V Plex Reticle vs Dead Hold BDC Reticle | Detailed Reticle Comparison

Both these reticles are products of the geniuses from Vortex. One is a more advanced solution to the standard duplex reticle. While the other serves as an effective aiming reticle for long distances. Join us as we delve into the world of Vortex reticles. In this article, we explain what both reticles are, the pros and cons of both, and the applications for both these reticles. Enjoy the read!

What Is A BDC Reticle?

BDC Reticle

A Bullet drop compensator (BDC) is a type of crosshair for rifle scopes. A BDC is designed to help shooters gauge bullet trajectory and hence bullet drop. This is especially helpful in shooting long distances as it yields improved accuracy over the standard duplex reticle.

A BDC reticle consists of an array of dots or other markings on the lower vertical crosshair. The dots or markings are spaced at specific intervals to represent bullet drops at respective distances. Most BDC reticles are designed for specific calibers, like the .223 and .308. Even the Best Thermal Scopes have BDC reticle options on their scopes!

V Plex Reticle Overview

V-Plex Vortex Reticle

The V plex reticle is Vortex’s solution to providing a more advanced reticle over the standard duplex reticle. The reticle features thick outer crosshair lines, still thinner than the duplex reticle. And a very thin center aiming point, designed to resemble a “V,” hence the name V-Plex.

Vortex designed the reticle to be an easy reticle focusing the eye toward the aiming point, reducing eye strain. Many shooters think it is easier to use than Leupold’s TMR Reticle. The design of a typical riflescope V Plex moa combination includes a scope with a fast-focus eyepiece and the V-Plex reticle.

The V Plex MOA reticle is a quick and easy reticle for shooting at varying ranges. It is especially useful against small targets due to the ingenious design of the reticle.

V Plex Reticle Pros & Cons


Here are some of the potential cons of using a V-Plex reticle.

  • Simplicity: The V-Plex reticle is designed to allow quick target acquisition. It is especially good for new shooters or someone who prefers a clean and minimalistic reticle design.
  • Easy to use: The most basic version of the V-Plex is really easy to use because it has no additional hash marks or other markings. This means the reticle is straightforward and easy to understand. I regularly recommend new or moderately experienced shooters to use a Vortex rifle scope with a V-Plex reticle because of its straightforward and user-friendly design.
  • Versatility and Compatibility: The V-Plex reticle is perfect for a wide range of shooting applications because it is compatible with various magnification levels and scope configurations. For hunting, I use the V-Plex on a second focal plane scope as it compliments a faster target acquisition rate. But for target shooting, I use it on a first focal plane because the focal plane reticle scale is more suited for long-range shooting then.
  • Cost-Effective: V-Plex reticles are much more affordable than some other BDC, TMR, or Mil-Dot reticles.


Here are some of the potential cons of using a V-Plex reticle.

  • Long-range compatibility: The V-Plex is great for medium to long distances, but you won’t necessarily use it for shooting at 600 yards+ – but it wasn’t designed to shoot at those distances; we have the Mil-Dot and BDC reticle for those distances. However, many of the best 6.5 creedmoor scopes use the V-Plex reticle!
  • Features: The “simplicity” concept might not appeal to everyone. Some people might want the reticle to have illumination or built-in rangefinder. Unfortunately, you won’t find it in the V-Plex.
  • Low-Light Performance: The thin lines make it difficult to shoot at low light conditions such as dusk, dawn, and densely brushed areas.
  • Tactical and competitive use: As already mentioned, the V-Plex is mainly limited to shooting within 300 yards. This means that it is not suited for tactical and long-range competitive shooters, who rely on BDC and Mil-Dot to help them compensate for bullet drop at distances exceeding 300 yards.

Dead Hold BDC Reticle Pros & Cons

Here are some of the potential pros of using a dead hold BDC reticle. Also be sure to heck out our post on rifle scope magnification explained to fully understand which scope & reticle combination is best for your needs.


  • Accuracy: The crosshairs of the Dead-Hold feature markings that help shooters compensate for bullet drop and windage, allowing them to shoot more accurately at longer distances.
  • Versatility: The Vortex Dead-Hold BDC reticle is perfect for various shooting applications, including hunting, target shooting, and tactical shooting.
  • Customizability: The Dead-Hold can be customized to fit the ballistics of your caliber – making it perfect for fine-tuning that accuracy even further.

Here are some of the potential cons of using a dead hold BDC reticle.


  • Complex: I wouldn’t recommend the BDC reticle for new shooters. The hash marks can be overwhelming for someone just starting out with shooting.
  • Calibration: The reticle’s holdover marks are calibrated for a specific cartridge and bullet weight. Therefore, mounting the scope on a different cartridge or changing the ammunition might affect the accuracy of the hash marks.
  • Low-light visibility: Like the V-Plex, the Dead-Hold also has thin lines. This makes it difficult to see the lines in poor ambient lighting conditions, especially if you want to utilize the thin hash marks.
  • Cost: A Dead-Hold BDC scope costs more than a simple duplex or V-Plex scope. They are also more expensive than the popular
    EBR-7c reticles as well!

V Plex Reticle vs Dead Hold BDC Reticle Differences

1) MOA Differences

The V-Plex doesn’t have additional markings for MOA adjustments. The only characteristic that resembles a hash mark is where the vertical thin crosshair line transitions into a thick line. You can use this characteristic as a point of reference. And depending on what range you zeroed your scope and your ballistic data, you can use it as an aiming point for a specific distance.

In comparison, the Dead-Hold BDC reticle has holdover points along the vertical crosshair to help shooters compensate for bullet drop. The hash marks represent MOA adjustments for different distances, allowing shooters to shoot exactly where they aim, depending on the distance to the target and the respective hash mark for that distance.

2) What Calibers Do They Work With?

The V-Plex does not have any bullet drop compensation. Instead, the shooter must rely on their knowledge of the bullet’s trajectory to ensure an accurate shot. Therefore, it can be used with any caliber.

Vortex made sure that the BDC reticle could be used on most calibers. They categorized the BDC’s functionality into different firearm classes, including:

  • Class A – High-power calibers (.270, .308 and .30-06)
  • Class B – Magnum calibers (.300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua)
  • Class C – High-power calibers (.270, .308 and .30-06)
  • Class D – Modern black powder rifles
  • Class E – .22 LR caliber
  • Class F – Shotguns with a slug barrel and traditional black powder rifles

3) Best Uses Cases

The V-Plex is perfect for:

  • Hunting and range shooting at short to medium ranges where quick target acquisition rate takes priority.
  • Learning new shooters

The BDC reticle:

  • Range and tactical shooting at medium to long ranges.
  • Hunters who rely on long-range shots to bag their prey.

Which Reticle Should You Use?

Both these reticles are excellent for hunting and range shooting. However, the V-Plex is suited for people who rely on fast target acquisition when hunting. Additionally, it is perfect for someone just starting out with rifle scopes, as the simple design makes for an easy aiming platform.

The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is perfect for more experienced shooters who want to shoot longer distances. If you are hunting in mountains or wide-open plains, then the BDC is definitely a better bet than the V-Plex. Additionally, the BDC is also more suited for range and tactical shooters.

Is Vortex LRBC Application Compatible with Their Dead-Hold BDC Reticle?

Yes, the Vortex Long Range Ballistics Calculator (LRBC) is compatible with scopes that use the Dead-Hold BDC reticle, like the Vortex Hunting Scopes. You can use this application to help calculate your ballistic solutions for your rifle and ammunition.

All you need to do is to input your ballistic and environmental information, such as ballistic co-efficient and muzzle velocity. The calculator then generates a custom trajectory table that matches your Dead-Hold’s holdover points for different distances – it’s as easy as that!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Vortex make a BDC scope?

Yes, Vortex makes BDC scopes that feature the Dead-Hold BDC reticle, which has the same ideally sized appearance as its competitors.

How accurate is BDC reticle?

The accuracy of a BDC reticle depends on whether the ballistics of the caliber matches the hash marks, whether the scope is zeroed, and the shooter's skill. But if used correctly, a BDC reticle is extremely accurate, especially at long distances.

Why use BDC reticle?

Because it allows you to compensate for bullet drop more precisely, thanks to the hash marks or dots. This means you can shoot more accurately at longer distances.

What caliber is the Vortex BDC for?

The Vortex BDC is suited for most major calibers. But the most popular calibers that employ the BDC reticle are the .308, .300 Win Mag, and .223.

The Bottom Line

Vortex regularly introduces revolutionary products, and the V-Plex and Dead-Hold reticles are prime examples of this ingenuity. I enjoy using both reticles but prefer the V-Plex for stealth hunts because of the favorable target acquisition rate. It is also perfect for someone learning how to shoot, thanks to the simple design. In comparison, the Dead-Hold is suited for more experienced shooters, comfortable at shooting long ranges.

Additionally, I prefer the Dead-Hold for hunting in the mountains or grasslands because of the long hunting ranges. Overall, both these reticles are great for incorporating into your hunting or range shooting outfit. But they have different applications, and ultimately your decision should come down to your use case and personal preference.

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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