Q Lynx offer a range of reticles - which do you recommend?
A As a hunting region Southern Africa is not far from being No. 1 in the world for diversity of game sorts and varieties of dangerous game animals. Yet we don't have a national riflescope crosshair design like New Zealand, Germany, Scandinavia, etc. Martiens Grobler of Big Buff Guns of Zimbabwe suggests an 'African Dangerous Game" crosshair, having unusually thick posts linked by short crosshairs of 25 micron thickness, which he considers to be an ideal scope aiming reference for use on dangerous game in good and poor light, standing or moving; the design looks like a modification of a typical European first-plane crosshair when the scope is set at its lowest power, but Mr Grobler wants the ADG crosshair to be located in the scope's second focal plane so that the crosshair doesn't change dimensions when the scope magnification changes i.e. the clear central space between the thick post ends remains the same size regardless of scope magnification and the 25 micron aiming hairs get progressively thinner relative to the size of the target image when the scope is zoomed upwards in power.
Lynx invites comments from shooters who are interested in the subject and perhaps have ideas of their own for a regional crosshair design; if there appear to be grounds for developing such an aiming graticule we would manufacture it and offer it as an option in appropriate Lynx riflescope models. Comments on the above should be in the form of a fax, letter or e-mail (not telephonic). December 1998
A Some of the responses to the Lynx offer of Nato and Mil-dot ranging graticules have made it plain that many shooters are unaware of the rangefinding features of standard Lynx crosshair graticules, which can be used for judging distances closely enough for most hunting purposes. The thin vertical line of the crosshair is the basis of the rangefinding system; this line measures 90cm on a 100 metre distant target; half of the line measures 90cm on a 200 metre distant target.
These measurements apply for 4x scope magnification and are easily recalculated for other scope magnifications. For example full grown impala rams average 90cm shoulder height (“grond tot skof”); at 100m the ram will fill the thin vertical line and at 200m he will fill half the thin vertical line; over- and under- filling of the lines translate into proportionally shorter or longer distances, in that order; approximately 10% over-fill of the 100m line is approximately 90m range. Adapting the impala parameters of 90cm=100m to suit other game animals can be done by changing the scope magnification. For springbok (75cm shoulder height) the 4x magnification is changed 90÷75 (impala÷springbok) to 4.8x (5x is near enough). The reason for using the vertical line of the crosshair is that average shoulder heights for given animals vary less than average body lengths; also, using the height avoids foreshortening due to perspective. A list of average shoulder heights for South African game animals is available from Lynx on request.
Ranging by graticule is practical at long ranges when time is likely to be less pressing and good information is needed most. There are drawbacks, including interference from atmospherics, long grass etc. but the system is continuously adaptable to suit different user techniques; for shooters who are prepared to spend time adapting the system to their needs the rangefinding facilities add value to a scope without adding to its cost.
A Mil-dot sniper graticules or crosshairs with spaced opaque dots are standard in most law enforcement riflescopes for range estimation and aiming. Nightforce have refined the mil-dot graticule by making the dots and posts see-through, so they don’t obscure target detail, and by adding extra dimensions to assist ranging small targets. At a specific magnification, which varies from one scope model to another, the see-through dots are spaced 1 milliradian apart centre to centre, which translates to 1/1000th part of the target’s distance from the shooter i.e. 100mm at 100 metres, 1 metre at 1000 metres etc. A formula provided with the riflescope adapts the mil-dot graticule for ranging twelve most common South African game. The illuminated glass etched graticule can be set to one of ten intensity settings for use in low light conditions.