SFP vs. FFP

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by RCrem700, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. RCrem700

    RCrem700 Member

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    I am building my first long range rifle, and the time has come to buy a scope. I am on a pretty limited budget, as a poor college student. Right now I am looking at the Vortex Viper HS-T. My question is, what would I gain by going with a FFP reticle? Would it be worth the extra $2-300? The rifle will be used for long range target shooting, and deer and elk at all ranges. Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Active Member

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    I would buy the FFP scope because if you're going to use the reticle for judging distances it will work on all magnifications. There is more but I'm not completely sure how it works. All I know is most long distance shooting recommendations are for a reticle in the FFP.

    While the Vortex Viper scopes are good you can get a scope with a reticle in the FFP for less that is also very good. I read an article on low budget long distance shooting and they recommended the Falcon Menace line of scopes. Many of their scopes use the FFP and the price is very low in comparison.

    A 30mm 5.5-25X50 scope will run you $449.95. A 30mm 4-14X44 scope is $359.95. The article said they are respectable scopes and worth more than they cost. Sorry, no first hand experience with them but I'm looking at one for myself. Spending that little on a scope might allow you more budget for a better stock or something else you might have been short on cast but wanted for the build.
     

  3. bill123

    bill123 Well-Known Member

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    I'd consider making the scope your most expensive purchase. You can always improve the rifle but you're stuck with the scope.
     
  4. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    No, by far most LR shooting is done with SFP scopes.
    Mainly because the reticle subtension is too high with FFP scopes at high powers.

    Also, it makes no sense today to range animals with reticles over way more accurate laser ranging. This, disolving any need for FFP ranging.
     
  5. window licker

    window licker Well-Known Member

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    If you plan on shooting comps or using the reticle for elevation and wind holds get the ffp, if your hunting at longer ranges where you have time to dial for windage and elevation sfp will be fine. The ffp reticle does grow when you increase the power, but the reticle size is relative to the target throughout the power range, meaning the reticle is covering just as much of the target at 10x as it is at 25x.
     
  6. JackinSD

    JackinSD Well-Known Member

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    As Mikecr already mentioned, LR = SFP. Not to mention, the hundreds of dollars that can be spent on better glass by going SFP over FFP. And as Bill123 said, spend the money on the glass.
     
  7. MHO

    MHO Well-Known Member

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    Jack, Mike and Bill said it all. Great replys that you can take to the bank. Good luck.
     
  8. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for SFP.
     
  9. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    The best thing you can do is spend a ton of time reading, learning and then deciding exactly how you are going to use your scope when hunting big game LR. There are many valid reasons to consider FFP and ranging isn't one of them.

    Are you going to dial or hold for elevation?

    How about wind?

    Do you measure groups with your reticle or size up game animals with your reticle?

    Do you plan on shooting different power levels, especially if you also will use the reticle for elevation and/or wind holds?

    All of these things will help you decide if FFP is something you should consider.

    Today's FFP reticles are a zero issue for LR shooting IMO ELR is a different story. The thickest of FFP reticles only cover 2 inches at 1000 yards. So for big game applications this is a non issue for almost everyone with a modicum of good eyesight. Loosing the reticle on low powers is likely a bigger concern. However, the way the outside portion of the reticle is designed in today's FFP scopes, this is a non issue as well.

    Good luck in your decision.

    Scot E.
     
  10. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    I would argue that you can do all of these things with a SFP scope as well. With the caveat that if you are switching magnification you need to give it a little more thought.

    For example, a NF NXS 5.5-22 with a MOAR reticle has delineations in 1MOA at 22x. At 11x, they represent 2MOA. At 5.5x, they are 4 MOA. For me, this is a simple conversion and covers enough mag range for my needs. Anything really long (and thus more critical for hold/dial) will likely be done at max magnification

    Not piling on FFP scopes by any means, they definitely have their pluses and people who love them. Just noting that the advantage in holdover is not as pronounced as some think.
     
  11. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    Good point. I'm just not a fan of dividing and multiplying while I am trying to get a shot off without making a mistake. I am all about taking as much error, mistakes, and difficult stuff out of the equation as I can. I could use hold over instead of dialing for distance too but that just makes things harder for me. :)

    The less chance for error the better is the LR shooter's mantra. In my mind this goes with scope choice as well. Give me no math or conversions, single digit numbers and everything the same at all power levels, all day long. It is why I prefer FFP MIL for my big game use. The less the better when shooting under pressure. And yes, I consider shooting a big buck "under pressure"! :D

    Lots of different opinions on this. I have and still use both FFP and SFP and MOA and MIL but prefer FFP MIL for big game use. YMMV.

    Scot E.
     
  12. theo98

    theo98 Well-Known Member

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    Got a VX-6 3-18x50mm SFP with a fine duplex reticle. My ranging for hunting will be with a 1000i and elevation dopes set with my CDS turret dial out to 775yds! Hold overs aren't needed and I like the reticle size the same at 3x to 18X! As needed, I'll dial in windage.

    So far, I've been in the 10-ring at the range between 200 through 600yds with this arrangement. We'll see how this holds up in the field scoping down a big deer! :rolleyes:
     
  13. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I prefer and use ffp and mil, my future scopes will all be this.In NWMT I have successfully used my mil scope that is divided into 1/5 mil to range elk to 800 yrd and harvest. We have a majority of cloud,fog snow,conditions that make range finder useless. I could only range 250 yrs this weekend,but could see 950 yrds. I also carry a range book that I drew up of my favorite spots for this reason also.
     
  14. window licker

    window licker Well-Known Member

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    True most long range hunting is done with SFP scopes, but I think alot of that has to do with the fact that most guys arent willing to fork over $3k+ for a top tier ffp scope.