Which Reticle Works Best For Your Hunting Rifle

how to choose the right reticle for your hunting

Buying your first riflescope for your hunting needs goes far and beyond one only looking good on the rifle.

There is more than just deciding which one looks great on your rifle. You need to decide whether you want a fixed or variable magnification.

Further, you need to decide if you want a specific object lens size and parallax adjustment. To top it all the choice of reticle plays another crucial part.

Whether you’re honing your sniping skills, fooling around at the range, or shooting long range out in the field, you will find a crosshair suitable to use in any situation.

Therefore, what type of reticle works best for hunting? We are here to help you find the right crosshair made for your shooting needs.

How to Choose the Right Reticle for Hunting

The reticle is the aiming point in the field of view in most riflescopes. Sometimes shooters refer to it as the crosshairs. The reticle comprises mostly wire but can be glass etched as well. For hunting, the reticule consists of wire, but the glass-etched ones are becoming popular in the hunting community.

The reasons are that it is durable, unbreakable, and precise. The important thing is the reticule provides you with a central aiming point to make a dead center shot. Each one caters for different shooting activities in hunting and other types of targets.

There are crosshairs for vermin hunting, bullet drop compensation, low light shooting, general hunting, illuminated reticles, and more.

Basic Choices in Choosing the Correct Reticule

Therefore, choosing the right style of reticles becomes a problem. However, there are some basics choices to make choosing the right reticule simple. With the Finer or Smaller Reticle, you get a more precise aiming point.

However, the finer intersection makes it challenging to use in low light. These types of reticles are suitable for aiming out to 300 yards and ideal for long-range hunting. Nonetheless, you will not need it for larger game when shooting at a short distance.

The best shape for a reticle is one with thick lines on the outside of the crosshair and tapers to thinner hairs approaching the intersection. With the design, your eyes get a quick focus to find the intersection as it picks up the thick lines and moves to the center.

Different Riflescope Reticles

Here we have a wide selection of crosshairs each serving different purposes when it comes to shooting short and long distance:

  • Original Reticule – the crosshair has a single horizontal and vertical line that crosses in the middle to create the aiming point.
  • Dot Reticle – this is one of the simplest crosshairs and comes with an enclosed circle with a dot in the center. You can find crosshairs emitting from all sides extending through the whole field of view.
  • German Crosshair – this is another typical reticle with a thicker right, left, and bottom crosshair tapering off towards the middle or can have a dot in the center. You can also find it illuminated.
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    Duplex Reticle – this style of crosshairs commonly found on hunting rifles scopes. The all-purpose reticle has four crosshairs with thicker posts and thins out to draw your eye to the middle. The reticule is perfect for use in thick bush and big game hunting where precision plays an important part.
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    BDC Reticle – the Bullet Drop Compensation is more for ballistic shooting and useful for long range hunters.
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    Mil-Dot Crosshair – this type or reticles not commonly used in hunting, as it is a ranging reticule used in the military. However, if you do plan to make long-range shots out in the bush, it can come in handy.  

How Do You Select the Right One?

So how do you decide which one is the best long-range reticle to choose? The problem is that selecting the correct crosshair is more complicated than you think. The design has changed where some of them have two lines crossing another and others have compensating dots or lines previously mentioned to aim more accurately at different distances.

To complicate things more, you get the MilDot reticle that helps you calculate your distance to the target and helps in a pinch. Then you have the illuminated crosshair that is ideal to use in low light. Consequently, for the best reticle to use, you need the Duplex or Christmas tree crosshair.

You will find many crosshairs below the intersection of the reticle. The lower hairs are longer and help with bullet drift in the wind for shooting at long ranges.

For shooting varmint, this optic reticule is useful to have as you can slide the lower reticle along your target to compensate for wind drift. Therefore, when selecting the correct rifle optic reticle, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you need a range compensating crosshair?
  •  Will you be hunting during low light?
  • Do you want to hunt large or small game?
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    Will the crosshair interfere with your vision of the target?
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    Do you want it to stay the same size when changing magnification?
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    Do you want it to increase in size as you change the magnification?
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    Do you need a thick or thin crosshair?

By answering these questions, you can determine which scope reticle works best for your type of shooting. If you do plan on hunting in low light conditions, we recommend you look for an illuminated reticle. For small game hunting, you need a finer crosshair. While for larger game hunting, you do not need a finer intersection and can benefit using a larger aiming point.

Which Reticle is best for Long Range Shooting?

For long-range firing you need specialized equipment as different types of shooting has different expectations. When you plan shooting long distances with your 6.5 rifle, the first important thing is to choose a best long range scope for 6.5 creedmoor. You need a long-range reticle, and with the correct crosshair, you can go a long way to make each shot count.

Why Do You Need a Long Range Reticle?

When you are shooting with a 50 caliber or 6.5 Creedmoor, these bullets remain small and easily affected by the wind. A breeze can push the round off target, and you need the right means to compensate. Another factor to consider is bullet drop as gravity causes it to fall when flying down range. The further you shoot the further they fall.

Which Reticle is the Best to Use?

Considering the above information, you need a long-range crosshair to compensate for both drop and windage. These structures you find in MIL-Dot and MOA measurement as you can compensate for bullet drop and wind speed. With these systems, you can make on-the-fly adjustment when aiming using the hash mark.

You can find dedicated scopes with pyramid-style reticles allowing you to quickly compensate for both bullet drop and wind at the same time. Furthermore, the hash marks need to be thin enabling you to see the target at different ranges. The reticule needs to be small enough to observe the objective, yet allow you to see the crosshair as well.

Alternatively, another type of system is the Ballistic Drop Compensator Reticle. The crosshairs designed around a specific caliber and the bullet drop points connect to various ranges. Furthermore, the BDC is built around an exact round weight and velocity.

However, these reticles are fantastic but limited when it comes to versatility because of the ammo constrictions. A fact is some companies make remarkable crosshairs to use for long-range shooting to hit targets out to 1,000 yards.

Our Recommendation

We recommend the Vortex Viper 6.5 rifle scope for long distance shooting. You will quickly shoot small groups at long ranges using this optic.

Final Thoughts

When deciding on the correct reticle to use for long-distance shooting, it all comes down to personal preference. You need to decide what type of long-range shooting you plan doing from competition, tactical, plinking, to hunting.

By answering, the questions mentioned and combining the purpose with your desires we hope you find the right crosshair to suit your needs.

There is different optics available to choose, and the most important one is selecting the correct riflescope with long-range reticle to make every shot count.

About the author


Hey there, I'm Lisa, founder and editor in chief here at Recreation Space. We found fitness through recreational activities. And we want to share it with you. We believe in empowering people with knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives.

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