TRUGLO Reflex Red Dot Sight

Reticle Sights

A reticle, or reticule (from Latin reticulum, meaning "net"), also known as a graticule (from Latin craticula, meaning "gridiron"), is a net of fine lines or fibers in the eyepiece of a sighting device, such as a telescope, a telescopic sight, a microscope, or the screen of an oscilloscope. Today, engraved lines or embedded fibers may be replaced by a computer-generated image superimposed on a screen or eyepiece. Both terms may be used to describe any set of lines used for optical measurement, but in modern use reticle is most commonly used for gunsights and such, while graticule is more widely used for the covers of oscilloscopes and similar roles.

There are many variations of reticles; this article concerns itself mainly with a simple reticle: crosshairs. Crosshairs are most commonly represented as intersecting lines in the shape of a cross, "+", though many variations exist, including dots, posts, circles, scales, chevrons, or a combination of these. Most commonly associated with telescopic sights for aiming firearms, crosshairs are also common in optical instruments used for astronomy and surveying, and are also popular in graphical user interfaces as a precision pointer. The reticle is said to have been invented by Robert Hooke, and dates to the 17th century. Another candidate as inventor is the amateur astronomer William Gascoigne, who predated Hooke.

Firearms[edit]

Telescopic sights for firearms, generally just called scopes, are probably the device most often associated with crosshairs. Motion pictures and the media often use a view through crosshairs as a dramatic device, which has given crosshairs wide cultural exposure.

Reticle shape[edit]

While the traditional thin crossing lines are the original and still the most familiar cross-hair shape, they are really best suited for precision aiming at high contrast targets, as the thin lines are easily lost in complex backgrounds, such as those encountered while hunting. Thicker bars are much easier to discern against a complex background, but lack the precision of thin bars. The most popular types of cross-hair in modern scopes are variants on the duplex cross-hair, with bars that are thick on the perimeter and thin out in the middle. The thick bars allow the eye to quickly locate the center of the reticle, and the thin lines in the center allow for precision aiming. The thin bars in a duplex reticle may also be designed to be used as a measure. Called a 30/30 reticle, the thin bars on such a reticle span 30 inches at 100 yards when the scope's power is at 4x. This enables an experienced shooter to deduce (as opposed to guess or estimate) the range within an acceptable error limit.

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