Reticle Types Explained (2023): Duplex, BDC, Mil-Dot, and More

If you’re into shooting and hunting, then you know how essential it is to have a clear and accurate scope reticle. But, with so many types of scope reticles available in the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your firearm. To help you understand the different types of scope reticles and how they can enhance your shooting experience, we’ve invited former USCG Precision Marksmanship Instructor Billy Leahy to explain everything in detail. In this blog post, you’ll learn about the various scope reticles and how they work, so you can make an informed decision when choosing the best scope reticle for your needs.

Scope Reticles: Understanding the Different Types for Long-Range Shooting

Are you new to long-range shooting? Or maybe you’re looking to upgrade your current optics? Whatever the case may be, understanding the different types of reticles in the market can make a huge difference in your accuracy and precision. That’s why we sat down with Billy Leahy, former USCG Precision Marksmanship Instructor and expert in the field, to explain the most common scope reticles out there.

Introduction: Who is Billy Leahy?

Billy Leahy is a retired Coast Guard Chief, a former Marine and a combat veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan. His numerous experiences in the field, along with his expertise in marksmanship, make him the perfect speaker to explain the different reticles available in the market.

Standard Mil Dot

We start with the most common reticle in the market, the Standard Mil Dot. This is a traditional crosshair with multiple dots on the vertical and horizontal axis. Billy explains that each dot represents a certain distance, usually one mil, and can be used to measure range, holdovers, and windage. This reticle is great for beginners, but lacks the advanced features of some of the more complex ones.

Leupold TMR

Next on our list is the Leupold TMR reticle. This one boasts a thin crosshair with hash marks on both axes. Billy emphasizes that these hashes are non-uniform and wider than the traditional Mil Dot, allowing for better visibility during low-light conditions. This reticle also features a series of stadia lines that can be used for range finding and holdovers, making it suitable for long-range shooting.

Nightforce Mil-XT

Moving on to the Nightforce Mil-XT reticle, which features a similar layout to the Leupold TMR, but with a few added features. This reticle includes windage dots on the horizontal axis, and a rangefinder on the vertical axis. Billy adds that this reticle also features a holdover line for moving targets, and is ideal for hunting and tactical applications.

Horus Tremor3

The Horus Tremor3 reticle may look intimidating at first glance, with its complex grid pattern and multiple dots. However, Billy assures us that it’s one of the most advanced reticles out there. The Tremor3 includes a series of chevrons and dots on both axes, allowing for windage and range calculations. It also features a horizontal bar with additional holdovers and range markers, making it great for long-range shooting and competition.

Vortex EBR-7C (MRAD) and EBR-2C (MRAD)

The Vortex EBR-7C (MRAD) and EBR-2C (MRAD) reticles are similar in appearance, with thin crosshairs and hash marks on all axes. Billy explains that these reticles include multiple holdover and windage points, along with a center aiming point that can be illuminated with an LED. Their MRAD measurements make them ideal for precision shooting and long-range hunting.

Vortex EBR-4 (MOA)

And last but not least, we have the Vortex EBR-4 (MOA) reticle. Similar to the Vortex EBR-7C (MRAD) and EBR-2C (MRAD), this reticle includes multiple holdovers and hash marks on all axes. However, it uses MOA measurements instead of MRAD, making it easier for some shooters to calculate holdovers and windage. Overall, this reticle is great for hunting and tactical applications.

READ NEXT: The Complete Guide to Rifle Scopes 2023: Types, Features, and Choosing the Right Scope for Your Needs

Recommended Products

Ready to upgrade your optics? Tactical Hyve, a trusted name in the industry, has a variety of scopes featuring the reticles we just discussed. Some of their top-rated products include:

  • Nightforce ATACR F1 5-25×56 ZS 34mm MOAR reticle
  • Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm Riflescope
  • Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 FFP Riflescopes

READ ALSO: How to Choose the Right Rifle Scope Magnification for Your Needs


Before we wrap up, we’d like to point out that any links or product recommendations in this article may be affiliate links or paid advertisements. This means we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through these links, but it won’t cost you any extra. We only recommend products we personally trust and use.


In conclusion, understanding the different reticles available in the market can be a game-changer in your shooting game. In this article, we discussed the most common types, as explained by Billy Leahy, former USCG Precision Marksmanship Instructor. From the Standard Mil Dot to the more advanced Horus Tremor3, each reticle provides different features and can be suited to different types of shooting. So, choose wisely and aim true.


What is the difference between MOA and MRAD measurements?

MOA (Minute of Angle) and MRAD (Milliradian) are both angular measurements used in scopes for making adjustments and estimating distances. The primary difference between them lies in how they are defined and the units they use:

  • MOA: One MOA is equal to 1/60th of a degree. At 100 yards, 1 MOA is approximately 1.047 inches. This means that for every MOA adjustment, the point of impact shifts about 1.047 inches at 100 yards. MOA adjustments are typically found in increments of 1/4 or 1/8 MOA per click.
  • MRAD: One MRAD is equal to 1/1000th of a radian. At 100 meters, 1 MRAD is approximately 10 centimeters (3.937 inches). For every MRAD adjustment, the point of impact shifts about 3.937 inches at 100 meters. MRAD adjustments are typically found in increments of 0.1 or 0.05 MRAD per click.

The choice between MOA and MRAD often comes down to personal preference and the type of shooting you do. Both systems are effective for making precise adjustments and calculating distances.

Are complex reticles necessary for beginners?

Complex reticles are not necessary for beginners. In fact, starting with a simple reticle can be more beneficial for new shooters, as it allows them to focus on the fundamentals of shooting without being overwhelmed by additional features. Simple crosshairs or duplex reticles provide a clear and straightforward aiming point, making them an excellent choice for beginners. As a shooter becomes more experienced and comfortable with their scope, they may choose to upgrade to a more advanced reticle with additional features, such as BDC, MOA, or MRAD markings.

Can reticles be customized?

Reticle customization depends on the specific scope and manufacturer. Some manufacturers offer reticles with customizable features, such as adjustable illumination or color options for the reticle or center dot. However, not all scopes or reticles have customizable options. It is essential to check the specifications of the scope you are considering to determine what customization options, if any, are available.

Can different reticles be used on the same scope?

Some scopes are designed with interchangeable reticles, allowing users to swap out different reticle types based on their shooting preferences or needs. However, many scopes have a fixed reticle that cannot be changed. It is crucial to consult your scope’s specifications or manufacturer guidelines to determine whether or not it is compatible with different reticles.

What is the difference between a tactical and a hunting reticle?

Tactical reticles are designed primarily for long-range shooting, tactical applications, and competition. They often feature additional markings and measurements, such as windage dots, holdover points, and rangefinders, which aid in making precise adjustments and estimating distances. Tactical reticles are typically available in MOA or MRAD configurations.

Hunting reticles, on the other hand, are designed with simplicity and versatility in mind. They often feature a simple crosshair or duplex design with multiple dots or hash marks for holdover points, allowing for quick target acquisition and easy shot placement. Hunting reticles prioritize ease of use and speed, making them well-suited for a variety of hunting situations and distances.

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