FFP and SFP and ranging

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Vleder, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Vleder

    Vleder Member

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    Maybe this has been asked before so please be patient. I am anticipating my 308 Howa M1500 heavy barrel 24" in a few months and need to finalise scope choice. Rifle will be used for hunting (0 - 400m approx) and target shooting (to about 300m officially but will shoot further for fun).
    This is what I want to do and need advice on:

    I want to zero at ONE range (say 100m), then (for hunting and target shooting), range find using rangefinder, then consult range drop card (in MIL), use scopes MIL reticle to adjust holdover (let's ignore windage for now), hold over using reticle and shoot. I do not want to fiddle with adjustments/dialing in/out etc as after a few shots at varying distances (as hunting is) I will be so confused (or hire someone to keep track of all the up/down changes) that I will have to spend half the day re-zeroing my rifle after every session. Call me stupid or lazy, take your pick.

    So my question is:
    If I want to do the above, do I need a FFP or SFP scope? ie will the (as the majority of scopes are SFP) SFP reticle change the MIL distance as I change magnification? (assume I will in the hunting field as prey is closer or further)
    So if I shoot at 10x and 100m (zero) - all fine. Next shot is at 200m and I change mag to 16x, now I need to hold over (say) 1 MIL. Is the SFP scope's reticle still 1 MIL at the 1 MIL point (assume a multiple MIL reticle like the enhanced mil dot marked in half MIL increments) at a different mag or is 1 MIL sitting somewhere else on the reticle than where it should be?
    I know a FFP scope's gradients stay the same for all maginfications so this should be fine for the above? (Did I just anwer my own question?)

    Thinking of the Falcon Menace 5-25x50 for FFP or MTC Viper 6-24x56 (you do not get this scope in the US).

    Thanks for sorting me out.
     
  2. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    I've been a fan of FFP for many years, however; they are just catching on here in the US in high quality optics. Only downside I've seen in some FFP scopes is that sometimes the subtension (reticle thickness if you will) is not as fine as I'd like it to be.

    Yes, you answered your own question. 2nd FP optics Have to be on a particular power for the reticle to work as advertised. Sure, you can change the magnification, and still use it as needed. We just have to realize that the spacing will change as we change power, and calculate how much.

    In my case, a 1/2 mil mark/dot at 25X changes to 3 IPHY at 15X......less power = more spacing.
    (25/15=1.667...........1.667 X 1.8 IPHY (1/2 mil) = 3 IPHY)

    If I want the spacing to be 2 IPHY (basically 2 moa), then the scope needs to be on 22.5X
    (1.8x = 2, so x=1.111...........25/y = 1.111, so y=22.5 power)

    This of course is in algabraic theory, and obviously should be verified at range on an actual grid; because not all scopes magnifications and zooms are exactly as advertised.......It does work out very well on the particular scope I have.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011

  3. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand why you would want a mil dot if you are not going to range with
    it? There are much better reticles out there for holdover. I would think a reticle in
    iphy ( ffp ) would suit your needs to a t.
     
  4. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    +1 Loner
    I also can't stand FFP/reticle changing, nor the coarseness of MILs and MILDOTS.
    I'd take SFP, and either IPHY, or MOA hashes for holdovers.
    But that's just me.
     
  5. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    I too much prefer the moa marks that some scopes have.

    That's why I learned to do the conversion with a TMR reticle. Only reason I bought the TMR is that Leupold doesn't offer a MOA reticle in the Mark 4.

    Nightforce does, and I love my NF scopes. I've got 3 of them.
     
  6. joseph

    joseph Well-Known Member

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    Hi Vleder,

    Since you are living in Port Elizabeth, South Africa are you more accustomed to the metric system of measurement. If you are it is my suggestion that you stick with it.

    I am accustomed to feet & inches so I decided to stick with it.

    What I did was to have a custom turret made in (yards) so I could use my laser rangefinder in yards and not have to mentally convert to mils. Both systems work equally well.

    If you decide to go with a custom turret for elevation do not trust a computer program to give you the drop distances from your zero. Every rifle shoots differently. Once you field test your rifle then you can give the maker of the custom turret YOUR drops at the different distances.

    Since most laser rangefinders will display the distances in both feet & meters you can go with either when making your Custom turret. If no wind all you need to do is range your target, turn your custom elevation turret to that distance and shoot. IT IS THAT EASY!!! :)

    This is how I went about having mine made. I think it will help you. I am an advocate of a custom elevation turret. I hold for wind with the hash marks on my reticle. :)

    Drop chart. - Georgia Outdoor News Forum

    Testing new Vortex custom turret. - Georgia Outdoor News Forum

    Field test: Vortex Viper 6-24x50mm PST MOA FFP scope. - Georgia Outdoor News Forum

    joseph
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  7. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    vleder, I am doing just as you want with my scope 6-20 mark 4 mil/mil FFP.I shot mil dots for years so I love TMR RETICLE. Many mil reticles are out. I used the reticle to get me right to 825 w/200 zero. Or I could go up the reticle to get farther. I will typically dial at further range, but like option for speed.under 7 mils takes me to 1000.TMR IS MARKED IN 1/2 M AND HAS A SECTION that is 1/5's.I have been ranging elk and marking mils for a back up system, need more data right now,going to play w/scope on winter range w/lazer
     
  8. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    i don't understand why he's worried about hash marks for holdovers. he's only shooting to 400. get a 4x16 PST with a MOA reticle and you're good to go.
     
  9. Vleder

    Vleder Member

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    Thanks for all the replies, I think that FFP is the way to go, to keep it simple as mentioned.
    The Menace is in my budget, I would love to get a NF or Vortex PST or the like but scopes are very expensive in South Africa, eg the Menace 5-25x50 is approx $450 in US but is approx R6 000 ($882 at exchange rate of 6.8/1), most other decent scopes are approx double your prices. Rifles are even more expensive, my Howa 24" Varminter in 308 heavy barrel with laminate stock was $1 618 (R11 000, again at 6.8/1 exchange rate) compared to approx $767 (from albeammo.com).
    The FFP will allow me to zero, range with rangefinder and hold over using reticle at any maginfication, simple.

    Which reticle would you guys recommend? The Enhanced MD or the ML16 skeleton?
     
  10. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what the ML16 is, but 1/2 mil marks are good, 1 mil covers alot and isn't real precise IMO. 1/2 mils can easily be visually divided by 2 for a 1/4 mil if need be.

    For the shooting you're talking about. You could get it done quite easily with either FFP or 2nd (if 2nd is less money). You would just have to find a scope that's mil system works at somewhere in the 10X-14X range........leave it on that power for all shooting, near and far.

    Sight in at 200-250yds, and use the reticle to hold low by X amount at 100 and use the reticle to hold high by X amount at 300, 400 and 500 ect. This is usually what I do for most of my shooting out to 500 yds or so. I've done it this way for alot of years now. It works, it's simple, and it doesn't matter if you've got FFP or 2nd FP, because you just leave the power the same all the time.

    Just a suggestion if 2nd FP is less money (FFP is way more expensive here in the US).
     
  11. Vleder

    Vleder Member

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    SBruce

    You can view the reticles on
    http://www.falconoptics.com/pdf/FFPEMDMaster.pdf

    http://www.falconoptics.com/pdf/FFPML16Master.pdf

    methinks that the ML16 will be better suited IMO. FFP scopes are not really used or well know in South Africa, most average hunters just buy a scope (which is invariably SFP) and shoot with guestimate holdover, only your serious target/hunters who reload and have custom guns are aware of such differences. Again price is a big factor here, for example a NF NXS 5.5-22X56 NP-R2 FFP is approx $2 280 in South Africa. I can get the Menace in the UK and a buddy there will mail it to me a la gift wrap birthday special, no US or UK dealers may send a scope to (most) foreign countries without export license.
    Reson why I want to go this route is to give myself max advantage when hunting, wounded animals cost money! And some of the animals (like Springbuck and Impala) are pretty small at 250m so you need to be accurate.

    joseph
    I am not ware of any custom drop turret guys in SA, will have a check. I am sure if I want to go that route sometime I can send my specifics to a US dealers and they can make it there? That would sure be another way to go and be convenient. MIL's is easy for me since it is 1cm at 100m, there's no time for math in the field! Keen on getting a Leupold rangefinder TBR 600 so will range in m and give drops in MIL, easy enough, so now all I need to do is est wind and shoot properly (that's the easy part isn't it ! ;-))
    The Vortex scopes are nice, but again the PST's are in NF price range here, $2 200 and up. Madness.

    thanks for all the comments gents,
     
  12. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    I would go with the ML16 too for ultimate in precision. Although, the other one with dots might be better in low light or quick shot stuff, cause the dots stand out a little better, might be easier to to "find 2 1/2 mils" in a hurry.??