First vs second focal plane for Hunting

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Turkyman, Sep 15, 2019.


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  1. JMB 1911

    JMB 1911 Active Member

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    I can't understand why anyone wants the FFP. Out to 300 yards with most quality rifle calibers I can pretty much hold dead on a deer sized target it I ma properly sighted in. After 300 yards I will always be on full power so who cares about the hash marks at any other power anyway?
     
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  2. Hondo64d

    Hondo64d Well-Known Member

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    Well... This IS the Long Range Hunting forum...

    John
     
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  3. Don A Parsons

    Don A Parsons Well-Known Member

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    Yes,,, FFP with illuminated retrical...

    I have the simple hash-mark 3-12x42 for hunting,,, 4-15x56 for hunting and banging the gongs...

    If I'm on the lowest power I turn on the light since it helps me get onto target faster with no second guessing...

    Simple,,, easy,,, fast...

    Cheers from the North
     
  4. Franko21

    Franko21 Member

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    I use FFP because I like being able to hold for wind.
     
  5. Orange Dust

    Orange Dust Well-Known Member

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    Also, normally SFP scopes have coarser wind marks than FFP.
     
  6. Pete Callamaras

    Pete Callamaras Well-Known Member

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    Having both, I find when I HAVE THE TIME to use the FFP for range estimation, it is very useful, and I am usually not at the lower powers, so I can see the reticle, However, when using the with SFP, I find that experience lets me keep a higher magnification and I can hold over/under and get n target and shoot faster.
     
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  7. Sgt. grizz

    Sgt. grizz Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    In my opinion I would pick up both and use them, ask your buddy’s if you can go shooting with them that have both ffp and sfp I use both and I love my FFP because I dial everything but for hunting it dose not matter as much because I sighted mine 308 in at 200 and know I’m only a 1” high at 100 and can shoot 400 wit out much hold over at all like 8” if that but if I aimed in the same spot it would still kill a deer or elk.
     
  8. 25WSM

    25WSM Well-Known Member

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    This is a long range hunting forum. Not 1000 yard hunting forum. The op stated his max shots would be 500 and under. 90% of hunters would call 500 a long shot. With that being said for woods hunting and some field edge hunting out to 500 I would use a second focal plane every time. I love my ffp scopes for banging steel at multiple yardage. But like as has been said in the woods the size of the reticle on ffp scopes are tiny and very hard to see. Mine virtually disappear in the woods. Now for hunting 500 out in the open the ffp comes into its own and is great. I personally can make 1000 yard shots with a sfp scope easily at 1000 yards. I shot one of my best 10 shot groups on 15 power in heavy mirage. The group was 5.2 inches with a 6 slr. I compete at 1000 yards so it's easy for me to do the dial ups. Make it 2k and I would be peeing my pants.
    So basically most of my hunting rigs have sfp with yardage caps on the elevation turret. So get a good ballistic calculator on your phone and practice with it. Learn your dial ups. Print them out an a little piece of paper and tape it in your scope cap. And practice at a range with steel. Take a yardage reading. Make the dial up. And shoot. In short order you will find 500 yards boring. When you are consistently hit at 8 9 and 1000 plus yards you will look at the 500 gong and say nah your to easy. When you go on your hunt you will make your shot with confidence. I like Leopold cds scopes for hunting but there are plenty of scope that have yardage turrets. Good luck Shep
     
  9. zog

    zog Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    With my 10 power scope I agree with this fully.

    Then, when I decided to take up longer ranges I used a higher power scope, and very glad I did for 600+. So then the problem became trying to use the bullet drop hashes on my 2FP at 400 yds on 18x - way too much! It's almost impossible for me to re-acquire the animal at 18x once it leaves the scope. My interim solution now is to learn the bullet drop hashes at 9x and at 18x. Won't need them, of course, at 3.6x. So to use the reticle my scope will have to be at 9x or 18x, nothing in between. Not the greatest.
     
  10. Jackmonkey

    Jackmonkey Well-Known Member

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    It also depends on where you are hunting and how you hunt. I have a couple of FFP scopes for target and comp guns which is fine when shooting at long distance only or I have time to dial in. All of my hunting rifles have SFP scopes. When I go back East to hunt in PA, in most situations I do not have time to dial in a scope for range. I also don't want my scope at a higher power in case a buck shows up less than 100 yards away. (missed a 10 pointer once because all I saw was brown). At the lowest power setting most FFP reticles are just too small. Since this is a long range hunting forum, if you are hunting out west and have time to dial in or set your scope to a higher power and leave it, a FFP will work but for short, quick shots it will handicap you.
     
  11. 25WSM

    25WSM Well-Known Member

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    Hash marks on a second focal plane scope suck. They only work at one power setting. Then you need a new chart for every other power you plan to use. That's why I prefer to dial up with the sfp scope.
    Dial up works at any power you have the scope on. Shep
     
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  12. K9TXS

    K9TXS Previously jimreed1948

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    How good are your eyes? I have both. I prefer the 2nd focal plane.
    I'm 70 and my eyes are not like they were when I was 20. For me, shooting on low power on a 1st focal plane is not good at all. It's very hard to read the reticle marks on low power. Whereas with the 2nd plane it's easy to read all the time.

    I use a Vortex 1st focal plane and a Nightforce SHV 5-20x56 2nd focal plane. The NF has a dot on the magnification tube around the 10 power mark. When the NF is on 20 power, it's 2 moa between the marks. When it is on 10 power, at the mark, they are 1 moa.

    When I'm scanning the field for sage rats, I use 10 power or slightly less and it's very easy to hold off/up. My rifle is very flat shooting and I zero for 150 yards. I never dail up or down, but then I only hunt sage rats and crows. My longest shot may be 250 to 300 yards at the most.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  13. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Because it boils down to personal choice/preference and application.
     
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  14. 25WSM

    25WSM Well-Known Member

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    Let me clarify. Hash marks on a sfp scope suck for me. Every body will like what works best for them. In the heat of a hunt I don't want so have to figure out what power in at and what she sub tensions are on that power and figure out my holder over and shoot. Too many steps that you can make a mistake with. On a dial up I range the animal turn my turret to that range and shoot. If he steps into an opening and I have time to turn my power up I can still just aim and shoot. Really simple. I like my ffp scopes for open range hunting because it's easy too. I just can't see the tiny crosshair at 3x.
    Shep