How To Determine Range With MilDots

A lot of scopes now days are coming with Mildot reticles and there seems to be a lot of confusion as to their purpose.  I’ve seen a lot of explanations out there but they go way over my head when they get into all the science and math BS!  I’m just a grunt so it really needs to be “dumbed down” if I’m going to get it.

So I’m going to show you how to use a Mildot scope reticle to determine the distance to a target.  That’s it, if you want to know who invented Mildots and all the scientific mumbo-jumbo, you’ll have to look elsewhere!

Ok, you’ve got your terrorist in your sights but you don’t know how far away he is.

Step #1, Measure the height of the target using the Mildots (the little dots on the reticle) on the vertical (up & down) crosshair.  In this example, we’re only going to measure the torso and head of this soon to be dead terrorist.  Start measuring where the top of the green line meets the heavy black line.  Then come down counting each space between the dots until the end of the green line.  I get “10”.  (The cross in the center of the reticle counts as a dot).

Step #2, Estimate the height of the target you just measured in inches.  This is where it gets tricky.  You have to have a good idea of the actual height of the target you just measured.  Not the height of the person, but the height of the torso and head you just measured in inches.  On a 6 foot tall person, this is about 30 inches.

Step #3, Do some math

Height of the target in inches = 30

Height of the target in mils = 10

Divide 30 by 10 (30/10) = 3

Now multiply 3 x 27.78 = 83.34 yards to the target

Now you don’t really need to do this for a target at 83 yards away.  I used this picture and example to make it easy.  Long range targets will be very small and won’t be as large on your Mildot scale as the picture above.  Lets use an example a little more realistic.

You measure your terrorist way out there and his entire body, head to feet, measures 3 mils on your Mildot scale.  Divide 72 inches (6 foot tall person) by 3 and you get 24.  Now multiple 24 x 27.78 and you get 666.72 yards.

Can you round 27.78 off to 28?  In the example we just did, if you rounded 27.78 to 28 you would get 672 yards.  A difference of only about 6.75 yards.  Probably not going to be a problem.  The difference will get larger the farther away your target actually is. On really long range shooting, rounding any of the numbers could throw you off.

I hope this answers any questions on how to use Mildot reticles for rangefinding.  Some scopes out there come with what they call a P4 Sniper Reticle.  This reticle works the same as Mildots, it just has little hash marks instead of dots.  The principle works the same.

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