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Cheaper Scopes Blog
Main Blog->Scope Reticles->The Rangefinder Reticle
The Rangefinder Reticle
First and foremost to REMEMBER:  Multi-power scopes DO NOT change the settings of the MOA or Choke.  Therefore you MUST know at what power your MOA and Choke calibration is set for !!  Most Chokes are set at the lowest power setting – but not all.  The MOA may be the same but might not. 

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So you think you might want a scope with a Rangefinder Reticle?  Hopefully we can help you in making the right decision for your use.  The Rangefinder along with the Mil-Dot and P4 Sniper reticles are all designed to aid in long range shooting by allowing the shooter to determine the approximate distance of his target.  The P4 Sniper and the Rangefinder have many similarities primarily that they both use the MOA as the measurement for determining distance, where as the Mil-Dot uses the Miliradian… hence Mil for short.  

In my opinion, and you know we all have them, the Rangefinder is geared more toward someone wanting to scope their hunting rifle, where as the Mil-Dot and P4 Sniper are geared more toward the target rifles or varmint rifles… but you make the choice.  We’ll just give you the facts.  Below is an expanded view of the Rangefinder Reticle.

Rangefinder reticle to be explained

First we will deal with the “Choke” of the Rangefinder reticle.  As with the P4 sniper, the horizontal crosshair of the Rangefinder is divided into 5 increment MOAs and the vertical crosshair starts at 2 MOA and then is in 1 MOA increments.  The bottom of the Rangefinder reticle is call the range finding “Choke”.  Looks simple, just put my target in the “Choke” and I’ll know how far it is !! – well, it is simple but not quite that simple. 

What if a deer and a freight train box car both took up the entire line at the 125 yard mark?  You think they are the same distance?  No… they are for sure not the same distance and here’s why.  The “choke” is base on an 18 inch target – the average size across a man’s shoulders.  So in ranging your deer you need to pick an area approx 18 inches such as an area of the hind or front quarter you feel is 18 inches wide. 

I’ve found this to work for me.  I start with the deer focused in the scope and determine what is about 18 inches.  Then I move the scope up until that area fits in the reference marks.  In our example if the whole deer fits in the 125 yard range, the hind quarter would fit around the 200 to 250 range – which would be the range of our deer.  IF we made note of the beginning page and have our scope set on the power setting for the Choke. 

Notice the “Choke” only goes up to 250 yards.  What are we going to do with our Rangefinder if we have a target we know is more than 250 yards?  We’re going to use our MOA range finding.  So now we’re going to be dealing with the horizontal crosshair which is in 5 MOA increments.  This is a TO REMEMBER:  1 MOA = 1 INCH @ 100 YARDS.  1 MOA = 2 inches @ 200 yards -   1 MOA = 3 inches @ 300 yards – and so on up.  Here’s the formula for figuring range using the horizontal crosshair with the MOA markings.

Let’s take our example of the 18 inch deer hind quarter we ranged at 200 yards and see how that matches up with our MOA range calculations.  If we plug 18 inches and 200 yards in the formula and solve for X, we find our MOA will be 11 if our MOA and Choke are calculated at the same power setting.  Below we move the 200 yard width to the MOA and found it to be 11 – so our MOA and Choke range setting must be the same.
But your scope may or may not be the same !  Most P4 Sniper scopes set the MOA at the maximum power while most Rangefinder Chokes are set at minimum power.  Which may be something you want to consider if you are deciding between a P4 and Rangefinder. 

Now, why do we even want to know the range?  There are only two good reasons: One, which is my primary reason -- that is to know how far I’m going to have to pack the animal over this rough terrain.  Two which is the primary reason for you young guys and hunters with quads -- that is to factor in bullet drop in our shot.   Assuming your know your bullet drop you can you can place your shot using the MOA on the vertical line.  Same rule to remember:  1 MOA = 1 Inch @ 100 yards.  So we have a 200 yard shot on our deer and the bullet we’re using today has a drop of 2 inches in 200 yards.  Simple… we just make our aim point where the 2 is in the PIC above.   NO … NO…  wrong direction and wrong number !!  1 MOA = 2 inches @ 200 yards… so.. we place our desired strike point about half way down and between the horizontal crosshair and the first MOA below it… which is near 1 MOA.  With our kill zone being about 10x10, we’ll be well within that range and have this deer hung in camp within the hour.

I wonder ???? --- If I'm shooting up the side of a steep mountain or down the side of a steep moutain, does that change my bullet drop?  We'll be talking about that in one of our other blogs coming soon.

We at CheaperScopes.com hope this has been helpful to you in understanding and using the P4 Sniper Reticle to improve your long range shooting ability.  If you liked it tell or send it to a friend who may also like it... and we always appreciate a LIKE on our Facebook, Twitter, and Google.  Happy & SAFE shooting !