Last week I made some pretty stiff comments both toward the BDC system in the Nikon Coyote Special scope I reviewed in one of our first posts, and again later on in some remarks about the Nikon M223 AR-15 scope I had a chance to look at for the first time. I stand by those feelings, but would be remiss and feeling a bit dishonest if I didn’t offer full disclosure about what Nikon has done to make their BDC (Bullet Drop Compensating) system even more effective and precise than ever.

Spot On Software takes the math out of the shooters hands while allowing him to be prepared for his hunt or competition with even greater precision than ever. Regardless of the caliber or load!

One of my main beefs about the BDC system as it stands is that out of the box it is limited to a specific bullet weight/load for each caliber you intend to use the BDC for. On top of that, when you change the magnification up or down it in turn changes the calibration and corresponding distances each circle is good to shoot at. For instance if I sight my rifle in using the 6x magnified power on a 3-9x scope, I assume the subsequent circles on the scope will shoot at the same distances regardless of magnification. This isn’t so. Because the BDC uses what is called a single focus plane that means the BDC distances change depending on the chosen power. Unless you want to pay four times what a Nikon BDC costs, we were forced to do the math ourselves or burn the ammo to figure out where exactly our scopes shoot at any given range.

Then enters Nikon “Spot On” software ( In my humble opinion (as an amateur gun enthusiast) this is a “Spot On” brilliant idea. Rather than going back to the drawing board, recreating scopes with a reticle on the second focus plane that would cost exponentially more, the witty folks at Nikon came up with this dandy online software for you to customize your BDC with. When I say customize, I mean absolutely TO THE HILT. You start out by choosing your specific scope model (sorry guys it ONLY works for Nikon BDC scopes), then by choosing your caliber, round, and load/factory ammo, then simply enter your ballistic info. Only have a 25 yard range to site your rifle on? No problem! Spot On differentiates between your ZERO DISTANCE (sighted for) and your TARGET DISTANCE (actual shooting distance) and tells you where to put the bullet in order to have it dead on at your desired ZERO. Want a 200 yard zero but can’t shoot past 50 yards where you are? No problem! It does it all for you!

To take matters even further, the software allows you to play with your chosen BDC reticle, fiddle with the magnification and even print out a “field image” for your preferred power of zero so you don’t have to come up with your own crude drawing or memorize things in a pinch. The third step also gives the shooter the ability to generate 3 different ballistic reports, all of which open in their own window and have the ability to be saved as a PDF file (for you nerds), printed to be taped to your gun stock to be used as a field reference chart or even exported into EXCEL!!! Those three reports are a field reference chart, a ballistic table and even a ballistic trajectory/graph for you super nerdy shooters.

The field reference chart allows the marksman to print, save, or even export his new shooting data to EXCEL.

Don’t have a BDC? DON’T FEEL LEFT OUT! Spot On works for standard reticle scopes as well. Whether you shoot a straight cross hair or “Nikoplex” reticle scope or even a non-Nikon scope, you can use Spot On to your advantage as well!

Regardless of your BDC application to the shooting sports, you will NOT be disappointed by what Nikon has done to make this reticle an even more effective precision shooting tool. I HIGHLY recommend Spot On software to all BDC users, and even guys who prefer a standard “duplex” style reticle who want to calculate their bullet drop and be more educated on the external ballistics of their rifle and load.

In all my ramblings I may have forgotten to mention the best part… NIKON SPOT ON SOFTWARE IS 100% FREE OF COST TO YOU!!! All you need is a computer with internet access and a current web browser (time to upgrade from Netscape you guys) and you’re good to go! How’s that for a company who believes in the shooting sports? It’s nice to find an outdoor product manufacturer who listens to its customers. Oh, and did I mention they have a Spot On iPhone app? Whoop! Let the cat out of the bag. Looks like you’ll have to wait till next time to see that one. It may even be enough to push our smartphone naysaying outdoorsmen friends over the edge and into the 21st century with Nikon and their new software!

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12 Responses to Nikon Spot On Ballistic Software Review

  1. Barton Hege says:

    Very Informative Eric, well done!
    I’ve enjoyed many of your other reviews as well. Keep ’em coming.

  2. Tom Forsythe says:

    Great job Eric !! I just bought a Nikon prostaff with the nikoplex. Thanks for the heads up on the spot on software. Was kinda leery til I read this review.

  3. […] Here is the NUMBER ONE best way to hone in your coyote special scope with a .243 or ANY round for that matter: Nikon Spot On Ballistic Software […]

  4. […] with, it makes a surprisingly perfect partner for the lumbering 444 Marlin round. That coupled with Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Software and a hand load version of Hornady’s LeveRevolution with 265 grain FTX bullets, he’s […]

  5. Ronald Lacy says:

    How about a Wind Mobile version of SpotOn ballistics software app? THANKS

  6. William says:

    I just picked up a Savage 22-250 with the 3×9 BDC scope. I can’t wait to try it out. I also picked up the app as well to use at the range. The app even lets you get the current weather via iPhone GPS to compensate for temp/alt/humidity. Nice little package.

  7. J.M. says:

    This program is amazing. If there is one thing that drives me crazy it is doing math calculations to figure out bullet drop compensation – mils, moa, converting moa to mils – etc., etc. it gives me a headache! With my Nikon scope and this software I just create a cheat sheet that I tape to my stock. Using my BDC reticle, the Spot On program tells me exactly were to hold over. With my Nikoplex reticle, it tells me exactly how many clicks to come up at any given range. No more guesswork or trying to do calculations in my head. Nikon has made my long range shooting vastly easier, better, and more enjoyable.

  8. John H Noble Jr says:

    Unfortunately Spot-on v3.0.7 crashes when you try to access the ballistics printouts, e.g., Field Chart. The Apple app store reviews going back quite some time also make known this defect and ask when Nikon is going to fix the bug. I just sent an email to Nikon about the problem and asked when the problem would be fixed, or should I purchase a different manufacturer’s product. We shall see!

  9. bart says:

    John, I will pass your concern on to the folk’s I know at Nikon, including the Spot On web designer. I do freelance work for Nikon and this is the first I have heard of a problem and I use Spot On 4-5 times a week. Thanks!

  10. bart says:

    John, can you send me an e-mail with the data you are having difficulty with?

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