The development of reticles is closely tied to the development of riflescopes
Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine hunting without riflescopes with illuminated dot reticles. They help hunters quickly acquire targets and increase contrast in the dark. ZEISS has been a pioneer in the field of riflescopes for hunting since 1904 … and today holds the record for the finest illuminated dot in the world.
Illuminated reticles can offer a decisive advantage
Whether a driven hunt, stalking, or hunting from a raised hide – illuminated reticles have revolutionized shooting. Initially frowned upon as incompatible with the hunter’s code of ethics, today they are widely accepted and have become an indispensable feature, especially in optics used for driven hunts. Illuminated reticles can offer a decisive advantage in order to accurately shoot at fleeting game as well as from a raised hide at night or when shooting across a certain distance.
The development of reticles is closely tied to the development of riflescopes. The first attempts to use optical aids to facilitate aiming are mentioned around 1750. In 1890, the first serious riflescopes were manufactured by a company named Hecke in Berlin, Germany. 30 years later (in 1920), the first experiments with illuminated reticles followed – at the time using light bulbs, glass rods, and dry batteries.
In 1921, ZEISS introduced the “Zieldovier” and “Zieldosechs” models. These were not only the first two riflescopes featuring variable magnification, they also had a lateral light shaft that an illumination device could be attached to at any time. This advanced feature was only supplied at the special request of the customer, however. These allowed the user to finely adjust the brightness of the illumination to match the visibility of the game.
From 1930 onward, the first riflescopes capable of being produced on a large scale entered mass production and conquered the market. In the 1970s, the modern MilDot or ballistic reticle was then developed and deployed by the U.S. Marine Corps.
First red illuminated dot for day and night use
In 1994, ZEISS introduced the first reticle illumination. The extremely successful Victory Varipoint models, with their groundbreaking red illuminated dot for day and night use, were launched in 1998. The Diarange with illuminated reticle and laser rangefinder followed in 2006. In 2012, Victory HT riflescopes achieve transmission values of 95 percent for the first time and offer the world’s finest illuminated dot.
Pure precision on the smallest of targets and the greatest distances
Illuminated reticles bring considerable advantages in hunting. An illuminated reticle or dot is easier to center in the body of the game in the darkness – to ensure you get off a good shot. In addition, target acquisition is much easier than with an unlit reticle.
The secret behind the precision of ZEISS riflescopes lies in the ultra-fine illuminated dot with minimal subtension. The illuminated filament system, which is even thinner than a fraction of a human hair, provides the finest illuminated dot in the world – 3.3 millimeters of target subtension per 100 meters is the astonishing result. In other words: maximum precision with the smallest targets at the greatest distances.