Front Focal Plane or Back Focal Plane Scope Reticle???

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Rather Be Hunting, May 31, 2010.

  1. Rather Be Hunting

    Rather Be Hunting Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Guys - I'm new to this forum and am looking to purchase a 6X to 24X x 50MM scope this year (Vortex Viper PST - MOA reticle a heavy favorite already???) for my SAKO 270 WSM. Looking at longer range shooting on paper and hunting. Big question is FFP or BFP. I understand the differences and am seriously leaning towards FFP. My thinking is that after a good amount of range work I can hunt with the confidence that once an animal is ranged I can use either the elevation and windage turrets or the reticle graduations at any power of magnification. Hoping to gain some first hand knowledge from someone who's done both and has first hand experience on this matter. Thanx for your input in advance.
     
  2. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,127
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Can't help you on the FFP/SFP debate, as I only have SFP scopes. As far as Vortex PST there are scheduled for this coming month debut.
     

  3. lewwetzel

    lewwetzel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    178
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
  4. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Messages:
    8,853
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    If at all possible, the FFP is the way to go. The constant/consistent calibration of the reticle takes a time consuming variables (counting clicks) out of the process when time is short.

    Even at 4.5 power it is possible to make a confident shot at a distance longer than one would guess with out having previously done it.
     
  5. Rather Be Hunting

    Rather Be Hunting Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Guys - I am new to this site and as such didn't know this topic had already been discussed at length. After I posted this thread I was notified by the forum of similar posts. I finally got time to read through them all and there were some really excellent examples of FFP vs BFP scope benefits. I am sold on FFP and will be ordering my 6x24 50MM Viper PST MOA FFP scope this week. Supposed to be on the shelves here in British Columbia July 1rst.
     
  6. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,634
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    i think the first focal plane reticle is over rated. the ONLY advantage it has is the ability to range set on any power. first off, this is a rare thing. 99% of the time, you have enough time to use a range finder. this would be for shots that are far enough to need one. mind you a second focal plane works at one setting, usually the highest magnification power. how long does it take to turn the power to the highest setting. in my experience, not very long.
    the drawbacks to a FFP are when you're gonna take that shot in low light, usually fairly close situations. the power is turned down. this is a scenario when you need a bold crosshair, but you don't have that with a FFP. it's at it's smallest. of course the opposite is true when taking that long shot. now you want a small crosshair. but not with a FFP. on the highest power is when it's at it's thickest. again, not a good scenario. a FFP scope has one very small advantage and a couple strong disadvantages. for me, a hunting gun, especially a long range hunting gun, is much better served with a SFP scope.
     
  7. Rather Be Hunting

    Rather Be Hunting Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Dave:

    I understand what you are saying but I still see some significant (in my mind) features in FFP.
    I would normally laser range any game at longer distances.
    With MOA turrets and MOA reticle I can decide which to use at any power in the field, depending on the circumstances.
    At the range I would probably favor turret adjustment.
    In the field I could find the reticle is faster and as effective.

    Just my thoughts here.

    Also the scope has an iluminated reticle for low light.

    RBH
     
  8. NJS

    NJS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    FFP scopes were designed in Europe for low light and night time hunting... where higher magnification is used to magnify the available light, not shoot ultra-long ranges... that is the difference. A big bold reticle is great for shooting a wild boar in the moonlight at 100 yards or less at night - not trying to slip a bullet into a elks engine room from one ridge top to another... NJS
     
  9. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Messages:
    8,853
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    I have an older, out of production, Weaver Tactical 4.5-14 with 1/8" clicks.
    It is a FFP design.

    The optic quality is very good. The 4.5-14 range is also very good.

    Even at 4.5 powder any time of day, especially at either end of the day, the reticle is plenty visible enough to discern the point of aim, for my eyes, out towards 900 yds.

    Using a reticle to range is setting up for a disappointment both in the field and at the table.
     
  10. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,475
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    An FFP reticle in MOA can also be used to call corrections.
     
  11. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,634
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    RBH, you seem to be debating the scope you've chosen. i think it's a great scope. i have a pst on order myself for a long range carry gun. but i ordered a second focal plane. let me know how that FFP works out for ya when you try to line up on a groundhog at 1k.
     
  12. Rather Be Hunting

    Rather Be Hunting Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Dave:

    I'm not really questioning my decision, more trying to confirm that I can do what I am hoping to do with this style of scope (per my previous post).
    Not planning on ranging with this scope or popping ground hogs at 1K :).
    More lots of paper at various ranges out to 800 meters and hunting deer, elk and moose at all ranges out to 500 meters.

    This scope is a considerable expense for me and I want to get the most for the money.
    I think it's a huge advantage to be able to choose turret or reticle at any magnification.

    Thanx for your input, it is appreciated :cool:.

    RBH
     
  13. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,634
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    so can a second focal plane
     
  14. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,475
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    agreed...but an FFP can do it without having to change the magnification