Reticles have come a very long way over the years. The same progression we have seen in optical technology is reflected in the design of modern reticles. When I was in middle school my Dad had me read “Marine Corps Scout Sniper 93 Confirmed Kills” by Charles Henderson. The book was a biography on Carlos Hathcock II. During the book they describe the gear he was working with during the Vietnam War. I was amazed that they were range estimating and holding wind/elevation with a duplex! Using the width of your front sight to estimate the range of an enemy is one thing, but range estimating to a degree that ensures a hit with the first or second shot at long range using a duplex reticle impressed me. During the American Hero Challenge years back in Las Vegas and during the 2011 SHOT show, I have had the opportunity to talk to Chuck Mawhinney in regards to this. He explained how they maximized the usefulness of a relatively simple reticle. I was very impressed with their resourcefulness and ability to get the job done with the tools on hand.
Today we have better reticles to accompany our technologically advanced rifle scopes. We have reached new levels of accuracy, utility and simplicity. What I am getting at is companies like Horus Vision are working to offer new tools for shooters. The Horus Vision H-102 reticle looks busy and many will be put off by that, but what this reticle does offer is a lot of options and tools for the shooter. You have to remember, over all it may look busy but you are not using all of the features at once. Horus Vision released the H-102 in 2013. The H-102 was designed as a reticle system to cover the needs of the entry level rifleman, the designated marksman and, of course the sniper. Horus designed the H102 to be a user friendly reticle that soldiers with different levels of training can all be proficient with. The system gives experienced shooters many options and tools, including an IPHY range estimation scale, 0.2 MRAD grids for hold over, corrections and range estimation. The reticle also has features that make it exceptionally effective on low magnification and at close range.
Before I dive into my review of the Horus Vision H-102 reticle I want to talk about the rifle scope. The Horus H-102 reticle is housed in a US Optics LR-17. The predecessor to the LR-17 was the SN-3 3.2-17x44mm TPAL. This scope has served as my work horse for many years and its service has been exemplary. You can read our SN-3 3.2-17x review here, as well as read our follow up review here. The SN-3 3.2-17x TPAL specifications are not exactly the same as the LR-17 so below is information specific to the LR-17.
Exit Pupil Diameter: 3mm
Diopter: +2 to -3
Field of View: 25.3’@ 100 yards (3.2x), 8.3′ @ 100 yards (17x)
Eye Relief: 3.5″/8.9 cm
Elevation Knob: 1/10 MRAD
Elevation Adjustment Range: 110 Clicks per Revolution
Windage Knob: US #1, 1/10 MRAD
Windage Adjustment Range: 48 clicks per Revolution
Objective Lens Housing Diameter: 2.23″/56.642mm
Tube Diameter: 1.18″/30mm
Tube Length: 6.2″/157mm
Overall Length: 16.5″/41.9cm
Objective Lens Diameter: 1.763″/44mm
Ocular Lens Diameter: 1.26″/32mm
Weight: 2.1 lbs/0.95 kg
Reticle: Horus Vision H-102
Reticle Illumination: Red
Battery run Time: Up to 10,000 hrs
Material: Aluminum, 6061-T6
Finish Color: Matte Black
Finish Type: Type III Hard Anodized
I imagine my first impression was similar to a lot of people, the first thing I thought was, “Wow, that reticle is busy”. Once I got the obligatory comments out of the way. I really started to look closely at it. I also decided I was going to read the literature that accompanied the scope (you can view it here). That allowed me to understand the different features and tools of the reticle, most importantly I understood the idea behind the reticle and who/what it was designed for. Since I have never used a Horus reticle this was a great opportunity to give one an honest shake. Like I mentioned above, the reticle was designed for rifle shooters of different skill levels.
The main portion of the Horus reticle is the 0.2 MRAD grid. This allows you easy second shot correction and is excellent for holding both elevation, and windage. The fine subtensions of the Horus grid also work great for MRAD range estimation. The other components of the reticle are tools at the disposal of the shooter.
I’m a dial elevation and hold wind kind of guy. I typically use reticles like the MPR Mil and GAP Mil. I found the reticle thickness of the H-102 at 100 yards to be pretty good, it is fine enough to ensure a precision shot but I would still prefer thinner. I quickly got the Horus H-102 zeroed at 100 meters with my 6.5 SAUM. Once zeroed I put up a few targets and moved back. The entire session I held over using the MRAD grid. On a couple occasions I would forget to hold over and hold center like I normally would after dialing, amazingly enough my 6.5 SAUM is flat shooting enough I still hit our 310 yard target.
The conditions while I was out shooting were pretty warm for this time of year. I was using my Kestrel 4500/Horus ATRAG and Shooter on my iPhone to generate DOPE. I am technically still working on my load development but wanted to take a few shots at range to use my iPhone to estimate a velocity. The targets in the photo below are at 310, 425, 550 and 650 yards. My DOPE for those ranges were 0.9, 1.5, 2.3, and 3.0 MRAD. I found it very easy to hold over using the grid (when I remembered to do so). When my DOPE fell on an even number it was very easy. The fine 0.2 MRAD subtensions also made it easy to accurately hold DOPE that fell on odd numbers. I was holding both elevation and wind, even though at the ranges I was shooting the 6.5 SAUM did not need much windage.
Below is a view of a 25″x15″ IPSC target at 650 yards. The MRAD grid is very fine (the actual lines themselves) so holding exact dope precisely wasn’t any trouble. While I had the targets out I took shots at each target using the grid to hold over as I went from target to target, it was easy and quick. I still need more time to be proficient with it but so far I have to admit I like it. In the lower left quadrant is a inch per hundred yard range estimation scale. This offers a very fast and easy method to range estimate, you can also teach someone how to use that feature fairly quickly and give the shooter a method for range estimation that is not dependent on batteries. I also found the IPHY range estimation scale handy for spotting for MOA and IPHY shooters and the grid is excellent for range estimating and spotting for MRAD shooters. In the center of the grid (you may have to click the image to view it larger) is a series of small circles. These circles are used for range and hold over estimation, they are calibrated for a 12″ reference like a human head. You bracket your reference using these small circles until you find the one that fits best. Then place that circle center mass and take your shot. Very fast and easy way to put a round on target.
The MRAD grid also contains references for a full value 10 mph wind and 20 mph wind. Those portions are represented by dotted lines that move out diagonally. A reference for a 4 mph “mover” lead is also represented by a solid line moving down the grid. During my session I didn’t have much need for the windage references and a “mover” target is still in the works.
In the picture below, I have the US Optics LR-17 dialed down to 3.2x. You have have to click the image so you can view the full size, but the reticle contains large numbers (up to 6). When the scope is dialed to 17x its easy to make out the large number 1 and 2. Those numbers represent x10 miles per hour for vehicle engagements. Estimating the speed of the vehicle, you would then hold the corresponding number and either “track” or “trap” it. Unfortunately I do not foresee the opportunity to use that feature soon.
The smaller inner center circle and large circle in the reticle serve multiple purposes. The smaller inner center circle is your mover reference (4 mph, walking). The large outer circle disappears at 17x but is very useful on lower magnifications for close range targets or unstable shooting positions like standing off hand. Instead of focusing on the cross hairs and every little movement, you center the large and small circle on your target.
I need more time with this reticle and will update this review as I go but so far I have to admit I like it. It is not only something different but the package gives the shooter many options and tools to work with. You not only have the Horus Vision, LLC. H-102 reticle but you still have a full feature US Optics LR-17 at your disposal. If you want you can still dial elevation and hold wind, or any combination you want. I really like the large ring, I just feel it is useful for fast close range shooting (great on a precision semi-auto) and makes the lower magnification range even that much more useful. I also like the smaller inner circle but have noticed when holding over on 550 yard target (2.3 MRAD) that particular subtension is cluttered because the “head” range reference circles, inner circle and 0.2 MRAD grid subtensions all meet in that area. That is by no means a deal breaker and I am very much so looking forward to more time with this optic. The Horus H-102 is also available in the LR-17’s big brother, the ER-25. I think the Horus 102 and 6.5 SAUM is going to be a great combination this fall when deer and elk season start!