Mil Dot wire reticle
Yukon FF13014 2.5-10x40 2-10x

Mil Dot wire reticle

By Mike Miller

Several years ago I was one of the first to test the then new Leupold VariX3 LR Tactical Scope. As said then it was just about perfect. Price was, and still is an outstanding, value. The scope worked very well for police work but frankly it could have been better with a change to a glass etched reticle and round mil-dots. The original had the wire reticle, with the football shaped mil-dots and in my opinion was not as strong, or as easy to range with as the glass/round dot, versions.

Status Quo

The original scope also had the reticle in the rear focal plane. To some of you, that will mean nothing. Others will say "The reticle stays the same size at all power settings" and the ones who use the equipment for a living will understand that a rear focal plane reticle only allows the mil-dot spacing to be accurate at one power setting. What that means is with a rear focal plane reticle range estimation has to be on one power setting only or new formulas have to be used. A sniper has enough to worry about without additional computations under stress. I want a front focal plane reticle in all my variable power scopes so range estimation and Mil-dot leads are the same formulas at all power settings. Keep everything as simple as possible. With a front focal plane reticle the reticle appears to grow in size as the power is increased.

In today's world it seems most are content replicating mouse traps - not working on improving the original design. The Mil-dot reticle is no exception to this. Most companies have versions of the Mil-dot but few have tried to improve it. Leupold would not even consider changing the LR Tactical scopes to a front focal plane glass etched reticle, let alone talking about improving the Mil-dot reticle. When you sell them about as fast as you can make them why bother with improvements?

Premier Reticles

Premier Reticle Company was a leader in the reticle business before most of us were alive. They saw a need for a new reticle and for an improved LR Tactical scope. They first improved the Mil-dot reticle design by adding a .5 Mil spacing line between the dots. The spacing line is .15Mil in length. The dots are .20Mil in diameter. They still have 5 mils from center in all directions broken down into .5mil spacing but have added additional 5mil lines (2Mils long) in the heavier post reticle areas. The posts are 1Mil thick. They made the reticle out of etched glass instead of wire and installed it in the front focal plane of the VariX3 LR Tactical. The new reticle allows users to estimate down to .10Mil for ranging. This new reticle is called the "Second Generation Mil-dot" and is currently available in several Leupold tactical and the 12x-40x power spotting scopes. It will also soon be available in the Schmidt and Bender PII series riflescope. All of the scopes are only available from Premier Reticle Company. Do not contact Leupold or Schmidt and Bender for this option.

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