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July 26th, 2021

How to Range Targets with MIL-Reticle Optics

NRA Video Milrad MIL mil-dot range reticle

MIL-system scopes are popular with tactical shooters. One advantage of MIL scopes is that the mil-dot divisions in the reticle can be used to estimate range to a target. If you know the actual size of a target, you can calculate the distance to the target relatively easily with a mil-based ranging reticle. Watch this helpful NRA video to see how this is done:

Milliradian Definition and Yardage Ranging Formula
“MIL” or “Milrad” is short-hand for Milliradian, a unit of angular measurement. The subtension of 1 mil equals 3.6 inches at 100 yards or 36 inches at 1,000 yards. (In metric units, 1 mil equals 10 centimeters at 100 meters or 1 meter at 1,000 meters.) Knowing this subtension and knowing the size of the target (or a reference object near the target) allows the distance to the target to be estimated with considerable accuracy. The formula used to calculate range (in yards) based on MIL measurement is:

Height of Target in inches (divided by 36) x 1000, divided by the number of mils.

NRA Video Milrad MIL mil-dot range reticle

For example, if a 14″ tall target spans 3 mils from top to bottom, the distance is 129.67 yards calculated as follows: 14/36 x 1000 = 389, then divided by 3 = 129.67. You can also use a different conversion to find distance in meters.

Can You Estimate Range with an MOA-Marked Reticle? Yes You Can…
Reader Josh offers this handy advice: “It worth noting that the ability to measure range is not unique to mil-based systems. A MIL is just another unit for measuring angles, and any angular measurement will work. Considering that just about everybody knows that 1 MOA is about an inch per hundred yards, similar formulae can be developed for ranging with MOA marks. The advantage with mils is the precise relationship between units — the MOA-inch measurement is imprecise (being off by 0.047″) — so in principle MILs are a better unit”.

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April 19th, 2020

Vortex Ranging Reticle Eyepieces for Viper HD Spotting Scopes

Vortex ranging MRAD MOA reticle subtension hash marks NRL PRS hunting

Here’s a new option for hunters and tactical competitors who want to range targets and call windage/elevation corrections using their spotting scopes. Vortex is now offering Reticle Eyepieces for its Viper HD spotting scopes. Available in both MRAD and MOA versions, these fixed-power 33.5X eyepieces feature ranging reticles with handy hash marks. This allows target ranging, plus competitors can “make accurate shot calls… with subtension lines for holdover and windage corrections.”

Vortex states: “The all-new eyepiece makes measuring target range and calling shot corrections easy, with a diopter ring that allows shooters to get the reticle dialed to their eyes, and level with the horizon line, no matter how their scope is setup.”

Vortex ranging MRAD MOA reticle subtension hash marks NRL PRS hunting

Powering the new eyepiece is a fixed, 33.5X magnification ocular lens. This provided plenty of power most hunting and competition scenarios. The eyepiece glass is protected with ArmorTek and XR lens coatings. These easily-installed ranging eyepieces, both MRAD and MOA, are designed for a wide field of view so user won’t miss a single vapor trail or bullet splash.

Vortex ranging MRAD MOA reticle subtension hash marks NRL PRS hunting

Ranging MRAD — Hashmarked ranging reticle using MRAD-based subtension lines for ranging, holdover, and windage corrections. Secondary ranging references facilitate rapid range estimating.

Vortex ranging MRAD MOA reticle subtension hash marks NRL PRS hunting

Ranging MOA — Hashmarked ranging reticle using MOA-based subtension lines for ranging, holdover, and windage corrections. Secondary ranging references facilitate rapid range estimating.

These eyepieces have fixed, 33.5-power magnification. “Street Price” is about $200.00.

$289.00 – Viper Reticle Eyepiece MRAD ($199.00 on Amazon; $289.00 MSRP)
$289.00 – Viper Reticle Eyepiece MOA ($199.00 on Amazon; $289.00 MSRP)

CLICK HERE for eyepiece specs and larger views of ranging reticles. For information on all Vortex Viper HD spotting scopes, visit VortexOptics.com.

Permalink New Product, Optics, Tactical No Comments »