FFP vs SFP

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by youngtrout, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. youngtrout

    youngtrout Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I've read as much as I can about the topic but I still have a few questions, thought I would ask here, (its kind of good I've been so hesitant to buy a scope because the scope fund is building!)

    I understand the SFP, thats what I have been using forever.

    But except for the ranging qualities of a FFP, what are the other benefits, its said that at too low a a magnification the the reticle is hard to see, crank it up, the the reticle becomes too large at long range?

    I'm just a bit confused on why they are helpful at long range then? I saw one pic online of a target at 1500 yds with a FFP zoomed to 16X, the reticle was covering a 24" square box, why would I want one of these?? (Thats a loaded question!)
     
  2. Jon A

    Jon A Well-Known Member

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    They come in all sizes, but most tactical FFP reticles are much smaller than that. The IOR 3-18 has one of the thicker (still very easy to see at low power!) and its lines are only 6" wide at 1500 yds. Not a good choice for varmints at that range, but for any big game/tactical use I can think of it's fine. Better than fine, actually. No steel practice target I use at those ranges is going to be anywhere near that small.

    But they do come in all sizes, some better for some uses others better for others. You just need to pick out the correct one for your application.

    To answer your question, FFP isn't that big a deal if you don't use the reticle for anything. If all you do is aim with its center any ol' duplex is all you need. If you use it for other things, pretty much for anything else FFP offers some advantages. The biggest advantages of FFP for my use is for windage hold off and quick elevation hold over/under being accurate on all powers.

    I much prefer holding windage and some summer days there's just too much mirage to want to use the highest power (not really a big problem for 10X or less scopes). You can dial to 1/2 power so the math you need to do for the hold offs is simple enough but I don't like that nearly as much as it simply being correct. Also, you may want to just dial down a little and not have to go 1/2 way and the math/accuracy can get really messy.

    Or when you're hunting in low light there might not be enough light left for the highest power (especially with really high power scopes). Plenty enough light left to make the shot, just not at high power.

    I'm a more of a still hunting/spot and stalk type hunter than a sit and watch guy so when I'm walking around the scope sure as heck isn't on its highest power. You never know when somethings going to jump out in front of you. If I need to make a shot quickly (which obviously won't be at too extreme a range but may be "long") it's really nice to be able to simply hold and shoot and not worry about what power the scope is on. If you need to mess with the power ring before you can do that you might as well just dial elevation instead.

    There are some subjective/personal preference issues as well. Since other brands/reticle designs won't necessarily be the same, know mine are based primarily on using similar scopes with similar reticles--IOR's with the MP-8; two SFP and one with the SH FFP MP-8. I can tell you even without all the advantages above I would still like the FFP the best. It's just so much easier to see, quicker to get on--at all power levels. Not just because of the thickness of the lines, the reticle stays darker, blacker, has better contrast with the target. It just jumps out at you better, even on low power where the lines are no longer thick. If I'm trying to shoot golf balls at 1000 yds on a nice sunny day, the SFP's are the better choice. That's not the type of shooting that concerns me though.

    Those are just my opinions. Obviously not everybody agrees. But like you, I've been using SFP scopes (often cussing their nature) for eons. After getting a taste of FFP done well, I'll never go back.
     

  3. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    SFPs are more precise IMO.
    Ive looked through Swarovski FFPs which have fantastic glass, but there is no way I could use such a scope for GH hunting. The reticle becomes too big, and any shooting with it would be pure sloppy.

    Nothing wrong with SFP scopes and laser ranging. Calculate your adjustments, dial it in, and hold off for wind.
     
  4. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    For big game I would go FFP (with appropriate reticle) every day if I had my druthers.
    That way I can use the reticle or dial @ any power.
     
  5. Jon A

    Jon A Well-Known Member

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    Swaro makes great glass but they aren't exactly known for their long range precision tactical scopes. You might want to get some experience with some others before making such broad generalizations. If your shooting is "sloppy" even on GH's with, say, a GenII XR for example, it sure as hell isn't the scope's fault.
     
  6. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    I will give you one piece of advice and it is the difference in making a kill and making an excuse.

    Decide what method you are going to use long before hunting season and practice with that method. I do not care if it is holdover with FFP or dial with SFP.

    Hunting season is not the time to change your mind and start wandering around in the woods using a method that you haven't practiced.

    I got no dog in this issue, because I just do what I know how to do which is dial with SFP and trying to do that consistently and correctly is hard enough for me.

    So that is my advice
     
  7. älg

    älg Well-Known Member

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    I´ll back up Jon A on this one.-

    FFp with an adequate reticle is useful, not just for ranging (which in any case is difficult to do accurately at long ranges), but especially for holdover and windage holdings... and to calculate distance from one point to another in angles instead of in linear measurement units. For example, you can back up your buddy (or yourself) shooting his rifle and if he misses, you can estimate a correction based on the units the reticle uses.. i.e. buddy you are 1/2 off to the right, instead of trying to guess if he is off by 1 yard or 0,75 yds.

    Now some FFP reticles are too thick for LRH, but there are also thin ones like the P4fine in the SB scopes, that cover 0,35 cm at 100 m. That´s 3,5 cm at 1.000 m ( 1,6 inches at 1091 yds approx),
     
  8. archdlx

    archdlx Well-Known Member

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    Falcon Menace has 4x14 FFP. Has anyone tried it? That is the scope I am thinking of for LRH, on my 300RUM.

    archdlx
     
  9. youngtrout

    youngtrout Well-Known Member

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    thanks guys, all lower case here because i have my niece in one arm,,,,,,,well my reading has me thinking i may stick with what i know, still the 3 scopes i'm looking at are the monarch 4-16, the leupold 4-14 lr, and the falcon,, but right now leaning more towards the leupold or monarch,,,,,but will keep looking for a deal on a zeiss as well,,,thanks again,,anymore thoughts are appreciated!
     
  10. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    I believe the best you'll get with a FFP, is just what we have always had in SFP.
    All the proclaimed 'benefits' are nothing new.

    If you care to range with a reticle instead of a LRF, you can do it at a set power in SFP. Same with hold over if you don't care to dial in elevation..
    Sombodys reticle may suit you better, but ultimately there is none better than a standard med-fine crosshair.
    So where is there any real improvement in FFP over SFP?
     
  11. Jon A

    Jon A Well-Known Member

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    I guess I could re-type all the examples I gave in my first response, but it would be easier for you to go back and read them.

    In short, I do like to use my reticle and for my hunting style a fixed 14X or 18X scope is not appropriate. If that doesn't apply to you, then no, there probably will be no improvement for you.
     
  12. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    It's a strange herd here.
    On one hand, we want most accurate..
    On the other, we resist any resultant paths to accuracy..

    Laser Rangefinder
    Krestel 4K
    Exbal(or any other) on Palm/PPC
    ACI, ScopeLevel
    External elevation turret on any quality scope with appropriate power and reticle
    A gun with reasonable weight, cold barrel accuracy, and bullet cartridge combo producing least wind drift

    Dose anyone here deny this is the most ACCURATE approach for long range HUNTING?
    It's right there
     
  13. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Ditto what Buffalobob said.

    What ever you do now is the time. Much longer delay will not be helpful come fall.

    Been there, done that, and got no meat in the freezer.;)
     
  14. Jon A

    Jon A Well-Known Member

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    I don't like your implication I'm resistant to any of the above. I'm all for them and will use them when the conditions call for it.

    But I don't need all that stuff for a 400, 500 or 600 yd shot. If you do you will simply miss out on some opportunities doing the hunting I do because the deer will have stepped into the brush or walked over the hill while you were screwing with your gear. For those who only get set up at a static location, glass for game at extreme range without ever moving, this is not much of a problem. Like I said, the advantages may be of little use to you. But that doesn't mean they aren't there for me.

    I also find it quite annoying you specifically ask what the "improvements" are but when told, instead of arguing those specific points (if you disagree) you trump up some strawman argument instead claiming I'm against using the tools you list for obtaining accuracy. I never said nor implied any such thing.

    The added ability to make a quicker mid-range shot without having to screw around with your gear is not mutually exclusive with making accurate long shots which require screwing with all of it.