How to use Shepherd Scopes Ballistic Calculator

Shepherd’s ballistic calculator is designed to help you determine the scope and BDC reticle that will best match the drop of your factory or custom loads. Below is a walk-through process of how to get the best results with your scope.

Step 1

Determine what series of scope you are looking for and select it in the first box.  Note there are discontinued scope series that are still available in the calculator.  If you know the scope model you have or are interested in, select the model in the next box.  If you are using the calculator to determine which scope will best match your rifle/ammo, leave the Scope Model box as “Optional” and the calculator will determine the best match in the selected Scope Series from the info you provide below.

Step 2

Select the caliber of rifle.  Once the caliber is selected a list of ammunition options will show up.  Select your ammo from the list.  You can manually enter your ammunition information if it is not listed or you prefer hand loads. 

Note: Most ammunition manufacturers list the muzzle velocity using a 24” barrel (20” for 5.56) so if your barrel length is different you may need to manually adjust the velocity to reflect your velocity.

Step 3

Now input the sight height that corresponds to your build.  Sight height is the distance from the center of the barrel to the center of the scope tube.  Bolt action standard height is 1.5” and for an AR it is 2.5”.

Step 4

Input the elevation at which you will be shooting the rifle.  The elevation above sea level affects bullet drop. 

Step 5


Environmental info is only necessary when shooting in the field or to make a chart of specific holdover at different wind speeds.  If you are just trying to determine the best reticle for your build, then leave the default values.

Step 6

Click SUBMIT and you will be taken to the next page which will show you the selected reticle drops along with the corresponding bullet drops and turret adjustments associated with the ammunition selected.  

You will also be able to PRINT a reticle card specific to the information you entered. 

Use the BACK button on the results page to get back to your information, using the browser back button will not save your info.