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#6346272 - 06/24/16 12:14 PM Best article I've read on BDC reticles
booradley Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/20/11
Posts: 2095
Loc: Justin, TX
Championship Breeder: Belgian Airheads and Appalachian Pisshounds
Denton Chapter President - Peter Tork Fan Club

#6346287 - 06/24/16 12:37 PM Re: Best article I've read on BDC reticles [Re: booradley]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12499
Loc: Lewisville, TX
BDC reticles is like putting a band aid on learning how to shoot properly. BDC reticles teach you NOTHING about how to apply hold overs to other rifles. It only applies to that rifle, scope and ammo set up. Have I used them, yes. I like to think I'm a fairly advanced shooter, and it takes me a lot of range time and ammo to figure out my trajectory and hold points, which NEVER line up to what you hoped for. To the average shooter, it can easily be overwhelming.

Now, if you learned how to use mils, with a proper mil dot reticle, you can apply this to ALL your rifles and shooting. With a BDC reticle, it locks you into ONLY that one rifle, scope, and ammo set up. And it does nothing to allow you to carry this info over to other rifles and shooting.

BDC's work great for getting "close" to on target, which I use one for one of my AR's. From talking to many hunters and shooters, they are most confused with these type reticles. Once a few of them learn how to use mils, it's like a light bulb goes off, and they wonder why they didn't go to mils earlier.

Also, same story for the BDC type turrets. Shooters expect to dial to a 5 for 500 yards or a 6 for 600 yards, and they expect it to be dead on. If the environmental conditions you are shooting in are different from the BDC turret is calibrated for, the you WILL be off target. Out to about 300-400 yards, the turret will be close enough to still be killing an animal, even though you may impact a little high or low. But when you get out past 400, you better account for any difference in environmental conditions, or you will miss. And I have had upset customers wonder why they miss low or high on a target. Once I explain it to them, they change their mind on the BDC type turrets.

Quote from article:

" thereís a reason why BDC scopes fall short of absolute greatness for a lot of shooters. The main problem is that BDC reticles offer a generalization of bullet trajectory and can only estimate bullet drop in specific circumstances. This is because there are a ton of factors that determine a bulletís flight path. Things like muzzle velocity, bullet type, and altitude will affect how quickly a bullet drops as it flies downrange. This means that, to get the best performance out of your BDC scope, youíll have to use the same barrel length and bullet type that the scope was designed for, and, for maximum accuracy, youíll even need to shoot at the same altitude that the BDC was calibrated for due to differences in air density."

"if you want to push your BDC scope to the limit, youíll need to recalibrate your brain a little. The primary gripe that shooters have when it comes to BDC scopes is that the reticle doesnít accurately predict the strike of the round at distance. Due to the factors I previously listed, bullets might hit above or below the corresponding aiming point for a given extended range. The thing that most people overlook, though, is that the BDC is still a useful indicator of bullet trajectory; it just happens to be for a different distance than originally designed."


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Type 01 and Type 06 FFL

#6346299 - 06/24/16 12:56 PM Re: Best article I've read on BDC reticles [Re: booradley]
booradley Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/20/11
Posts: 2095
Loc: Justin, TX
I don't use BDC reticles either. I like the fact that the pros and cons were mentioned. So many people come in the store wanting a scope with a BDC. They think they can sight their rifles in at 100 yards and then are good to go out to 500 yards. When told they need to shoot at 200, 300, 400, etc. or the reticle is not going to be effective, they scoff most of the time. That's because cousin Billy Joe Bob mounted a BDC scope on a rifle and it was dead on from the get go at all aiming points on the reticle.
Championship Breeder: Belgian Airheads and Appalachian Pisshounds
Denton Chapter President - Peter Tork Fan Club

#6346420 - 06/24/16 02:54 PM Re: Best article I've read on BDC reticles [Re: booradley]
Nogalus Prairie Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 24021
Loc: Corsicana
Everybody wants the quick fix. Most companies are more than happy to indulge their fantasies for profit.
Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.

#6346747 - 06/24/16 07:59 PM Re: Best article I've read on BDC reticles [Re: Nogalus Prairie]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 24004
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Chad hit the nail on the head.

I will add, today I had a THF member out for "class 2". He literally showed up with the same rifle, ammo, and scope from class 1. He also had with him the DOPE chart I HAD WRITTEN DOWN! for him. We checked zero, then headed down the range shooting steel every 100. At 300 yards it impacted high, 400 high, 500 high. I said whoa, what's changed since the last time you shot with me? I looked at the chart I had written 16 months ago. Sure enough I added temp, DA, and wind speed/ direction. I asked what his powder charge was. Then I explained why it was hitting high.

The answered were:

When he came out the first time the barrel had only had 50 rounds on it, now it has 1200. I explained that the 6.5mm cartridges speed up about 200-250 rounds.

The temperature was lower last time you were out, and the air was more dense.

When I made this chart were you shooting suppressed?


Suppressors add speed, that's also causing high impacts.

So his known DOPE chart was based on a 140 gr @ 2700 fps MV. His powder charge and barrel length told me he should be 2800 by now. Sure enough I had him make adjustments based on 2800 fps MV and things started getting hit dead center.

Point being the fact the he is running a Mil scope means we can easily make adjustments to hit very small, very far, and do it at will. He hit 1 MOA steel from 300 to 800 yards all day long. That would be absolutely impossible with a BDC scope. Throw in any wind what so ever, and all bets are off.

BDC reticle give a false sense of security to the uneducated.

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#6346825 - 06/24/16 08:49 PM Re: Best article I've read on BDC reticles [Re: booradley]
Buzzsaw Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 12209
Loc: Frisco, Texas
I luv my sweet little BDC woot
"I ain't here for a long time, I'm here for a good time"
King George Strait

#6347480 - 06/25/16 04:20 PM Re: Best article I've read on BDC reticles [Re: booradley]
603Country Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 6092
Loc: Central Texas
It's a miracle that I didn't starve to death all those years I didn't have a turreted scope.

I do think BDC scopes only have one really useful dot (or line), and that's the 400 yard dot. You don't need BDC at 300 or less, and BDC isn't accurate enough to be useful past 450 or so. And if a fellow is going to use BDC, download an app (iStrelok is the one I use) to tell you what range the dots are good for. And for that you need MV and BC. And you need a rangefinder.

BDC, as I see it, is purely for hunting, and if your deer shots are 300 yards or less, as I think they should be, you don't need BDC and you sure don't need turrets. As for shooting way out there, the turret cranking guys can shoot with precision at serious distance. You can't do that with BDC. But, I have BDC scopes, and if I see a coyote at 400 and know it to be 400, I'm pretty confident taking the shot. If the coyote is at 500, I have to pass on the shot unless I have the 260 with the turreted scope.

#6349167 - 06/27/16 09:45 AM Re: Best article I've read on BDC reticles [Re: booradley]
fr3db3ar Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 02/08/15
Posts: 394
Loc: Holland, MI
I have BDC on several of my scopes as well as mil dot. I don't trust that zero at 100 = 2,3 4 and 5 will be one. I shoot to test, that makes the BDC for that bullet for that rifle more accurate than I'm going to be.

They're not for everybody but they do have a place in the hunting world.

#6349820 - 06/27/16 07:13 PM Re: Best article I've read on BDC reticles [Re: booradley]
Gravytrain Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 25703
Loc: Rowlett, Tx
I think they are fine under 300y on medium game shoulder shots, not head shots past zero.

But if you are varminting at long ranges, it's not what you need.

Edited by Gravytrain (06/27/16 07:16 PM)

#6350198 - 06/28/16 06:43 AM Re: Best article I've read on BDC reticles [Re: booradley]
jhenderson Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 5903
Loc: Lake dallas
I don't like the bdc scopes. Period. Used them before and they are not accurate atleast to me. Maybe for what ever caliber at x grain from brand ? But I've never found one to be on past what ever zero was.


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