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How to Sight in a Nikon BDC Scope?

In present times we have seen great development in the field of rifle scopes and gun sights. A scope or a gun sight is used for better viewing of objects and targets at a distance. 

These all have varying features and are suited for various types of outdoor or indoor adventures. These scopes come with different image quality and sighting powers to accommodate different situations. 

The scopes are manufactured to manoeuvre a specific delivery. They make use of precise craftsmanship to deliver a stand outperformance. The level of execution a scope can deliver also depends a lot on the type of tools that go into making them. And sighting-in means to adjust the sights of a gun or a rifle scope to coincide with the distance and your aim.

What is BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation)

What is BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation)

When a bullet leaves your rifle, the gravitational force starts working on it and pulls it down. Farther the target is from your place, the larger will be the bullet drop, because gravity works that much more on the bullet.

Due to this, it becomes imperative for you to calculate and accommodate the drop percentage before firing. There are two ways to do this; one is manually, and the other one is, you buy a riflescope that comes with a BDC feature.

How does BDC work?

A BDC reticle saves you from the hassle of guesswork and calculating the approximate drop of a bullet. This ensures that you have a more accurate shot at the target, and helps you hit the bullseye. 

When you aim at the target using a BDC reticle, the points beneath the crosshairs help you figure out how much the bullet is expected to drop. That being said, you need to zero your scope at a specific distance for the reticle to detect the target and auto-calculate.

Prerequisites for sighting in a Nikon BDC scope:

  • A scope with a mounting system positioned towards the centre-line of the bore
  • The make, model and calibre of rifle you are using
  • The rifle’s condition and inherent accuracy
  • The ballistics performance of the ammunition – accuracy, velocity, uniformity and bullet characteristics such as ballistics coefficients.

Mounting a Nikon BDC scope

Mounting a Nikon BDC scope

Before sighting in your new Nikon BDC scope make sure that it is properly mounted to the rifle’s mounting top. This will ensure more accuracy in your shots and also makes it steady for recoils. 

To ensure that your scope is perfectly mounted to the rifle make certain all the rings are screwed to the mount. But don’t over tighten the screws as this might end up blowing into your face.

Positioning the eye relief

Positioning the eye relief on scope

Position the scope in a manner that it ensures correct eye-relief. The best way to check for eye relief is by closing both of the eyes, place the rifle on the shoulder and open your shooting eye when you do this you should be able to view a clear and circular field of view. The eye relief is a major component for sighting in the scope.

Now lastly, make sure the reticle is vertical. To ensure this, place the rifle on a shooting vice or an appropriate holder. Place a plumb-bob at an appropriate distance, a plumb-bob is a length of a string with a small weight on one end. 

Look at this plumb-bob through your scope and align the reticle vertically. After your scope is perfectly mounted on the rifle and has an aligned reticle, it’s time for finally ‘sighting in of your scope’. 

Sighting in Nikon BDC scope

Sighting in Nikon BDC scope

There are two ways to sight in a Nikon BDC scope, the first one being the easier way and second way a bit complicated.

You will need a large immobile target

For this, you would need a large target. You can prepare this target by taking cardboard or construction paper and cutting it with dimensions of two square feet or bigger. Make sure it’s big enough to capture the first shot fired. 

Sighting in at 25-30 yards

Mark an aiming point in the centre of the target with a bold marker pen. A regular one- half inch point would be sufficient. Place this self-made target at a distance of 20-25 yards. 

Place your rifle on a steady shooting vice and fire a shot at it

If your mounting system is incompatible or the eye relief is not sufficient the shot might not hit the target otherwise it will be perfect. Now if you need to make any adjustments regarding mounting and eye relief then you should make it now.

The next step is to remove the rifle from shooting vice and coincide reticle crosshairs to the point of aim, do this very steadily and precisely. If you can’t do it on your own then take help of someone else to set the turrets while you provide directions and aim at the target. 

To ensure that your scope is zeroed in on the close-range dot, fire a shot. The main aim is to make sure that the point of aim is similar to the point of impact.

Sighting in at 100 yards

Sighting in at 100 yards

Now move this target to 100 yards, and change the aiming point on cardboard up to two inches with a felt pen. Cover the bullet holes from earlier with broad tape. After you have made necessary adjustments now you are ready to shoot your shot. Make the point coincide with crosshairs and then shoot. 

Now comes the complicated way that includes the turret adjustments that should be made. If you’re 6 inches low or 4 inches right you can make the adjustments by moving the elevation turrets 24 clicks up or by moving the windage turret 16 clicks left, depending upon aforementioned situations. 

As mentioned earlier the main aim is to make a point of aim similar to point of impact.

What is the speciality of BDC reticle?

A BDC reticle comes with a speciality that helps to compensate and manage the bullet drop and the distance between shooter targets by delivering shots with utmost precision. This Nikon rifle scope comes with compatibility up to 399 yards. 

This feature helps shooters to locate the target which stands miles apart from them and even in dense situations like in jungles, where it is difficult to locate the target at a large distance. 

What is the purpose of circles and dots etched on the BDC reticle of Nikon?

The Nikon BDC  has some circles and dots lined up vertically, implanted on its reticle. The purpose of these is to work for long-range shootings with high precision. 

They indicate yard coverage, and the first hole represents the first highest yard coverage mark, up to 200 yards from the shooter’s position. 

The second dot or hole represents the second-highest yard coverage point. If the distance from the shooter’s position and the target is 400 yards or so the second hole comes into use. 

What are cartridges requirements for a Nikon BDC?

The Nikon BDC comes with specifications to bode well with 55-grain cartridges. Most Nikon units work well with 55-grain cartridges. The cartridge implantation feature is backed up by strong manufacturing technology to provide efficiency while aiming at the target. 

How is the formatting of Nikon BDC scope done?

The formatting of Nikon BDC is another striking feature. The formatting is done by the calculator drawn on the tool. It is specified with an automatic mode calculator which helps in drawing out the impact of bullet drop to ensure efficiency while shooting. 

The special tool of calculator helps in giving a somewhat accurate delivery mechanism in situations of bullet drop. The calculator is not assumption based but uses a good deal of technology to back up its readings. It can provide an unmatched precision to shooters in medium and long-range shootings. 

The impact of the BDC is felt most when it is handled properly and is utilised to its full potential. It gives a true shooting and hunting experience due to its technology and mechanisms. The Nikon BDC is no doubt a good scope with great features to it.


The Nikon BDC riflescope has proven to be a great competitor in the market by making use of its high-quality inputs and excellent craftsmanship. 

The reticle gives shooters an optimum field view for medium and long-range shots. To ensure the scope is perfectly sighted in, the first step is to ensure it is perfectly mounted. 

The reticle should be vertical and eye relief should be appropriate. For sighting in, you need to arrange the visions of scope under the target’s position. Once you are done sighting in, you are ready to use your riflescope on the field. 

Make sure to zero in the scope after use, this ensures better durability in the long run. As turrets may get loosened up over time if not zeroed in. And remember to always keep good care of your scope by regular cleaning it.

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