I’ve been using a Leupold CQT with standard circle dot reticle for the past year of and on for Multi-Gun/3 Gun Matches and I have been pretty happy with it. For matches that didn’t have shots past 300 yards, it was great. The one limitation it always had vs other optics it is often compared to it lacked BDC or hold over marks in the reticle to make shooting past 300 yards easier.
Leupold recently sent me a CQT with a new prototype reticule in it to T&E. This reticle was designed to meet the requirements of a particular military design program (as the program is ongoing, I’ll let the Leupold reps give the details if they want to)
Unfortunately I’ve been unable to take a picture through the scope that accurately represented what the reticle looks like. I’ll have to try taking one outside in the sun later this week. Here is a picture of the reticle from the instructions it came with:
As you can see, the reticle itself is graduated in mils, rather than designed specifically for any particular caliber. The first thing I did when I received the scope was get a quick education on mils and what distance they represented by searching around online. This reticle system is not as idiot proof as other that are made for particular caliber, barrel length, and bullet weight combinations…However, it will allow the operator to use it on any number of firearms with various bullet weights and muzzle velocities if they use a ballistics program to determine the flight path of their bullet.
I used this site; http://www.eskimo.com/~jbm/ballistics/traj_basic/traj_basic.html to help develop a table for my 20” Rifle with the CQT (3” above the bore with LaRue mount) zeroed at 50 yards (the tip of the bottom vertical line) with 55 grain ammunition.
Range Drop Mils
0 -3 -0.872
100 +2 0.582
200 +2.7 0.785
300 -2.2 -0.64
400 -14.4 -4.187
500 -36.4 -10.584
600 -71.5 -20.791
As the open area between the cross hairs is 2MOA, at 100 yards I know to hold at the tip of the top vertical line. At 200 yards I can hold in the center of the open area of the reticule for most practical sized targets (8-12” steel plates) and hit them. At 300 yards I can hold at the first horizontal mark and hit practical sized targets.
On 7-23-05 I went to the range sighted in the CQT on my rifle at 50 yards, and confirmed that my table was accurate (enough anyway) to hit 8-12” steel plates at 100-300 yards.
On 7-24-05 was the local rifle/shotgun match at South Mountain here in Phoenix. It had just rained the night before so not only was it very hot, it was also very humid. This was going to be my first time using the new CQT on the clock so I was somewhat unsure of how I would perform using it. Practicing at the range, it seemed marginally slower than the standard CQT for close in stuff….for long range it was much superior.
The “long range” stage involved shooting 5 colt speed plate auto-poppers (6” across) at approximately 60-90 yards, and two swingers (10” across) at 100 yards once from one position, and once from another position. I only had to take two follow up shots on this stage, on the same target from both positions, not quite sure why…still not too shabby for the first time really using the scope. What cost me the most time on this stage was the shotgun portion…two of the steel didn’t go down when I hit them with high brass #6, so I followed up with Buck shot. I placed 6th/25 over all on this stage…no one beat me that I wouldn’t expect to due to their skill level, scores for 4-6th were very close though.www.cavalryarms.com/2gun/2005-7-24/2.wmv
please ignore my friend’s heckling half way through the video
The CQB shotgun/rifle stage consisted of a number of shotgun targets advancing forward on the stage, and a number of rifle targets, some stacked on top of each other, retreating backwards through the stage. Rifle targets must have one A-Zone hit or two hits anywhere…typically it is easier to double tap everything than slow down and try to get A-Zones. My shots on the rifle targets were typically about 1-2” apart shooting fast on this stage. At the end of the stage I decided to have some fun and hose the 4 targets stacked on top of each other. I placed 4th/25 on this one.www.cavalryarms.com/2gun/2005-7-24/1.wmv
I ended up placing 6/25 over all at this match, results posted here:www.cactustactical.com/match/scores/7-24-05.html
We did some screwing around after the match running through the CQB stage again, and I let several people try it out, who then gave me feedback, which I have relayed to Leupold. www.cavalryarms.com/2gun/2005-7-24/4.wmv
I tripple tapped most of the targets to see how much the sight picture is disturbed during recoil, and if I would lose track of it and need to reacquire it....no problems there.
There may or may not be some minor design changes when it goes into production in 2006. Owners of original CQTs will be able to send them in for reticle upgrades in 2006...check for pricing on this service with Leupold.
So far I like the new CQT, it makes shooting long range and smaller targets easier. My first round hit percentage on the long-range steel is much higher with this model than shooting the standard CQT on the same rifle at similar distances and targets. Thus far it is marginally slower than the standard CQT for close range stuff, but I will give myself time and practice to acclimate to the new reticule. My original CQT is now on one of my Mid-Length carbines, between the two it seems more appropriate for the carbine role.
I’ll be using this rifle with the new CQT at more matches in the upcoming months…looking forward to seeing how the equipment and myself perform together in more diverse shooting situations.