First or second focal for hunting?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Mcarso1, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Mcarso1

    Mcarso1 Well-Known Member

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    As the title says , what’s your choice and why?
     
  2. Hondo64d

    Hondo64d Well-Known Member

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    I prefer FFP. With FFP, my tic marks for wind holds are valid no matter what magnification I am on. This was reinforced to me once when I was shooting a match with timed engagements. In my rush, I forgot to turn my scope up to max power. I was using a FFP scope, so I got the hit anyway. With a 2FP, I most definitely would have missed.

    Folks will argue that with 2FP, if shooting far enough to need to use your windage marks, you will have your scope turned up anyway. As happened with me above, that may not necessarily be the case. Additionally, many times it is desirable to not take the shot at max power so you have enough field of view to spot your shot in the recoil.

    FFP all the way for me.

    John
     
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  3. 257Tony

    257Tony Well-Known Member

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    Personally, up to about 16x either is fine. Higher than that I would only go ffp. There will be times when you'll need to hold wind, but don't want to be cranked up to 24x or 30x.
     
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  4. jpfrog

    jpfrog Well-Known Member

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    Here's a link that will get you started down the rabbit hole. The first post on there from @FEENIX will get you started well. https://www.longrangehunting.com/threads/ffp-vs-sfp-for-hunting.169081/

    Basically, you'll find that, as with everything else, it comes down to personal preference and how you intend to use it. To determine this, you'll need to understand your own skills, other equipment you have, your thought processes when determining range, tolerance for varying vs. fixed reticle size, etc. There are pros and cons for each. I own both, and have different uses for them, but I wouldn't say I like FFP over SFP or SFP over FFP- they have different functions for different situations.
     
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  5. brentc

    brentc Well-Known Member

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    I too use both and I prefer both for different situations. I actually find it easier to use max magnification on an SFP for the longest shots simply because the reticle doesn't drown out a small target like an FFP on Max magnification can. Although, Newer FFP scopes have better reticle sizing and designs like small floating dots to help make the entire magnification range more useful. I also find it easier to obtain a parallax free focus with SFP scopes.

    The FFP shines in the mid magnification ranges. For instance, with a 6-24x, the most useable magnification range is 8-20x to keep the reticle from being too small on the low end and too large on the high end.
     
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  6. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

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    FFP here. I, too, like my holds to be true no matter the magnification setting. Rarely use max mag for hunting situations, except very small targets like prairie dogs or long range bunny hunting. All of my rifles (except my rimfires) wear FFP scopes. From my AR to my LR elk cannons.

    Last year I shot a pair of coyotes @ 1365 yards with a 2.5MIL wind hold. 5-25x56 Premier Heritage, but set on 17X for wider FOV to watch the second coyote once the first shot was taken.
     
  7. brentc

    brentc Well-Known Member

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    17x out of 25x is what I would expect to see with FFP not only for increased field of view, but for reticle size on a small target at that distance.
     
  8. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

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    You do realize reticle grows at the same rate as the target, right? Reticle doesn't cover any more of the target at 25x as 15x or 5x.
     
  9. brentc

    brentc Well-Known Member

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    I understand. I'm glad you brought FOV into the conversation because I believe the increasing reticle size in a decreasing FOV is the biggest challenge with FFP.

    My whole point in this comparison is that the SFP reticle is far less intrusive on FOV at max magnification, which makes the SFP more useable at max for long shots when compared to an FFP at comparable magnification. I believe this is the primary reason a lot of Long Range Hunters cling to SFP.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  10. Browning300

    Browning300 Well-Known Member

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    I prefer SFP for the hunting I do. just looks more precise to me at longer ranges, plus I have not gotten into ranging with the reticle. And I always dial elevation and windage. Guess it comes down to preference.
     
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  11. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

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    What is the issue with FOV between FFP & SFP? I would think it has more to do with magnification range than focal plane. A 3-18 or 3-20 would have wider FOV range than a 5-25 or 6-24. But then magnification at highest setting suffers slightly as you lose the top end. Lower magnification gives wider FOV, great for still hunting or short range fast action. 3x trumps 6x for this. To be honest, even at ranges beyond most rifles capabilities of cleanly taking big game, 17 or 18x is plenty for medium sized game. Like 1300-1500+ yards.
     
  12. Zen Archery

    Zen Archery Well-Known Member

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    I like seeing up close and personal what I am shooting so SFP got my vote.
     
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  13. brentc

    brentc Well-Known Member

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    Lance, I get what as you're saying. Let me simplify. First off, I am on both sides of this fence, I really am.

    The issue with FFP often times is that the reticle is too damn big at max magnification and it gets in the way of things you're trying to look at.
     
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  14. Clearlight

    Clearlight Active Member

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    Depends on the distance , but for anything where shot time is an issue , FFP for me .
    Out past 7 or 800 , Im probably going to dial the range rather than holdover , so
    SFP is ok there . ELR , SFP for a smaller reticle to target relationship . Some optic
    manufacturers offer some relatively thin FFP reticles though , March have an
    excellent thinner MOA reticle in their 5-40 , perfect for ELR .
    Having said that , I still shoot with irons occasionally in tight scrub .