Why Do You Like the Dragunov Ranging Reticle… Reader Question

A reader asked me to explain why I like the Dragunov ranging reticle.
First, let me apologize for not responding in a more timely manner but I’ve been up to my eyes in work.
The explanation has to begin with the central question, and that is why we use ranging reticles.
A ranging reticle performs a number of functions. First it has to provide you with accurate range information as quickly as possible. Second, it must allow you to decisively engage your target. Third, it must allow you to correct your fire.  All three are critical to a successful operation.
If you look at Figure 1, you’ll see a 1,7 this means that the ranging reticle is calibrated for a 1.7 meter target which translates to a 5’6″ target  or 66 inches.
If we divide Figure 1 into quadrants, the third quadrant contains the ranging element of the reticle.
To range a target place the target image so that it sits between the enumerated top line and the horizontal line below. When the target in squarely bracketed between top and bottom lines read the target range shown along the top enumerated line. Note that all ranges are in meters. The number 2 indicates 200 meters, the next tick mark to the left of the number 2 is 300 meters, etc. Now, lets assume that the target is not fully exposed. Furthermore lets assume that all you have is the upper torso. What’s the range to the target now? Simply bracket the torso and read the range. Lets say that it’s 4 0r 400 meters. Since the torso is about half of the full target size simply dive by two. The actual range is 200 meters. Making it more complex yet, let’s say that only the shoulders and head are exposed. Proceed as before by bracketing the target and reading the top number. Let’s assume that number is 8 or 800 meters. Since your target is head and shoulders, which is approximately one-fourth of a full size target we dive 8 by 4 and arrive at 2 or 200 meters. Note that you can also interpolate. For example, the exposed target is 10 inches high and when you bracket the target it falls between the 6 and 7 tick mark. You would call that 650 meters; the 10 inch target is approximately one-sixth of a full target so divide 650 by 6 to get a target range of 108 meter.
The fact that you may be engaging taller or shorter targets should not distract you as the proportions tend to be the same. This ranging reticle will provide you with extremely fast ranges that have better than combat accuracy.
The chevrons are hold points at specific ranges for a specific caliber and those will vary with the weapon system and ammunition.
The top horizontal line is calibrated in mils so I can use that for wind holds and to determine target movement, direction and speed, in other words target leed.
My own proficiency with the Dragunov ranging reticle is high enough that at a known range I can give you the target height, as well as range normally.
There are great reticles available, like the Horus reticle, but if they don’t deliver on the criteria mentioned earlier, they’re useless.
Disclaimer: All of the calculations discussed in this post are not precise nor do they need to be. The intent is to illustrate how quickly range can be determined without the use of mil calculators or other apparatus.
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