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Dead-Hold BDC vs. VPlex Reticle: Which is Better to Use?

Dead-Hold BDC vs. VPlex

Many rifle users search for a scope that can match their needs.

It should have the ideal power range, being useful for ballistic math by accounting for bullet weight, specific caliber, and multiple shooting applications.

Two rifle scope reticle options meet these criteria: the Vortex Dead-Hold BDC reticle and the Vortex V-Plex reticle.

They’re standard duplex reticle options that work for hunting or target shooting. But how are they different?

Let’s review the differences between Vortex Dead-Hold BDC and VPlex rifle scopes.

What Is a Vortex Dead-Hold BDC Reticle?

Dead-hold BDC reticle

Main Features

Some of the qualities that make the DeadHold BDC reticle a reticle that allows you to shoot better at any range can be found below:

  • Bullet drop compensator lines allow you to account for variables to hit targets
  • Effortless mid-to-long-range shooting
  • Duplex-Based Reticle
  • Works with Class A – Class F firearms
  • Works best when testing the Dead-Hold BDC Point of Impact (POI)
  • It can be used for range finding

The Vortex brand Dead-Hold BDC or Bullet Drop Compensation is a rifle scope reticle option that allows a shooter to shoot at longer distances.

This is done by allowing them to account for the effects of gravity on a bullet’s trajectory.

A Vortex Dead-Hold BDC reticle includes thicker horizontal and vertical posts with hash marks.

These allow users to account for bullet drop and other factors that may affect their ability to hit the target, such as:

  • Distances the bullet traveled
  • Bullet weight
  • Bullet caliber
  • Atmospheric or environmental factors

Most customers prefer the Vortex Dead-Hold BDC compared to the V-Plex Vortex.

However, it’s important to note that it must be calibrated to the right bullet weight and caliber, allowing users to fire accurately without needing complex calculations.

When properly calibrated, the Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) allows users to account for bullet drop up to 650m.

It’s easy to use and exceptional at shorter ranges.

The Vortex Dead-Hold BDC reticle is ideal for a shooter who’s used to hunting within a set range and distance, who knows their target and is looking for a scope to match it.

  • User-friendly, minimal adjustments at shorter distances
  • Multi-use reticle that helps you compensate for different hunting situations
  • No need for Ballistic Math Calculations when calibrated
  • Reliable hash marks (wind direction and gravity)
  • It helps users compensate for bullet drop
  • Not illuminated, no low-light availability
  • Difficult to set up

What Is a VPlex Reticle?

VPlex reticle

Main Features

The V-Plex reticle has many features that make it a must-have for shooting enthusiasts and hunters everywhere:

  • Wider horizontal and vertical posts make it easier to find the center point of aim
  • Auto-stabilizing reticle makes shooting more consistent
  • Simplistic, no-nonsense design

The Vortex V-Plex reticle, meanwhile, is a second focal plane (stays the same at any magnification) standard duplex reticle with horizontal and vertical posts.

It’s the “default” rifle scope reticle.

The main benefit of the Vortex V-Plex reticle over the DeadHold BDC reticle is its SIMPLICITY. Anyone can slap it on their rifle and get to shooting!

It’ll land your bullet dead center every time! The V-Plex reticle works at whatever range you need it to.

It allows a shooter to see their targets and hit them without fuss or excessive fidgeting with the knobs and turrets.

The Vortex DeadHold BDC reticle loses out over the V-Plex reticle due to its ease of setting up and use.

It’s a TRADITIONAL scope reticle that allows you to get shooting quickly and effortlessly.

You don’t need to account for bullet weight unless you’re going the distance.

The main downside of the V-Plex reticle is that it’s far too simple to be effective in long-range shooting.

You’ll need to crunch the numbers yourself if you are a long-distance shooter.

Overall, the Vortex V-Plex excels because it’s simple, no-nonsense, and works with every shooting enthusiast regardless of skill level.

It gives you the rifle scope basics while allowing you to nail your point of aim.

  • Simple, easy to use
  • Easy to set up and adjust
  • Draws focus to the center of the reticle
  • Usable with multiple range and distance shooting options
  • Positive reviews from customers
  • Not illuminated, no low-light availability
  • Higher cost
  • Need to make ballistic math calculations
  • The simplistic design makes it difficult to shoot longer distances

Comparing Vortex Dead-Hold BDC vs. VPlex Reticles

Dead-hold BDC reticle vs VPlex reticle

Both Vortex reticle options allow you to excel at focusing your eyes on your prey.

They allow you to adjust for atmospheric factors and land your shot without worrying about missing.

Let’s consider some factors when choosing between BDC and VPlex scopes. We’ll see how they compare and which one wins in a variety of selection considerations.

User-Friendly Firing

VPlex scope edges out the BDC so slightly by being so simple. It’s easy to adjust, though it requires minimal adjustments in the first place.


Both the Dead-Hold BDC and the VPlex allow users to remain accurate at various distances and ranges.

Neither one outperforms the other regarding ease of use, as both reticle choices are easy to work with.

They do not crowd the field of view with so many lines and hash marks that the sight picture becomes unreadable. They work in the user’s favor!

By being user-friendly, both crosshairs allow users to make the shots that count and experience the thrill of landing a relatively-difficult shot!

And that’s regardless of skill or experience level!

Adapting to Multiple Shooting Applications

A sniper scope should not just allow shooters to hit across long distances.

An excellent reticle should help you search for your prey regardless of how close or far it may be.

The Vortex BDC reticle allows you to hit perfectly at closer quarters while having enough hash marks to allow you to go further while accounting for windage, elevation, and gravity.

Although the VPlex is a versatile sniper system, it does not go nearly as far as the BDC.

It does not give you visual input that will allow you to calculate the information you need to be deadly effective.

Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) and Environmental Factors

Having covered both crosshairs’ ease of use and variable shooting ability, bullet drop compensation will go to the Vortex one with BDC in its name.

You will not need to worry about BDC dragging your shot down with this scope system.

The BDC allows you to compensate for bullet weight, caliber, speed, and other natural factors. This is the major advantage the BDC has over the VPlex.

You can program your shot to continue its horizontal path without the bullets dropping low before it can even hit your prey.

Calibration Process

Your scope can have all the necessary features, but if you can’t calibrate it easily, it will never reach your rail mount.

This is where the VPlex SHINES; it’s easy to equip, use and reuse.

While you need to know the caliber, speed, and weight of your bullet, preferred distances, and prey size when using the BDC scope, you won’t have that problem with the VPlex reticle.

You can mount your scope, adjust it and zero it in as little as 5 minutes. You don’t need to wrack your brain before leaving for the forest.

You can install it and head out in mere moments!

Manual Shot Calculation

Thanks to the formal methodology provided by each BDC reticle, BDC scopes allow users to go for longer ranges without painstakingly crunching the numbers.

As you’ve already accounted for your bullet caliber, bullet weight, and other factors, it’s much easier to plot the details into your equation and let your calculator do the work.

The more information you have, the better your shot will be!

This is where BDC scope excels over VPlex, as these variables need to be calculated in addition to your formula for finding distances.

The amount of work you need to do increases.

Which Reticle is Easier to Use?

Woman shooting

When choosing between the Dead-Hold BDC vs. VPlex, you must consider the following things:

  • Your hunting ground
  • What you intend on shooting at
  • Your skill level
  • And whether you’re willing to do the math

While both reticles provide users with easy shooting capabilities, the Dead-Hold BDC and the VPlex have strengths and weaknesses that make them easier or harder to use.

Use a Dead-Hold BDC Reticle If…

You plan on shooting at a much FARTHER distance, to the point where the caliber and bullet weight affect the gravitational drop rate of your bullets.

Dead hold BDC reticle users will gladly apply the formal methodology (hash marks, quick calculations, etc.) that will allow you to solve and adjust for environmental conditions effortlessly.

The BDC is easier to work with when it comes to CALCULATIONS because it gives you the necessary information.

Combined with your familiarity with your prey and terrain, it should be easy work!

Furthermore, the BDC is for you if you are a slightly more experienced shooter, know how to read and calculate MOA, and aim far enough that gravity will start affecting your shot.

Use a VPlex Reticle If…

You are NEW to hunting and shooting but eager to go out and hit their prey with minimal thought, relying more on their marksmanship fundamentals.

It’s best for short to medium-range shooters looking for a reticle that auto-focuses.

Additionally, it’s great for those who prefer an unmoving reticle that stays consistent regardless of magnification.

The ironic thing is that the simplicity of the reticle means that you must use ballistic math to calculate the target’s distance, bullet caliber, and BDC.

You may end up with more complex calculations than you bargained for!

It is best to use a VPlex if you are a less experienced shooter eager to get out there and shoot without obstructions blocking your sight picture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If the difference between the Dead-Hold BDC reticle and Vortex V-Plex reticle still isn’t clear, let’s look at the easiest ways to tell the two rifle scope options apart.

What is the Difference Between the V-Plex and Dead-Hold BDC Reticle?

Both reticles are designed with simple horizontal and vertical posts that evoke every other sniper rifle scope.

However, the BDC has more hash marks allowing for bullet adjustment.

Additionally, the Dead-Hold BDC scope reticle is designed with MOA hash marks to account for side-ward windage and bullet holdover that gravity can affect.

Compared to the BDC reticle, the V-Plex scope reticles are far more simplistic, having thicker lines that draw your attention to the center of your aiming point.

Both have their distinct advantages and uses.

What is a V-Plex Reticle?

A V-Plex reticle, in particular, is a standard duplex rifle reticle that is easy to set up, aim with, and reliable for short-to-medium distance shooting.

It’s perfect for multiple skill levels!

While it is not one of those illuminated reticles, it is designed to work well on any rifle or shotgun you put it on.

It’s not particular about the bullet caliber or the target’s distance.

Unlike the Vortex BDC, the V-Plex reticles work best for short-medium distance shooting. It requires you to make certain ballistic calculations to hit your prey dead-on.

What are Some of the Vortex Scopes that Offer V-Plex Reticles?

The Vortex-brand V-Plex reticles are not available on every Vortex product.

After all, many have BDC reticles, making distance, wind, and gravity manageable in a way V-Plex can’t.

Some Vortex scope lines that offer V-Plex reticles include:

  • The Copperhead series
  • The Viper, Viper HS, and Viper HS LR series
  • The Diamondback series
  • The Crossfire II series

If you prefer an illuminated V-Plex scope for longer-distance night shooting, you’ll need to go with the Vortex V-Brite or other similar models.

This is one advantage V-Plex has over BDC models.

What Does Dead-Hold BDC Mean?

The Vortex Dead-Hold BDC reticle is a reticle system made with similar horizontal and vertical posts as the V-Plex.

However, the BDC has 6 MOA hash marks each to account for gravity and wind direction.

As the name implies, the BDC reticles account for distance by giving users the ability to factor bullet drop into their aim, enabling them to go almost 700 m further than the V-Plex.

The BDC allows you to forgo ballistic calculations and have a cheat sheet of common calculations should you need them.

It works in a variety of situations and lets you hit further away.

Final Verdict: Which is Better to Use?

Woman shooting

When choosing between the Vortex Dead-Hold BDC vs. VPlex reticle option, you must answer the question:

Which one helps me hit my target at my preferred range while accounting for environmental factors?

Either reticle option works when it comes to the ideal power range.

We may have to consider the Dead-Hold BDC reticle as the better option.

However, both allow you to adjust for bullet weight, specific caliber, and distances. It should allow you to compensate for windage and gravity.

While the Vortex is easier to set up, ballistic math, variable distances, and bullet drop compensation go to the BDC.


Woman looking through scope

It all comes down to personal preference in the battle of Dead-Hold BDC vs. VPlex reticles.

Whatever option your search yields, it should allow you to hit your target at longer distances.

You should be accurate at your preferred range and hit your target dead center.

Either reticle option works excellently as long as you know how to use them. The important thing is to PRACTICE using and calibrating your rifle scope.


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