Leupold TMR Reticle Explained | Reticle Options

There is a wide variety of reticles out there. We get the standard duplex, the German, a BDC, the mil dot, etc. The TMR reticle is Leupold’s answer to providing a more versatile and precise reticle than the Mil dot. You might have heard about it but don’t know exactly what all the buzz is about. In this article, we delve into Leupold’s sensational reticle and also explore the scopes that feature this game-changing reticle design.

What Is The TMR Reticle?

Leupold TMR Reticle

Leupold designed the tactical milling reticle (TMR) to provide shooters with a more versatile and precise reticle for their Leupold scope. Think of it as an advanced and improved MIL dot reticle.

I find the TMR reticle especially useful for long-range shooting because of the hash marks along the vertical and horizontal crosshairs. These hash marks are calibrated in milliradian units and allow for hair-thin precise adjustments.

TMR vs MIL Dot Reticles | Difference Explained

The most significant difference between the TMR and Mil dots reticles is the design of the reticles. The TMR uses hash marks instead of dots for the milliradian units on the vertical and horizontal crosshairs. Many of the most popular longer range M&P15 Sport-2 Scopes use these reticle designs!

The hash mark design allows for more accurate estimations of distance, holdover, and windage adjustments – enabling the shooter to make a more precise shot.

6 Versions Of Leupold’s TMR Reticle

6 Different Leupold TMR Reticle Designs

These are the most popular TMR version Leupold makes, it is important to note that Leupold stopped selling some TMR reticles and that some TMR reticles may vary depending on the specific model number you purchase. In our post about where are leupold scopes made we learned that these are very high quality scopes with great reticles!

1) Original TMR Reticle

This is the first version of the TMR reticle. When it first launched in Leupold’s rifle scopes, it gained massive success, especially under tactical shooters. In fact,  the best scope for 6.5 creedmoor that I’ve used had Leupold’s standard TMR reticle.

2) Mark 3 HD TMR Reticle

Leupold designed a TMR reticle specifically for the Leupold Mark 3HD. This TMR reticle still features the classic hash marks on the vertical and horizontal crosshairs, but its performance is optimized for this series. It features a duplex reticle design with hash marks on the thin parts of the crosshairs.

3) MK TMR reticle

In addition to the Mark HD series, the TMR reticle also features in the Mark series. The reticle hash marks extend a bit further than with the Mark HD series. It is nearly as popular as Vortex’s ebr 7c reticle for its great performance. 

4) MK Illuminated TMR Reticle

This reticle is very similar to the classic MK TMR reticle, but it is also illuminated – boosting performance in low-light conditions.

5) VX-Freedom TMR Reticle

This TMR reticle version is specifically designed for the VX-Freedom series, which is featured in our list of 350 Legend Rifle Scopes. The hash marks look more refined than with the Mark series. I prefer the VX-Freedom’s TMR version over the Mark and Mark HD series.

6) TMR-D Illuminated Reticle

Similar to the MK Illuminated, the TMR-D offers an illumination feature. However, this time it comes with a dual-color option – red and green. This makes it more versatile, as you can toggle between the illumination colors to find the one that best matches the surrounding lighting conditions.

Reticle Options For FFP vs SFP Scopes

Avid readers of our articles know that I mention focal plane a lot. This is because it affects the performance of the aiming platform considerably. We get two types of focal planes – a first focal plane (FFP) and a second focal plane (SFP).

The most significant difference between these two is the position they are located on the scope. An SFP scope’s reticle is placed behind the magnification lens. Hence the reticle size remains the same size even when magnification changes. Also, check out our post on scope magnification explained to get a better understanding of how scope power really works.


An FFP scope’s reticle is placed in front of the scope. Therefore, the reticle size is correlated to the magnification – if the magnification increases so does the reticle size.

While most scopes are SFP, you do get affordable FFP scopes. SFP scopes have a wide range of scope reticle options, including the standard duplex, Firedot, German, BDC scopes, and mil-dot.

In comparison, FFP scopes typically have BDC, Mil Dot, or TMR reticles, the reason being when the reticle size increase with higher magnification, it gets easier to use the hash marks as they become more visible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What scope has the best reticle?

Leupold VX-Freedom has the best reticle because it features my personal favorite reticle, the TMR reticle. Its milliradian markings are more precise than the typical mil dot version.

What do the ticks on a sniper scope mean?

The ticks on a sniper scope are the milliradians. These are precise measurements used by snipers to adjust for elevation and windage.

What is a mil dot reticle?

It is a type of pattern some rifle scopes have to help shooters estimate range and compensate for windage and bullet drop. The pattern can be described as an array of dots or marks, each representing a specific amount of milliradians.

What is the difference between Moa and Mil?

Mil is much more precise than MOA. This is because MOA is based on a system of 1/60th of a degree. In comparison, Mil is based on a system of 1/1000th of the radius of a circle.

Final Thoughts

The TMR reticle is another great example of why the geniuses over at Leupold make the best tactical and hunting optical accessories. The reticle is a more advanced version of the mil-dot system, using hashes instead of dots. By using straight lines instead of dots, you are able to make more precise measurements and hence increase the effectiveness of your scope. By using a TMR reticle scope with a high-performance long-range rifle, you are sure to be hitting your target almost every time. Many of our readers also love the Vortex V-Plex Reticle, so be sure to check that out as well!

About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

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