Rifle Scopes Why all the craze for reticles in the first focal plane

Jeff in TX

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Sep 5, 2004
315
46
McKinney, TX
It seems as though scopes with reticle in the first focal plane (FFP) are all the rage now, though for my life I have no idea why. I understand that your reticle size increases and decreases as you move through the scopes power range. This makes ranging at any power setting easier…though not practical in my opinion.

This past weekend out at the ranch a few buddies came out to hunt hogs at night and all had scopes with FFP reticles. One scope was a 4.5 - 14, another was a 3 – 18 and the other was a 6 – 24 or something close to that. None of them did any range finding with their scopes reticles as they all had laser range finders. However they all had some very nice high end scopes with incredible glass.

During the afternoon we did a lot of shooting. Got to say they were very happy and impressed with the scopes and rifles as was I. Funny thing happened as it started to get dark. They wanted to take a couple shots when it was dark using the red LED spot lights to try it out as none of them had ever hunted at night. That evening we went back out to the range with about 30 min of daylight left. As darkness closed in none of them could see the targets in their scopes on the high scope power settings. As they turned down their scope power the reticle decreased in size though they could see the target. The problem was the darker it got the more they had to turn down their scope power and though they could see the target, their reticle was too small to make any sense out of. Once we turned on the red LED spot lights they were able to increase their scope power. It was a balancing act of scope power verses being able to see enough crosshairs to shoot.

For me I’ve never seen what all the hubbub was about with FFP scopes especially in low light situations. I understand the use of FFP for ranging but other than that it I see them more of hindrance than a help.

Am I missing something else!
 
Last edited:

CoryT

Gunsite Rangemaster
Commercial Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Mar 5, 2004
    1,844
    890
    64
    Paulden, AZ
    www.gunsite.com
    Holds, for wind or elevation or movers are now possible at all powers. Reticle ranging is a legacy skill, not done much in the field except as a 'flash-mil' to confirm/deny the actual range value. Most FFP system have an illuminated reticle, which takes care of the darkness issues.
     

    Jeff in TX

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 5, 2004
    315
    46
    McKinney, TX
    Holds, for wind or elevation or movers are now possible at all powers. Reticle ranging is a legacy skill, not done much in the field except as a 'flash-mil' to confirm/deny the actual range value. Most FFP system have an illuminated reticle, which takes care of the darkness issues.

    Cory,

    I understand that though I didn't add that in my post. The issue I see is in low light conditions with or without an illuminated reticle, the reticel becomes too small to actually use.
     

    Chanonry

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 30, 2009
    378
    2
    58
    Aberdeen Scotland
    Jeff

    Swings and roundabouts. As Cory says easier to hold in some circumstances. As you say reticle size can become an issue. FFP is not the universal panacea, no news here.

    If you dial rather than hold who gives &%*. Personally I like to use the crosshairs as the aiming point (windage perhaps a hold). If you don't see the point in turning down the power as you have paid for it, ditto. If you want to turn down, how hard is it to go to 1/2 or 1/4 and adjust the scale.

    Also an element of marketing ?
     

    dcjs

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 27, 2003
    388
    3
    The issue I see is in low light conditions with or without an illuminated reticle, the reticel becomes too small to actually use.

    What parts of an SFP reticle would you "use" in lowlight at medium magnifications? Anything but the center aiming point is useless because the dimensions are off, and the center of an illuminated FFP reticle is easy enough to see at all magnifications. It really boggles my mind how people like structures in reticles that are nice to look at but completely useless.

    If you have a reticle that only uses one center aiming point and don't care about small POI changes when changing magnification, fine, you might as well use SFP. For anything else, FFP is more useful as a tool unless the reticle is especially poorly designed.
     
    Last edited:

    peaceatwar

    Southpaw
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    May 14, 2012
    979
    2
    Annapolis, MD
    I think there are lots of PROS to FFP and only a handful of cons. Illuminiation aside (As my 3.5-15x50 NF has illuminition). Simple put the FFP is has an accurate scale reticle at each power. No additional math required. What are the downfalls? Price - My FFP cost more than a higher mangification SFP. Cross hair thickness - MY BIGGEST COMPLAINT about my 3.5-15x50 NF is that at 15 power the reticle is just too thick. Maybe I am spoiled by a 5.5-22x56 NP-R2 NF but the center obscures small targets. For precision practice I like to shoot .75" colored dots (stickers) @ 200 yards. The reticle is so thick that at 15 powder the dot is completed obscured. This wasn't the case with the SFP 5.5-22.
     

    Cartman

    Bird Dogging Expert
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    May 5, 2007
    1,389
    11
    NunYo SoCal
    If you want to turn down, how hard is it to go to 1/2 or 1/4 and adjust the scale.

    Also an element of marketing ?

    Are you saying SFP is no problem adjusting the scale if you divide your magnification by 1/2 or 1/4? If so, is the magnification dial and indicator really so accurate that your math would correctly reflect what the scope is doing?
     

    RobertB

    Manners Stocks Support Team
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Aug 20, 2009
    2,256
    274
    37
    Oak Grove, Louisiana
    It's all a give and take. I have both SFP and FFP. I will choose either depending on the situation. SFP is nice in lowlight times when you can zoom out and still have a nice reticle to look at. And at high powers your crosshairs are finer. I don't like a FFP much UNLESS it has a Christmas tree reticle. THe 6.5 CM I have on me right now has a FFP Christmas tree on it and I NEVER dial unless past 1100 yds or high winds. When you can only have one rifle then I see where people look hard but I don't always try to split the hairs. On hunting rifles not meant to be shot a long ways, SFP all the way. High stress situations in the field makes a FFP nice at times. I was trying to get on a 430 yd coyote a hour or so ago and dialing or power range was not in my mind at all. I don't want to get rid of any of my SFP scopes because there is a time and place that they really shine BUt you cant say that there is not a time and place for FFP. It's when you do like my friend who got a FFP with a duplex reticle that it doesn't make sense. SFP gathers light better with a larger field of view. If you have say a HDMR with the GA reticle then when you zoom all the way out you have thick out posts on your reticle which makes a nice duplex so really it's all about what reticle you have to make the most of your setup.
     

    dcjs

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 27, 2003
    388
    3
    SFP is nice in lowlight times when you can zoom out and still have a nice reticle to look at.

    That's what I don't get. You have a "nice looking" scale to look at, but you can't use it because it's not to scale. Ever wonder why noone is offering a set of rulers with fine scales for good visibility and bigger scales for low light conditions? Because it wouldn't be a ruler anymore.
     

    bm11

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 18, 2010
    2,562
    11
    38
    Maine
    Once you go ffp, you never go back. Wind holds are of paramount importance to me, not ranging. I haven't shot much at night so I can't comment on the reticle getting unusable. However, I have shot on the lowest power settings my scope has to offer in low enough light that I was using the illumination, and I found it perfectly functional.

    Edit to add- you write your post as if night shooting is the onkh shooting anyone does. If that were the case, I believe that the current scope market would offer drastically different options. The reality is, most shooters never shoot at night and the ones that do for the most part shoot drastically shoot more during the day than at night. The small downside of FFP is more than offset by the drastic upsides.
     
    Last edited:

    RobertB

    Manners Stocks Support Team
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Aug 20, 2009
    2,256
    274
    37
    Oak Grove, Louisiana
    That's what I don't get. You have a "nice looking" scale to look at, but you can't use it because it's not to scale. Ever wonder why noone is offering a set of rulers with fine scales for good visibility and bigger scales for low light conditions? Because it wouldn't be a ruler anymore.
    I'm not talking about having a scale. The issue with FFP at low power is that you might not see much of anything depending on if you have a certain reticle. Again, there is a time and place for both. If your hunting and everything is inside 200-300 yds then how is a FFP helping at all? IT's really not unless you are in crazy winds. And again, I have both and choose which one I will carry out depending on the situations. Right now I have 2 rifles on me, my all purpose 6.5 CM with a FFP and my dedicated hunting rifle with guess what....... a SFP scope on it. I specifically chose each scope because of what it would be used for. It's like the mil/moa debate. People act like the SFP are bad but look at how long people have been doing incredible things with them.
     

    Surffshr

    Beach Bum
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 9, 2009
    367
    0
    SoTX
    Wind holds and movers are what makes a ffp make sense to me. I never thought there was anything to it until I shot my first tactical match and needed to see my own splash. As soon as you back off power, you lose reference points. Shooting a mover at 22 power doesn't work for me. Ymmv.
     

    MD2Colo

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 3, 2011
    247
    0
    40
    Littleton, CO
    Shooter preference imo.
    Shooting at night with a clip on nv or thermal? nice to have a FFP scope when you need to back off on the mag under very low/pitch black conditions based on nv limitations. If you only want to use holds, obviously... If you wanna dial then go for it. Either way works imo
    Grid reticle versus a traditional style? Pros and cons. Scopes with Easily adjustible illumination vs ones that dont, reticles that only illuminate partially vs scopes that light the whole reticle, the list goes on.
    Whatever works for you, man.
     

    lowlight

    HMFIC of this Shit
    Staff member
    Moderator
    Supporter
    Minuteman
  • Apr 12, 2001
    33,667
    30,000
    Base of the Rockies
    www.snipershide.com
    it also depends greatly on the reticles they are using... The designs are a compromise, some work better on max power, others will be thicker on Max Power but work well on lower power. Most people chose the thinner reticles which don't lend well to use on low power.

    Regarding the magnification, on a SFP scope you have to take the time to actually map out the reticle to determine the proper spacing on any and every power. So if you intend on using it at all, you have to confirm the values as the magnification ring is likely to be off. Then once you determine the correct power and have marked your magnification ring accordingly, you can use the SFP reticle in a more dynamic fashion. If you are taking it for granted the manufacturer has provided you with a calibrated reticle based on the markings of the magnification ring you are likely doing it wrong or are at least not nearly as accurate you believe. Not a big deal if you are shooting alone or staying inside 400 yards, but venture beyond, or try competing and you'll start to wonder why things are not working.

    FFP scopes are more dynamic and while they do have draw backs and compromises, they are far more versatile. They don't require the precision use of the magnification ring, where ever you end up is fine. Again, reticles matter and not all are suited to be used at both ends of the spectrum. You have to weigh you priorities and understand your limitations.
     

    Bedlam

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Aug 12, 2009
    61
    0
    49
    Washington
    It is a matter of preference; I don't think anyone means to say there are no cons to FFP. Since I personally almost never shoot in the dark, precision low-light performance is further down the list of priorities.

    What I like about FFP is that I can read reticle marks and make appropriate adjustments via turret or holds at any power. Obviously with second focal plane you can do holds at any power, but I typically prefer to adjust the turrets unless I'm in a hurry.

    I also like that when shooting with a spotter, he can just call shots in minutes. With SFP you'll have to be at the appropriate zoom or do the math. Where my reticle says 1 minute, I want it to be 1 minute, always. I don't want it to be possibly 2 minutes, or 16 minutes, or 5.769234 minutes, or whatever. That also is a pet peeve of mine with SFP--in order to do the math easily you have to be at specific spots. Vortex is great in this regard because there are detents you can feel when rotating the magnification ring.

    I do have scopes in both flavors and what I end up doing with the SFP is to always stay at maximum magnification. This is okay in nice conditions shooting steel, but if you are a hunter or military (I'm not), I assume you'll want a wider field of view at times. When there is mirage I tend to zoom out a bit. When I am the spotter for precision shooting I may have to zoom out a bit in order to find the hits and direct fire.

    Those are real-life practical things for me at least. To say there are no practical reasons to have FFP is incorrect; it is more correct perhaps to say that the kind of shooting you do in particular doesn't benefit from FFP.
     
    Last edited:

    TacticalDillhole

    Shiner of shoes
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 26, 2012
    7,753
    9,430
    Orlando, FL
    it also depends greatly on the reticles they are using... The designs are a compromise, some work better on max power, others will be thicker on Max Power but work well on lower power. Most people chose the thinner reticles which don't lend well to use on low power.

    Regarding the magnification, on a SFP scope you have to take the time to actually map out the reticle to determine the proper spacing on any and every power. So if you intend on using it at all, you have to confirm the values as the magnification ring is likely to be off. Then once you determine the correct power and have marked your magnification ring accordingly, you can use the SFP reticle in a more dynamic fashion. If you are taking it for granted the manufacturer has provided you with a calibrated reticle based on the markings of the magnification ring you are likely doing it wrong or are at least not nearly as accurate you believe. Not a big deal if you are shooting alone or staying inside 400 yards, but venture beyond, or try competing and you'll start to wonder why things are not working.

    FFP scopes are more dynamic and while they do have draw backs and compromises, they are far more versatile. They don't require the precision use of the magnification ring, where ever you end up is fine. Again, reticles matter and not all are suited to be used at both ends of the spectrum. You have to weigh you priorities and understand your limitations.

    Lets take this another direction then and comprise a list of effective 1FP and 2FP reticles and perhaps a list of the ones that are effective in both planes.
     

    RobertB

    Manners Stocks Support Team
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Aug 20, 2009
    2,256
    274
    37
    Oak Grove, Louisiana
    Agreed, I would lean torwards a FFP if I could only have one.......Maybe. But SFP have advantages too. If you shoot belly matches most of the time and tac matches every now and then then maybe a sfp is the better choice. Weigh all options. All have cons, but some cons might not hold you back at all. All beat no scope at all. LOL
     

    TRAAV

    Full Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Apr 15, 2010
    1,643
    20
    43
    Santa Claus IN
    For me FFP works much better. I couldnt imagine in a match trying to run a set power or do the math if i change magnification.
     

    Cobracutter

    Gunny Sergeant
    Banned !
    Full Member
    Feb 28, 2006
    2,188
    6
    NOVA
    After trying a FFP, I sold/am selling all of my SFP and going to FFP.

    It is just so much easier/faster with less calculations involved.

    Lets be honest, there are a metric (no-pun) shit ton of variables to be factored into precision shooting. The farther the distance or smaller the target or faster the wind, only magnifies the error in these computations.

    Using a FFP reduces the time needed to do these calucations, while taking a variable out of the calculation. You can range/confirm with the reticle.

    The biggest benefit is not having to dial every shot, as sometimes you dont have the time or the body possition be be able to dial easily. Multiple targets, timed events or people shooting at you is not the time to start dialing elevation and wind.

    So the real question is, Why do you even want/need any sort of ranging reticle on a variable scope. Why not just stick with a duplex since those ranges are only good at one magnification. And as Frank pointed out, they are not always true to label.
     

    RobertB

    Manners Stocks Support Team
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Aug 20, 2009
    2,256
    274
    37
    Oak Grove, Louisiana
    After trying a FFP, I sold/am selling all of my SFP and going to FFP.

    It is just so much easier/faster with less calculations involved.

    Lets be honest, there are a metric (no-pun) shit ton of variables to be factored into precision shooting. The farther the distance or smaller the target or faster the wind, only magnifies the error in these computations.

    Using a FFP reduces the time needed to do these calucations, while taking a variable out of the calculation. You can range/confirm with the reticle.

    The biggest benefit is not having to dial every shot, as sometimes you dont have the time or the body possition be be able to dial easily. Multiple targets, timed events or people shooting at you is not the time to start dialing elevation and wind.

    So the real question is, Why do you even want/need any sort of ranging reticle on a variable scope. Why not just stick with a duplex since those ranges are only good at one magnification. And as Frank pointed out, they are not always true to label.

    I agree, it makes it much easier. SFP makes good hunting/target scopes. But when I'm going to buy a FFP I am very picky about reticles. Like I said earlier, a Christmas tree reticle ir like is the only way I really like a FFP. My SS with regular mil dot type reticle doesn't really help me much as say a horus or GAP reticle does.
     

    lowlight

    HMFIC of this Shit
    Staff member
    Moderator
    Supporter
    Minuteman
  • Apr 12, 2001
    33,667
    30,000
    Base of the Rockies
    www.snipershide.com
    Reticles are too subjective to begin listing them, everyone has their own likes and dislikes and rarely do you find common ground on which to chose.

    Plus most reticles are manufacturer specific, other than several scopes now including the MSR reticle, you won't find another that crosses over the same. So even if you decided you liked one reticle better than another, you are stuck with the company that makes it.

    Those that work on the low end will more than likely cover too much real estate for guys looking to engage sub moa targets to the degree they want too, again, it's a all a trade off, so picking just one that everyone thinks will work is gonna be near impossible.
     

    dieselgeek

    Do you even Shoot Bro?
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 1, 2010
    1,426
    4
    Dallas, Texas
    Funny, when I read the OPs post I was thinking...why would anyone want SFP over FFP outside of short range, and benchrest shooting.
     

    5R Milspec

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 29, 2009
    582
    1
    48
    South Carolina
    OK from all that I just read,you guy are saying that I need a SFP scope for my needs.( hunting and target shooting ) I ask because I have my eyes on the Vortex viper 6-24x50 with a illumanated EBR ret.So I ask will I be better off with the SFP or the FFP,I ask this for I want to be able to see the ret while hunting in low light.Or will the ret be able to be used no matter what by being illumanated.

    I am sorry if I have asked a question thats not really on topic but I think have asked a question that fits the bill.Or at least for my needs.I just found out to how dumb I was when it came to scopes just the other day,but your answers will be taken to the need of buying a scope soon for my needs.
     

    MuleyTime

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 3, 2008
    496
    60
    Utah
    I see a "cross argument" here....SFP/FFP and MIL/MOA...or maybe I am looking for one :D

    So let me play the Devil's Advocate here.....I do so with an open mind, as I am an SFP/MOA guy but lurking hard at possibly switching to FFP/MIL.

    The competitions I attend are mostly prone (belly competitions). Sometimes, but not very often, does the barricade come out. Never shot at a mover in my life.

    It is extremely rare that I ever have to lower my magnification under max (24 power). I usually don't HAVE to dial at all if I don't want to. So, the argument of never having to dial a MIL reticle is not relevant. The same goes with an MOA reticle (again at max power).

    So, maybe I have yet to shoot a stage that would require me to lower the mag and still measure my hit/miss….I don’t know but it seems to me that the ONLY advantage of FFP is I could do so at any magnification. It sounds like many are trying to creatively make more advantages than that but that’s all I can really picture.

    MIL against MOA.....I've heard the argument that a MIL is a MIL and MOA is inconsistent (measurement). Well, I can tell you my box tests on two different scopes (NightForce, and Sightron), shows that MOA is VERY consistent...which again is why I would never have to dial (at max mag) if time didn't allow.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be disadvantaged in any way. I’m sitting on the fence waiting to be pushed over to the FFP/MIL side. However, I haven’t seen it…at least in the type of competitions that I normally participate in.
    Now I will throw out an even bigger advantage of MIL…….Although decreasing, there are way more scope options for the MIL guys!!
     
    Last edited:

    Jeff in TX

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 5, 2004
    315
    46
    McKinney, TX
    Many thanks everyone some great dialog here. I should have referenced this more for hunting than tactical shooting. I have a FFP scope that I used when I competed so I was well familiar with it. When my knees wouldn’t let me compete any longer, I’m back to being an avid long range shooter and hunter. My FFP scope didn’t translate into a good hunting scope. The crosshairs like those of my buddies this weekend were too thin at lower power settings and low light condition.

    Much of my hunting is at night now as I’m a diehard hog hunter. My equipment has evolved the more time I spend in the dark woods and fields at night and for me a low power SFP scope is the ticket. Shots on hogs at night at the ranch are usually 100 to 250 yards in the fields, though my deep woods stands can offer shots less than 5 yards out to maybe 75 yards. My new Leupold V-6 1-6 SFP fits the bill of both scenarios and works perfectly with my red Hogsniper LED spot light.
     

    Mute

    Curmudgeon
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Sep 9, 2003
    1,018
    300
    55
    Diamond Bar, CA
    www.amtraininggroup.com
    I dial my FFP scopes also. It isn't just about holds on your initial shot but also subsequent shots. Sure you can dial down (or up) on your SFP scope and do your holds but how quick can you do it. You might not get a second shot. I use SFP scopes when I'm shooting targets on KD range and want the smallest possible group, but in any type of shooting where there may be constant changes in the environment, FFP is just a whole lot quicker and easier.
     

    RobertB

    Manners Stocks Support Team
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Aug 20, 2009
    2,256
    274
    37
    Oak Grove, Louisiana
    That still goes to say that a SFP is correct at all power ranges to if using holdover and not dialing. Or changing the power between shots. It's not even a debate. Each excels more in certain areas than the other. Like comparing a .338LM to a .22LR. Both are great for what they are meant for. I choose a SFP for paper matches, ELR shooting, and hunting. I choose my FFP scoped rifle as my carry all rifle on things that need to be shot quickly at distance. It works great for that. FFP is super for stressfull times when quickness trumps perfect precision. Field/Battle accuracy isn't the same as benchrest accuracy or even some hunting shots. Not saying FFP is not a bad choice for hunting either. In some places it can be better. Out west or open places I can see an advantage. In Louisiana a SFP is usually my choice in my Leupold and Nightforce scopes. And a Bushnell Elite or two as well. The S&B and HDMR are great for most all around fun guns that go everywhere and are always taking randomly chosen shots. Square ranges a SFP is probably never a bad idea. It's when it gest to be off the way stuff that makes you change. Another scenario, today on a 430 yd coyote, I had to hit the unsupported sitting stance, I was going to hold and not dial, Even though my power was already fine for most settled in shots that you go through the motions to get steady I need to zoom out a hair to setup for my poor position. It helps when you might have messed up a bit but it's to late to do anything about it. I was able to zoom out and center a target between my two know memorized holds for a shot. We chose not to take the shot due to safety reasons of the critter going over a hill that has a house about a mile away but I'm there to take my shot if possible. I think with a mil/FFP scope you can cut out a few seconds of your solution/setup even when things are tough. You can use SFP at half and 1/4 power but a bit of math is still involved. Best bet.........have a 5.5x22 NXS on a 7mm/338LM and holdover, dialing, and wind is no issue. Place crosshairs and fire. Replace bbl and repeat.LOL
     

    sib1948

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Aug 5, 2012
    1,749
    2
    73
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Many thanks everyone some great dialog here. I should have referenced this more for hunting than tactical shooting. I have a FFP scope that I used when I competed so I was well familiar with it. When my knees wouldn’t let me compete any longer, I’m back to being an avid long range shooter and hunter. My FFP scope didn’t translate into a good hunting scope. The crosshairs like those of my buddies this weekend were too thin at lower power settings and low light condition.

    Much of my hunting is at night now as I’m a diehard hog hunter. My equipment has evolved the more time I spend in the dark woods and fields at night and for me a low power SFP scope is the ticket. Shots on hogs at night at the ranch are usually 100 to 250 yards in the fields, though my deep woods stands can offer shots less than 5 yards out to maybe 75 yards. My new Leupold V-6 1-6 SFP fits the bill of both scenarios and works perfectly with my red Hogsniper LED spot light.

    Sounds like you have already made your decision and need a SFP MOA scope for your type of shooting, which should work well for what you describe. Good luck with the hogs. I don't see the need for a FFP scope in your future. I'll stick with FFP mil/mil for my needs. Great we have so many options to choose from.
     

    sobrbiker883

    Lt. Colonel
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 18, 2003
    7,139
    207
    Gilbert AZ
    FFP or fixed for me, period.

    Comps, hunts or two way ranges are no place for having to remember what power I dialed or compensating, I want my hold or lead to be what it is no matter where I cranked the mag to acquire, ID, and engage target.
     

    steve123

    Lt. Colonel
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 16, 2008
    9,165
    1,663
    none of your business
    It seems as though scopes with reticle in the first focal plane (FFP) are all the rage now, though for my life I have no idea why. I understand that your reticle size increases and decreases as you move through the scopes power range. This makes ranging at any power setting easier…though not practical in my opinion.

    This past weekend out at the ranch a few buddies came out to hunt hogs at night and all had scopes with FFP reticles. One scope was a 4.5 - 14, another was a 3 – 18 and the other was a 6 – 24 or something close to that. None of them did any range finding with their scopes reticles as they all had laser range finders. However they all had some very nice high end scopes with incredible glass.

    During the afternoon we did a lot of shooting. Got to say they were very happy and impressed with the scopes and rifles as was I. Funny thing happened as it started to get dark. They wanted to take a couple shots when it was dark using the red LED spot lights to try it out as none of them had ever hunted at night. That evening we went back out to the range with about 30 min of daylight left. As darkness closed in none of them could see the targets in their scopes on the high scope power settings. As they turned down their scope power the reticle decreased in size though they could see the target. The problem was the darker it got the more they had to turn down their scope power and though they could see the target, their reticle was too small to make any sense out of. Once we turned on the red LED spot lights they were able to increase their scope power. It was a balancing act of scope power verses being able to see enough crosshairs to shoot.

    For me I’ve never seen what all the hubbub was about with FFP scopes especially in low light situations. I understand the use of FFP for ranging but other than that it I see them more of hindrance than a help.

    Am I missing something else!

    I tend to favor FFP myself and only have a few SFP scopes left because I sold the others.

    As we have a few night matches here in AZ, I can definitely say that I'd still rather use a illuminated FFP for long range in the dark, it's still advantages for me to dial down power and widen the FOV enough to find steels quickly after the recoil impulse and also use the wind holds lines with the correct mil values.

    Back to SFP. I kept my 45x fixed power for load work up and to use on the FT rifle, I'd replace it with a March FX FFP 5-40 or S&B 12-50 FFP but $3500 is a lot of money for these purposes but who knows??? maybe someday.

    I kept a NF 2.5-10x24 with LV600 reticle. It's a good compromise for a SFP scope used for hunting and holdovers. Seems like it's either on 2.5x for hunting up close, occasional local carbine matches or on 10x for long range using the holdovers. I find it a very useful scope and I have to admit I like the nice big lines on 2.5x!
     

    Supersubes

    Heathen
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Sep 6, 2006
    6,611
    6,517
    Rural Nevada
    Your match experience is very different than mine. I use a 4-16 ffp scope, and need to turn it down frequently when engaging multiple targets of different sizes, at different locations/ranges. Certainly this can be done with a sfp scope, with a ffp scope its a no-brainer excercise. Anything that will allow you to concentrate on the shooting task is a step in the right direction. Add mil/mil to the equation and you have a package that is so simple, a small child with 10 min of instruction could do it.

    To the OP: I thought the FFP fad was five or six years ago? You certainly remember those days. FFP is the norm around here now.



    I see a "cross argument" here....SFP/FFP and MIL/MOA...or maybe I am looking for one :D

    So let me play the Devil's Advocate here.....I do so with an open mind, as I am an SFP/MOA guy but lurking hard at possibly switching to FFP/MIL.

    The competitions I attend are mostly prone (belly competitions). Sometimes, but not very often, does the barricade come out. Never shot at a mover in my life.

    It is extremely rare that I ever have to lower my magnification under max (24 power). I usually don't HAVE to dial at all if I don't want to. So, the argument of never having to dial a MIL reticle is not relevant. The same goes with an MOA reticle (again at max power).

    So, maybe I have yet to shoot a stage that would require me to lower the mag and still measure my hit/miss….I don’t know but it seems to me that the ONLY advantage of FFP is I could do so at any magnification. It sounds like many are trying to creatively make more advantages than that but that’s all I can really picture.

    MIL against MOA.....I've heard the argument that a MIL is a MIL and MOA is inconsistent (measurement). Well, I can tell you my box tests on two different scopes (NightForce, and Sightron), shows that MOA is VERY consistent...which again is why I would never have to dial (at max mag) if time didn't allow.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be disadvantaged in any way. I’m sitting on the fence waiting to be pushed over to the FFP/MIL side. However, I haven’t seen it…at least in the type of competitions that I normally participate in.
    Now I will throw out an even bigger advantage of MIL…….Although decreasing, there are way more scope options for the MIL guys!!
     

    n_h85

    Private
    Minuteman
    Mar 24, 2013
    6
    0
    Because some idiot can't do simple math and like for their targets to be covered up at long range! Lol

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk 2
     

    Chanonry

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 30, 2009
    378
    2
    58
    Aberdeen Scotland
    Are you saying SFP is no problem adjusting the scale if you divide your magnification by 1/2 or 1/4? If so, is the magnification dial and indicator really so accurate that your math would correctly reflect what the scope is doing?

    you can calibrate the power ring to 1/2 and 1/4. You need to calibrate the power ring anyway for full power.

    I don't see holding as a particularly accurate approach anyway compared to dialling hence I am not such a big advocate of FFP.

    It is a view not a definitive statement and I can understand why others have a different view. I just don't buy into the view that FFP is absolutely superior to SFP across the board. There are inevitably advantages and disadvantages.

    It depends on what and how you shoot.
     

    Chanonry

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 30, 2009
    378
    2
    58
    Aberdeen Scotland
    That's what I don't get. You have a "nice looking" scale to look at, but you can't use it because it's not to scale. Ever wonder why noone is offering a set of rulers with fine scales for good visibility and bigger scales for low light conditions? Because it wouldn't be a ruler anymore.

    because you dial to shoot (more accurate) and adjust off the scale by holding - it doesn't matter if the ruler is to scale a you are just holding one up or whatever
     

    tylerw02

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • May 16, 2011
    2,330
    120
    Advance, MO
    My H2CMR doesn't cover anything up. Holding is just as accurate as dialing and eliminates lots of errors. Its much faster to hold for a wind change than to dial. I've never had any problem holding for elevation, too but usually dial. Buy what you like and use it, but FFP is definitely not a "craze".
     

    Scimitar

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 21, 2005
    1,186
    80
    Pine Hall,North Carolina
    Lowlight said pretty much all you can say. Some reticles are not the best for everything. I have both types. If I was shooting F-class or benchrest, or even shooting/hunting inside 2-300 SFP is fine. In unknown distnace shooting, I went to FFP and I'll never go back. If I am shooting at night its not going to be at a distance where I am depending on the reticle for holdover.
     

    Landon

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 20, 2012
    173
    10
    Northern Kentucky
    Are you saying SFP is no problem adjusting the scale if you divide your magnification by 1/2 or 1/4? If so, is the magnification dial and indicator really so accurate that your math would correctly reflect what the scope is doing?

    In order to do this you have to spend quite a bit of time setting your reticle up at 100 yards. You have to determine at exactly what power setting you magnification matches your reticle and 1 mil = 1 mil. Then you have to figure out what magnification setting is 1/2 and1/4. The markings on the power ring are not precise. Much like the marks on the parallax ring rarely match.

    When I used to use a SFP reticle I would use a paint pen to carefully mark these settings. I used Leupold and IOR scopes and never had one that was dead on according to the power ring at all three values. A FFP reticle takes care of this range work.
     

    Cartman

    Bird Dogging Expert
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    May 5, 2007
    1,389
    11
    NunYo SoCal
    In order to do this you have to spend quite a bit of time setting your reticle up at 100 yards. You have to determine at exactly what power setting you magnification matches your reticle and 1 mil = 1 mil. Then you have to figure out what magnification setting is 1/2 and1/4. The markings on the power ring are not precise. Much like the marks on the parallax ring rarely match.

    When I used to use a SFP reticle I would use a paint pen to carefully mark these settings. I used Leupold and IOR scopes and never had one that was dead on according to the power ring at all three values. A FFP reticle takes care of this range work.

    I knew this, but I wasn't sure the people above me knew about it as it obviates, IMO, the argument that a SFP scope can be easily used like a FFP just by multiplying. I think Lowlight talks about it above as well. That's not to say a SFP scope is not right for some people for some uses, but I, personally, find it hard to see how someone can be surprised at the appeal of FFP scopes.
     

    Landon

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 20, 2012
    173
    10
    Northern Kentucky
    I knew this, but I wasn't sure the people above me knew about it as it obviates, IMO, the argument that a SFP scope can be easily used like a FFP just by multiplying. I think Lowlight talks about it above as well. That's not to say a SFP scope is not right for some people for some uses, but I, personally, find it hard to see how someone can be surprised at the appeal of FFP scopes.

    Yea...I was trying to follow up your comment string with an agreeing comment to further describe the process. The quotes only picked up your statement and not the whole conversation. Running low on computer voodoo.

    The person who does not understand its appeal usually has never used one in situations where its design featues are beneficial. Like beyond a KD range they visit every range trip or the 100 hunting shot. I think the actual process, time, and challenges of mapping the reticle and how its used in the field are unknown to someone who asks the question "why ffp?"

    That has been my experience when selling the merits of ffp scopes to people unfamiliar with them. Heck, I was skeptical when they first came out and I had never seen or heard of one before or knew its benefits. Once I did I was blown away.
     

    sib1948

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Aug 5, 2012
    1,749
    2
    73
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Yea...I was trying to follow up your comment string with an agreeing comment to further describe the process. The quotes only picked up your statement and not the whole conversation. Running low on computer voodoo.

    The person who does not understand its appeal usually has never used one in situations where its design featues are beneficial. Like beyond a KD range they visit every range trip or the 100 hunting shot. I think the actual process, time, and challenges of mapping the reticle and how its used in the field are unknown to someone who asks the question "why ffp?"

    That has been my experience when selling the merits of ffp scopes to people unfamiliar with them. Heck, I was skeptical when they first came out and I had never seen or heard of one before or knew its benefits. Once I did I was blown away.

    I think Landon sums up this controversy nicely. Started out with SFP Leupold and had no problems at the range at known distances, but when I branched out to shoot unknown distances in the wide open spaces found FFP with matching reticle and turrets (mil/mil) the only way to go. Sure more expensive, but just works so much better. I would never go back.