Range Finding, Mil Dot
Utilizing Mil Dots as aiming points, that is the “Dots” of the mil dot system, requires knowing which Dot to use for each 50/100 yd increment for the entire trajectory of your bullet. The Dots designated for long range will have to be the aiming point for a series of yardage increments. The amount of hold from target center will be different for each increment depending on the distance. You may have to hold the designated Dot low from target center for one 50 yd increment, then high for the next 50 yds. There is no consistent pattern to go by. Each high and low hold from target center will range anywhere from several inches to a few feet depending on the distance. For some long-range shots, you will have to place the appropriate Dot literally above or below your target for the proper bullet drop compensation. This provides no real aiming point to focus on which is a crucial factor for accurate long range shooting.
The disadvantages of utilizing Mil Dots as aiming points for bullet drop compensation are as follows: The limited number of Mil Dots having to be utilized as aiming points for so many yardage increments creates the problem of so many different holds on your target. Shooting at high altitudes or extreme temperatures requires different holds than that applied for the field conditions at your home range. The size of a Dot covers up too much of your target for a precise shot at long, as well as, medium ranges. The dot completely covers up small or partially concealed targets at medium to long-range engagement. You cannot be dialed in at an appropriate yardage setting with the Mil Dot system.
The Mil Dot system should be used for what it was designed for which is range finding. However, with laser range finders becoming inexpensive, and determining target distances at (increasingly) greater ranges, Mil Dots can be categorized as a good back up source for ranging finding.