How to Use the H58 Reticle By Todd Hodnett

Horus Reticle

The Horus reticle is a patented grid system replacing the 40-year-old archaic mil-dot shooting method.  The Horus reticle is an optically precise uniform grid etched on glass.  The ergonomic design and lay-out of the reticle includes a built-in rangefinder, providing a clear picture and numeric information about the target.

Horus reticles are based off the following data:

  • Measured in USMC milliradians (mils), where a circle = 6283 mils
  • 1 mil = 3.60 inches at exactly 100 yards
  • 1 mil = 10.0 centimeters at exactly 100 meters

 H58 Reticle

The H58 is a unique design incorporating all the benefits of a Horus reticle with new features for additional benefits. 

The H58 has extended wind dots placed at each 1 mil mark outside the main hash grid. These wind dots are unobtrusive, providing a clearer view than an extending grid, but still allows accurate holds in high winds.

The H58 also incorporates the Accuracy 1st Speed Shooting Formula. This is the staircase looking pattern in the upper half of the reticle.  This allows the shooter to quickly establish a hold for his rifle. These increments are in 1/10 mil and start at .5 from the outside and go up to 1 mil at the middle line.

The mover numbers under each speed mil mark can be used to associate which mil to hold.

Here is a lesson from Todd Hodnett, Founder of Accuracy 1st, on how to use the H58 reticle:

Build your Accuracy 1st Speed Shooting Formula

By using the ATrag software, one can build his own speed shooting formula for his gun. After zeroing and then truing the gun. The user then can go to the TR under TARGET and place the target size in inches (12”). Then go through the following

  • 1.2 = 254m = 1 mil
  • 1    = 305m = 1.5 mils
  • .8   = 381m = 2.2 mils
  • .7   = 435m = 2.9 mils
  • .6   = 508m = 3.9 mils
  • .5   = 610m = 5.2 mils

By doing this, we have now built a dope sheet to perfect match our gun for these mil measurements. This will work out to 610m without ever having to know the distance of the target.

As you look at your holds you have just gathered. You will notice if you take the size of the image mil of the target and remove the decimal and then add the actual hold to it. The actual holds nearly equal 10, within a moa. So, 10 doesn’t mean anything, it just becomes the numbers that allows you to remember your hold.

Example:

  • Target mils .6, hold 4 mils:  6 + 4 = 10
  • Target mils .7, hold 3 mils:  7 + 3 = 10

This works really well out to 600m and allows the shooter to quickly engage a target with an accurate hold using the mil system, with an MOA, without ever having to know the distance of the target. It is a mil association drill.

So when I designed the reticle I placed the speed shooting formula above the main stadia line. These stair steps are actual tenth mil exact measurements starting at .5 on the outside and going up to 1 mil in the middle. I placed them over a mover speed number that when cut in half, gives you a proper mil hold to equal 10.

Example:

One can also use this with a gun that doesn’t equal 10. If you are using a 300wm and the actual holds equal closer to 9. You would just find where the target fits in the stairsteps and take that mover number and cut it in half and subtract 1 mil.

Example:

A target fits above the 6 mph mover mark, cut 6 in half which gives you 3 and then subtract 1 to now have a 2 mil hold. Easy

What this means is that you build the Accuracy 1st formula to your gun based off your trued performance parameters. This way, the only way you can miss, is if you miss-mil the target.

 Todd Hodnett ~ Accuracy 1st

www.HorusVision.com

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SFC Edward Homeyer’s Personal Account Using Horus

A personal account of the 2010 International Sniper Competition from SFC Edward Homeyer, winner of the Service Class, along with his partner Chance Gianelli.

Originally I was going to spot for Chance, but earlier in July while training at Accuracy 1st, we discovered that we work a little better with Chance calling winds and me shooting. 
Around mid September Chance got a hold of our committees 16″ Larue Tactical OBR with a 5-25×50 Horus Falcon with a H37 reticle.  He zeroed it, trued using the ATrag software and immediately started getting hits on 12″ plates out beyond 850 meters.  I was going to originally shoot my M24 with my Falcon.  But four days before the comp I got my hands on a 20″ Larue Tactical OBR. 

Two days before the comp I received my scope.  It was a Nightforce first focal plane 3.5-15×50 with a Horus Vision H58 reticle in it.  I put it on my gun and went to zero.  After my initial group I went to make my adjustment.  That’s when I realized that one of the zero stop screws had broken off in the scope.  With the elevation cap off I used a screwdriver and some elbow grease to turn the knob and zero my crosshairs at 100 meters.  It was almost dark when I finished that. 

The next day Chance and I went out and trued at 900 meters in a 12″ plate.  I shot a few intermediate range targets to ensure the data matched.  That night I got my zero shift with my PVS 26 at 100, 200 and 400 meters.  My night vision zero shift was Left .2 mils.  That was what I fired less than 35 rounds through a gun I never touched before and we used it to win overall at the International Sniper Comp.  It is a testament to Horus Vision, the ATrag, and the Horus reticle

My gun was driving tacks at Ft Benning and Chance was making all the right calls. We used Accuracy 1st’s short wind formula to calculate our wind holds.  When my zero stop broke I lost all ability to dial elevation.  I held over for every shot of the comp.  The only time I touched my elevation knob was to dial on my night vision zero shift.  By not touching our dials we were able to engage multiple targets quickly without ever breaking cheek stock weld.  Losing the ability to dial doesn’t make long shots impossible

I had to hold 14.2 mils on one shot during the day unknown distance, that put my hold near the bottom of the scope.  Since I couldn’t dial a few mils on, I just reduced the power from 15 to about 13.  This allowed me to avoid any distortion by bringing the hold up away from the edge of the scope.  

The final shot of the comp had Chance and I each firing one round at two Larue targets 800 meters away.  We decided to use a drill we teach in school.  We had two minutes to fire our rounds.  Instead of spotting for each other we laid down side by side.  Chance was holding 9.7 mils on his target and I was holding 8.7 mils on mine.  I held up my Kestrel to get a base line wind speed, estimated the value of the downrange wind through my rifle scope and gave Chance his wind hold.  When I said right .5 Chance (who was already holding over 9.7) immediately held R.5 and broke his shot.  I was holding over 8.7 and R.5 on my target, but observing Chances shot.  When I saw his target fall I immediately broke my shot.  And since we were the same range, same wind, same hold my shot was also a hit.  

By holding the same wind on my target, as Chance is observing his splash, it gives me the opportunity to correct my shot off of his.  If his round would have hit .2 mils right of his target, I would have immediately held R.3 and shot.  In my opinion this method gives a team a high probability of making a solid second round hit.  This method is successful because of the accuracy of the Horus reticle.  I don’t have to guess where his shot went.  I can see within .1 mils where it is.  There are enough variables in sniping already.  Knowing exactly where your round hit takes one of those variables away.  

I believe the days of gathering data at every meter line are numbered.  If you have a gun that can group sub minute, an ATrag, a Kestrel and a range to true your muzzle velocity on ,then you don’t need to fire more than 10 rounds to get a range card from 100 meters to just prior to subsonic flight. If you want to accurately shoot past subsonic, just extrapolate your BC, input that data and you can shoot as far as you can call winds and spot rounds.  

I know this is long winded.  But what you can do with these tools are really only limited by the consistency of your shooter and the skill of your spotter.  I consider Chance a good friend of mine and one of the best spotters in the world. He will consistently call winds within 1mph, but what good is the best wind call if you don’t have the capability as a shooter to exploit it?  Dialing winds breaks cheek to stock weld and by the time you get back on the gun you are probably going to hold a correction anyway, guessing what a 1/4 or a half mil hold is.  Why not just hold that wind call within .1mils when your spotter says it in the first place?  With a Horus reticle in .2 mil increments you can and we do.        

I could go on and on about the Horus reticle and the ATrag program.  And it feels like I already have.  The capabilities of this system are endless.  I’ve built range cards in my ATrag from my glock 17 9mm to the M107 Barrett .50 cal. I’ve learned more in one weekend by playing through different scenarios on my ATrag than I have in months on the range.  All the work is done by the time you get to the range, all you have to do is concentrate on your cold bore shot and wind calls.  Alright I’m done for real this time.

Chance & Ed on the Final Round of the Competition

Winners Use Horus at the 2010 International Sniper Competition

Fort Benning, GA – October 13-15, 2010 – The buzz from the 2010 International Sniper Competition resonated with a bang this year- new structure, new approach, and a lot of talk about a sniper tool with the ‘edge.’ 

The new structure and approach was in regards to the organization of the event.  In previous years, the competition consisted of a five-day stretch with eight hours of rest each day.  This year was an intense 72-hour competition, where participating teams were allotted a total of four hours to rest total.  The vendor show and shoot, previously held in separate locations was joined as one, which resulted in a successful networking opportunity between vendors and military personnel. 

And then of course, the tool with a lot of talk- this was none other than the Horus reticle, which was embedded in the scopes of the top three winners in the service class, and two of the three in the open class.  The keynote speaker at the Awards Banquet even mentioned Horus’ reticle in his speech, “It’s not all about the Horus reticle while winning these competitions, although it does give those who use it the ‘edge’.” 

The Horus reticle was prominent within the competition and it proved to add an edge, particularly to the winning team of the service class, consisting of SGT 1st Class Chance Gianelli and SGT 1st Class Edward Homeyer of the D Co 2nd BN 1st SWTG, Range 37 Special Forces Sniper Course.  Gianelli used a Horus Vision Falcon H37 scope, while his partner Homeyer used a Nightforce scope with a Horus H58 reticle embedded within.

The turret on Homeyer’s Nightforce scope broke right before the competition, inhibiting adjustment capabilities.  In addition, competition rules denied equipment replacement, meaning Homeyer had to make do with the broken scope.  Because Homeyer had the Horus reticle, which he fortunately zeroed out before the turret broke; he was able to continue in the competition using “holdovers” and the unique feature of 2nd Shot Correction.  If he and his partner were off on their first shot, the reticle grid gave them the advantage of instantly correcting their shot to hit the target on the next attempt.  This feature would not have been available on a normal mil-dot scope.

Despite the mishap of Homeyer’s scope, he and Gianelli were still able to take the win with a score of 1,258 points out of the possible 1,507.

As mentioned before, five of the six winning teams all used Horus reticles within their scopes in the competition, but all six had been exposed to the Horus System through training with Accuracy 1st.  Most of the top teams were also using Horus’ ATrag software to true, verify, and plan their shotting stages.

By fate, Horus Vision happened to be seated with the third place team in the Open Class, SSG Caleb Perkins and SGT Andrew McElroy, the only placing team not using the Horus System in the competition.  They jokingly blamed Horus Vision for their lower finish, since they were unable to obtain Horus equipment prior to the match, but had previous training with it and knew the advantage it served.

The third place team actually got their hands on a Horus scope after the competition and contacted Horus Vision to say, “You are increasing our lethality on the battlefield…So now I hope you sleep better at night knowing that.”

And to tell you the truth, we do sleep better at night knowing we are contributing to a greater cause.  Events such as the International Sniper Competition help us understand the needs of our soldiers, which help us evolve to better suit them in an ever changing world of combat.  Getting to speak first hand with the men and women who volunteer to sacrifice their lives everyday really adds a whole new perspective.

Horus Vision served as Platinum Sponsors for the 2010 International Sniper Competition, but that was the least we could do for priceless soldiers putting their lives on the line.  Horus was part of the buzz, but let it not be forgotten- the soldiers are still the ones creating the bang- and they deserve all our appreciation for their unselfish service.

Winners of Service Class, Chance Gianelli & Ed Homeyer

www.HorusVision.com

Horus Reticles vs. Caliber-specific Ballistic Reticles

The Traditional Method: Dialing Up Elevation

Precision optics that allow rapid, accurate target engagement are highly sought after by  dangerous game and brush country hunters, designated marksmen, military/LE snipers and competitive shooters. The traditional method of “dialing up” elevation corrections into a riflescope is accurate but requires time to adjust manually. Dialing in also requires light to see elevation knob markings or the ability to count many—often hundreds of—clicks. When used in a fast-moving and dynamic environment, dialing up will hamstring the shooter by slowing him down and requiring a return to the “zero” setting prior to changing to a different elevation setting for additional targets. Failure to keep track of clicks on the elevation knob often results in missed shots or even a loss of zero when using target knobs.

Pros: Traditional method for target engagement; easy to teach new shooters; provides precise aiming point 

Cons: Time consuming; requires ability to see or count clicks; Difficult to use for rapid engagement of multiple targets 

Ballistic Reticles 

An old solution to the dialing up problem is the use of a “ballistic” or custom reticle that is calibrated for a specific cartridge. Ballistic reticles work well where precision is not required. They incorporate ballistic data for a specific projectile, velocity and set of atmospheric conditions. This data is used to construct reticle hold-over points within a scope’s field of view. The idea is that no effort is required to adjust the riflescope once range has been determined. The shooter simply places the appropriate hold-over point (indicated in the reticle) on the target and fires. While ballistic reticles usually get you close, they have a number of weaknesses.

They use data for a specific cartridge, or an average of cartridges and conditions to create a generic reticle intended for use on any firearm of that caliber. A good example can be seen in many of the low powered optics fielded by the US military. Reticles are generally either calibrated for either the 5.56 NATO M855, 62 grain or the 7.62 NATO M80 Ball, 147 grain cartridge. Unless you use one of these ballistic reticle-equipped sights on the exact same type firearm it was calibrated for, in the exact atmospheric conditions with ammunition from the same lot, your actual points of impact will vary from the reticle hold over points. The difference may be ½” or it may be a foot or more, depending on how many variables change from the reticle’s calibration. Obviously we’re not likely to find ourselves in the same laboratory conditions used during reticle calibration. In most cases we’ll be using a different firearm, cartridge and set of atmospheric conditions. Consistently hitting your intended point of impact with precision isn’t possible this way. Another problem is that when ballistic reticles are incorporated in 2nd Focal Plane scopes, only the highest power setting may be used for hold over points. This eliminates any accurate use of lower powers for all distances beyond zero.

Pros: Provides rapid aiming points for multiple distances; no dialing up required 

Cons: Calibrated to specific ammunition/gun/weather; typically not suitable for precision fire needs 

Mil Dot Reticle Holds 

An option that doesn’t require the shooter to dial in elevation and that doesn’t rely on a specific set of ballistic data is to use a mil-dot reticle to hold over for elevation. Using “mil holds” is a rapid system that requires you to first determine where specific ammunition types impact at different distances beyond the zero range. For example, an M110 firing M118LR using a 100m zero may require a hold of .75 Mil high for 200m, 2 mils high for 400m, 5 mils high for 600m, etc. Again, the exact hold points are specific to the gun, ammunition type and atmospheric conditions. Hold points will fall along the vertical stadia, below the reticle center/zero point. While using a standard mil-dot reticle for hold-overs is a faster way to engage targets at multiple ranges, most such reticles are limited to 5 mil-dots available as hold points below center. If the reticle is placed in the 2nd focal plane, the highest zoom setting is required for mil hold-overs to remain accurate. Standard mil-dot reticles also lack precise aiming points beyond each specific mil dot. If a target requires a 3.6 mil hold over, the shooter must guess the proper point to hold between the 3rd and 4th mil-dots. Over all this system is superior to ballistic or custom reticles but still lacks precision and is limited to moderate ranges only.

Pros: Provides rapid aiming points for multiple target distances; not caliber or gun specific

Cons: Hold over points are generally limited to mil dots/lines only—no in between hold points; limited number of mils available below the zero point

The Horus Reticle System

Horus reticles are designed for accuracy, flexibility and engagement speed to help you shoot more effectively. The Horus system allows you to hold-over your intended target in the reticle by employing the same method as any conventional mil-dot reticle used for holding over. However Horus reticles provide 5X the accuracy of standard mil-dot reticles due to hold points spaced 2/10th milliradians (mils) apart. These “hash marks” are placed along the vertical stadia—extending to 44 mils on some reticles—and horizontal stadia as well as throughout the gridded area below the center of the reticle. Using reticle reference points to hold on targets at any range eliminates the need to dial-in corrections for elevation to the scope itself. This allows the shooter to maintain his or her shooting position when transitioning from one target to another. It also allows the scope to remain “on zero” at all times. The Horus reticles’ mil numbers provide a quick reference for holds by indicating the mil number corresponding that line. The beauty of the Horus reticle is that this confirmation doesn’t require you to change head and eye position, no light is required to examine your scope knob at night and no memorization of click numbers is required.

A very important capability provided by using Horus reticle holds is that multiple ammunition types may be used in the same scope/rifle combo. For example, a military sniper’s scope may be zeroed for M118 LR at 100m but he may also need to shoot delinked Armor Piercing rounds or M80 Ball ammunition. He can shoot these—or any other munitions—and note their deviation from the regular 100m zero, then determine specific hold over points within the Horus reticle grid. This applies to hunters and competitive shooters too. Any Horus reticle will work on any rifle or carbine, with no limitation to ammunition types or weather conditions. If you don’t use a ballistic program to determine your elevation holds for different rounds, you’ll need to shoot them at all likely distances and record the holds. Remember that environmental factors like temperature, barometric pressure and humidity affect these holds each time weather changes. A good ballistic software program like Horus Vision’s TragMP will make determining and recording all elevation holds a simple and effective process, but ballistic software it is not a requirement to use Horus reticle-equipped scopes.

Additional benefits of Horus reticles include unmatched accuracy in determining range through milliradian-based reticle measurements, accurate wind holds at any distance without adjusting windage knobs, moving target holds and a very accurate system for applying fail-safe second-shot corrections when needed. This latter capability allows the shooter to follow up an observed shot with a second round with an extremely high hit probability. For example, when the shooter follows through a shot by quickly placing the original reticle hold point on the target, the impact point of a miss is noted on the reticle. The shooter need only hold that point of impact (within the reticle grid) on the target and re-engage. If wind, range and other relevant conditions haven’t changed, and provided the shooter does his job, second shot correction will place the follow-up shot on target.

Unlike most US-made and current-issue US military optics, all Horus reticles are placed in the riflescope’s 1st focal plane. When the scope is zoomed up or down, the reticle’s size remains relevant to the target’s image size, so all reticle markings and holds remain true at all powers. This can be particularly useful in low light conditions, when using lower power settings allow greater visibility through the riflescope.

Pros: Provides extensive rapid aiming points for multiple target distances; not caliber or gun specific; most flexible system for all needs and environments; hold points spaced every 2/10th mil along stadia; specific hold points for windage, moving targets and second shot correction; all reticles placed in 1st focal plane for maximum scope flexibility;

Cons: Horus reticles will spoil you to the point that you won’t ever want to use any other aiming system again

Horus Vision reticles, scopes and software have been used in active ground combat by US military snipers for many years. Our system is also in use by several key US allies fighting alongside our troops. Snipers in both the Special Operations and conventional military communities find Horus reticles to be supremely useful and flexible accoutrements to their traditional equipment. The best indicator to the effectiveness of our system is that tactical shooters around the world continue to ask manufacturers of quality optics to place our reticles in their scopes. Taking the time to learn this system and apply it to your own shooting needs will open your eyes to a whole new world of precision shooting in dynamic environments. No other system allows you to engage multiple targets at varying distances as quickly and effectively as Horus Vision.