What is BDC Scope – In-Depth Analysis with FAQs & More

There are many types of scopes out there.

People ask, “What is a BDC scope?” often.

In this article, we will answer that question.

So, let’s get into it.

What Are Bullet Drop Compensation Scopes and How Do They Work?

A bullet drop compensation scope is a type of rifle scope that compensates for the fact that bullets travel faster than the speed of sound. This means that your target may appear to move when shooting because the bullet travels faster than the speed of light. A bullet drop compensation scope helps compensate for this effect by moving the reticle up or down depending on whether the bullet drops or rises. An example of this is if you shoot a.308 caliber round out of a.223 caliber rifle, the bullet will rise as it moves away from the muzzle. This causes the target to appear to move upward. With a bullet drop compensation scope, you can adjust the reticle to compensate for this movement.

Defining Bullet Drop Compensating Scopes

A bullet drop compensating scope allows you to adjust your aim to compensate for the bullet drop caused by the distance the bullet travels. You can use this feature to increase accuracy when shooting long-range targets.

Holdovers require knowledge of bullet speed and caliber. To calculate how much to hold over, you need to know your distance and elevation.

Bullet drop is a term used to describe how far a bullet travels after being fired. A bullet dropped 8 inches at 100 yards. That means if you shot a gun at a target at 100 yards, the bullet would travel 8 inches below the point of aim.

With a BDC scope, you can use a simple method to calculate how many holdovers you need to get your shot off.

Note: If you want to know a complete guide about scopes click HERE.

How do Bullet Drop Compensator scopes or BDC Scopes Work?

Most BDC scopes are used by hunters who want to shoot accurately. A reticle is an aiming system that allows you to see exactly what your target looks like. You use this information to aim your weapon. A turret is a device that holds the scope onto your rifle. This allows you to quickly change out different scopes without having to take off your rifle or put down your gun.

BDC Reticle

Weaver V24 with 223 Reticles are different from traditional Duplex reticles. The BDC reticles feature easy-to-see markings that start below the crosshair and extend down the vertical post. These marks come as microdots, open circles, hash marks, or any combination thereof.

Diamond-shaped marks. Some rifle scope brand also includes a secondary mark between each primary mark to offer more detailed BDC sighting options.

BDC Turret

The BDC reticle is more commonly used than the BDC turret. Both options allow you to adjust your scope for different ranges. The BDC reticle allows you to see how far away your target is while the BDC turret lets you know how much time you have left before hitting your target.

When you configure your scope with a BDC, you must first set up the correct elevation and windage. Then you must aim the gun at a target at the appropriate distance. You must hold the gun steady until the bullet drops below the crosshairs. Once the bullet hits the ground, you must wait for the bullet to stop moving before firing again.

Note: If you want to know Who Makes UTG Scopes click HERE.

What is BDC Scope

What is BDC Scope?

Which BDC Method is Better?

I’ve used scopes with BDC functionality, and they work well when properly configured. The configuration is a vital aspect of using BDC scopes. Many shooters don’t take the proper amount of time to configure them correctly, and even less test the BDC accuracy.

While using the turret option, the shooter must take his eyes off the scope to adjust the turrets. Using the reticle option, the shooter stays in the scope to make distance changes.

Note: If you want to gain information on How Much is a Night Vision Scope click HERE.

Designed with Restrictive Requirements

This complaint centers around the fact most all BDC-equipped scopes are caliber specific. Most all are built so that BDC functionality only works for a single, specific bullet type moving at a single bullet speed. For example, I used to have a Nikon M224 scope that features an integrated BDC reticule built for a 223/5.56 AR platform. The BCD function was created to work with 55-grain bullets with a bullet speed of 3340 feet per second. Nikon chose those parameters because the 55-grain bullet is the most common bullet weight for that caliber and the 3340 feet per second number is the average speed of a 5.56 NATO bullet exiting an AR-10 with a 16-inch barrel.

The BDC function works surprisingly well, but only when using specific ammunition and bullet speeds. However, if you use 62-grain bullets, the BDC function doesn’t work as expected.

Built with Restrictive Range Requirements

Most BDC reticles and turret systems are designed to work with normal pre-determined ranges like 100 yards, 200, or 300 yards. When you need to use a different range, such as 250 yards, you’ll have to adjust the settings on your BDC system. You might also have to change the ammunition used in your gun.

Note: If you want to know How to Dial in a Scope click HERE.

What does BDC mean on Nikon scopes?

Nikon uses the BDC acronym and numbers to describe the farthest effective distances for the BDC reticle to work. A BDC 600 reticle means that the BDC reticule is designed to work out to 600 yards. A BDC 300 reticle means that the reticule is designed for 300 yards. So on and so forth.

Uses of BDC Scopes

  1. Hunting
  2. Shooting sports
  3. Military use
  4. Scientific research


We hope that now you have an in-depth knowledge of BDC Scopes!

If you want to know more information about scopes click HERE.


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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