Why FFP versus SPF?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Engineering101, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

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    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 can’t 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.
     
  2. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

  3. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. joseph

    joseph Well-Known Member

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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. :rolleyes:

    joseph
     
  5. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    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.

    YMMV

    Jeff
     
  7. joseph

    joseph Well-Known Member

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    Broz,

    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.

    joseph
     
  8. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Joseph, I wish not to debate, we are both comfortable with our choices and I am fine with that. But since you want to instruct me as to your ways I will offer this. In states where an illuminated reticle is legal for hunting, I have found that in dark timber many times turning on the illuminated reticle will in many cases result in a blur. I find in it can be more of a hindrance than advantage. Now if you play with the intensity you can make this better, but only in that exact light condition. Looking into a darker area or as it darkens will require more adjustment. So I am not an illuminated reticle fan for these facts.

    You stated in your last line, and I quote.

    "The FFP lets me pinpoint the aiming point more accurately at higher power."

    Would you please explain to me how get a better aim point that is more accurate at high power with a FFP reticle than with a SFP reticle? I fail to see why one would be better or more accurate on high power than the other. If you are talking reticle thickness,, on average the SFP will be thinner and will expose more target allowing s finer aim point. Now if you are referring to bracketing the target, that is fine with paper or steel but I would not find it acceptable for a long range shot on game where the body dimensions are varying and we usually don't use center mass for an aim point.

    Target bracketing is commonly used by some, but while doing so you will need to keep track of 4 aim points to center up. I prefer to simply use one (center cross hair) especially when in field position on pod and bags and in a hunting situation.

    Jeff
     
  9. joseph

    joseph Well-Known Member

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    Broz,

    I didn't mean to sound like I was instructing you at all. Maybe I didn't explain myself correctly and I can see by your comments that I didn't consider other aspect of the subject.

    AS for aiming at higher power "I" feel more comfortable because I am used to the FFP. I do use other SFP scopes and I most likely can aim as accurately as with the FFP.

    I did add this at the end of my Post "but others may not like it this way" and thought that would get me off the "hook" so to speak if you disagree with what I had to add.

    joseph

    PS: A while back you taught me something that I had not realized and know that you have much more experience than I.
     
  10. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Joseph, it is all good. This topic is one that has had much debate. In the end we all use what we prefer and fits our personal types of hunting. I know what I do does not mirror what some others do and prefer. That is fine. I do believe that each should use what they prefer and practice to be the best they can with that method. I posted my preferences and methods and tried to explain and support them well. It works for me just as yours do for you. If we are both happy with the results in the end it is a win, win.

    Jeff
     
  11. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

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    bottom line is this. were having these debates for one reason.
    because we can. same reason a dog licks his balls.
    give a guy like jeff any scope and he will kill animals.
    give him no scope and he will still kill animals.
    he has a preference because preferences are available to him.
    put an old unertle 15x ultra varmit scope on his gun and he will kill as many animals as he does now. bank on that.
    choices are great especially coming from an era where there werent any.
    but dont ever think choices alone will change much.
     
  12. joseph

    joseph Well-Known Member

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    Oh by the way I just bought a Colt M4 in .223 for close in deer hunting here in northern Georgia. I put my old Bushnell 3.5-10x45mm SFP scope with a 4-plex reticule on it. I have killed at least 50 deer using it on my Browning BAR 30-06. I am going to be 69 soon and don't like carrying heavy rifles anymore.

    joseph

    PS: Doesn't any of you guys work or are we all retired to be on the internet during working hours? :D
     
  13. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Engineering101, I agree with your assessment 100%.
    I think FFP scopes, and manual transmissions, should simply go away. And with this, we can all focus on the future.

    The future includes laser ranging and dialing.
     
  14. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Man I love both of those things:)