In this post, I am focusing strictly on reticles that are strictly crosshair. As you can see in the picture there are many of them. I am going to give an overview of each type so that you can get a better idea of which one may be right for you.
Fine Cross-hair Scope
First off let’s look at the fine crosshair scope. This type is a very simple design and uses fine wires for maximum precision and aiming.
It is ideal for target shooting and varmint hunting during daylight hours. The downside to this scope is that during low light conditions it is very hard to see the cross-hair, making it a poor choice for things like deer hunting where an early morning or late evening shot may present itself.
One of the best features of this type of reticle is that the thin lines make it ideal for precision shooting with high power scopes. The fine lines make sure that you have very minimum target obstruction. That ensures that you have a very clear view of your target, during prime daylight hours.
The duplex cross-hair is not very different than the fine. Where it varies is that it has a post on all four quadrants, making it faster to acquire a target. This style would be preferred over the fine cross-hairs for hunters but would be frowned upon by target shooters.
The thick posts also aid in lower light situations where you typically couldn’t see the fine center, you would be able to get very close using the outer part of this reticle.
The posts need to have a flat top, to ensure that the shooter doesn’t aim further down on the target than intended in lower light situations. Some duplex reticles are made with a point on the post, like a picket fence.
This makes the top of them a lot harder to see and doesn’t aid the shooter. On higher power scopes you are going to have a little more target obstruction than with the fine crosshair reticle.
The one that I have pictured is the German #1 Reticle, it was very popular in Germany but not as much in the US. This reticle was made to help in low light situations and also to resemble more of typical iron sight.
It features a heavy pot on the two sides and a picket fence type post on the bottom, with nothing on the top. It helped shooters, that had been more accustomed to traditional iron sights, adjust to using a scope.
The design of this reticle is not the best type for low light situations. Although it was Germany’s scope of choice during WW2, the popularity of it has declined with the advancements that we have had since then.
Target Dot Scope
This design makes it very easy to find the center of your scope. It uses a dot right in the center of the cross-hairs to help your eye naturally focus where you need too.
This style of reticle really helps to speed up your target acquisition. Making it easier where multiple targets are going to be present or if targets are going to be coming from various, unknown locations.
Having the dot strung up between the fine cross-hairs can give it the look of a floating dot, under certain conditions. Especially in lower light. The downside to this scope is that it would not be good for target shooting or longer distances, because it will have a lot of target interference.
Mil dot scopes are very widely used today. It is used by advanced shooters and hunters to both estimate range and allows for windage. This reticle features the main cross-hairs with circles placed at usually 1 mil apart.
The shooter is able to place the cross-hairs on a target of known size and read how many mils, within the nearest .1 mil, and use that information to determine said targets range. This type of scope can be very useful with target shooters and hunters but will take some practice to become accurate with range estimation.
The circle is primarily used on shotguns. It features typical cross-hairs with a circle around the center. It helps tremendously to acquire your target, which is why it is loved on shotguns. It does take some getting used to on shotguns, but when practiced with it is mostly favored over not having one.
Old Range Finding Scope
This reticle seems to be outdated. When it was made and in use, there were different turrets that you could get with the scope for different guns and for different animals. Let’s use a deer, for example, take the target and put it between the two cross-hairs and adjust turret until it fills between both lines. This data can then be used to determine distance and make the shot.
With the advancements in range finding scopes and laser range finders, this style reticle is not available anymore. It would be challenging, however, to get one and see how accurate one could become with it.
Modern Range Finding Scope
The modern range finding is used similar to the mil-dot scope. It has typical cross-hairs and lines below it at set distances to aid in determining the distance to your target.
You again have to have known size of the target, average size and know the calculations necessary to figure out the distance. Then, of course, you still have to understand the ballistics of your ammo so you can properly adjust and make an accurate shot.
An svd reticle is a very busy reticle. A lot of people don’t like this simply because of all of the things going on with this scope. With a lot of practice and knowledge you can do about anything you want to with it.
It features firstly from left to right a windage scale. This can also be used in range finding, it differs from typical range finding scopes in that these are left to right instead of up and down.
On the bottom left of this scope is another range finding method. Place the target between the horizontal line and the top reclining lines and locate the number closest to the point where the target touches the line.
The last feature of this scope are the chevrons running vertically down the middle of it. It is designed for bullet drop for any caliber rifle, provided you know the ballistics of the ammo you are shooting.
Well that covers several different types of scope cross hairs. Some of them are no longer widely used today but still offer a challenge for someone just looking for something different. I hope that this information has helped you understand each of the different types I described.
Thanks again for listening.