What Does BDC Stand for in Rifle Scopes?

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One shot could make all the difference when you’re shooting at the gun range or hunting. It’s, therefore, wise to always work on improving your shot whenever possible. You will require skills and the right gear to be a great shot.

Your chances of an accurate shot will only keep getting low as the distance gets longer. However, there are some tools that you can use to counter this. You may need to do some calculations, but that’s not too difficult.

What Is BDC?

A bullet drop compensator (BDC) is a type of scope that has extra reticles that indicate how low your bullets will drop at certain distances. It has a design that helps make taking more accurate shots at great distances easier.

You can choose from two distinct BDC scope designs. They include BDC reticles, which are marks on the scope that represent different target distances. Having no calibrating requirements makes these ideal for novices.

Next, you have the BDC turret, which is great for people who prefer doing the calibrations by themselves. It also doesn’t have reticles all over the scope; thus, there are fewer distractions when you’re aiming.

BDC and MIL Dot Reticle 

Don’t mix up your BDC reticle with MIL-dot scopes. MIL-dot scopes are way more expensive and have MIL-dot reticles, while BDC has hash marks that sync up with different distances (normally at 100 yards).

MIL-dots are duplex crosshair reticles that are designed in a standard pattern on a rifle scope. Each direction has four small dots (0.25mm diameter ) that mark estimated distances on the range.

How Can I Calculate BDC?

Calculating BDC isn’t that complicated, but if you’re not feeling like spending your time doing it, you can use a bullet drop compensator chart. These charts are available for different ranges, and they don’t require any math skills. They help you visualize your target, thus making your shot a lot easier.

To calculate your bullet drop compensator, you just need a few factors, and you’re good to go. There are several BDC calculators online that you can use. First, you need to know the target distance, rifle type, bullet info, wind speed, and altitude.  

Most BDC scopes come with a 100 yards mark increment for every reticle mark. This means that once you have your target in sight, your bullet drop per 100 yards is shown by the reticle marks that fall under your target mark.

Pros and Cons

Though most people find BDC scopes a great solution for long shots, there are those who don’t agree. The following are some of the main benefits and drawbacks of BDC scopes:


  • Improves accuracy for long-distance shots
  • User-friendly
  • Don’t require calibrations


  • Reticle marks can be distracting
  • Only works with specific bullets and rifles


To improve your shot with a BDC scope, you need to ensure that you have the right type of rifle and are using the ideal bullets. Next, you need to consider other factors, like the distance of your target, wind speed, and altitude, to calculate the best bullet trajectory.

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