I got to see my first FFP scope in person the other day at the gun counter at Sportsmans Warehouse. It was a 6 X 24 Viper PST. When I first looked through the scope I could barely see the reticle and when I zoomed up the power it got fat. I was looking for an SFP scope so handed it back to the guy at the counter.
In thinking about it later I got to wondering why a long range hunter would buy such a scope but I know there are guys on this site that use them. So forgive the dumb question but why do you use them?
I know that the value of the reticle tick marks stay the same with zoom to make holdover and range estimation less complicated than with an SFP scope however that canít begin to compete with a laser range finder. And dialing up is never going to be less accurate than a holdover using a reticle. And even worse, it looks to me like the fat crosshair at high power could hide a small target at long range. On top of that, the FFP version of that scope costs $200 more than the SFP version. So I have not been able to come up with an answer to my own question. Why do some hunters use these? Thanks in advance for educating me.
I would prefer to use FFP for quick holdover shots not concerned where I hit a target. For big game hunting this would be a concern. A gut shot big game animal due to a quick shot is not the best option. FFP allows same MOA or MIL holdover regardless of the power setting making a holdover shot more adaptive to situation. SFP is my preference for big game hunting. This is my opinion and others will have their own.
Oh yeah when I first peeked through a FFP scope did not like it. Did a lot of research on this site and talked with knowledgeable people and decided to give one a try. I purchased a Vortex HSLR 4-16 and have about 300 rounds downrange using it. Was shooting today at 800 yards 4" bull and with the XLR reticle could see the bull clearly. Very busy reticle but am adapting.
The main reason I choose the HSLR was to get the capped windage turret and with the FFP holding off for wind is a simple process no matter what the power range. I usually dial all my shots but have slowly started practicing with the holdover and it is good. I can see the holdover being very effective out to 400-500 yards with practice, no farther though. I use a range finder and don't plan to range with the reticle.
You are right about the thin cross hair at the lowest power but have found with mine if set at around 5 or just off the bottom the hair is very clear even in low light and will work in the dim timber. At 16 power I don't find the reticle too heavy now that I'm getting used to the look.
We are all different and a scope is just a tool. You need to pick a scope with an open mind to fit your style of hunting or target shooting. Still in the learning process but so far happy with a FFP scope.
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Could one of the knowledgeable people please explain to Engineering101 why the reticule in the 6-24 PST will not cover up a small target when turned up to 24 power. Sorry, but I am getting tired of explaining why this can not happen unless your target is smaller then a house fly at any distance.
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Re: Why FFP versus SPF?
I made the switch because the math is much easier for me to do on the fly. Also my rifles are all duel purpose hunting/tactical/teaching. I used sfp optics until I was in my late 20s then I switched and never looked back. I dont notice the difference anymore at all and it docent interfere at all with my shot placement, they are not bench rest systems.
101, there are people who use them both and like what they have. I see the same things you did every time I look through a FFP. The strong selling point for FFP is that the sub-tensions are calibrated on any power. The problem I see is on many FFP's, at lower powers the sub-tensions are so small you can not even use them. The last 6~24 PST I looked through, it was about 10 or 12X before the reticle sub-tensions were large enough to see well enough to use. Yes in a FFP the reticle covers the same amount of target on 6 X as it does on 24X. Many FFP's do have thicker reticles, not all but the majority. This is so you will be able to see it at low power settings. With the SFP the target grows with any increase of power as the reticle remains the same size. I like this and the reticle is more visible on the lower settings. I may crank it down to locate the target and get point of aim close, then as I crank it up the target grows allowing me a fine aim point. I prefer fine reticles and large targets for long range. You will hear the SFP reticle is calibrated on one power setting... Not true. My MOAR reticle in my ATACR is 1 moa per line on 25X and it is 2 moa per line on 12.5 X. If I want to do the math I can use other power settings too. But I use these two as they are a no brainer to remember. If you are worried about the reticle calibrations for a follow up shot it makes no difference to me what power I am on. I can self spot the miss, count the lines over to the point of impact from point of aim, then simply hold that number of lines for the follow up. Makes absolutely no difference what power my sfp scope is on to use this method, and it works. For my type of hunting and long range work I seldom use hold over, very few quick shots so this is why SFP works so well for me. I feel I give up nothing. If I am in dark timber I can see my reticle just fine on low power settings as it will appear larger than the reduced size of a FFP. In this scenario most times I would be shooting point blank and a hold over would not be used anyway.
This is simply my personal opinion of the two. This topic has been beaten to death. I am not looking for a debate. I have used both, done my own comparisons and am very confident I have made the best choice for my application.
I can understand that at 6x you can not see the "hash marks" to judge distance, but if you turn on the illumination you can see them. Personally I don't use them at such low power because at high power you are able to see the hash marks and the target better to align them on the back and bottom of the chest of an antelope as an example. Once I got used to using the 6 power setting at close range I have only need the illumination at dusk or dawn once or twice. With a good resting position using the FFP Vortex I am very confident in taking a neck shot at 400 yds, but my rifle groups less than 2 inches at 400 yds. The FFP lets me pinpoint the aiming point more accurately at higher power. This has worked for me, but others may not like it this way.