So you’ve done the research, you’ve bought the kit, you’ve got the Nikon BDC scope out of the box and attached it to your stock, and then … what? What do you do next? What do those four little reticules beneath the cross-hair mean? When should you use them? And how do you compensate for a bigger load?
Using the Nikon BDC scope can be a bit of a minefield. As you’ll know, there are a lot of factors when it comes to pulling off the perfect shot – from the load itself to the barometric pressure – and each of those factors needs to be accounted for. Don’t worry though. With our 6 step guide, you’ll be handling that Nikon BDC scope like a pro in no time.
Step 1: Take a Look Through the Scope
With standard ammunition and a perfect environment, you can lock your cross-hairs dead-on the target at 100 yards with no issue. The bigger the distance though, the more you need to account for holdover. But that’s when the four reticules beneath the cross-hair come into play. Tip the stock back so that the first reticule is over the target and you’re set for a hit at 200 yards. In the same way, the second reticule covers 300 yards, the third 400 yards, the fourth 500 yards, and the post itself 600 yards. Straightforward enough. But do you often use standard ammunition? Is it always a temperate day on even ground with not the slightest tug of a breeze? Probably not, in which case …
Step 2: Pull Up the Spot-on Calculator
This genius bit of software is a product of the Nikon brand and it allows you to enter the exact ammunition you’re working with. All you have to do is register your details and enter the relevant information about your ammunition to get the right zero distance information. What’s the ammo? Who manufactured it? Enter it in and the program will automatically adjust the distances for each reticule to compensate. Just make sure you pick the right scope too!
Step 3: Account For Handloading
Only if applicable, of course, but if you do hand load ammunition, make sure you enter the information into the calculator. That’s right, there’s no wall with the Spot-On Calculator. Just click the ‘Customize Load/Ammo/Bullet Details’ option on the left-hand side of the screen and provide the necessary information. Before you know it, you’ll have the figures you need to make the right shot.
Step 4: Consider the Atmospheric Conditions
‘It’s windy, it’s hot, I’m at the top of a 200-yard incline. I bet the Spot-On Calculator doesn’t allow for that.’ Take that back Mr. Old School because the Spot-On has you covered. If you’re not exactly shooting from the ideal perch, you can simply set the applicable atmospheric conditions. So if it’s blowing a hurricane or raining fire and brimstone, you can account for elements like wind speed and altitude and thereby generate the right zero distances for each targeting reticule. That being said, if it is a hurricane or it is raining fire and brimstone, consider a hasty departure.
Step 5: Remember to Allow For Magnification
Allow me to introduce you to the scope on the right-hand side of the Spot-On Calculator screen. By sliding the scale above the diagram, the distances will adjust accordingly, thereby accounting for whatever magnification you choose. Combine that with what we’ve learned so far regarding ammunition type, weather conditions, and whatnot, you’ve got a whole heap of data to help you on your shoot.
Step 6: Print All That Information Out!
Way ahead of you. The Spot-On Calculator allows you to generate ballistics reports so you can have a clear idea of what to do, whatever the day throws at you. Seasoned pros make it a habit to print off their ballistics reports and have them attached to their stock. So whatever the ammunition, whatever the load type, whatever the wind speed or the humidity or the altitude, whatever scope you’re using at the time … the ballistics report will always tell you what you need to know when it comes to those targeting reticules.
Ready to Get the Most Out of Your Nikon Bdc Scope?
The Nikon BDC scope and the Spot-On Calculator are the perfect tag-team act when it comes to accounting for holdover. Or indeed holdunder. Use them religiously in combination with our easy 6-step guide and you’ll always have the right zero distance. So what are you waiting for? Happy hunting!