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Old January 2, 2013, 05:54 AM   #1
solocam72
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SCOPES (First and second focal plane)

Which do you prefer and why? What is the difference? Advantages and disadvantages of each?
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Old January 2, 2013, 06:02 AM   #2
solocam72
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I had no idea there was such a thing (or cared I guess?) Until I bought my Zeiss 4.5-14 with rapid Z-800 reticle, it was very shortly after that I learned
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Old January 2, 2013, 06:04 AM   #3
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Depends on if you are shooting at F Class or ELR and having o MIL targets. If so First Focal Plane is ideal.

If your just shooting to shoot makes no difference.
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Old January 2, 2013, 06:26 AM   #4
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FFP & SFP scopes both have advantages and disadvantages you have to find what works for you. I like SFP rifle scopes as I prefer to start around 3X power on my variables for the low end. With a FFP scope the reticle can be hard to see since the reticle size increases as power increases. The SFP reticle stays the same across all power ranges and as long as your top end power isn't too high, then the reticle never covers up too much target.

I think.when you get into scopes that have a starting power of 6-8X and a top end over 24X then FFP reticles are a better option. Plus on MIL or MOA ranging style reticles you are able to range estimate at any power setting. Whereas the SFP scope you set on the highest power to range.
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Old January 2, 2013, 08:36 PM   #5
reynolds357
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I think all scopes should be first focal plane. Having said that, almost none are first focal plane and that annoys me. Ballistic reticles that only work on the highest power when I am trying to shoot in light conditions that prohibit using the highest power just seem foolish to me.
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Old January 2, 2013, 08:45 PM   #6
ronl
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Only advantage the FFP reticle has over the SFP reticle is that you can estimate distance at any power setting, whereas SFP can only be estimated at one power setting. Unless you are estimating distance using the reticle, it makes no difference. I prefer SFP scopes because the thickness of the stadia do not change, which makes precision shots easier on high magnification. Just my $.02.
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Old January 2, 2013, 09:02 PM   #7
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One problem with FFP is the reticle size changing.
Looking through a Vortex Viper 6-24,
at 6x the reticle was very thin, I could imagine lossing it trying to shoot a large dark object.
And then at 24x the reticle seemed almost too big.

Unless you are using the reticle for hold overs or ranging targets just get SFP as the scopes are generally cheaper.
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Old January 2, 2013, 09:08 PM   #8
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What makes no sense to me is that almost EVERYONE is making their ballistic reticles second plane. Just seems assanine to me.
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Old January 3, 2013, 02:47 AM   #9
trg42wraglefragle
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SFP scopes are a lot cheaper to make, so I guess they think making hunting type scopes more expensive they will sell less of them.
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Old January 3, 2013, 03:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
I think all scopes should be first focal plane. Having said that, almost none are first focal plane and that annoys me. Ballistic reticles that only work on the highest power when I am trying to shoot in light conditions that prohibit using the highest power just seem foolish to me.
Calculate your own, for each magnification setting.
Every manufacturer that I have checked into has their reticle subtensions published for each magnification step in the scope.


I've calculated hold points for almost every scope I own, based on the most frequently used loads for those rifles. All it took was some decent "real world" velocity data, the reticle subtension figures, and 5-20 minutes of my time.


Or... do some research next time, before you buy the scope.
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Old January 3, 2013, 08:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Calculate your own, for each magnification setting.
Every manufacturer that I have checked into has their reticle subtensions published for each magnification step in the scope.


I've calculated hold points for almost every scope I own, based on the most frequently used loads for those rifles. All it took was some decent "real world" velocity data, the reticle subtension figures, and 5-20 minutes of my time.


Or... do some research next time, before you buy the scope.

I don't see where the guy you quoted said he learned about the 2FP nonsense after buying a scope, I only understood him to say that he doesn't like them, and that there is a dearth of 1FP scopes... So the admonishment to do research before buying seems both misplaced and condescending.
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Old January 3, 2013, 10:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Calculate your own, for each magnification setting.

That’s a lot to keep up with! Sitting at a bench with a calculator and all day to shoot, using a multiplier would probably work. Otherwise, you're better off shooting at high power (if you can) or changing mag after ranging.
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Old January 3, 2013, 11:41 AM   #13
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If you don't range with your scope, FFP is useless...
As a long-range shooter at minute-of-angle size targets at KNOWN distances, I also find FFP scopes useless as the reticle covers my target at high magnification.

If you're a hunter, or long-range shooter where targets are at UNKNOWN range, then FFP may be for you.

That's it in a nutshell, but here's Vortex Optics explaining it in a video:

http://www.vortexoptics.com/video/fi...nd_focal_plane
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Old January 3, 2013, 06:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
That’s a lot to keep up with! Sitting at a bench with a calculator and all day to shoot, using a multiplier would probably work. Otherwise, you're better off shooting at high power (if you can) or changing mag after ranging.
All you need are the subtensions of the reticle at the magnification settings that you're interested in and the ballistics of the load, to calculate for 'hold over' points. It only takes a couple minutes (if that) to do the math for multiple ranges.

If you want to use it as a 'ranging' reticle, you need: subtensions at the desired magnification(s), and the distances you care about.
It only takes about 2 minutes to calculate some reference dimensions, maybe a little more for complicated reticles.
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Old January 3, 2013, 06:48 PM   #15
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Frank, that defeats the purpose of the ballistic reticle. If I am going to have to do all those calculations and looking at charts, I can do my mildot math much quicker than that.
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Old January 3, 2013, 08:53 PM   #16
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Wherever the BDC thing (reticule or knob) is, it's only good for one muzzle velocity, one altitude, one set of atmospheric conditions and one bullet. Altitude and atmospheric conditions not being right can easily cause a 5 foot elevation error in shot impact at 1000 yards.
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Old January 3, 2013, 08:57 PM   #17
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Agreed, but I want the distance between point a and point b on the reticle to be the same at any power.
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Old January 3, 2013, 09:26 PM   #18
big al hunter
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I like both first and second plane scopes. Each has its benefits. On a SFP scope you can use the changing reticle size to customize your BDC reticle for loads and ranges by turning the power up or down.

On FFP scopes, as stated earlier, you can calculate range at any power. What most have not realized is that the reticle does not cover more of the target at higher magnification, it always subtends the same amount. The reticle grows with the target thus appearing to cover more of it. It does however cover a larger portion of the target as the target gets further away.

A SFP scope reticle shrinks relative to the target as power is increased, so it subtends less of the target at higher magnification.
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Old January 4, 2013, 06:51 AM   #19
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What would make the ffp scopes cost so much more? Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't Euro scopes (European) all first focal plane?
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:43 PM   #20
reynolds357
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In my opinion the only reason they cost more is the manufacturers in the U.S. for the most part only offer their premium scopes in 1st plane.
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Old January 6, 2013, 05:40 AM   #21
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I use both and honestly prefer FFP. Sure the reticle seems a tad thick at higher magnification, but i like the fact in low light situations i can back down to lower magnification and still use my reticle holds. That being said i can't see myself like a FFP below 3x mag i think it would be too small.
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Old January 9, 2013, 10:36 PM   #22
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I have both FFP and SFP scopes,and really prefer SFP. While ranging on a FFP scope is easier,you can range with a SFP at more than one magnification.
Ranging on a SFP 6-24x scope can be done at 6x-12x-18x-or 24x if you know how to do math.

In today's High Tech world,I don't even worry about it. I just tape ballistic data to my stock,and use my range finder.
Range it,Crank on the turret's,Pull the trigger. It's a pretty simple concept!
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