Kahles Ballistic Turret (BT) is a helpful tool for hunters and shooters, particularly those who find themselves covering varying shooting distances. BDC turret is your best shot to eliminate guesswork and take your hunt's payout to the next level.
Let's see what new Kahles BTs are all about.
Kahles is one of the oldest manufacturers of hunting and sport optics, with 120 years of experience. The company hails from Austria and is best known for Helia hunting riflescopes and binoculars for all sorts of outdoor enthusiasts.
In the modern era, Kahles made a mark with specialized scopes for target shooters. The Kahles K-line of scopes is highly-valued in North America, which is a great accomplishment for a traditional European company with limited production.
What is a BDC Turret?
- a type of hunting turret
- varying shooting distances & bullets → different ballistic curve
- BDC = bullet drop compensator
To put it simply, a ballistic turret is a riflescope accessory that compensates for the bullet drop.
In the past, BDC turrets were not available as a stand-alone product. So you had to know from the start whether your scope needed a classic low and capped hunting turret or a BDC one. Select brands also made aftermarket BDC turrets per request.
As the BDC turret can only match one bullet trajectory, users had to write down their ballistic curve and send it to the factory. The obvious downside is that the custom-made turret was of no use once the user changed his ammunition. That's why repeating the tiresome process a few times could do serious damage to one's bank account.
Build-wise, BDC turrets look similar to tactical turrets - tall and exposed. The main difference is that the engraved numbers do not stand for clicks but denote distances. This considerably cuts down on math once the scope is zeroed in. For example, 1 click equals 100 meters, 2 clicks equals 200m, ... and so on.
Some manufacturers took this simplification a step further. Swarovski BT turret uses colored dots, other BDC turrets have drop marks instead of classic numerals. With these bullet drop compensators, the users memorize which color corresponds to a given distance to the target.
Kahles Ballistic Turret
- 2 versions of BT → Kahles Helia BT, Kahles K-Series BT
- precise markings
- easy installation & removal
- simple use
Ballistic Drop Compensation
Kahles first made Ballistic Drop Compensation in 2015, a handy accessory for fast parallax adjustments. The Kahles ballistic turret was presented at IWA OutdoorClassics 2015 and had a unique design, similar to flip-up lens covers. Since then, Kahles Helia and K-scope series underwent many turret build upgrades. Hence the need for a new BDC solution.
The 2022 BDC solution has many advantages. It can be fitted onto the scope by the user, without the help of a gunsmith. Kahles ballistic drop turret is easy to handle and customizable to the hunter's preferences. Not to mention, the new Kahles BT is also about €60 cheaper than the previous BDC.
Ballistic Turret Installation
Here's a Kahles instructional clip to show you just how easy it is to assebly the new Kahles BT. The specialized Kahles turret tool is included but when in a pinch, a coin and hex key will do just fine.
How to Use a Ballistic Turret?
The process of setting up your ballistic turret is not that different from regular zeroing.
First, install the Kahles BT and sight in your scope at 100 meters or yards. Look up your rifle, ammunition, and scope data and enter it into a ballistic calculator app like Strelok Pro or Applied Ballistics. Give other info as accurately as possible (bullet coefficient, speed, air temperature, humidity, altitude, etc.) because they can considerably alter the bullet trajectory.
Use the weather-resistant stickers to mark your preferred distances on the clicks calculated by the app. This, of course, makes Kahles BT the most budget-friendly type of BDC turret that the market has on offer.
Simple or advanced, BDC turrets are not a be-all and end-all to a winning shot. Hunter needs a correct distance to the target estimation, which is why a laser rangefinder is an indispensable companion on long-range hunts. There are also other factors that have to be taken into account to maximize your success: wind, game behavior, cartridge limitations, etc.
Compatible Kahles Riflescopes
BDC turrets' downside is that they are not cross-brand compatible. Riflescope configuration and outward appearance are dictated by global market trends, resulting in a plethora of scopes that look similar on paper. But it's the internal workings that make all the difference. Turret mechanisms, too, remain brand-protected.
Since no brand's turret mechanism is like another's, BDC turrets only fit on a limited number of scopes in the manufacturer's catalog. So before you run to the nearest hunting store, be sure this Kahles BDC turret can be fitted onto your scope.
Here's a list of Kahles rifle scopes that can be used with Kahles ballistic turrets.
Kahles Helia BT Turret:
Note that this turret can be used with older (2018) versions of these Kahles scopes.
- Kahles Helia (*excluding Kahles Helia 1-5x24i)
- Kahles Helia 3
Kahles K BT Turret:
This Kahles turret can be fitted onto K-series riflescopes. Unlike the Helia turret, this includes the shortest 1-5x24i model.
- Kahles K16i
- Kahles K18i
Scope of Delivery
- Kahles Ballistic Turret
- 120 drop-shaped stickers
- green, orange, white
- printed and blank
- specialized Kahles turret tool
- Installation instructions
Where to Buy Kahles Ballistic Turret?
This ballistic turret is available for purchase from July 2022. You can buy it from sports goods stores specializing in hunting equipment and online retailers like Optics Trade.
Kahles ballistic turret costs 180 euros (VAT incl.). Pricing is comparable to other European brands that offer simpler BDC solutions, like Meopta or Steiner.
BDC turrets are a must on long shooting ranges but can pay dividends on all kinds of hunts. If you are looking for flexibility and precision, Kahles BT turret can take your experience to the next level.