Reticle Types on Spotting Scopes

If you need to know the distance between you and your target, its size or speed, then you definitely need a reticle on your spotting scope. Given that this feature includes a variety of indicators that serve as a scale, it will help you calculate all the necessary measurements to achieve a perfect hunting experience. To do so, it is important to learn about reticle types and what makes them different, and everything you need will be available in this article.

First of all, you need to know that all reticles nowadays originate from the one and only simple reticle that has been used for centuries and it consists of a simple intersection in the middle between two thin cross hairs. Based on this concept, innovators have developed more accurate types to fulfil the needs of modern hunters.

Mil Dot reticle

It is a standard ballistic reticle including 4 thick crosshairs that become thin while approaching the center. You will find 8 dots on every thin line of the reticle distributed on both sides of the central intersection. It gets measured in miliradians (Mrad) (1 Mrad = 3.6 inches at 100 yards) and each dot represents 1 Mrad.

It is considered as a ballistic reticle because it provides the user with precise measurements at long distances but hunters say that it is not of much use at normal distance shooting. The Mil Dot reticle is actually designed for the military.

TMR reticle

This one here is similar to the Mil Dot but it has a more complicated scale, it features the exact shape of a Mil Dot with two thick lines becoming thin when approaching the center and many graduations on the thin lines ranging from long to very short graduation signs. The only graduation found on the thick lines represents 5 Mrad.

This tactical reticle is also best used for knowing the size and approximate speed of your target, it is more precise than the Mil Dot but needs a professional to interpret it.

Horus H32 reticle

When it comes to advanced reticles, this one is the best of the best, with several grids and scales to interpret many characteristics over your field of view. The H32 contains a vertical grid which serves as a targeting grid for locating your target and for 2nd shot correction and a horizontal line that helps determine the speed of your target.

Honestly, H32 provides the user with all the needed information about his target, and all what is left to do is to shoot it dead.

Christmas tree reticle

Based on the duplex concept of 4 lines intercepting the center of the reticle, the Christmas tree is equipped with an additional grid on the 6 o’clock crosshair, a grid that looks like a Christmas tree from which comes the name of this reticle.

The additional grid serves as a wind-drift compensator and best recommended for long range target shooting since the bullet’s velocity and direction get easily affected by wind at this level.

Other considerations

Illuminated reticles

You need to know that there are astonishing products that come with an illumination system which makes the reticle bright at rough conditions and low light. Before you buy such reticle, you should put in mind that an illuminated reticle will make the image blurry at a very long distance.

FFP / SFP reticles

One important thing you need to know about your reticle is its position inside your spotting scope. FFP stands for first or front focal plane, in other terms, the reticle is placed in front of the magnifying system which allows the crosshairs to increase and decrease in size in relation with magnification, it is useful for better vision and more accurate measurements but it can hide important details on your field of view. In the other hand, SFP is the abbreviation of second focal plane, which means your reticle is located behind the magnifying lens mechanism therefore the crosshairs will have the same size at different magnification, this feature is best useful for long range shooting but sometimes is difficult to see especially on a loaded background.


All what you need to know about reticles is known so what are you waiting for to search for the product that meets your needs? Keep in mind that some types are only suitable for professional or military use therefore read our instructions carefully to choose the best reticle.