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Posting here rather than in Firearms & Optics as this is not a question about a specific piece of gear but about technique.

For PD shooting, would you recommend using externally-adjustable target turrets for elevation, or using holdover? I've been looking for some decent optics to put on top of either an AR or bolt gun in 223 and some of the offerings I've come across (Viper 6.5-20x50 PA for example) have capped knobs only. It is a bit surprising to me a scope in this power range has capped knobs.

My thought on how it would work best for me (I am new to PD shooting) is that I would range the hole(s) I am shooting over and adjust for that distance using an elevation knob, then use holding left or right for windage. What is everyone else's practice?
 

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I have found it's easier to holdover than redial each time. I may take a shot at 100 and then another pops up at 135 and later another at 202. I zero for 100 and work off of that. One of the ranges in the Houston area has steel targets set up at different ranges. They are not marked. I'll practice with them before a hunt. These are scattered all over an area and makes very good practice before a hunt. Range a target with the laser and go from there. I shoot ground squirrels and use a .17 HMR and a .22 LR Mag. By using my side focus wheel on the scope, it is very close to the laser. When it's in focus, my marking on the focus wheel lets me know the yardage. It's very close but not on the money as the laser would be.
 

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A combo of both. Far I dial than hold from there based on impacts.
 

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+1 on what dk17hmr said. I also use my laser rangefinder and a ballistics table printed out from a ballistic software.
 

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Once you adjust to the concept that it's OK to miss 'em on the first shot now and then it's all good. Seriously, I generally sight in 1"-1 1/2" high @ 100 yards and go from there. It does require some mental adjustment, but I can usually hold on fur out to about 300 yards with everything I shoot; 20 Practical, 20 Vartarg, 204 Ruger, 221 Fireball, 223 AI. Except for the VT everything is a 40gr bullet and though there is some difference I hit more than I miss. Bottom line is, get some lead in the air and see where the dust flies. Adjust accordingly. Twirling knobs will get most people lost quickly.
Oh yeah.....hold into the wind.

Rick
 

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Most of my scopes have bdc reticle or a mil dot type reticle. I have one that just has a plex reticle with target knobs. It has 15moa per revolution on elevation and that should be enough to get out to 5-700yards depending on the cartridge some of which will be out of steam that far out. As long as you can keep your knob twisting in order it would be fine but I think holdover is going to be quicker.
 

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+1 on what Greyfox said. Most of my shots -- and likely yours as well -- will be inside 400 yards. So pick a caliber and bullet that shoot as flat as possible, zero it for 200 yards, and then hold high or low on the dog as the yardage varies from 200. Use one of the online ballistic calculators and print out the trajectory of your particular ammo. If you can get a chrony and determine your actual velocity, then those charts are going to be extremely close. In no time at all you'll be thinking "OK, 75 yards, so I hold a little low" or "That one's 300 yards, so wait until he stands up and then hold on its head." To me that's way more fun than doing 10 minutes of calculations, twisting scope knobs, and maybe still missing.

As a side benefit, I've found that learning to quickly adjust your hold for distance in the PD fields pays extra dividends come deer season. Once you've practiced this technique on PDs, then holding a little high or a little low on a deer happens sort of automatically. That's no time to be twisting your elevation knob, right?
 

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As said, dial and hold accordingly.

This is an extreme example from Prairie Dog Safari 2017.



Note the center of the cross hair is sky high on a measured rock at 1920 yards. I was using the 4th line down, and holding on the left windage mark. The damncow farmer was watching for impacts. I fired three rounds & when us old coggers walked all the way out there, we found I managed to make an 18" group.
 

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I've been..........

......a knob twister ;).....for many years. Perhaps the scope adjustments are more accurate than my "estimates".

But.....I do "zero" each scope for a maximum point blank range, such that the bullet path does not exceed 2.5" above line of sight. Generally, this results in a point blank range of about 280 yards.

The VHR, Varmint Hunter Reticle, is another story.......

edit: BTW......I consider indexable turrets a necessity.

Kevin
 

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The first two years I went I used hold over with a center x cross hair which worked ok. The rest of the guys were dialing, first focal scopes, and Christmas tree reticles. The third year I was a cranker with good knobs and accurate Christmas tree reticle. I prefer to crank now.
 

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Maybe I didn't give it enough time, but I tried to crank turrets...I found my shooting is too diverse. I wanted to have some consistency no matter if deer hunting, coyote hunting, plinking, matches, etc... At least for 600 yards and under. Longer shots aren't normally done on the fly, so extra time can be spent on dials. On most of my rifles I have a dope chart either on the stock, in case, or with ammo. The dope chart is more to keep the calibers straight and refresh my memory. For example, deer hunting I will find ranges to landmarks around me and mentally note hold at that range. Time spent on twisting could be better served adjusting shooting platform/rest.

No right or wrong, just different preferences


Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think I'll wind up doing some combination. The NightForce NXS has a zero stop function so you can only go so low, which reduces confusion (where did I stop?) I think on top of a 223 I would run out of oomph from my cartridge before I went a full rotation on elevation.

Good dope charts and/or good software helps.

If I want your opinion, I'll read your entrails
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^^^^ Quote Of The Day for me :D
 

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OK,
Let me give another perspective on this holdover/knob twirl thing. I have good friends who like to find the range, check their drop chart, look at the Kestrel or wind flag/ribbon and adjust their knobs. Their approach is one shot/one kill. Which actually does happen now and then. Nothing wrong with that approach and those that prefer it have a lot of fun.

OTOH-consider the possibility that looking out to, say 350 yards across a right to left of another 350 yards, you have and assortment of suitable targets. Some are as close as 125 yards more or less, right in front of you and others double the distance and off to the left or right or maybe both.
On a good day this might be a constant giving you the opportunity of 40-50 shots per hour for 10 hours if you are seriously hardcore and have forgotten you are on vacation. Keep in mind, this isn't a job. It's supposed to be fun. That adds up to a possible 450-500 shots per day. Do you seriously want to fiddle with two knobs for every shot? Maybe you do. I sure as hell don't. Get some lead in the air and watch for the dust. Adjust your hold accordingly. Once you get the hang of it and if your rifle is reasonable accurate, you may actually hit almost as many as you hit. Then you will know that the guys that claim they've KILLED, not just shot at, 300-400 per day..... probably lie about important things as well.

Rick
 

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It's all a matter of what works best for YOU!. I'm with most of the PD shooters, zero in for 100 and hold over accordingly. As many have said, sometimes the dogs are at 100, sometimes at 250 or 350 and sometimes even at less than 50. So I hold over or under as needed. You can get the hang of it fairly quickly...... don't forget......... aim small. :)
 

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Pd shooting

I’m a hold over guy. I usually take 4-6 guns and would get totally confused if I was trying to keep track of where each scope is set.
Most of the time I shoot off a bench and have a 2-400 yard fprifle and a under 200 rifle handy
If they’re further than 400, I move closer.
 

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Great topic, I have one rifle that I use from murder ranges to about 130yrds sometimes more, and can stay on fur for all shots. Second rifle I shoot fur out past 200 but depending on; light, wnd, mirage I start twisting, I shoot Beldings and they get mighty small out there.
 

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knobs or holdover

Been shooting pasture rats since the mid 70's & been down both paths. Started with a genuine 3-9 Weaver steel scope on my 270 cuz that's all I had. Then went to a 700V in 22-250 with a 4-12 Redfield. Both were holdover and SWAG systems. Then I had a 243 built & used a 6.5-20 Leupold- tried knob cranking & kept forgetting how many clicks & where it should be, so I had Premier put a set of mildots in it. SWEET! I'd never go back to turning knobs.

Now running 223AI, 6BR, 6 Dasher, 243 and 260. All with holdover reticles.

I like the reticle that skruske pictured. That would be great for pasture rats.
Al
 

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Since Skruske never answered does anyone know what scope that reticle is in/Which reticle it is???
 
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