• A Look At The Mil-Dot Master

    Mil-dot reticles are becoming quite popular these days. Practically all scope manufacturers offer at least one scope with them or at least a variation there of. There is a good reason for that. Mil-dots are one of the most effective tools for ranging a target. They have no moving parts to loose or wear out and they don't use a power source like batteries. This makes them dead nuts reliable and can be used on any size and shape targets at any distance in any conditions.

    The only real drawback to the mil-dot is the math involved with using it. It can get pretty daunting at times to try and figure out how many mils equal how many minutes of angle and then figure out how many minutes of angle of adjustment is needed at that particular distance.

    To do this in real world field conditions requires the shooter to either be good at quick calculations in his head as nobody likes to carry a calculator or pencil and paper with them or to use a device that has all of that math already worked out for them. I much prefer the latter of the two. That is where the Mil-Dot Master comes to our rescue.

    There are many advantages that the Mil-Dot Master has over using an electronic calculator. Look at the following:
    - No conversion of estimated target size from inches into decimal equivalent of yards is necessary, as the Target Size Scale is in increments of feet and inches.

    - No entry of data or operations through a keypad is necessary, as the device is purely analog and only requires the alignment of figures on scales.

    - No memorization of formula is necessary, as the correct formula are built into the scales.

    - No complex calculations for determination of telescopic sight adjustment or hold-over at various ranges are necessary, as the scales of the device convert drop/drift figures directly into both MOA and mils.

    - No separate data sheet is necessary for bullet drop figures, as the reverse side of the device is designed to accommodate either commercially available data decals or user-produced data strips.

    - Speed of calculations necessary to determine range to target and required telescopic sight adjustment and/or hold-over can be significantly reduced by using this device in lieu of a conventional hand-held electronic calculator.

    - The Mildot Master is comprised of only two parts and utilizes no electronic parts. It needs no batteries, and it's simplicity of construction and operation results in extreme reliability under adverse conditions.

    - Unlike an electronic calculator, the Mildot Master can measure the angle of a shot (up to 60 degrees above or below the horizontal), and can be used to correct for the effects of uphill/downhill shooting.

    The Mil-Dot Master is quite reminiscent of the old school slide rules. It works very much in the same way and is so simple to use it's almost ridiculous. It reduces to just a few seconds what would normally take a couple minutes to do the other way. The Mil-Dot Master can be used for targets from 1 3/4 inches up to 20 feet. It works in distances from 100 yards/meters out to 2000 yards/meters. It can also measure targets in centimeters/meters. There is a handy protractor that can be used with a small weighted string for measuring inclines. The device will allow the shooter to measure angles from 15 to 60 degrees and make the correct adjustments. There is also a blank space on the back of the device to place a sheet of paper with your rifle's ballistics on it. Simply attach it with clear tape to make it wear and weather proof.

    To use the Mil-Dot Master all the shooter has to do is:
    1) Get the mil reading of the target.

    2) Slide the rule to where the target size aligns with the mils.

    3) Look to the right at the arrow marked TARGET RANGE. This will give you the distance to the target in yards or meters. Let's say a target is 18 inches high and takes up 4 mils. We find 4 mils on the left and slide the rule until 18 inches is beside the 4 mil mark. When we look to right at TARGET DISTANCE we will find that it says 125 yards. If this same 18 inch target is at 2 mils we will find that it is 250 yards away. 30 inches at 3 mils is 280 yards, and so on. Much easier and faster than a calculator!

    4) Go to the back side of the device, where you have placed your rifle's ballistics table, and find how much elevation is needed and adjust accordingly or hold off as this is another benefit of mil-dot reticles.

    5) If the shot will be uphill or downhill, make the appropriate adjustments according to the scale.

    The Mil-Dot Master is a tan colored slide rule sandwiched between two pieces of clear plastic. It is held together with six rivets. The rule is removable as to turn around for use in meters. The entire device is only seven inches long and three inches wide. Being vinyl, it is weather resistant but also has a nice strong plastic carry bag.

    Accompanying the Mil-Dot Master is a 13 page manual. The manual is easy to understand and goes into a lot of detail regarding the device. It has several images of the device and explains step by step how to do the various tasks with it. Like most manuals, the first part is the introduction. The second section is for determining target distance, estimating target size, and correcting for bullet drop. The third section deals with correcting for wind drift, uphill/downhill shots, and metric conversion. The fourth section has practice examples on determining range, correcting for uphill/downhill shots, bullet drop, converting correction to mils (hold-over), and converting correction to MOA (sight adjustment). The last part is appendices pertaining to sub-mil measurements and ballistic data strips.

    As anyone can see, the Mil-Dot Master is a fantastic tool to have for any mil-dot scope. It's ease of use, portability, and versatility make it an item that will quickly become a favorite among shooters. It is even being carried by many law enforcement sharpshooters and military sniper teams.

    Mildot Enterprises
    P.O. Box 6585
    Oak Ridge, TN 37831
    Ph. 865-483-6620

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