There’s a reason physicists love frictionless planes with negligible air resistance: it makes calculating things a whole lot easier. There’s just one problem with that — nowhere in the universe does such a place exist. Definitely not on a shooting range. For long range shots not only do you have to compensate for air density and gravity, but arguably the biggest component of accurate long range shooting is compensating for the wind. Even a gentle breeze can blow your round off target, but Nikon thinks they have a solution for that . . .
From the press release:
Nikon is pleased to announce the availability of the MONARCH 5 riflescope line, an exciting 2015 introduction that will surely be a flagship product for years to come. Not only does the MONARCH 5 riflescope line feature Nikon’s legendary ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass lenses, it is also the first Nikon riflescope to utilize the new Advanced BDC reticle and has an incredible 5-time zoom ratio for superior close-quarters and long-range effectiveness.
The new glass-etched Advanced BDC reticle, similar to the standard BDC reticle, has unique open circles going down the vertical sight post that are used as aiming points to compensate for bullet drop at extended ranges. What differentiates the Advanced BDC reticle is that it also has windage marks on both the left and right side of the post. Each windage mark is calibrated for a 10-mile-per-hour cross wind when the rifle is zeroed at either 100 or 200 yards. Even if the cross wind is more or less than 10 mph, shooters now have a reliable benchmark to compensate for the effect that a strong gust of wind can have on their point of impact.
In other words, they’ve got a new reticle that pairs with their app, and it will tell you which hold to use in order to hit a target at a given distance. Which is cool, but there’s a catch.
The range I regularly used when I was a budding long range shooter was the known distance range at Marine Corps Base Quantico. While any old stretch of 1,000 meter dirt would do the trick, Quantico is a unique property that makes shooting both infuriating and educational.
The trees on either side of the range funnel the wind in such a way that the apparent wind at the shooter’s face is not representative in any way shape or form of the actual wind across the range. It might seem to be flowing gently left to right at the shooting position, but the wind probably is shifting three times as the bullet flies downrange, changing the point of impact a little with each move.
That’s the problem that TrackingPoint has been grappling with unsuccessfully for years. Being able to read the wind at the shooter’s position is one thing, but being able to read it over the course of the bullet’s entire trajectory is quite another. That said, while this system probably won’t be 100% dead-on for every shot, it does look like a handy integrated system to give shooters a leg up in long range situations