What is a DOPE Chart?

Posted on: February 10th, 2023
by BlackHeart

Rifle shooters for hunting and competition never send a bullet down range at a target just hoping it hits where they want it to.

They crave consistency, accuracy and are fueled by the confidence in their skill, rifle, and ammunition to do what they want to do.

One ingredient for the recipe of their confidence is a DOPE (Data Observed from Previous Engagements) chart.

This is information you record on a specifically designed card that tells you how your rifle performs at certain distances telling you what adjustments to make.

As your bullet loses energy, gains gravity, and drops lower and lower over more distance, you’ll need to adjust your scope to aim higher for longer distances. That unit of measurement is known as MOA (Minute of Angle). Every 100 yards your MOA drops roughly 1 inch down, so depending on where you rifle hits you can use that paired with the MOA measurement to fill out your DOPE chart and know how many “clicks” up you need on the fly in the field.

Confused? It’s ok if you are, many of us are at first when learning how to adjust for bullet drop at distance.

1 MOA=1 inch down per 100 yards.

So, 1 MOA at 200 yards is 2 inches down, and 1 MOA at 1200 yards is 12 inches down.

Once you have the scope on your rifle sighted in for a certain distance, most shooters will choose 100 yards, then you can determine your adjustments for your MOA at farther distances. For example, if your bullet hits 4 inches low at 200 yards, we can figure out how many MOA you need to come up.

4 inches low divided by 2 inches of MOA at 200 yards=2 MOA to come up on the scope.

If your scope is built such that 1 turn up is ¼ MOA, 4 turns up will be 1 MOA, so you would need 4 turns times 2 MOA totaling 8 turns up to adjust for 2 inches of MOA drop.

If you know at 500 yards your bullet will hit 60 inches low:

60 inches low divided by 5 inches of MOA at 500 yards=12 MOA to come up on the scope.

4 turns up times 12 MOA totals 48 turns up to adjust for 5 inches MOA bullet drop at 500 yards.

On your DOPE chart you would see how many turns up on your scope you would need at 500 yards without having to quickly run the calculation.

This ends up being a valuable piece of paper when hunting or shooting competitively at long range.

You do have to know your scope as some companies will have one turn be ½ inch and others can be 1 inch per turn.

The advantage of the DOPE chart is that you will have already done the math, so when you’re in the field you just reference your chart, make the number of turns you need for the distance and squeeze the trigger.

Designers at Blackheart Gear took this into consideration when designing the Dispatch Stock Pouch.

This pouch fits on your stock and looks like a regular stock pouch, but sets itself apart by sporting adjustable straps, the ability to hold larger cartridges for more knock-down power and longer ranges, topped off with a spot to hold your very own DOPE chart for quick reference in the field.

Accuracy doesn’t have to be a mystery as distances increase.

With a little bit of research on the range, you can be ready to be successful with your equipment for a competitive shoot, or those big hunting distance shots in out west.

From us at Blackheart Gear, have fun cutting paper and bringing home those trophies from the field.

For more content related to trigger sports and shooting sports, visit the rest of our BlackHeart blog archive here.

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