Experienced Shooter with questions on First vs. Second FFP.

BergerBoy

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I'm NOT a patriot... I am a U.S. Constitutionalist
Thank you to all for taking the time to read my issue on FFP vs. SFP
Recently, I have purchased a Vortex HD Gen 2 4.5-27. I also shoot NF NXS 5.5-22 which as you know is a SFP, with great results. The Gen 2 is a FFP as most of you know, and it was too good of a deal to pass up, so I thought I'd give it a try. On a side note, my brother had just purchase a NF Beast the week before, we compared the glass side by side for a couple hours-VERY unofficial testing between the two- In my and his opinion both, the glass was very comparable until somewhere around 15 power, the NF started to pull away and had a slightly better quality with a somewhat brighter picture. Neither scope was mounted it was a very informal comparison- But there was a slight difference in picture quality. In our opinion. Never the less we were both impressed with the Gen 2.
My problem is that I think FFP scopes sound better in theory than in real life. I know the holdover is accurate/true throughout all power magnifications on FFP, but it seems that I have to be turned up somewhere around 10-12 power before I can accurately read my reticle. At 4.5 power the reticle is so small the numbers are impossible to see to have any form of an accurate holdover for a shot. With my NXS at 11 power (which is half the power) I can make an accurate a shot by simply doubling the value of the reticle. With FFP scopes, that have lower magnification ranges (ex. 3-12) , and/or in combat I could see the benefit, but am I missing something for other applications? If I can't even read it until somewhere around 10-12 power it doesn't do me much good over a SFP scopes, IMO. I don't know, maybe just like anything, it's an adjustment and takes time to get used to. On magnifications 12-27 I can see the holdover advantage coming into play, but under that it seems to be hard to have an accurate holdover on a target. Have any of you gone through this, or do you have any advice on how to transfer from SFP to FFP? Any tricks on getting used to the change? I am NOT down playing or promoting any scope in this post just comparing FFP vs. SFP and wanting to hear from any shooters with positive intel.
Thank you again for taking the time.
 

bigngreen

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SW Montana
I found that I really liked FFP optics in the mid power range, I found the bottom end useless and the top end more difficult for precision. I have had rifles that I really like the FFP on, they were mid range set up with ballistic turret and wind hold off and I used them in the middle portion of the power range. On any rifle that I'm shooting for long range precision or if I'm wanting the whole power range to be useful to me then SFP has just been better for me.
 

BergerBoy

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Nov 22, 2014
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I'm NOT a patriot... I am a U.S. Constitutionalist
I found that I really liked FFP optics in the mid power range, I found the bottom end useless and the top end more difficult for precision. I have had rifles that I really like the FFP on, they were mid range set up with ballistic turret and wind hold off and I used them in the middle portion of the power range. On any rifle that I'm shooting for long range precision or if I'm wanting the whole power range to be useful to me then SFP has just been better for me.

I am leaning more that way myself.
Thanks for your reply.
 

cummins cowboy

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Joined
Nov 21, 2010
Messages
361
Thank you to all for taking the time to read my issue on FFP vs. SFP
Recently, I have purchased a Vortex HD Gen 2 4.5-27. I also shoot NF NXS 5.5-22 which as you know is a SFP, with great results. The Gen 2 is a FFP as most of you know, and it was too good of a deal to pass up, so I thought I'd give it a try. On a side note, my brother had just purchase a NF Beast the week before, we compared the glass side by side for a couple hours-VERY unofficial testing between the two- In my and his opinion both, the glass was very comparable until somewhere around 15 power, the NF started to pull away and had a slightly better quality with a somewhat brighter picture. Neither scope was mounted it was a very informal comparison- But there was a slight difference in picture quality. In our opinion. Never the less we were both impressed with the Gen 2.
My problem is that I think FFP scopes sound better in theory than in real life. I know the holdover is accurate/true throughout all power magnifications on FFP, but it seems that I have to be turned up somewhere around 10-12 power before I can accurately read my reticle. At 4.5 power the reticle is so small the numbers are impossible to see to have any form of an accurate holdover for a shot. With my NXS at 11 power (which is half the power) I can make an accurate a shot by simply doubling the value of the reticle. With FFP scopes, that have lower magnification ranges (ex. 3-12) , and/or in combat I could see the benefit, but am I missing something for other applications? If I can't even read it until somewhere around 10-12 power it doesn't do me much good over a SFP scopes, IMO. I don't know, maybe just like anything, it's an adjustment and takes time to get used to. On magnifications 12-27 I can see the holdover advantage coming into play, but under that it seems to be hard to have an accurate holdover on a target. Have any of you gone through this, or do you have any advice on how to transfer from SFP to FFP? Any tricks on getting used to the change? I am NOT down playing or promoting any scope in this post just comparing FFP vs. SFP and wanting to hear from any shooters with positive intel.
Thank you again for taking the time.

what you noticed is REALITY with FFP scopes. FFP is largely IMO a fad being pushed by the tactical community. The scope makers are even buying into it. The problem as you saw is the reticle is useless at low power which coincidentally is what most people keep their hunting scopes set to when they are doing most of their hunting. The thing I keep saying is if your going to need the features of the reticle, your also most likely taking a long range shot, why then would you not also be on max power?? if your going to need low power the shots are going to be quicker and at shorter ranges. IE you don't need the features on the reticle, simply point and shoot. with SFP you have a much more visible reticle at low power and you have the features you need at high.

The only case where FFP makes sense to me is if there is some reason you would take your scope off high power to make a long range shot. This could be if you have a very high power scope and have to dial down because of mirage. In a hunting application I think 15x is more than enough scope to shoot anything to 1000 yards and further. The tactical community is also pushing scopes that are 3#'s I mean good lord this is basically a scope for a range queen that never is carried further than to the shooting bench.

I also feel FFP is a best with a mil based reticle because of the way the increments break down. with an MOA FFP reticle your going to be most likely seeing 2 moa increments. I prefer the finer and simpler 1 moa increments. that in my mind means you must get a SFP scope for that to work out ok.

ideal scopes IMO NF nxs MOAR reticle in 3.5-15 or 5-22, I prefer the former. I have the new SHV 3-10 with MOAR and honestly the reticle disappoints me a little. its a little tuff to see in certain lights and backgrounds.
 

royinidaho

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Jan 20, 2004
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I have 2 identical Weaver Tacticals w/Mil reticle.

For me they take a back seat to nothing.

For quick shots, which aren't usually necessary I'll use the reticle for hold over. Hold over is limited to 5 mils thus won't cut it for ELR.

Max powder or min powder makes no difference to me. I can miss either way fairly easily.:rolleyes:

The biggest problem with Mil scopes is that the turrets are usually MOA and that sux.

The mil do is 0.2 Mil in diameter. A half mil is evenly bracketed by the dots on either side. Seems pretty straight forward to make a shot.

However I do agree that the Mil reticle is pushed by tradition and military folk. It's completely useless for ranging (my not so humble opinion.....)
 

Senderofan

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Wedgy

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Feb 9, 2013
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I had a Viper HS LR 4-16x50 FFP XLR that was near impossible to see the reticle at the bottom end in low light but great in the midrange, but 8x isn't what I like to have a rifle on while spotting, especially in woods.
I shot a Bushnell HDMR 3.5-21x 50mm with the H59 and could shoot the entire course without turning a knob. In the tactical field it's really nice to hold with the reticle on multiple different range targets because time is a factor. It's a lot of dialing otherwise.
http://www.vortexoptics.com/uploads/web_manual_reticle_vhs-xlr-13b.pdf
Bushnell - HDMR 3.5-21x 50mm
 

sp6x6

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Thats why they make different types,pick what you prefer.I hike tight timber to get to high country.I like the mils in mid to high range and for quick holds.Ive shot lots animals close and as close as 3 yrds with bow,so in no way do I fell handi cappped on a close shot.Know this is LRH but im a hunter first looking for quality animals and my last 3 game where in 50 yrd type with my 338 NM.Oh well, the long shots come along too.
 

BergerBoy

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Nov 22, 2014
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I'm NOT a patriot... I am a U.S. Constitutionalist
Thank you for the feed back guys....
I have NOT even mounted the scope yet.... rings on the way.
So to be honest, I have NOT given the scope an honest try BUT i have taken it out and set it out on the tripod on several occasions and it does great on ~ 12 power on up (for reticle recognition/numbers) but I could NOT make ANY type of hold over shot below 12x ish.
I'm starting to think that accurate hold over though-out an entire higher power ffp scope is a myth on the lower end side?? Not sure yet. I have a 3-12 ffp scope coming next month so I'll see....
Thanks
 

westcliffe01

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Near Napoleon,MI
At low magnification the FFP reticle is like a plex reticle. Plenty people swear by them for any range. "I" don't take long range shots needing accurate holdover at 4x magnification... do you ? And if the answer is yes, then handle your holdover like those who have plex reticles do, which is to dial. After about mid range magnification, which should be about the magnification of an ordinary pair of binoculars (6-10x) you should be able to start making out the reticle markings and all it takes is a twist of the wrist to bring the magnification to 10x+ in which case you will be able to make out the reticle just fine and "to me" is a more appropriate magnification for a longer range shot.

My targets are coyotes and my "long range" shots are 350-400 yards and I have no regrets with my 2 Viper FFP scopes. Yes, I do not use 24x magnification since the exit pupil is too small and eye placement too critical, but the darned thing cost me $750 vs $1750... That will keep me in reloading components and replacement barrels for a while.

Thank you for the feed back guys....
I have NOT even mounted the scope yet.... rings on the way.
So to be honest, I have NOT given the scope an honest try BUT i have taken it out and set it out on the tripod on several occasions and it does great on ~ 12 power on up (for reticle recognition/numbers) but I could NOT make ANY type of hold over shot below 12x ish.
I'm starting to think that accurate hold over though-out an entire higher power ffp scope is a myth on the lower end side?? Not sure yet. I have a 3-12 ffp scope coming next month so I'll see....
Thanks
 

sp6x6

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NW MT
I dont have any scopes that I shoot range with below 14x.My 257 wby that is a effective 700+ rifle has 20x,but its my varmit rig,14x fine if I hunt it.Like more mag for coyotes n stuff.I bust rocks out to 1000 with it.Those are types range I would hold over
 

westcliffe01

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I guess if we just had more of them (targets of opportunity) and they were bold / stupid enough to come running in during the day, one could develop a reflexive "kentucky windage" for shooting coyotes at 300-450 yards. But unfortunately they are seldom seen during the day and mostly at night when we are limited to rimfire or shotgun (something less than buckshot and no slugs). So killing the coyotes here is a bear, officially sanctioned. At 320 yards, I know that my drop is 3.25moa with my 243 which comes out close to 10.5". Without a calibrated reticle, I would be trying to hold the plex reticle of my former Nikon scopes about half body height over center of mass. Its easy to screw that up, especially when the scope is on some random magnification and the distance is constantly changing and there are no reference marks on the reticle. Since I went with the FFP reticle, no coyotes have been lucky enough to escape once detected. Prior to that they got away more often than not....

Now none of my deer rifles have a FFP reticle on them, but that is because we are shooting pistol caliber rifles over 0.35" or shot gun slugs and deer behave in a completely different way than coyotes do. Coyotes just don't give you very much time to think about what you are going to do and how to take the shot.
 

BergerBoy

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Nov 22, 2014
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I'm NOT a patriot... I am a U.S. Constitutionalist
Coyotes just don't give you very much time to think about what you are going to do and how to take the shot.

Man, that is the truth.... I have always wanted to make a LONG shot on a dog but it seems I can never see them out "there" and by the time I see them they are right on me. Usually less than 150 yds. and moving. To be honest, I love to take my AK74 dog hunting. GREAT for the follow-up shot. :D
 

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