While you may find 10 or L2 reticles listed for some scope brands, they are only variations of about three or four basic designs, which we'll consider here for sniping suitability.
Probably the oldest reticle style is the post, shown at the top of our illustration. This was the favored reticle for World War I scopes, and it was used also for the U.S. Army's MlC/D sniper rifles in World War II and Korea. It was popular as well in civilian scopes in the late 1940s and early 1950s, a preference, I think, based on hs resemblance to a rifle's front sight blade.
Unfortunately, the post design lends itself to instinctive shooting errors because it feels so natural to aim through the spot where the thick vertical post intersects the thin horizontal reticle. Many of our Reserve Component military students had MlDs with post reticles, and we had unending problems because these novice shooters did not correctly use the top of the post, which if you look closely, protrudes a bit above the horizontal reference crosshair. Yes, 1 said that the horizontal line was only for reference to prevent canting. It should never be used as an aiming point. The lop of the post, on the other hand, is a very precise spot that you can split mentally for even more exact shooting.
The post design is accurate—I've taken
that superimposes ultrathin dots over the narrow duplex lines. These dots allow excellent range estimation as well as holds for distance and leads for wind and moving targets.
We didn't even illustrate one style among these reticles because the absent design—the dot—has no suitability for sniping. The problem is, a dot thin enough for precise aiming is so thin that you can't see it in low light or brush. The dot reticle is a popular design for target shooting because it contrasts well against an unobstructed, white target and can be held nicely on a black bull's-eye. But a sniper seldom shoots in such conditions. Thumbs down on dot reticles.
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