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Mildot reticles for prairie dogs ?

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Hammer1 View Drop Down
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    Posted: February/23/2008 at 13:16
Where does a mildot reticle fit into the prairie dog scene ?
 
Some claim the mildot reticle covers up too much of the target, epsecially when only a dog head is peaking out of a hole.
 
Some say that the mildot reticle requires a dedicated user.  That the casual user who switches to other reticles frequently during the day will mess up with the mildot causing misses.
 
Thoughts ?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Duce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2008 at 17:26
It has worked good for me in the past years , you do have to know how to use the mil-dot, if you are not familiar with it I would recommend www.mil-dot.com and the mil-dot master
 
For me it saves ammo and provided quick hold over at distance.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2008 at 11:16
Hammer, I use a mil dot reticle for shooting prairie dogs and it works o.k.  I have one in a Nightforce scope, and their version of the mil dot is very thin with "open" circles with tiny dots inside instead of solid dots.  Therefore, it doesn't cover up much of the target.  So, from an aiming standpoint, whether or not it will work well depends on whose version of the mil dot you're using.  I also use the IOR MP8 and the Nightforce NP-R1, which are both also mil based reticles, and they have thin hash marks instead of dots.
 
I have found it to be very difficult, if not nearly impossible to use a mil dot reticle for RANGING prairie dogs, though.  First of all, prairie dogs vary in height from about 5" to maybe 10" tall, which is really too small and varied to effectively use the mil system.  In addition, they aren't always standing straight up, and they may be partially concealed by their mounds, so it's incredibly difficult to get a fix on an accurate, known target dimension.  Since they are generally found in very open, featureless prairie, even using an electronic rangefinder is difficult, because it's hard to find an object large enough to get a good reading on.  I therefore use a rangefinder to get a reading on known landscape features and estimate distance to my targets from there.  Then I use the mil dot for holdover to known drop values of my rifle and the horizontal mil dots to compensate for wind.  I don't dial in my firing solutions, because they seldom all line up at the same distance and there are usually hundreds of rats in view to shoot at at all distances from near to far, so I would spend way too much time dialing and not enough time shooting.  I've tried dialing in the past and found my hit % wasn't any better than firing for effect, spotting my shot impact, and correcting using the reticle stadia marks.  After awhile, you start to get calibrated to the distances to targets based on land features, the relative size of PDs in view, and the degree of mirage.  The angle the mirage appears to be moving will also tell you roughly what the wind is doing near your target.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Duce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2008 at 12:53
I agree with RifleDude on the ranging pdogs, I use a laser range finder and use the mil-dot for hold over with my rifle sighted in at 200 or 300 yards depending on where I am shooting and which rifle I use. Most of the time I set up on a high point where I can see the prairie dog towns and range them then go for the targets of opportunity.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3_tens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2008 at 19:08
Both the leup and the Burris bplex systems work well with the .223 and 22-250. I have found them both very speedy when used with a laser. It is much simpler for me to interpolate than with the mil dot. Especially when changing rifles of different calibers during the day. If I were more proficient with the mil dot it probably would not matter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/25/2008 at 17:25
I've used the Burris Bplex and Bmildot reticles extensively on PD's as 3 of my buddies have 5 different rifles scoped with them.  They work fine, but my complaint about them is the reticle and dots are too large for my taste.  I like a much finer reticle, because sometimes they offer a very small target when they're playing peekaboo with only the tops of their heads above their mounds, especially at longer distances.  Since PD shooting isn't predominantly done in low light, I want my reticles to be as fine as absolutely possible.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote medic52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2008 at 12:26

Excellent Rifledude and duce

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3_tens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/29/2008 at 16:56

I do not have that much problem, Rarely are the shots at a distance that falls directly under the dot. Then there is the correction for the wind. B-dots are for speed and not for precision. For precision twist the knobs. The dot on Burris and Swaro is not like the big circle in the Nikon, They do not obscure as much..

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dale Clifford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/29/2008 at 17:10
heavy duty dog hunting is best done with an arsenal. use several guns for different distances optimized for the ballastics of that distance. if you get a 75% kill ratio on any day thats pretty good. determing if it was done or not done on the basis of a reticle is like taking a knife to a gun fight. having every gun optimized, is certainly fun and one way of doing it, but so is trying to make something work or seeing how well it doesn't work (ie. black powder pistols). A guy I know in southern utah uses black powder, bowling balls and old morter cannons. (hes also the curator of a natural history museum, but we don't kid him about that).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3_tens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/29/2008 at 17:25
That sounds like fun. I am always getting bowling balls out of repos.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 12:14
Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

heavy duty dog hunting is best done with an arsenal. use several guns for different distances optimized for the ballastics of that distance. if you get a 75% kill ratio on any day thats pretty good. determing if it was done or not done on the basis of a reticle is like taking a knife to a gun fight. having every gun optimized, is certainly fun and one way of doing it, but so is trying to make something work or seeing how well it doesn't work (ie. black powder pistols). A guy I know in southern utah uses black powder, bowling balls and old morter cannons. (hes also the curator of a natural history museum, but we don't kid him about that).
 
Amen, brother!  That and the fact that barrels can get pretty hot and I don't like abusing my rifles any more than necessary is why I generally take 5 rifles and plenty of ammo with me every time I go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Duce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 12:19
I agree I take everything from .17 cal to a 30-06 and set up on a high point ( as high as they get in Ks or Neb)  range everything with the laser then go after them. I doubt I have every had as good as a 75 % kill ratio but I go for some long shots.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 13:47
Originally posted by Duce Duce wrote:

I doubt I have every had as good as a 75 % kill ratio but I go for some long shots.
 
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Me either.  75% would be a banner day and would require the wind to give me a break.  The ever-changing wind is always the issue, as I have at least 5X more left and right as up and down misses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Duce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 14:07
I go along with the left and right thing on pdogs. I have been a pilot and sailor and can probably read wind as well as the next guy but winds in Kansas can be very frustrating. I used to have some M-118 long range ammo from when it was dirt cheap and I used up a lot of it on long shots at pdogs.  I keep several rifles on the bench too so the barrels dint get too hot, a long weekend in dog towns can go through 1500 to 2000 rounds but it sure is fun and challenging shooting. The farmers in Kansas and Nebraska dint think we are getting rid of enough of them and have been trying blowing up towns with propane and poison but its like trying to ride New York City of rats they are back next year.
Another fun shooting thing we have done in the past is position ourselves downstream of dumps during flood season and shoot river rats. We used to do this near Kansas city when I was young we shot from a favorite bridge ( illegal to shoot from a road in Kansas now). My buddy and I would each buy a 500 round brick of 22 long rifle ammo and go through it in a few hours and wipe out a lot of big rats.  I even had cops stop and barrow my rifle to shoot a few themselves. That would never happen in todays world we would probably get the swat team called out on us, times change.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3_tens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 14:15
Have you ever tried one of the Kestrel wind meters. I have been looking at them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 14:25
I haven't but one of the main problems you'll run into is that the wind is often doing something entirely different where the target is than what it's doing near your shooting position.  This is especially true if you're attempting shots at the extreme distances I often shoot at, and I'm betting Duce does as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3_tens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 14:30
I have never been where you could get that many shots.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Duce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 14:34
RifleDude is right I have a wind meter from my sailing days but wind may change as close as 50 yards away from you. One of the best ways to look at wind is to look across water watch the wind effect. You can see calm areas and puffs and direction changes all at the same time. A heavy bullet like the 168 gr match in a 308 or 30-06 helps at distances over two or three hundred yards where a light bullet (under 50 gr) will blow all over the place but when you get over 300 yards, for me anyway wind is the biggest problem.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3_tens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 14:53
Felt I did good shooting 50 gr btips on a 223 out to 400 then they start moving around  and over 600 they were everywhere. I have only used .223 an a 22-250. the 22-250 was an 1885 Winchester and it has terrible trigger pull.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mercenary1947 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2008 at 12:24
 Yea the wing guage is'nt much help at long distances . It's mostly an acquired knowledge of watching leaves blow or grass movement and then at best 50% luck that you're right .  I live in the east and don't get extremely long shots on P-Dogs .... groudhogs and believe it or not squirrels to test my abilities are mostly shot by me . I'd love to prarie dog or coyote hunt one day .... ! I use a 30-06 150's or the acceleraters = 223 caliber ... 30-06 rounds .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Critter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/16/2008 at 21:43
Interesting question!
 
My view in general that for long range PD shooting (>600 yds) Mil Dot is way to course.
 
I would suggest fractional mil systems, like USO Mil scale or Horus which both provide .20 Mil divisions if memory serves. Anything courser and like is made too difficult, especially if there is a wind component. At 600 yds, mil is 21.6" whereas .2 Mil is 4.3 inches.
 
Which at least should get you on a non-juvie pup! But you see the problem with a Mil dot!
 
Shown Below for reference is Horus H-25 Mil Matrix reticle.
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sscoyote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/17/2008 at 23:51
That's why i prefer the mil-dot in a scope where the milliradian is calibrated for a power lower than the highest. Then at the optics highest power it will be proportionately smaller (dot itself too).
 
...but there's nothing quite like the Horus for precise reticle reference, IMO also.
Steve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mercenary1947 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2008 at 13:29
 I must be darn lucky or good at mil-dots .... I ice squirrels with mine .... they have to be smaller or close to P-Dog size .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 284winguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2008 at 06:40
 I did some self evaluation in SD this June. As a somewhat novice dogger I don't feel the need for a 'busy' reticle. I was doing fine just holding to top, edge, or upwind side of the varmint. I just want one clear & precise aim point.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steelbenz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2008 at 16:53
I know for some of y'all shoot PD is stepping out the back door.  For those of us who haven't seen one except on Discovery channel. What about using bowling pins at 3 or 400 yards as a tune-up for dog hunting?  I like to try dog hunting with a brother of mine out in Colorado.  I don't know where he goes, but I've been invited a couple of times and never made the hook up. 
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