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Old 08-16-2012, 07:26 PM
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What distance to zero a mil-dot scope?

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I have a fixed 10x mil-dot scope. What is the recommended distance to zero the scope? I have read a bit about MPBR so you don't have to play around with hold over much but if you have a scope with turrets, where is the best place to zero. Do you zero at 100 yards and then use the turrets from there? Select 300 yards? I purchased a mil-dot master, so I think I can figure out how to adjust regardless of a 100 or 300 yard zero but was just wondering what is common practice, if there is such a thing.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:58 PM
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Have a few scopes with mill dots but never use them. Always without exception zero my rifles 2 inches high at 100yrds and therefore they will kill everything out to a touch over 200 without me having to hold off or whatever. Now if you are shooting long range small varmints then more precision may be needed and therefore I would say you need to start at the minimum distance you will shoot at and work from there using the mill dot system. An inch either way even on a fox out at 250yrds is not going to make any difference based on my way of doing things and 250 is pretty far out for where I shoot.
The one time I shot those little prairie rats in Wyoming my guide would not let me shoot anything under 300,said anything under was his breeding stock :-) , so I zeroed my 17 Rem to that distance and held over from there on. Have to say got bored after about 50 rounds, not my scene.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:55 AM
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It really doesn't matter, other than what you are going to be doing with it.
My 308 is my 1,000 yard shooter. I have it zeroed at 500, WHY? Because, that simple.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:40 PM
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I have two scopes with Mil-Dots and I use them like a normal scope. Like Sus said, zero them at 200 and know what the holdovers are at the range I'm shooting. Might be leaving something on the table but I like simple.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:10 PM
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I hardly doubt if there is any "common practice". You didn't say what rifle the scope was on or what you were going to use it for (hunting, target practice - what distance?)

I would suggest that you answer the question above to give people a better idea of what you are doing, or evaluate what you are doing and come up with what works best for you.

I shoot about 95% target practice on paper from 100 yards to 450 yards. I set my rifle at 100 yards since that is a majority of my shooting and adjust the turrets as required for longer shooting. For my purposes, I couldn't care less what any one else does, I do what works for me.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:03 PM
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The scope will sit on a Savage 7mm Rem. Mag and be used for some long range shooting on hogs.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:19 PM
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Is this an SS scope? Do your clicks match your reticle hash marks? IOW, since your scope is mil-dot, are your clicks mils? Do you anticipate having at least a little bit of time to set up and prepare for shots? If yes to all, or even just to #3, I'd say zero at 100 and click for range.

Or, if your clicks aren't reliable, or if your clicks don't match the reticle and/or you struggle to remember the math to do the clicks (and don't have time to consult the mil-dot master in the field (I have one, but bought a scope whose clicks match the hash marks to eliminate all that garbage)), then just zero at a distance you're comfortable with and use the mil dots to help you hold over.

Like Darkker said, it doesn't really matter that much. Do what works for you.
"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." --Gerald Ford
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:14 AM
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The magnification that your scopes Mill Dot Retical is accurate at depends on the individual scope and or scope type.
First focal plane scopes with Mill Dots are acurate at any magnification, that's the object of the first focal plane design. Second focal plane scopes are accurate at one or more magnification depending on scope make and or model.
Many are accurate at 10 x and may have a "M" on the magnification ring at that setting.
Some some second focal plane scopes for example may be accurate at 10 and 20X with the Mill Radian values double at 20X.
If you cant get that info from the owners manual, many scope manufacturers may have that info available on thier web sites.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:13 AM
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The 7mm RM will zero at 200 with a good 150gr bullet,drop 6"@300, 18"@400, and 36"@500.The 7RM is the only high powered rifle round I ever shot when a youngster. Then I found a better round,I retired the old RM, for the Shooting Times Westerner...........just from my experience and my .02
It's better to have it,and not need it,than to need it,and not have it!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:17 PM
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Not sure how much time you expect to have to dial in a hog, but there's a good chance by the time you did all the necessary steps, the hog will be gone.

I zero my 7mm Mag at 250 yards, that keeps it pretty close to the 3" window for the bullet arc out to almost 300 yards. That way, you can pretty much hold on target from 0 - 300 yards. If I want to shoot his eyes out, I know how much to allow for the rise and drop when closer or farther than the 250 zero. I prefer MOA recticle over mil-dot but either way, I only use the recticle to guage distance and then just hold over for that distance. I do enough long range shooting that works best for me

Now, with that said, I've taught my granddaugher to use a dope sheet and dial in the scope, but she's using a laser range finder. I haven't taught her to use the MOA recticles in her scope yet.

Last edited by BKeith; 10-15-2012 at 05:30 PM.
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