February 1st, 2020

Varminters’ Debate — Cranking Elevation or Holding Over/Under

IOR Scope elevation knob one revolution

Leuopold Varmint Hunters' ReticleA varmint shooter’s target is not conveniently placed at a fixed, known distance as it is for a benchrester. The varminter must repeatedly make corrections for bullet drop as he moves from closer targets to more distant targets and back again. Click HERE to read an interesting Varmint Forum discussion regarding the best method to adjust for elevation. Some shooters advocate using the scope’s elevation adjustments. Other varminters prefer to hold-over, perhaps with the assistance of vertical markers on their reticles. Still others combine both methods–holding off to a given yardage, then cranking elevation after that.

Majority View–Click Your Scope
“I zero at 100 yards — I mean really zero as in check the ballistics at 200 and 300 and adjust zero accordingly — and then set the scope zero. For each of my groundhog guns I have a click chart taped into the inside of the lid of the ammo box. Then use the knobs. That’s why they’re there. With a good scope they’re a whole lot more accurate than hold-over, with or without hash marks. This all assumes you have a good range finder and use it properly. If not, and you’re holding over you’re really just spraying and praying. Try twisting them knobs and you’ll most likely find that a 500- or 600- or 700-yard groundhog is a whole lot easier than some people think.” — Gunamonth

Varmint hunter 22 BR elevation scope hold-over

“I have my elevation knob calibrated in 100-yard increments out to 550. Range-find the critter, move elevation knob up…dead critter. The problem with hold-over is that it is so imprecise. It’s not repeatable because you are holding over for elevation and for wind also. Every time you change targets 50 yards, it seems as if you are starting over. As soon as I got completely away from the hold over method (I used to zero for 200), my hit ratios went way up.” — K. Candler

“When I first started p-dog shooting, I attempted to use the hold-over method with a 200-yard zero with my 6mm Rem. Any dog much past 325-350 yards was fairly safe. I started using a comeups table for all three of my p-dog rifles (.223 Rems and 6mm Rem). 450-yard hits with the .223s are fairly routine and a 650-yard dog better beware of the 6mm nowadays. An added benefit (one I didn’t think of beforehand) with the comeups table (elevation only), is that when the wind is blowing, it takes half of the variables out of the equation. I can concentrate on wind, and not have to worry about elevation. It makes things much more simple.” — Mike (Linefinder).

“I dial for elevation and hold for wind. Also use a mil-dot reticle to make the windage holds easier. For windage corrections, I watch for the bullet strike measure the distance it was “off” with the mil-dot reticle, then hold that much more the other way. Very fast once you get used to it.” — PepeLP

Varmint Hunting ScopeMinority View–Hold-Over is Better
“I try to not touch my knobs once I’m zeroed at 200 meters. Most of my varmint scopes have duplex reticles and I use the bottom post to put me on at 300 meters versus turning knobs. The reason I try to leave my knobs alone is that I have gone one complete revolution up or down [too far] many times and have missed the varmint. This has happened more than once and that is why I try not to change my knobs if at all possible.” — Chino69

“I have been using the hold over method and it works for me most of the time but the 450 yards and over shots get kinda hard. I moved to a 300 yard zero this year and it’s working well. I do want to get into the click-up method though; it seems to be more fool-proof.” — 500YardHog

Compromise View–Use Both Methods
“I use both [methods] as well — hold over out to 250, and click up past that.” — Jack (Wolf)

“I use the target knobs and crank-in elevation. I also use a rangefinder and know how far away they are before I crank in the clicks. I have a scope with drop dots from Premier Recticle and like it. No cranking [knobs] out to 600.” –Vmthtr

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Optics, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 18th, 2018

The Varminters’ Great Debate — Hold-Over vs. Crank Elevation

varmint scope IOR elevation hold-over prairie dog accuracy

Leuopold Varmint Hunters' ReticleA varmint shooter’s target is not conveniently placed at a fixed, known distance as it is for a benchrester. The varminter must repeatedly make corrections for bullet drop as he moves from closer targets to more distant targets and back again. Click HERE to read an interesting AccurateShooter Varrmint Forum discussion regarding the best method to adjust for elevation. Some shooters advocate using the scope’s elevation adjustments. Other varminters prefer to hold-over, perhaps with the assistance of vertical markers on their reticles. Still others combine both methods–holding off to a given yardage, then cranking elevation after that.

Majority View — Click Your Elevation Knob
“I zero at 100 yards — I mean really zero as in check the ballistics at 200 and 300 and adjust zero accordingly — and then set the scope zero. For each of my groundhog guns I have a click chart taped into the inside of the lid of the ammo box. Then use the knobs. That’s why they’re there. With a good scope they’re a whole lot more accurate than hold-over, with or without hash marks. This all assumes you have a good range finder and use it properly. If not, and you’re holding over you’re really just spraying and praying. Try twisting them knobs and you’ll most likely find that a 500- or 600- or 700-yard groundhog is a whole lot easier than some people think.”
– Gunamonth

“I have my elevation knob calibrated in 100-yard increments out to 550. Range-find the critter, move elevation knob up…dead critter. The problem with hold-over is that it is so imprecise. It’s not repeatable because you are holding over for elevation and for wind also. Every time you change targets 50 yards, it seems as if you are starting over. As soon as I got completely away from the hold over method (I used to zero for 200), my hit ratios went way up.” — K. Candler

“When I first started p-dog shooting, I attempted to use the hold-over method with a 200-yard zero with my 6mm Rem. Any dog much past 325-350 yards was fairly safe. I started using a comeups table for all three of my p-dog rifles (.223 Rems and 6mm Rem). 450-yard hits with the .223s are fairly routine and a 650-yard dog better beware of the 6mm nowadays. An added benefit (one I didn’t think of beforehand) with the comeups table (elevation only), is that when the wind is blowing, it takes half of the variables out of the equation. I can concentrate on wind, and not have to worry about elevation. It makes things much more simple.” — Mike (Linefinder).

“I dial for elevation and hold for wind. Also use a mil-dot reticle to make the windage holds easier. For windage corrections, I watch for the bullet strike measure the distance it was “off” with the mil-dot reticle, then hold that much more the other way. Very fast once you get used to it.” — PepeLP

Varmint Hunting ScopeMinority View–Hold-Over is Better
“I try to not touch my knobs once I’m zeroed at 200 meters. Most of my varmint scopes have duplex reticles and I use the bottom post to put me on at 300 meters versus turning knobs. The reason I try to leave my knobs alone is that I have gone one complete revolution up or down [too far] many times and have missed the varmint. This has happened more than once and that is why I try not to change my knobs if at all possible.” — Chino69

“I have been using the hold over method and it works for me most of the time but the 450 yards and over shots get kinda hard. I moved to a 300 yard zero this year and it’s working well. I do want to get into the click-up method though; it seems to be more fool-proof.” — 500YardHog

Compromise View–Use Both Methods
“I use both [methods] as well — hold over out to 250, and click up past that.” — Jack (Wolf)

“I use the target knobs and crank-in elevation. I also use a rangefinder and know how far away they are before I crank in the clicks. I have a scope with drop dots from Premier Recticle and like it. No cranking [knobs] out to 600.” –Vmthtr

Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting, Optics 4 Comments »
December 15th, 2013

New MOA-Based TS-32X1 Reticle from Leupold

Leupold MOA holdoff reticel ts-32x1Leupold has just introduced a new second focal plane reticle with MOA-based hashmarks, allowing precise hold-overs and hold-offs (for wind). The new TS-32X1 reticle, is a minute-of-angle (MOA) based system designed to allow for precision shots without the need for dial adjustments. The TS-32X1 reticle is designed to work with riflescopes that employ 1/4-MOA target adjustments or M1 dials.

The TS-32X1 is the first in a family of MOA-based reticles that will cover several magnification ranges. The TS-32X1 will be available for a wide variety of Leupold riflescopes. For $159.99, the Leupold Custom Shop can also retrofit this reticle into many existing Leupold scopes. Adding the TS-32X1 to a new riflescope ordered through the Custom Shop will cost $129.99.

Leupold MOA holdoff reticel ts-32x1

MOA-Based Hashmarks on Horizontal and Vertical Stadia
On the TS-32X1 reticle, a heavy post and thin stadia crosshair features 1-MOA hashmarks on both the horizontal and vertical lines. Every other hash mark on the horizontal stadia is slightly longer, providing quick and easy 2-MOA measurements. There is a number placed every fourth MOA for quick reference.

The vertical stadia is also set up with 1-MOA tics and longer 2-MOA marks. In addition, every fourth mark is numbered, all the way to the complete 32-MOA elevation range. Wind dots in the lower half of the reticle are spaced in 2=MOA increments, both vertically and horizontally.

This new TS-32X1 reticle is currently available for most second (rear) focal plane VX-3, VX-III, Vari-X III and Mark 4 4.5-14 LR/T riflescopes. Existing riflescopes can be retrofitted for $159.99 through the Leupold Custom Shop. To add the TS-32X1 to a new riflescope ordered through the Custom Shop is $129.99.

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Optics 4 Comments »
October 7th, 2013

New Bushnell Scope Has BDC Reticle Calibrated for .22 LR Ammo

Bushnell .22 LR BDC rifle scope 3-7x32Here’s a new scope that may be well-suited for short-range varmint hunting (for smaller critters) and for rimfire tactical matches. Bushnell has released a new, affordable 2-7x32mm variable rifle scope with a Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC) reticle configured for the .22 LR rimfire cartridge. Anyone who has shot the .22 LR past 50 yards knows that this round drops a lot in a short distance. The “Drop Zone” BDC reticle, with multiple aiming points out to 125 yards, helps you stay on target. The reticle is calibrated for 38-40 grain, .22 LR high-velocity loads, with a 50-yard zero. This new scope, part of Bushnell’s AR line of scopes, features a 1″ main tube, target-style turrets, and side-focus parallax adjustment. MSRP is $149.99, but web vendors have lower prices. Amazon.com sells the scope for $131.23 with free shipping for Prime Members.

Bushnell .22 LR BDC rifle scope 3-7x32
Permalink New Product 4 Comments »
February 26th, 2013

Using the NP-2DD Reticle — F-TR Champ Danny Biggs Explains

The Nightforce NP-2DD (Double Dot) reticle is popular with both match shooters and long-range varminters. The uncluttered reticle gives you an unobstructed view of the target — and that’s especially important for 1000-yard shooting. You can also use the “gap” between center dot and horizontal lines to judge wind hold-off (this “gap” is 1.1 MOA at 42X and 2.0 MOA at 22X). Some guys use the lower dot for hold-overs when shooting at different distances. At 22X the second dot is 8 MOA lower than the top dot. At full 42X power, the lower dot is 4.3 MOA lower than the top dot.

Nightforce NP-2DD reticle

Clicking Elevation vs. Hold-Over with Double Dots
Danny Biggs F-ClassIf you have a Nightforce scope with NP-2DD reticle should you click for elevation changes, or hold-over using the second dot? The answer is: “It depends”. Danny Biggs, multi-time U.S. F-Class F-TR National Champion, offered this advice is our Shooters’ Forum: “There is nothing wrong with [using] the NP-2DD ‘over and under’ dots. Try it, and if it works for you, fine. However [in most situations] I would not bother to use it. Rather, I just click up/down the elevation going from 600 to 1,000 yards.

There is one exception though where I regularly use the lower dot! That is for 1,200-yard shooting — a fad at the Midwest Palma Championships held annually up at Lodi, WI. Here I fully employ [the hold-over method].

Following the 1,000-yard match, I click up 2-3 minutes of elevation depending on the load being used for my 7mm RSAUM, go to 42 power, and use the ‘lower’ dot. For me, the lower (and smaller diameter dot) at 42 power provides a preferable aiming dot for the much diminished size/appearance (at 1200) of the 1,000-yard target face. In this instance, I’m really not too lazy to just ‘click up’. By using the smaller aiming dot I ‘uncover’ the 10/X rings as much as possible as they are obscured by the larger upper dot. [This also allows] a better hold on the rings horizontally for windage purposes.” — Danny

Nightforce NP-2DD reticle

Permalink Competition, Optics 1 Comment »
January 19th, 2010

Burris "Eliminator" LaserScope Automatically Sets Aim Point for Ranged Target Distance

Today at the SHOT Show’s “Media Day at the Range”, Burris gave us a glimpse of the future in hunting optics. The new Burris Eliminator scope will range your target, calculate your trajectory, and illuminate a spot on the reticle that becomes your aimpoint at extended range. We could write a treatise on the Eliminator’s breakthrough technology, but all you really need to know is that after you range your target with the scope, a red dot appears on the vertical crosshair that is the correct aiming point for your ranged distance. The ballistics “hold-over” is already calculated. Just put the calculated red dot on the target, and pull the trigger. It’s that simple.

Burris Eliminator LaserScope

The new “Eliminator” scope is being introduced as a 4-12x42mm optic, for an expected $850.00 street price. The laser is activated with a simple push-button on the left side of the scope, and also comes with a remote switch that you can attach to the rifle in a more convenient position allowing the laser to be activated while maintaining the aim of the rifle. In the above photo you can see the remote switch on the objective end of the scope.

Burris Eliminator LaserScope

Burris Eliminator LaserScope

Once the target range is acquired, the range displays for about 10 seconds and the illuminated aiming dot remains illuminated for 70 seconds. The illumination clock allows plenty of time to pull off a good shot, yet saves battery life.

So how does the Burris LaserScope calculate the appropriate trajectory of your load? The software in the scope contains a database of hundreds of factory-loaded cartridges and even calculates handload trajectories using two (2) user-provided data points. The user inputs the zero range (100 or 200 yards) along with the inches of drop at 500 yards. The 500-yard drop is best found by real world shooting, not by using a calculated trajectory approximation from a ballistic program. The scope’s software then uses the zero-distance and the 500-yard drop figure to extrapolate the entire trajectory.

YouTube Preview Image

While shooting this scope on a Tikka 7mm-08, we successfully engaged targets from 350-570 yards that were approximately the size of a whitetail deer’s vitals area. Seeing how the conditions were not very conducive to accurate shooting with rain and a 5-15 mph switchy wind, we were impressed with the results.

For those that hunt or shoot out to about 600 yards or so, this scope will definitely speed up the process of pulling off an accurate long range shot. In a matter of seconds, you can locate a target, range it, and engage it. There is no time wasted fumbling with a separate laser rangefinder, no time wasted looking at a drop chart, and no time wasted clicking in the appropriate amount of elevation. As long as you can get a range on your target, the only thing left to worry about is the wind! This scope is obviously not for everyone, but we are confident that many hunters can benefit from this remarkable new technology.

Burris Eliminator Specs:
Click value 1/4″ at 100 yards
Weight 26 ounces; length 13″
Eye Relief 3-3.5″
Elevation Travel 50″
Laser range 550-800 yards based on reflectivity

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product, News, Optics 6 Comments »