Rifle Scopes Nikon Monarch 3 4-16 x 42 mm BDC Scope

MikeMahogany

Private
Minuteman
Nov 20, 2020
47
7
Saskatchewan
I just came back from an elk hunting trip and missed a cow elk at what I thought was 400 yards. It turns out using Google Maps and the IHunter app, that in fact it was 297 yards. I accept the fact that folks will poke fun at me for missing judging the distance and missing the shot. I was thinking that it was similar to hunting Canada Geese. You think their closer, but they're not because they're larger than a speckled belly or snow goose. Elk are larger than a white-tailed deer so my thinking was along those same lines, but as it turned out I was wrong, so bring on the heckling, I have no excuses, it was a Golden opportunity and I flat out missed.

I'm shooting a Remington 700 Stainless Steel Mountain Rifle in 280 calibre. I had the original composite stock removed and a Boyds featherweight thumbhole stock installed, glass bedded and free floated with a removable magazine.

I used the "Nikon Spot On" site to match my ammo with my scope. I was using Hornady Precision Hunter ELD-X 150 grain ammo. I had the scope on 4x and the "Nikon Spot On" states the first BDC circle below the crosshairs states this is 392 yards. I was lying prone and using Harris bipods. Thinking the elk was 400 yards I put the circle in the middle of its chest and squeezed off a shot. The animal was facing me directly(I know I will also be heckled for taking that shot too).

My apologizes for being verbose, but I wanted those who are gracious enough to respond to have as much information as possible to hopefully provide me with an answer or a place to find one.

The question I have is about the trajectory of my bullet when I fired the shot. The elk was at 292 yards. I was aiming at the middle of its chest, using a BDC indicator for 392 yards. How high was my shot at the 292 yard mark?

Thank you
 

Ram4402

Sergeant of the Hide
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Apr 28, 2020
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127
Maine
If you have a first focal plane reticle, your BDC works at any magnification level. If you have a second focal plane reticle, then your BDC only works at the highest magnification level.
 
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MikeMahogany

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Nov 20, 2020
47
7
Saskatchewan
I venture your shot was a foot or so above your aiming point.
I'm not fan of those circles in that scope. Not precise enough for me
Thanks for your response. Are you aware of any site or person who can provide me with a graph that shows the trajectory of a bullet using the BDC? I've only used the circles twice, once it worked and two days ago it didn't, but I did misjudge the distance as well.
 

MikeMahogany

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Nov 20, 2020
47
7
Saskatchewan
If you have a first focal plane reticle, your BDC works at any magnification level. If you have a second focal plane reticle, then your BDC only works at the highest magnification level.
I believe I have the second focal plane reticle? I'll have to check. It should be easy, just based on the price. The FFP are a lot more money. The "Nikon Spot On" site sure doesn't mention that my scope had to be on 16x? If fact it produces charts, so that you can use the BDC circles at all powers of the scope. Has Nikon misinformed its customers?
 

MikeMahogany

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Nov 20, 2020
47
7
Saskatchewan
Is there any reason why you aren't using a laser rangefinder to measure distance?
I tried to use my Bushnell Range Finder, but, I have found that you have to hold it extremely steady to get a reading. I did receive two readings when I looked at the elk, 69 yards and 1006. It was likely operator error, but it frustrated me, then the lead cow stood up as she either spotted me or knew something wasn't right, so I didn't have a lot of time to figure out what I was doing wrong with rangefinder(only one button so not much to go wrong there) or why it was giving wrong and inconsistent readings. You make a great point though. Maybe I should spend some money on a better rangefinder.
 

10ring'r

Old, Fat, Grumpy, Gimpy and have no F's to give!
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  • Apr 9, 2019
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    I owned the same scope as you do(4x16x42, 2nd FP scope) and that's my issue with BDC reticles, not very accurate in the cheaper scopes. When I would use the "Spot-on" App., along with the current WX conditions, my shots would be, at a minimum, two-three inches low (smaller calib. than you), for a given/know yardage (out to 400yds.). For the distances you expect to shoot, you need to verify that your BDC corresponds to the data provided by Spot-on and log it into a Data Book or cheat sheet. I don't use BDC rets. anymore. Mac
     
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    MikeMahogany

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    I owned the same scope as you do(4x16x42, 2nd FP scope), so, that's my issue with BDC reticles, not very accurate in the cheaper scopes. When I would use the "Spot-on" App., along with the current WX conditions, my shots would be, at a minimum, two-three inches low (smaller calib. than you), for a given/know yardage (out to 400yds.). Don't use BDC rets. anymore. Mac
    I don't believe I have the FFP, and have since thrown away the original box in came in. Despite the price, which leads me to believe I don't own the FFP is there another way to tell?
     

    dirthead1

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    I tried to use my Bushnell Range Finder, but, I have found that you have to hold it extremely steady to get a reading. I did receive two readings when I looked at the elk, 69 yards and 1006. It was likely operator error, but it frustrated me, then the lead cow stood up as she either spotted me or knew something wasn't right, so I didn't have a lot of time to figure out what I was doing wrong with rangefinder(only one button so not much to go wrong there) or why it was giving wrong and inconsistent readings. You make a great point though. Maybe I should spend some money on a better rangefinder.

    If I was in your situation with that scope, there are 2 things I would do.

    1. Get a reliable range finder and learn to use it. Obviously, not being able to accurately estimate the yardage was a contributing factor to you miss.

    2. Once you have a range finder and can use it, shoot at various distances and make a drop chart for your BDC reticle. If it's a SFP scope, then make sure you do this on a certain magnification, or multiple magnifications and note that on your drop chart. As you change magnification, the values of the hashes on the BDC will change (on a SFP scope).

    If you don't have an accurate distance to your target, haven't verified your actual drops at multiple distances, and/or verified the bdc hash marks with your ammo, then you have no way to accurately make that shot.
     

    10ring'r

    Old, Fat, Grumpy, Gimpy and have no F's to give!
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  • Apr 9, 2019
    3,361
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    I don't believe I have the FFP, and have since thrown away the original box in came in. Despite the price, which leads me to believe I don't own the FFP is there another way to tell?
    I believe that scope only came in a SFP version. If the reticle grows, when you increase magnification, it's FFP. If it stays the same, throughout the mag. range, it's SFP. Mac
     

    MikeMahogany

    Private
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    Nov 20, 2020
    47
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    Saskatchewan
    If I was in your situation with that scope, there are 2 things I would do.

    1. Get a reliable range finder and learn to use it. Obviously, not being able to accurately estimate the yardage was a contributing factor to you miss.

    2. Once you have a range finder and can use it, shoot at various distances and make a drop chart for your BDC reticle. If it's a SFP scope, then make sure you do this on a certain magnification, or multiple magnifications and note that on your drop chart. As you change magnification, the values of the hashes on the BDC will change (on a SFP scope).

    If you don't have an accurate distance to your target, haven't verified your actual drops at multiple distances, and/or verified the bdc hash marks with your ammo, then you have no way to accurately make that shot.
    Thanks for your response. The Range Finder seemed simply enough to use. Press the power once to enable the LED laser and after focusing on the target press again holding the target inside the crosshairs until you get a reading. Not sure what happened there, but your point is well taken.

    The"Nikon Spot On" site provides the distances for the BDC circles for every power on my scope, but testing them myself makes good sense. The warranty card for my scope states its a Monarch 3 BDC SF 4-16x42. I'm only guessing its a second plane scope. The first plane would have been a lot more money.

    Thanks for your suggestions.