Nikon BLACK Riflescopes with X-MOA and X-MRAD Reticles
Nikon’s X-MOA and X-MRAD reticles presents clean and visually simple, yet highly functional and advanced tools for estimating range, maintaining holdovers or dialing elevation come ups and compensating for wind. And while some shooters prefer MOA graduations and turrets and others the MRAD variants, each can be applied to virtually any shooting application regardless of caliber or ballistic performance, and when paired with the BLACK X1000 riflescope, provides you with the tools necessary for long-range shooting precision.
The X-MOA reticle was engineered using 2-MOA-thick outer posts at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock to draw the eye toward the reticle that “free-floats” 6 MOA inside each post. To maintain an uncluttered appearance, the reticle utilizes a 1 MOA hash mark spaced at 2 MOA, with larger 4 MOA “reference hashes” at 10 and 20 MOA on each horizontal and vertical wire.
The X-MRAD reticle’s .5 MRAD-thick outer posts at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock draw the eye to a free-floating reticle spaced 2 MRAD inside the posts. The reticle is kept uncluttered
by having hashes centered every .5 MRAD with larger hashes every whole MRAD and extending out 5 MRAD from the crosshair.
Which Magnification to Use
Regardless of MOA or MRAD reticle choice, the BLACK X1000 4-16x50 and 6-24x50 models have the reticle placed in the riflescope’s second focal plane, so all holdover corrections, ranging and other measurements using the indicated reticle subtensions should be done at the following magnifications: the BLACK X1000 4-16x50 = 16x and
for the BLACK X1000 6-24x50 = 18x.
For MOA: Height of Target (inches) ÷ Image Size in reticle (MOA) x 95.5 = Distance to Target (yards)
For example, if we know that the height of an IPSC target is 29.5” and it measures as 10 MOA (Fig. 1), the equation would be: 29.5 ÷ 10 x 95.5 = 282 yards to the target. This method can be used to create a cheat sheet if you know your target size will be constant, by calculating distance at several MOA measurements. For example with 29.5” targets:
1 MOA = 2817 Yards; 2 MOA = 1409 Yards; 3 MOA = 939 Yards; 4 MOA = 704 Yards; 5 MOA = 563 Yards; 6 MOA = 470 Yards; 7 MOA = 402 Yards; 8 MOA = 352 Yards; 9 MOA = 313 Yards; 10 MOA = 282 Yards. (All yards have been rounded to the nearest whole number.)
For MRAD: Height of Target (inches) ÷ Image Size in reticle (MRAD/mils) x 27.77 = Distance to Target (yards)
Again, if the height of an IPSC target is 29.5” and it measures as 3MRAD/mils (Fig. 2), the equation would be 29.5 ÷ 3 x 27.77 = 273 yards to the target. You can create the same sort of cheat sheet if you know your target size will be constant, by calculating distance of several MRAD measurements. For example with 29.5” targets:
1 MRAD = 819 Yards; 2 MRAD = 410 Yards; 3 MRAD = 273 Yards; 4 MRAD = 205 Yards; 5 MRAD = 164 Yards; 6 MRAD = 137 Yards; 7 MRAD = 117 Yards; 8 MRAD = 102 Yards; 9 MRAD = 91 Yards; 10 MRAD = 82 Yards. (All yards have been rounded to the nearest whole number.)
Using X-MOA and X-MRAD Reticles for Ranging
There are simple –yet different– formulas for determining range with an MOA reticle and with an MRAD reticle. With the BLACK X1000 second focal plane riflescopes, it is
important to set the magnification as referenced earlier (16x in 4-16x50 and 18x in 6-24x50).
Using X-MOA or X-MRAD for Wind Hold
Using either the BLACK X-MOA or X-MRAD reticle for windage correction is much faster than using the riflescope’s windage adjustment turret for both the initial shot and any follow-up shots. When adjusting for wind hold using the reticle, you can use the various hash marks on the reticle’s horizontal wire like a ruler to reference your specified point for aiming into the wind. For example, if the wind speed value has you holding 4 MOA left, you will be using the 2nd mid-size hash mark to the right of the crosshair as your aiming point.
Conversely, with the X-MRAD, if the wind speed value has you holding 1.5 MRAD left, you will be using the second “gap” to the right of the crosshair (between the large 1 and 2 MRAD hash marks) as your aiming point.
With either X-MOA or X-MRAD, if you are using the reticle for elevation correction as well as for wind hold, you can establish an aiming point by referencing both the proper
vertical and horizontal hash marks and then visualize the target placement where the hash marks would intersect in the lower right quadrant of the reticle, as shown.
Using X-MOA or X-MRAD for Moving Target Leads
Moving target leads are very similar to wind holds, although typically more difficult to master. To confidently establish a lead on a moving target, you must know both the speed of the target and the distance to the target. Then, instead of “holding into the wind,” you will be “holding in front of the target.” There are various methods to mathematically calculate the target lead (such as multiplying the bullet flight time to your target distance by the speed to the target) to determine the lead as it applies to the various reticle subtend points and then choosing the correct hold point.