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Ballistic Holdover Reticles

29 Jan 2020
@ 07:45 am (GMT)

Ryan Nafe


I picked up a couple of Burris scopes about a month ago because the local shop was selling them as a package deal. A Fullfield E1 4.5-14x42mm and a Fullfield II 3-9x40mm for a total price of $300, it was just too good to pass up.

I figured they have decent enough glass and eye relief for ordinary non-magnum rifles used at ordinary ranges of 300 yards and under.

They both have ballistic holdover reticles and after spending some time playing around with Burris’ calculator on their website with various hypothetical loads, here’s what I’ve decided:

- These reticles give a false sense of confidence, they clutter the sight picture, and are absolutely not a replacement for accurate dial systems combined with a good rangefinder. I mean how often is an animal going to present itself at exactly 239 yards, or exactly 371 yards? It just doesn’t happen like that.

I think a much better solution is to use the basic +/- 3” MPBR method and combine it with a basic Duplex reticle, or just make the full jump to a scope with a reliable turret system and (if you like) a reticle that matches the adjustment measurements of the dials, whether that’s an MOA reticle or a Mil reticle.

What do you guys think? Am I pretty much right, or am I wrong and missing out on the actual utility of these reticles?


08 Feb 2020
@ 06:37 am (GMT)

Robert McLean

Re: Ballistic Holdover Reticles
I've got a Leupold 2-7 vxii with the LR duplex. It has holdover lines too, never used them in several years I was running it on a couple of different guns. Might have been handy for gophers on my 22 but I could never see using the lines on deer or moose. In fact I am not using the scope anymore... It was my first good scope and I am having a hard time letting it go...
08 Feb 2020
@ 07:04 am (GMT)


Re: Ballistic Holdover Reticles
Hi Ryan
I've had the fullfield II 3-9x40 on my 7mm08 for about 4 years. This is my bush rifle, not long range so longest shot has been about 190 yards with most a lot closer. I have never worried about the holdovers, as you say they would never be in the right place at the right time, even if I was shooting to distances that needed it. My preference is for a standard duplex but I've never found the sight picture on these to be too cluttered and a lot of the shots taken are fast aquisition close range ones. The scope has copped a beating, its been scratched, dropped, dunked repeatedly but so far I haven't lost a zero in the field or had fogging issues. There is nothing sexy about them but if you want a good plain workhorse set up for mpbr shooting I reckon you've got a bargain
08 Feb 2020
@ 07:51 am (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Ballistic Holdover Reticles

For 5-6 years I used a plain mil-dot, combined with a 4 cm high zero at 100 meters, for hunting out to 500 meters. My taped on drop chart was written in mils instead of clicks. 400 meters 2,2 mils etc. Then just aim right between 2 and the imaginary 2,5 mils. Worked well enough, but it's really a bit too crude after 370 meters/ 400 yards or so. But out to that distance it's fine. This works well with anything that has a logical step distance, working out with whole or half moa/ mil, so long as it's not more than 1 mil/ 3,5 moa between them or so.

A friend has a Vortex holdover which I developed a tape-on chart for. That one is spaced 1,5-4,5-7,5-10,5 moa from the crosshairs I believe, so very easy to make a drop chart in moa, and next column shows the lines values in moa. Since that guy doesn't like to think, I also made a column showing each 25 meter steps in line-values (300 meters=5 moa=2,5 lines and so on).

I have that 3-9 Burris on a 22, and it does not have logical steps. I just made a very simple chart with distance for each line, and aim between when needed. But it's no problem to find the different moa-distance between the lines, and develop a chart where you devide each step in halv or quarter lines. Would get you inside 25 yards or so. Not very straight forwards, but lots of juicy development and calculations. And works fine out to the mentioned 400 yards, once you get some practice with it.
09 Feb 2020
@ 07:50 am (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: Ballistic Holdover Reticles
Hey thanks for the replies, guys. Vince, it’s good to hear that the Fullfield II is durable, if’s always good to have a 3-9x40 on standby. My primary interest was the E1 for use on my new .22LR and the Fullfield II was looked at as a bonus, I’m glad you’ve had a good run with yours so far.


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