sighted in at 100yrds and was somewhere I needed to shoot 200-500 yrds I will feel 110% about the distance.

IMO the more you can shoot the better you feel so with or without BDC will do fine.

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