Reticle Dimensions

You may have heard that spider silk is used for crosshairs. Well, spiderwebbing only 1/5000 of an inch wide and amazingly strong was used for all kinds of military and scientific optics until the 1940s, when processes were perfected for making the ultrathin metal wires that replaced them. Today we use reticle wires made of steel or brass alloys that withstand shock and heavy recoil much better than the spider silk of olden days.

When it comes to modern scopes, the most critical reticle dimension is the width of the crosshairs where they intersect, that exact spot you use as an aiming point. If these crosshairs are too thin, you'll find that they "disappear" in low light or thick brush or while tracking a moving target. On the other hand, if they're too thick they'll completely cover a distant man and, at short-range, lead to sloppy shooting.

Crosshair dimensions are described in fractions of a Minute of Angle (MOA), which, recall, equals almost exactly 1 inch at 100 yards, 2 inches at 200, 6 inches at 600, and so on.

If your reticle's crosshair is 1 MOA, it covers 1 square inch at 100 yards—much too thick. How can you shoot half-inch groups when your reticle is twice this wide? At the other extreme are superfine target crosshairs that are sometimes only 0.05 MOA wide and can only

Sniperscope Basics

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