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Thread: Leupold CDS

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    Member Down Range's Avatar
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    Default Leupold CDS

    Does anyone have any experience with these scopes? How accurate are the custom dials?

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Down Range View Post
    Does anyone have any experience with these scopes? How accurate are the custom dials?

    I hope they're accurate, I ordered the ultralite 3x9x33 earlier this week.

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    Down Range,

    The dial is as accurate as the info you provide. And as close as a thick white line on a dial can be. But, Realize that tempertures changes as well as altitude. Ballistic coefficient is based on average bullet speed, and each rifle is unique (just like all the rest of them!).

    One thing to remember is the accuracy MOA -vrs-size the killzone size on your target- hitting close is not good enough on game animals.

    You still have to put in your three P's.

    My first (a 4.5 - 14 x 40) is dead on out to 450 yards-- at 450 ft elevation. Temperture doesn't seem to change anything....elevation does change but just the opposite of what you'd think- go higher up and the bullet strikes higher on target- not enough to get overly concerned with.

    On my second CDS the 250 yard mark is off (low) by around 2 1/5 inches in elevation, and the bullet drops from there, it's enough that I have a cheater card laminated (clear tape) to the forearm to remind number of extra hash marks at 250, 300, and 350 yards. I just haven't worked past 350 yet to make new chart.

    My shooting has be done on a Known Distance range out to 600 meters, using Leica laser rangefinder binos ( I got to get me something like those one of these days). And in the field with same binos calling distance.

    I like them so much that DeeDee's (she drew moose tag this year) new moose rifle has one as well. She decided to get her Name custumized onto the windage cap as well, so her rifle will be "HERS"

    Those of you who know my girl, know that she is "vertically challanged", and has a EXTREMELY short length of pull- Not many people will be able to "safely" shoot her rifle. I need to put an EYE DAMAGE WARNING LABEL ON the side of the scope.


    Hope this helps you out. Leupold makes great products, and stands by their warrenty 100%

    Chris

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    Member PacWestFishTaxidermy's Avatar
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    I use mine to 500 yards. Love it.

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    I don't think the CDS dials are anything special. Do they work? Yes, as stated above, with the info you provide to Leupold they can build you a turret for your rifle. But the second you want to switch to a different grain bullet, with a different ballistic coefficient, different ammo brand, have a large change in elevation, etc., all that goes right out the window. That being said you can have multiple CDS dials made for one scope for different bullet weights and such if you so desire, at a cost. But why not just learn to use a turret that has MOA adjustments and dial for your come ups? All the CDS dials do is take the place of you going out and shooting your rifle, finding out where you need to dial to at measured distances for the bullet you are shooting. Just my two cents fellas.

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    Member PacWestFishTaxidermy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadWolf View Post
    I don't think the CDS dials are anything special. Do they work? Yes, as stated above, with the info you provide to Leupold they can build you a turret for your rifle. But the second you want to switch to a different grain bullet, with a different ballistic coefficient, different ammo brand, have a large change in elevation, etc., all that goes right out the window. That being said you can have multiple CDS dials made for one scope for different bullet weights and such if you so desire, at a cost. But why not just learn to use a turret that has MOA adjustments and dial for your come ups? All the CDS dials do is take the place of you going out and shooting your rifle, finding out where you need to dial to at measured distances for the bullet you are shooting. Just my two cents fellas.
    I disagree with you. My CDS helps me in a few different ways.

    1) Cuts my target acquisition time in half
    2) Gives me more confidence
    3) Reduces mental mistakes when tired, exhausted
    4) Allows me to reach more longer distances without shooting boxes of ammo

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    Deadwolf you are right if the shooter has the technicaldata and know how to use the scope with MOA adjustments he can use any variationof ammunition. Granted you have to do the trigger time to gain that data.
    Packwest puts out some good points as well.

    With CDS TURRETS you are bound to one bullet weight, and cal then you are somewhatset for distance except outside temperature changes of more than 20 degree or more and the CDS will not fix that for you.

    I have both of these types of scopes and with the price of ammo today it ismuch harder to go out and burn up 50 or 60 rds to work up data for a said roundout to 5, 6,7,or 8 hundred yrds. I have found that for 7.62 there is not a lotof di
    fference until you start pushing out to 5 and beyond and then you aremaking a lot more radical adjustments.

    I still find myself looking back at data from time totime to see where a round will be at a different range just as a reminder.

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    I have used the Leupold CDS system and found it to be very accurate ... with limitations. Last year I used one on the rifle I was carrying but when I had the dial made up I not only specified temperature but also elevation. Since my zero was established at about 180' elevation and 60 degree F, I had to specify for hunting at between 6K to 12K so had two dials made up: one for 30 F and another for 20 F and elevations of 6K (to cover 4K to 8K elevations) and a 2nd one calibrated to 10K (to cover 8K to 12K). As it turned out I only had one shot, level. no wind, 10K at 400 yd. I was not able to get closer with the critter bedded down on a knife edge. I spent a lot of time verifying the consistency and repeatability of the load I was using and then a couple hundred rounds practicing-regretfully Birchwood only goes to 300 yds but sometimes you gotta use what you got. For me the shot was spot on. I have several high elevation hunts scheduled for this fall and will again be using the same CDS scope/load with confidence.
    "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"

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    Quote Originally Posted by PacWestFishTaxidermy View Post
    I disagree with you. My CDS helps me in a few different ways.

    1) Cuts my target acquisition time in half
    2) Gives me more confidence
    3) Reduces mental mistakes when tired, exhausted
    4) Allows me to reach more longer distances without shooting boxes of ammo
    Of course you can disagree, and I expect it even, but having the versatility of an MOA turret and reticle is in my opinion a better option than CDS dials. The CDS dial pigeon holes you, in a sense, in ways I stated in my first response.

    1. Cuts your time in half? This is just as easily achieved with a standard dial up MOA turret. The CDS dial does nothing you can't do for yourself at the range with all your info to input, some simple math, and/or a ballistic program. (they even have these for iphones) You don't need to fire 50-60 rounds to figure things out, this info is out there for you, floating around in the world of math.
    2. The knowledge you gain knowing how to do your own calcs will give you just as much confidence as CDS dials.
    3. Having time behind your rifle reduces mental mistakes, you could just as easily make a mistake with or without the CDS
    4. I don't understand why it is thought that you need to go shoot "boxes" of ammo to achieve your data. Do you think Leupold shoots a bunch of rounds to build your CDS? No, they plug the info you've given, caliber, bullet weight, ft. per second, ballistic co-effecient, muzzle velocity, sight height, zero distance, elevation, temperature, into their program and etch the markings on to your turret. Simple as that.

    Like I stated before, I am by no means saying you cannot use CDS dials and have them work for you. I do know they are full of limitations and I personally am not willing to give up options. I shoot a .270 most of the time. I can plug in info for a 140 grain handload to shoot a sheep then turn around and dial up for a 90 grainer to drop a wolf. Dial for 5000 ft or 50ft in elevation. 30 degrees or 80 degrees. 3000ft per second or 2800. You simply cannot do that with one CDS dial.

  10. #10
    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    I think it is a nice tool to have. If you don't like it you can switch back to the standard dial (you get the CDS dial extra after you give them your ballistic info).

    One recommendation. They will ask you what your zero will be. If you tell them 200 or 250 yards, THAT will be the lowest setting. You won't be able to reset the zero for 100 yards - it will always shoot at 100 yards a few inches high. I would recommend telling Leupold your zero is 100 yards. Then you could set the "max point blank range" (however you determine that) as your "field zero" that you hunt with. For instance, the CDS dial is set at 100 at the range, but when you go hunting, crank it to 275 for MPBR. If your shot is past that, crank to the appropriate range.

    FWIW.

  11. #11

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    I was thinkin really hard bout the cds dials..but decided against them and went with an m1 elevation. Your stuck with one load with cds..thats what turned me away from em. With an m1 you will still need your bc weight velocity...but i just plan on typing my info into a ballistics program and taping my drop chart to my stock, after i check to make sure it is correct of course. Good luck

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I like the look of the CDS over most other turrets just because it isn't as tall. I wonder if it could be ordered with MOA marks etched into it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I like the look of the CDS over most other turrets just because it isn't as tall. I wonder if it could be ordered with MOA marks etched into it.
    MOA marks are standard fare for the CDS. The M1 turret looks obtrusive, but looks are deceiving IMO. I much prefer a larger, easier to spin, easier to read turret over the CDS. YMMV.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I like the look of the CDS over most other turrets just because it isn't as tall. I wonder if it could be ordered with MOA marks etched into it.
    What I like to use is the M2 turrets, half the height of an M1 turret and a little fatter. They are marked in 1/2 mils rather than 1/4 like the M1's. But for hunting 1/2 mil is fine, we aren't match shooting or trying to drop animals at 1500yds. However, if you are using a 1" tube scope your are limited to an M1. You have to have a 30mm or larger to move up to the M2-M5 turrets. I have a friend who just sent in his Vari-x 3 and had the M1s put on, he likes to call it the "MARK 3". really is a great upgrade for half the cost of a MARK 4

    One good way to operate is to plug your info into a program and get your drops at yardage, then tape some white tape around your turret and mark your 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 for corresponding yardages....essentially you have your CDS dial pre-made, by you, before your hunt.

    I think it all sounds scary to some but is really easy when you look into it

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    MOA marks are standard fare for the CDS. The M1 turret looks obtrusive, but looks are deceiving IMO. I much prefer a larger, easier to spin, easier to read turret over the CDS. YMMV.
    I am in agreement

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