Originally Posted by rjackh
this is why my gut tells me to stick with a ffp
Trust your gut. ;) If you plan on using the reticle for anything, thereís just really no good reason not to get FFP.
If you do a search here there are quite a few threads where most points for/against have been discussed at length. I suggest giving them a read over to help you decide. Without re-hashing everything again, Iíll quickly address something you said to start the thread: Anytime you need to use the reticle youíll probably just crank it up to max power so it wonít matter.
That is a very good point and is true to some degree. If youíre talking about 3-9 or 2.5-10X scopes itís true in pretty much any situation which is why I feel FFP is not as important for those power ranges. I prefer it, but it isnít as big a deal.
But when youíre talking about 16, 20, 24X, etc, scopes it becomes less true. There are many situations I run into hunting where that is simply too much power. I just ordered a March 3-24X42. Even if it has the best glass in the world, I donít expect 24X to be very useful in low light conditions. Thatís just not a reasonable expectation. So when the big fella steps out on the distant hillside in the last couple minutes of shooting light, Iíll crank up the power as high as I can to get the best view, but it probably wonít be 24X. But with FFP it doesnít have to beóyou donít even need to look at the magnification ring to see where you stop because it doesnít matter. Crank it up until it looks good and shoot. Your wind holds will still work just fine.
I shot my buck this year at 540 yds on 20X. He jumped up out of his bed and only went a few yards, but it took a while to get back on him. The FOV on 20X is small and really doesnít give you very good situational awareness. In this case it didnít matter because he was in the middle of a big empty hillside so he had nowhere to go, but had there been cover on the hill he could have disappeared into and where a quick follow-up shot may have been important had I screwed up the first, I wouldnít have shot on 20X. I would have dialed down a ways simply because it would have been the smart thing to do and 20X certainly wasnít needed for the shot. But if doing that meant screwing up my wind hold so I couldnít do it the same way Iíve been practicing all year long I would have been quite displeased. Which is why I was using a FFP.
As far as them getting too small and being hard to see on low power in low light, it obviously depends on which one youíre talking about. Some do, many donít. There are dozens of FFP reticles out there that are more visible at low power than some of the most popular SFP reticles here are. If youíre wondering specifically about the PST 4-16 FFP, I used it quite a bit this season hunting in thick brush on 4X until dark. I can tell you from actual experience itís fantastic. The reticle is sized such that it is ďOKĒ for such use without illuminationóOK but Iíve seen better. Turn on the illumination and it goes from OK to excellent. Youíve got a glowing red cross in the middle of your viewóimpossible to miss. Itís small enough and controllable enough it doesnít wash out the rest of the view (which is a problem with many illuminated scopes, especially some of the more popular SFP here) but bright enough to be seen easily in any low light condition.
Hopefully that helps your decision.