Bullet Drop Compensators

Spec Ops Shooting

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A Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) is a dial mounted atop the scope that can be rotated to certain preset distances. After zeroing, just set your BDC to the indicated range, which moves the elevation to the correct height; then, aim dead-on and fire. Since the sniper doesn't have to consider a lot of ballistics or compute his elevation change, he can detect a target and engage faster than a rifleman using target knobs and more accurately than a rifleman using holdover.

Some BDC-equipped scopes, such as Leupold's M3A military and Long Range line, have an entire family of interchangeable BDCs, each synchronized to a particular load—such as Federal's .308 175-grain BTHP Match—in either meters or yards. Indeed, Leupold's custom shop will even build a one-of-a-kind BDC to fit a customer's favorite load, and at a very reasonable price.

A second kind of BDC, as found on the Zeiss

The USMC's long-favored sniper optic, the Unertl 10x. Note the mount built into the forward scope ring for a Simrad rtight vision device.

Built on a 1-inch tube, this Kahles lOx ZF-95 scope offers multiple BDCs for specific bullets.
Bullet Drop CompensatorsBullet Drop CompensatorsBullet Path With Scope

scope, which put a quality laser rangefinder right in the rifleman's scope, was a bit too expensive and ahead of its time to be commercially successful, but it blazed a path that other scopes inevitably will follow. More recently, the Canadian-based firm Elcan broke similar new ground with the world's first digital rifle scope—that is, like a video camera, the scopc records an image and superimposes on it a variety of reticles that the shooter changes by pushing a button.

I've personally examined both scopes and concluded that they offer such enormous potential that we will eventually see these features incorporated into sniperscopes, though the technology and its efficiency must be further refined. The day is not far in the future where all this technology will be integrated, and as quickly as a sniper lazes his distant target, his reticle automatically will reposition itself so that real-time, he simply ranges-aims-fires. Won't that be an incredible capability!

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